School’s almost out and we have rounded up a host of activities to entertain all the family. There’s plenty of activities, including many free ones, to get stuck into ensuring there will be no cries of ‘I’m bored’!
Town centre fun
Hopefully the weather will be sunny and dry and you enjoy fresh air in many of our green spaces – you can read all about our parks on our website here! If you take a wander to The Embankment and Russell Park, then we recommend the free walking quiz hosted by The Longholme Cafe. Just pop to the cafe and collect a sheet and you can also buy special food to feed the ducks as your conquer the quiz.
We are lucky to have three great museums within a stones throw of each other so you can get a cultural fix and also take part in their Easter activities. John Bunyan Museum is running a free Easter Egg Quiz for children throughout the holidays. Search the museum for the brightly coloured eggs, find the hidden letters and re-arrange them to find the mystery word and win a chocolate egg prize! Saturday 6th to Saturday 20th April, 11.00am to 4.00pm, Tuesday to Saturday (closed Good Friday). You can also pick up an application form for their Creative Comic Competition.
The Higgins Bedford holds family join-in activities during school holidays. Sessions start at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm and last an hour.
Tuesday 9th April – Creepy Crawly Clay – £5
Wednesday 10th April – Bug Hotels – £3
Thursday 11th April – Garden Mosaics – £5
Tuesday 16th April – Clay Creatures – £5
Wednesday 17th April – Pebble Pals – £3
Thursday 18th April – Birds and Butterflies – £3
All children to be accompanied by an adult. Booking required. Sessions are designed for children that are aged 5-13.
Once you have exhausted all the activities at The Higgins and John Bunyan Museum, pop across the road to The Panacea Museum to discover the amazing story of the unique religious community that created its own Garden of Eden in Bedford. Opening times Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am – 4pm.
If you are popping into town to pick up some shopping, why not pop into one of our unique independent shops plus you can keep the kids happy with a visit to Rogan’s Books, Rollback World, Close Encounters, Beales have a great toy section on the top floor, Gallones for a wonderful selection of ice cream and of course no visit would be complete with a bag of retro sweet from Arcadia (for the grown ups too!)
Whilst you are walking about, make sure to join in the Love Bedford Easter Trail (6-27th April) – collect a map from Gallone’s Ice Cream Parlour, Rogan’s Books, Goldings, The Higgins or St Paul’s Church and then locate the golden eggs to be entered into a prize draw.
You can search for inspiration of where to eat here.
Tavistock Community Centre is hosting an Easter party suitable for all ages. It’s £5 per child (under 1’s are free) on Friday 19th April, 12pm-2pm. There will be a disco, games, arts and crafts, raffle and surprise visits. Spaces are limited so book asap – firstname.lastname@example.org or 07970 368991
On Saturday 13th April, The Art Centre and The Gallery Cafe are running creative workshops – 10am-12pm, Easter Crafting (£2) and Children’s Face Painting (charity donation) and 3pm-4pm, Story Drawry – artist Mo Lea will be on hand for children to create art from a story (£10). The Gallery Cafe will also be running special offers throughout the day.
If you are feeling energetic, join the Autism Bedfordshire Bunny Run on 14th April at Bedford Park. There’s a 5k family run (10am) and a 1k little bunny run (11am). £10 per adult and £5 per child and registration is from 9am. They will also be accepting donations of unwanted items to sell in their shop. All proceeds will split between Autism Bedfordshire and CHUMS so please also try and raise additional sponsorship – forms can be obtained from email@example.com
At the park
On Tuesday 9 April (at the Pavilion at Bedford Park) and on Wednesday 10 April (at the Kiosk in Russell Park), join in the Sustrans free Easter Egg Hunt around the park. There will also be egg decorating workshop for a small fee.
Meet at the cafe to collect your hunt sheet and take your time to walk around the park finding all the eggs. Event runs between 10am and 3pm.
A favourite of Explore Bedford is Ready Steady Roll near Sharnbrook, especially for some electronic free time A cafe with hundreds of board games to enjoy and with staff on hand to help with the rules. Their cake selection is awesome too. Booking is recommend as it’s very popular.
The Forest of Marston Vale has loads to entertain and use up energy in their 61 square miles of woodland which includes a nature reserve, walks, lots of wildlife and a cafe for a well earned cuppa and cake.
Why not become a Friend of the Forest as this will entitle you to free parking, free entry to the Wetlands Nature Reserve and discounts in the gift shop plus it also helps more trees to be planted.
Sunday 7th April, 10.30am – Sunday Stroll, donations welcome.
Tuesday 9th April, 10.30am – Symbol Spot Trail, £6, ages 4-10
Wednesday 10th April, 10am – Storytelling Tea in the Woods, £8, age 5+
Friday 12th April, From 10am – Kids Easter Drop in Crafts – drop in, £4
Friday 12th April, 10am – Krigsar Magic Workshop, £8, age 8+
Tuesday 16th April, 10am – Kids Easter Drop in Crafts – drop in, £4
Thursday 18th April, 10am – Easter Trail, £3, age 1+
Friday 19th April, 10am – Easter Trail, £3, age 1+
Saturday 20th April, 10am – Easter Trail, £3, age 1+
Sunday 21st April – 10am – Easter Trail, £3, age 1+
Monday 22nd April – 10am – Easter Trail, £3, age 1+
Out of town at The Shuttleworth Collection are hosting Easter Craft Activities on 8th and 9th April and Perilous Parachutes is the theme on Wednesday 10th, Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April
Times for all are 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm and cost £1 per child* and you may want to pre-book by calling 01767 627933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shuttleworth is based at the Old Warden Aerodrome near Biggleswade and they host a large collection of aircraft and vehicles from many decades and they regularly have amazing air shows. The Swiss Garden is also part of their attraction – it’s landscaped gardens are a thing of beauty and tranquillity and is home to the resident peacock.
*You need to pay the normal entry fee too.
Over at the majestic Wrest Park you will find an Easter Adventure Quest from 6th – 22nd April. Join the hunt for dragon eggs and crack the clues as you follow the trail though the gardens. There will be a chocolate treat for the successful explorers. It’s an additional £1 alongside the normal entry fee and runs from 11am to 5pm. Whilst visiting you can enjoy the 92 acres of award winning gardens, archaeological stores, enjoy something to eat in the cafe and there is also a children’s play area to use up any left over energy.
We can’t get enough chocolate at Easter and your children can decorate your own egg at Frosts Garden Centre, Willington. Whether it’s a present or for them to enjoy, book a space between 8th and 18th April. Once your little one has finished their decorating, they will join in a bunny hunt around the garden.
Over at Box End Park, they will have their grand opening on 19th April for the Aqua Park – wetsuits recommended as the water will still be chilly (you can hire them). Parents can watch from the lakeside with a drink as the youngsters wear themselves out having fun on the inflatables.
Your cultural theatre fix
We are very lucky to have great theatres in the heart of Bedford who host so many productions all year round. The Place is a 130 seater venue based in Bradgate Road and this Easter they have shows for children (and adults) of all ages!
14th April, 6pm – £5 adults/ £8.50 children – Age 3+
Inspired by our childhood wonder of the universe, award-winning The Wardrobe Ensemble have created a unique theatrical experience for children. For this special evening show, our staff are dressing up and we are welcoming our audience to wear their best space costume as there will be special prizes waiting for you!
15th April, 7.30pm – £15/£13 – all ages
The cast of leading performers from London’s West End invite you to join them to a night at the movies. A magical evening of live entertainment featuring the very best songs from the smash hit movies throughout the decades.
19th and 20th April, 2pm and 7pm – £13/£11/Family £42 – All ages
Toffee Apple Productions bring to the stage the junior musical version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale The Ugly DucklingThe
24th – 26th April, 7.30pm – £12/£10 – Age 10+
Sing, O’Muse, of the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons and their hilarious new verse adaption of the most epic journey of all time.
On Monday 8th April, The Bedford Corn Exchange will be showing two performances of Beauty and The Beast staring Kerry Katona and Basil Brush – make sure to book your tickets for the all singing, dancing, laughing panto! Pongo will be having a party on Thursday 18th April at The Harpur Suite, so go dressed in your party clothes and join the fun, songs and laughter. Ages 2-7
The Quarry Theatre at St Lukes is showing a live broadcast of the Royal Shakespeare Company ‘As You Like It’. Wednesday 11th April, 7pm. Age 12A
Our amazing libraries
Bedford Borough Libraries always guarantee plenty of boredom busting fun with so many different sessions and they are all FREE!
Lego Club: Saturdays 6th April and 13th April, drop in anytime between 10.30am and 4.30pm
Sunday is Funday: Sundays 7th April and 14th April, 11.30am to 1.30pm
Monday 8th April, 11.30am – 3.30pm – Bee Coasters
Tuesday 9th April – Fashion Make and Create with Bedford College – Workshop, 11.15am – 3pm and Catwalk, 2.30pm – 3pm
Wednesday 10th April – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Story, 11.30am – 12pm and Craft, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Thursday 11th April – Rhymetime, 11.30am – 12pm and Bug Crowns, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Friday 12th April – Decorate a Butterfly, 11.30am – 3.30pm
Monday 15th April – Bug Masks, 11.30am – 3.30pm
Tuesday 16th April – Mini Beast Suncatchers – 11.30am – 3.30pm
Wednesday 17th April – Easter Treat Bags, 11.30am – 3.30pm
Thursday 18th April – Rhymetime, 11.30am – 12pm and Easter Egg Magnets, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Saturday 20th April – Lucky Dip Crafts, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Tuesday 23rd April – Lucky Dip Crafts, 11.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday 6th April – Hanging Insect Decoration, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Monday 8th April – Insect Gliders, 10am – 11.30am
Tuesday 9th April – Bug Masks, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Wednesday 10th April – Insect Dotty Sticker Art, 10am – 11.30am and Storytime, 11am
Thursday 11th April – Insect Scratch Art Magnet, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Friday 12th April – Bug Honeycomb Decorations, 10am – 11.30am
Saturday 13th April – Mixed Insects Crafts & Colouring, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Monday 15th April – Design an Easter Crown, 10am – 11.30am
Tuesday 16th April – Chick and Bunny Pop Up Cards, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Wednesday 17th April – Easter Wreaths, 10am – 11.30am and Storytime, 11am
Thursday 18th April – Scratch Art Easter Cards, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 20th April – Easter Masks, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Tuesday 23rd April – Mixed Easter Crafts & Colouring, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 6th April – DIY Dandelions, 10am – 3.30pm
Monday 8th April – Bird Scratch Art Decorations and Lego Club, 2pm – 5pm and Storytime, 2.15pm
Tuesday 9th April – Rhymetime, 11am, Butterfly Wooden Magnets, 11.30am – 4.30pm and Dice Warriors Games Club, 3.30pm – 5pm
Wednesday 10th April – Spring Wreaths, 2pm – 5.30pm
Thursday 11th April – Kitchen Roll Bunnies, 10am – 4.30pm and Dice Warriors Games Club, 3,30pm – 5pm
Friday 12th April – Pop Up Easter Egg Cards, 2pm – 5pm and Lego Club, 2pm to 5pm
Saturday 13th April – Flower Bookmarks, 10am – 3.30pm
Monday 15th April – Rocking Lambs and Lego Club, 2pm – 5pm and Storytime, 2.15pm
Tuesday 16th April – Rhymetime, 11am, Beaded Garden Arts, 11,30am – 4.30pm and Dice Warriors Games Club, 3.30pm – 5pm
Wednesday 17th April – Paper Plates Easter Gardens, 2pm – 5.30pm
Thursday 18th April – Make a Hatching Chick, 10am – 4.30pm and Dice Warriors Games Club, 3.30pm – 5pm
Saturday 20th April – Easter Bunny Making, 10am – 3.30pm
Tuesday 23rd April – Rhymetime, 11am, Flower Bouquet Tissue Pictures, 11.30am – 4.30pm and Dice Warriors Games Club, 3.30pm-5pm
Wednesday 24th April – Garden Theme Hamma Beads, 2pm – 5.30pm
Saturday 6th April – Feathered Friends Magnet, 10am – 3pm
Monday 8th April – Fabric Art Flowers, 2.30pm – 5pm
Tuesday 9th April – Stained Glass Mini Beasts, 10.30am – 4pm
Wednesday 10th April – Spring Bookmarks, 2.30pm – 4pm
Thursday 11th April – Insect Scratch Art, 10.30am – 4pm
Friday 12th April – Bear Story Time, 2.30pm – 3pm and Bear Collage Craft and Bear Hunt, 2.30pm – 4pm
Saturday 13th April – Sunflower Planting, 10am – 3pm
Monday 15th April – Sunshine and Rain Weather Mobile, 2.30pm – 5pm
Tuesday 16th April – 3D Paper Bugs, 10.30am – 4pm
Wednesday 17th April – Bunny Ears Craft, 2.30pm – 4pm
Thursday 18th April – Easter Decorations, 10.30am – 4pm
Saturday 20th April – Spring Paper Flowers Wreath, 10am – 3pm
Tuesday 23rd April – Crafty Mash Up, 10am – 3pm
Saturday 6th April – Butterfly Racers and Lego & Jigsaw Club, 11am – 12.30pm
Monday 8th April – Butterfly Racers, 2pm – 4.30pm, Under 5’s Funtime, 2.30pm – 2.50pm and Lego Club, 3.45pm – 4.45pm
Tuesday 9th April – Easter Bookmarks, 10am – 11.30am and Baby Funtime, 10.15am – 10.45am
Wednesday 10th April – Easter Bookmarks, 2pm – 4.30pm and Lego Club, 3.45pm – 4.45pm
Thursday 11th April – Easter Cards, 10am – 11.30am and Storytime with Ted, 10.30am – 10.50am
Friday 12th April – Easter Cards, 2pm – 4.30am and Lego Club, 3.45pm – 4.45pm
Saturday 13th April – Easter Masks and Lego & Jigsaw Club, 11am – 12.30pm
Monday 15th April – Easter Masks, 2pm – 4.30pm, Unders 5’s Funtime, 2.30pm – 2.50pm and Lego Club, 3.45pm – 4.45pm
Tuesday 16th April – Flower Sheep Craft, 10am – 11.30am and Baby Funtime, 10.15am – 10.45am
Wednesday 17th April – Flower Sheep Craft, 2pm – 4.30pm and Lego Club, 3.45pm – 4.45pm
Thursday 18th April – Bear Hunts Craft, 10am – 11.30am and Teddy Bears Picnic & Story, 10.30am – 10.50am
Saturday 20th April – Bear Hunt Craft and Lego & Jigsaw Club, 11am – 12.30pm
Tuesday 23rd April – Honeycomb Flower, 10am – 11.30am and Baby Funtime, 10.15am – 10.45am
Wednesday 24th April – Honeycomb Flower, 2pm – 4.30pm and Lego Club, 3.45pm – 4.45pm