If you think about it, Easter has sprung off some rather interesting traditions. A life-sized bunny delivering decorated eggs and candy to children on Easter Sunday morning? A little odd.
Reportedly, this ritual was brought here by German immigrants in the 1700s, whose egg-laying hare is know as “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws,” and kids would make nests for it to lay colored eggs into, with these fabled deliveries later branching out to include chocolate, candy, and gifts. How that tale began, I have no idea. What I do know, however, is children love waking up to filled baskets, and they love Easter egg hunts. Case in point: last week I asked my three-year-old niece what she wanted to do for her birthday, if she could do anything, and her response was an egg hunt.
Kids who are like my niece are in luck, as with Easter being next Sunday, April 20, festivities are kicking off around the state this weekend. Here’s where you can join in:
Ukrainian Egg Painting (April 12, Carver County Historical Society in Carver): Parents can learn the fine art of Ukrainian egg painting with their kids, while younger ones can enjoy more simple decorating and an egg hunt. Pre-registration required.
Heron Egg Hunt (April 12, Carl Kroening Interpretive Center in Minneapolis): A different kind of egg hunt, here you can search for great blue heron eggs; find the special golden egg, and receive a prize basket. You’ll also be able to visit bunnies, chicks and goats, get your face painted, and learn about the herons that live in the park.
Eggstravaganza (April 18, Eastman Nature Center in Dayton): Participate in a day full of games, bring your own eggs to dye, search for eggs, go on a scavenger hunt, meet a giant rabbit, and then get your face painted like one—ears supplied.
Egg Trail and Rabbit Habits (April 18 & 19, Richardson Nature Center in Bloomington): Take a hike through the woods and hunt for colorful wooden eggs and fact-filled rabbits, then learn about birds, rabbits, eggs, and nests. Visit with live animals, learning about ones that come from eggs. Reservations required.
Spring Eggstravaganza (April 18 & 19, Lowry Nature Center in Victoria): Bring a basket to collect hunted colored rocks (ages 2-8) or secret messages (ages 8 and up) hidden along trails. You can also get your photo taken with a bunny character, make bunny ears and get your face painted like one, decorate a wooden egg to take home, and visit with bunnies, chicks, turtles, snakes, and toads.
Victorian Easter Egg Roll (April 19, The Landing, Shakopee): Make a basket and decorate a wooden egg, then join in on an egg and spoon race, bunny hop relay, authentic egg roll, and old-fashioned games. Reservations required.
Easter Egg-stravaganza (April 19, Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth): Hunt for eggs, play games, learn about animal enrichment, and meet the Easter Bunny himself.
Spring Activities and Egg Hunt (April 19, Glacial Lakes State Park in Starbuck): Join in the fifth annual egg hunt, while also participating in games and learning about animals of spring from a naturalist.
Annual Easter Egg Hunt (April 19, James J. Hill House in St. Paul): An outdoor egg hunt will be held on the lawn of the Gilded Age house for children ages 2-7, who can win prizes, hear stories, and walk around the first floor of the house. Reservations strongly recommended.
Bunny Brunch and Big Egg Hunt (April 19, Sibley Park in Minneapolis): Enjoy a bunny brunch before egg coloring and other art projects, a scavenger and golden egg hunt, face painting, and magic show.