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Easter activities, children's activities abound throughout the region this weekend.
By Collette Caprara
FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Things will definitely be hopping this weekend, as the Easter Bunny pays two visits to area children on Saturday.
CURTIS MEMORIAL PARK
If you hear a great noise coming from the vicinity of Curtis Memorial Park, fear not. That would just be an Eggsplosion—the annual rite of spring hosted by, among others, Stafford’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
The event is filled with nonstop activities, including photo-ops and greetings with Mr. Bunny, a series of four exciting egg hunts for age cohorts ranging from 2 and under to ages 8–10, and a host of amusements including pony rides and a variety of inflatables.
“It’s a family oriented spring-time celebration. It’s an exciting time for us and we look forward to it,” said recreation programmer Derrick Carr.
In the egg hunts, children will scout out brightly colored plastic eggs, which they can redeem for a prize packet.
The first 500 participants to arrive will be given a free bucket for their bounty.
“I’m sure that even the littlest child will find eggs,” said Carr. “For each age group, we put out at least 1,000 eggs.
“It always reminds me of a large vacuum—all I do is say ‘Go!’ and get out of the way. The next thing I know, the grass has been completely cleared of those hundreds of bright eggs.”
At 12:30 p.m., there will be a hiatus in the egg hunts, as nationally acclaimed entertainer Jonathan Austin takes the stage.
As indicated by the title of Austin’s show, “The 24-Hour Emergency Juggling and Magic Service,” his performance intertwines his dexterity and magical feats with a touch of humor as he interacts with his audience.
Meanwhile, at Memorial (Kenmore) Park in Fredericksburg, 12:30 p.m. marks the launch of another series of egg hunts for area children, beginning with the first round for toddlers ages 2 and under.
There will be two hunts for each age group, to ensure that every child can gather some eggs, which they trade in for age-appropriate packets of candies.
Participants should bring a basket or bag for their gatherings.
“The little ones are so cute. Many of them come wearing bunny ears or pink and green pastel outfits,” said JoAnne Jones, superintendent for leisure affairs for Fredericksburg’s Department of Parks and Recreation, which is co-hosting the event with the Fredericksburg Jaycees.
The Easter Bunny will mingle with the children before each hunt begins, and parents are welcome to bring a camera to capture the moment.
“The children just love the bunny; they just about knock him over when they see him,” said Jones. “And the small ones just hug him and hold on to him!”
Parents are encouraged to arrive early for the egg hunts at either site to allow time for traffic, parking and locating the designated sites.
Food vendors will be on-site at each park throughout the events. The anticipated guest list for each celebration is 400-500 children.
Collette Caprara is a local writer and artist.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Easter Events for Children
WHEN: Saturday, April 16
Curtis Memorial Park, 58 Jesse Curtis Lane, Hartwood, Virginia
11:00 am-3:00pm: food vendors and amusements
11:30 am : Egg Hunt, ages two and under
noon: Egg Hunt, ages 3-4
12:30 pm: Jonathan Austin’s juggling and magic performance
1:30 pm: Egg Hunt, ages 5-7
2:00 pm: Egg Hunt, ages 8-10
$7 before April 16: $9 at the gates. Admission includes all activities.
Information: Call 540 658-5116 or visit www.staffordparks.com
Easter Egg Hunt
Memorial (Kenmore) Park, 1101 Kenmore Ave, Fredericksburg
Children in third grade and younger
12:30 pm: first Egg Hunts begins
Free of charge
Information: Call 540 372-1086 or visit www.frederickksburgva.gov (parks and recreation).
MORE KID-FRIENDLY EVENTS THIS WEEKEND
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, Rockhill Volunteer Fire Department, 2133 Garrisonville Road, Stafford. 9 a.m.–noon, $6. 540/752-0200.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day, Massad Family YMCA, 212 Butler Road, Stafford. Families can enjoy the Y for free. Many activities planned for the day. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. 540/371-9622, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read to the Dogs, Culpeper County Library, 271 Southgate Shopping Center. The Welcome Wagger Therapy Dogs available for children to choose a book and read to a dog. 10:30–11:30 a.m. Free, signed permission slip required. 540/825-8691, cclva.org
Eggsplosion, Curtis Park, Hartwood. Activities for ages 10 and under includes egg hunt, pony rides, inflatables, maze, magic Easter Bunny, Curtis the Beaver and more. 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; $9, adults free. 540/658-5116, staffordparks.com.
Easter Egg Hunt, Historic Kenmore, 1201 Washington Ave., Fredericksburg. Children in third grade and younger will search for eggs. 12:30 p.m., free; rain date is Sunday. 540/372-1086, fredericksburgva.gov.
Glow N’ the Dark Egg Hunt, Funland Central Park, 1351 Central Park Blvd., Fredericksburg. For middle and high school students. 10 a.m.–noon, free. 540/834-4413, register at newseasonchurch.wufoo.com.
Bunny Bonanza!, Rikki’s Refuge, 10910 Barr Lane, Rapidan, Orange County. Games, prizes, raffles, crafts, face painting, tours, egg hunt and magic show. 1–5 p.m.; $3/advance, $5/at door, one can of cat food or 50 cents per game ticket. 540/854-0870, rikkisrefuge.org.
Aircraft rides, Culpeper Airport. Free aircraft rides for ages 8 to 17 by The Young Eagles. Parents permission required. 1–4 p.m. 571/244-7696.
“Annie Jr.” Riverside Center’s Children’s Theater, 95 Riverside Parkway, Stafford. Through May 14. Saturday matinée plus selected Tuesday and Thursday matinées. Saturday matinées: arrive for lunch at 1–1:15 p.m.; show at 2 p.m. 540/370-4300, riversidedt.com.
Super Saturday, Massad Family YMCA, 212 Butler Road, Stafford. Fifth to eighth graders can hang out and enjoy the activities of the Y. 7:30.–11 p.m.; $5/members, $7/non-members. 540/371-9622, ext. 1013; email@example.com.
“Sleeping Beauty,” THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Presented by The Washington Ballet. 1 and 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. $50. 202/899-5901; thearcdc.org.
Shad Fishing Clinic, Virginia Outdoor Center, Fredericksburg. Ages 7 and up will learn fly and spin fishing techniques. 1–4 p.m.; $30/Stafford residents, $35/non-residents, registration required. 540/658-5116; staffordparks.com.
Easter Egg Hunt, Woodland Academy, 2054 Neenah, Montross. Colorful Easter eggs with prizes inside. 2 p.m., free, refreshments. 804/493-8244, woodlandacademy.net.
Wildflower Walk, Motts Run Nature Center, Fredericksburg. Ages 8 and up (must attend with paying adult) will search for wildflowers on a gentle woodland walk. 3–4:15 p.m.; $4; registration required. 540/372-1086; fredericks burgva.gov.
Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock, Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. East, Vienna. Think “Yellow Submarine” and “Dr. Seuss.” Equal parts pop–rock concert and animated storybook. 2 p.m., $10. 703/255-1566.