Easter Holidays 2016
From Bunny Chases to Car Boots, Bands to Biking! - how to make the most of the Easter four-day break & school holidays in Swindon...
Just when we've all recovered from the festive onslaught that is Christmas, it's hard to believe that the time for big cuddly bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs is virtually upon us!
To keep you busy we've put together our guide of what's happening over Easter in Swindon. So read on!
Meet The Easter Bunny
Friday 25 March - Saturday 26 March, from 11.00am
Swindon town centre
25 March - 26 March, 11.00am - 5.00pmHop into the town centre this Easter for a weekend of FREE kids activities and family fun on Good Friday, 25th March and Saturday, 26th March from 11am to 5pm.
If it's Easter family fun you're after, InSwindon has got it covered. Families can take advantage of the FREE Easter Egg-stravaganza, which will see a weekend full of Easter activities.
Easter Egg Hunt
Find all 12 Giant Easter Eggs, displayed in retailer windows across the Town Centre from 14-26th March and be in with a chance to win one of 6 fabulous Chocolate Hamper’s, courtesy of Sweets Galore!
Pick up your Easter Egg Trail Card at the Library or download a copy at www.swindontowncentre.co.uk Terms & Conditions apply.
All your favourite characters will be roaming around the town. Help Bo-Beep find her sheep and don’t miss the Bunny Girls!
Everyone is invited to join the traditional Easter Parade, starting at the Town Hall Cenotaph at 12.00pm on Saturday 26th March. The Easter Bunny will lead the parade followed by the local Bluebell Majorettes and other local talent. Don’t forget to wear your Easter Bonnet!
Entertainers & Music
Wharf Green will be transformed into an interactive zone, where children will have the opportunity to enjoy main stage activity as well as giant games, arts, crafts and face painting. They can also enjoy performances from the Easter Bunny and his ‘Bunny Girls’ and get involved with competitions, magic and giveaways - come along and take part in the ‘Jive Bunny’competition!
Pretend you want some Sunday morning exercise, and then ask your kids to come with you! Tell them it's an Easter Egg hunt, and they'll say yes.
Easter Egg Hunt at The Royal Oak, Bishopstone
Easter Sunday, 27 March, 10.30am
The Royal Oak is planning to lay 100 organic eggs in the Eastbrook valley - with ten fancy fancy ones to find! There are also tractor and trailer ride too!
Both the egg hunt and pub will be busy so please book in advance.
Easter Car Boot Sale & Farm Open Day
Saturday 02 April, 10.00am - 4.00pm
Come and celebrate the arrival of spring on the farm, and the kids can join in with an eggs-citing Easter egg hunt!
The Farm Shop will be open 10.00am-4pm on Saturday 11th April and, as usual, bursting with local goodies and treats; plus there will be animals to meet, farm walks and more!
Old Town Gardens
Friday 25 March, 10.00am (last entry 11.30am)
Bring a pen or pencil with you to take part in the Easter Trail in the Old Town Gardens, Swindon.
Every participant will be interested into a prize draw (tickets drawn at 11.30 at the Bandstand).
Tickets cost £2.00 per entrant.
Easter Family Fun Day
The Crown at Broad Hinton
Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th & Monday 28th March
The Crown at Broad Hinton will be holding a Easter treasure on the 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th March.
The Easter Sunday carvery will also be available from 12.00pm right through until 4.00pm although early booking is advised.
Sunday 27 March
10.00am to 4.00pm
25 March - 09 April, 10.00a - 5.00pm
This Easter holiday the Museum is bursting with things to see and do for all the family!
Among story-telling displays, you’ll find legendary steam locomotives, including King George V and City of Truro, a train simulator, interactive Signal Box and oodles of hands-on exhibits.Spring Trails
This holiday, take up the challenge of a STEAM Spring Trail!
Free with standard admission, the Track It Down trail and Work It Out trails encourage children to get involved with STEAM’s interactive displays and hand-on exhibits.
Have fun on your adventure as you hunt for objects, shapes and colours!
What A Hoot!
And don't forget, as part of the Swindon175 celebrations this year, a pair of replica Swindon Railway Works' hooters have now been installed on the roof of STEAM Museum near the Swindon Designer Outlet.
The hooters will be sounded for the first time at a special VIP event on Tuesday 22 March and at a public event outside STEAM on Saturday 26 March at 4.30pm.
What better time than Easter - if the sun's out - than enjoying the countryside in and around Swindon.
A Grand Day Out!
Betfair Lambourn Open Day
Friday 25 March 2016
A really great day out for all the family. Explore the stables, meet the famous horses and jockeys and enjoy the fun and games.
25 March - 10 April
This trail is becoming a real Easter tradition, so why not join in and look around this lovely market town and see who you can spot.
The theme this year is 'Olympics & Sports Personalities'
The trail sheets will be on sale from The Lighthouse Bookshop, Saracens Head Hotel, Reg Skull Motors and the Scarecrow Trail HQ at 28 High Street.
For more information please call 01793 764614 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Swindon & Cricklade Railway
Friday 25 March - Monday 28 March
Enjoy a steam train ride and visit the Easter Bunny handing out Easter Eggs in his specially decorated grotto.
FREE chocolate egg for each child.
Coate Water Minature Railway
Trains are running all four days over Easter: Good Friday to Bank Holiday Monday, 11am to 5pm.
Just one of the many reasons to visit Coate Water with all the family, voted Swindon's favourite place.
Or for something a bit faster!...
If you think you've got the next Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button on your hands, then let your little speed-demons put their racing skills to the test at Swindon Karting all over Easter.
£20 Tuesdays & £5 Fridays
Swindon Karting are open throughout the Easter school holidays with their Fiver Fridays deal where kids & adults can enjoy a 7 minute session for just £5 + £20 Tuesdays.
101 Things To Do In Swindon - Swindon Karting
Lambs, Otters and Meerkats in Swindon
If Easter Weekend has a spot of rain, don't worry! Get a taste of the tropics at Studley Grange. They've got hundreds of butterflies flying about plus loads more to see and do including a display of mini beats including snakes!
Their outdoor animal paddock includes new-born lambs, otters, meerkats, ducks, geese, rabbits and goats.
The next door craft village is also a great place to explore.
WATCH VIDEO: Easter at Studley Grange
26 March - 10 April
10.30am - 5.00pm
FREE Tractor and Trailer Rides will take visitors on an adventure to find the Easter Bunny for the ever popular Easter Bunny Chase - rumour has it, he has learnt some new tricks!
Children's Craft Sessions offer visitors the opportunity to snip, stick and decorate Easter cards, pictures and fluffy chicks to take home.
As you'd expect at Easter, the lambs will be running around the farm, and there are plenty of chicks, guinea pigs and rabbits in Pets Corner for visitors to hold and stroke.
101 Things To Do In Swindon - Roves Farm
The Manor Farm Estate, Lechlade
Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Manor Farm Estate in Lechlade offers fun for all the family.
From their friendly farmyard animals to mountain biking, swimming, nature trails & more...
> Manor Farm - website
Butts Farm, South Cerney
Open from Easter to the end of September every year, Butts Farm always has plenty of hands-on activities going on incl. goat milking, bottle feeding, pony rides and chance to meet all of farm's rare breeds pigs and piglets.
And for Easter Sunday lunch why not pop in to the Butts Farm shop afterwards and take your pick of their award-winning pork, beef, lamb and chicken, perfect for a family roast.
> Butts Farm - website
Cotswold Wildlife Park
Catch the animals at feeding time, jump around in the play area or take a train ride around the park.
Come On You Reds!
Swindon Town Football Club
25 March 2016, 5.30pm
STFC v Wigan
Town take on Wigan at the County Ground as they try to keep their late play-off charge alive.
Sunday 27 March, 5.00pm start
They're revved up and ready to go at the Abbey for the first home Elite League clash of the season against Poole Pirates.
Easter on Horse Back!
At Rein & Shine with riding games, lessons & competitions
Tuesday 29 March & Thursday 07 April
Rein & Shine, the new riding centre in Braydon just outside Swindon, is holding two Easter Pony Days.
And there's lot on offer!
- Grooming & Platting
- Full length group riding lesson
- Stable routines and rugging
- Riding games & competitions
> Rein & Shine - website
Or On Two Wheels?
FREE Family Orienteering
Why now explore Swindon and try some FREE family family on two wheels this Easter?
Sustrans and Swindon Travel Choices are providing FREE orienteering activity packs from local leisure centres and Central library throughout this week.
There's three 7-mile routes to choose from in and around Swindon so even the unfittest mums & dads can have a go!
Thursday 24 - Saturday 26 March 2016
Dinosaur Zoo brings these awesome prehistoric creatures to life as you’ve never seen them before. From cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants, marvel and interact with extraordinary life-like dinosaurs in this imaginative and hilarious live show.
But watch out. Not all of these ravenous reptiles are as tame as they seem…
Direct from the West End, this international hit show offers guaranteed fun for all the family ages 3+.
Ashleigh & Pudsey
Wednesday 30 - Thursday 31 March
K9 Intelligence Agents Ashleigh and Pudsey must defeat their arch nemesis Dr Feline and his acrobatic cat burglars as they battle for world domination. With a fantastic array of gadgets, cars, jet packs and gismos audiences will help Ashleigh and Pudsey by finding clues, breaking codes, and solving puzzles.
Meeting hilarious characters along the way our heroes will Riverdance in Ireland, do battle with Russia’s Meerkat division and defeat Dr Feline’s guardian of his tomb – the spectacular sand serpent. Finally Pudsey must complete a deadly assault course full of crafty traps in order to save the world and finally complete their mission.
The Great Jaydini
Thursday 31 March, 11.00am
Enter the funny and magical world of The Great Jaydini, a talented and professional magician whose unique style puts together a blend of comedy and magic suitable for ages 4 and above.
Easter Holiday Day Trips
We understand if all the entertainment in Swindon is a little overwelming. So why not get away with for a day trip to the likes of London Zoo, Bognor Regis, Alton Towers, Monkey World and many more.
Easter Bus Services
With two bank holidays, please be aware of alterations to the bus timetable over the Easter period.
Best of all though, a family of 5 can travel around Swindon all day for just £5!
Visit the Thamesdown Transport website for more information.
At The Movies!
New IMAX screen opening 25th March!
Just in time for the Easter holidays (and Batman vs Superman!), Empire Cinemas at Greenbridge will be opening its first IMAX screen.
The IMAX experience combines hugely powerful digital sound with a crystal-clear digital projection on a much larger, slightly curved and tilted specially treated IMAX High Definition screen.
Bowl 'Em Over!
Always good fun - a couple of hours letting it rip at the bowing alley.
Have a blast over the Easter weekend - quite literally. Enormous fun and thankfully open on Easter Monday until 9pm.
Little ones always like an indoor game - but the lounge is not always the best place!
We haven't forgotten that Easter's all about the children, bunny rabbits, chocolate eggs and quality family time.... but, of course, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
So try fitting in these events in between the lunches and egg hunts just to redress the balance!
Easter At The Dogs!
20 at The Kings
The Plough, Old Town
Craft ales and Easter Sunday afternoon jazz with the Graham Taylor Trio from 3.00-5.30pm.
What better than a great British roast on Easter Sunday - followed by a family walk in the country. We've guides for both.
For an exquisite range of Easter gift ideas, there's one shop you must visit - The Christmas Shop in Lechlade. No, we haven't gone mad! They actually sell much more than Father Christmas figures and festive wooden toys, especially at this time of year.
We interviewed Father David McConkey SSC about the true meaning of Easter as part of The Swindon Show, recorded in 2012.