Easter Treats in Essex

Colchester Zoo

This Easter join Colchester Zoo for a day the whole family will enjoy! As you walk around the zoo  you will see many species from around the world and can learn more about them at fantastic daily encounters, giving you the chance to see the animals being fed, watch a training session or perhaps just quiz their keepers!

You can also take part in some fantastic activities with the opportunity to hand feed the  elephants and giraffe at daily public feeding sessions and walk through a 24m tunnel as sealions swim overhead!

Colchester Zoo also has many fantastic undercover areas so you can stay warm and dry on even the wettest of days! Stop by the ‘Orangutan Forest’ and see if you can hang for as long as an orangutan, feed the rainbow lorikeets a treat of nectar in their tropical walkthrough aviary, ‘Australian Rainbows’, PLUS you can also walkthrough ‘Butterfly Glade’, home to a number of tropical plants and butterflies!

During your visit you will also be able to stop by Colchester Zoo’s revamped restaurant ‘Southern Kitchen’ restaurant which offers delicious burger and chicken meals as well as trying out ‘The Hot Potato’ open on the terrace it is offers you the chance to enjoy a traditional or sweet potato with a selection of fillings! www.colchesterzoo.org

 

Fun activities around Easter in the Lee Valley

Bottle feed baby lambs, find hidden Easter eggs, or take a white knuckle ride down the white water rapids – there are a host of fun activities coming up in the Lee Valley this spring.

Easter Fun at Lee Valley Park Farms

Bottle feeding  newborn orphan lambs and finding hidden eggs  in an Easter Egg Hunt  are  just some of the fun activities planned for visitors to Lee Valley Park Farms over the Easter weekend.

The Waltham Abbey farm, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, is also expecting its usual ‘Baby Boom’ of newborn animals over the Easter holidays. New arrivals are expected at the farm  between Sunday 2  April and  Monday 17 April.

Children, as well as being able to feed milk to some of the new born lambs, can say ‘hello’ to many  of the 300 animals at the Waltham Abbey farm, including Meerkats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, tortoises and some exotic species such as Bearded Dragons.

They can take a ride on Tex the Tractor to the working dairy farm and try delicious homemade cakes and freshly prepared food in The Bumblebee Café.

Lee Valley Park Farms: open daily until 29 October 2017.  10:00-17:00  Standard entry for all: £9 including Adult (18+), Child (2 – 17), Concession (senior citizen or registered disabled); Under 2s go FREE. Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2EF To book or to find out more: www.lvfarms.co.uk  or 01992 892 781.

Lee Valley Regional Park. Lee Valley Riding Centre, Leyton, London E10. September 4th, 2012. Photo: Eleanor Bentall

Kick start spring with white water thrills and spills

Take a thrilling white knucle ride down the rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre. The venue’s new season has opened and rafting is available right throughout the spring to winter.

Other fun activities planned at the centre include Family Rafting, available to children aged 10 and over, starting in early April, and ‘tubing’,  planned for summer weekends – an exhilarating ride down the rapids in a ring-shaped dinghy!

Further exciting white water activities coming up at the venue include Hydrospeeding, which is similar to bodyboarding, but on fast flowing white water and Hot Dog sessions, two person inflatables providing a heart pumping introduction to kayaking on the rapids. Plus, additionally, from Easter, there will be Go Sup – stand up paddle boarding on the lake, which children as young as eight can try.

Families can also test the 140 tonnes of golden sands with their bucket and spade at the venue’s  beach area, open for visitors to have FREE fun. As part of an action packed day, visitors can also enjoy relaxing with a drink or snack in The Terrace . www.gowhitewater.co.uk or call 03000 030 610.

 FootGolf

Try FootGolf at Lee Valley for all the family.  Test your skills on the 18 hole course using a football. The object of the game is to get the ball into the hole using only your feet in the fewest number of shots possible. Combine power and precision to get the ball in that hole!

Price from April:  Adult £12; Junior: (Under 16) and Concessions £6 Time: weekends and school holidays – 12:00 -13:45 Book online or call 020 8803 3611 to book your session.

SUP and Canoeing

Spend time off during this holiday on the water at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Grab a Stand Up Paddle board or canoe with friends and family! Available, one hour active sessions for children and adults. Monday 3 April 2017 to Friday 14 April 10:00 – 15:00 £5  www.gowhitewater.co.uk or call 03000 030 610.

A Walk in the Park – Gunpowder Park and Sewardstone Explorer

This week’s hand -picked walk, as part of Lee Valley Regional Park’s 50th Anniversary, explores the transformed, exciting country park where people, wildlife and the arts coexist in a rather more peaceful environment. Walkers love this area due to the network of all-weather paths, and a permissive bridle way, which welcomes horse riders through the summer months. The park is also home to a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly field station. This amazing building with its grass roof reflects the Park’s industrial heritage. Sunday 9 April 2017 10:30 – 12:30 FREE No need to book simply turn up. To find out more: www.visitleevalley.org.uk or call 03000 030 610.

Easter Woodcrafts

Learn practical skills on this creative course hosted by the Lee Valley Ranger Team. Learn about different trees and their properties and about plaque cutting with bow saws. Grown ups  and children will love making Easter themed keepsakes that they can take home.

Easter Woodcrafts Tuesday 11 April 2017 10:00 – 13:00  £14.50 for one Adult and one Child www.visitleevalley.org.uk; tel: 03000 030 610.

Wild Wednesdays – Spring has Sprung Activity Afternoon

Celebrate Lee Valley Park’s 50th Anniversary with ‘Wild Wednesday’ family events taking place every Wednesday during the school holidays! Discover the magic of seasonal change through a fun filled afternoon of spring related activities, including arts and crafts, seed planting and spring games! Wednesday, 12 April 13:00 – 15:00 £4.50 advanced booking, £5 on day www.visitleevalley.org.uk;  tel: 03000 030 610

Booking :  Pre-booking is recommended for Wild Wednesdays activities as there are limited spaces for each event. By booking online you will receive a 10% discount! There will be a limited number of spaces available on the day.

British Selection

If you want to see Britain’s best canoeing stars battle it out, then come down to Lee Valley White Water Centre for this weekend of water action! Watch them fight for a place to represent team GB in the European and World championships. In addition, there will be activities for beginners and practiced white water paddlers on during the course of the weekend. Saturday 15 April to Monday 17 April.  from 10:00 FREE to spectate. www.gowhitewater.co.uk or call 03000 030 610.

Easter Egg Hunt

Join in celebrations for Easter with live music and an Easter egg hunt for the kids! Who can find the most eggs? Bring along family and friends and make a day of it this Easter. Throughout the weekend there will be flat water paddling and legacy activities available for everyone who wants to get involved. There will also be the chance to watch Britain’s best canoeists battle it out for a place to represent team GB in the European and World championships! Sunday, 16 April from 14:00 FREE www.gowhitewater.co.uk or call 03000 030 610.

Plant Sale

Take a little piece of Myddelton House Gardens home with you for the summer! Come and find a selection of herbaceous and woody plants grown within the gardens and selected local and specialist nurseries. Saturday 15 April 11:00 – 15:00 FREE; car parking charges apply. No need to book, simply turn up and enjoy the array of beautiful plants. Myddelton House Gardens,  www.visitleevalley.org.uk/gardens

Meridian Lantern Procession

Come along with a lantern to enjoy a sunset walk, followed by a night time lantern procession at Waltham Abbey Gardens. Starting in front of the Abbey Farm House and finishing at the Meridian Gate in the Rose Garden, this walk will really make you see the gardens in a different light. Bring your own lantern. Use the  “How to make” sheets for paper and jar lanterns. www.visitleevalley.org.uk Children under 8 are not permitted to carry a flame based lantern (glow sticks are fine) and all children MUST be supervised by an adult. Sunday, 30 April 2017 21:00 – 22:00 : FREE Booking is not required, just simply turn up on the night

A Walk in the Park – Old Mill and Meadows, Silvermeade and Rusheymead

Listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, Broxbourne Old Mill is one very historic site and a great location for the last of April’s ‘A Walk in the Park’ series. After The Old Mill, the walk will head over to visit Silvermeade which is a stronghold for the highly endangered water vole and is one of the best places in the region for viewing this charismatic species. The walk will then move along to Rusheymead and see the patchwork of scrub woodland with pockets of open grassland and more mature woodland. Sunday 30 April 10:30 – 12:30 visitleevalley.org.uk/whatson

Experience cycling at Lee Valley VeloPark

Book a cycling experience at Lee Valley VeloPark in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Choose from cycling the track in the iconic velodrome, race on the road circuit, tackle the mountain bike trails or jump and bump on the berms of the BMX track. This is a perfect time to get fit and start training for a summer sportive in the VeloStudio, a suite of state-of-the-art static bikes. Ride the course of the Tour de France with the Sufferfest videos or train with a virtual instructor to music and pulsating lights.  Look out for the Ride in Movie night on the first Wednesday of the month. Follow Twitter @LeeValleyVP for a chance to vote for your movie choice. For little ones, give them the best start on two wheels with VeloBalance and Pedal Up! sessions that take place in the centre of the track. For further information, go to: visitleevalley.org.uk/velopark   or call 03000 030 610.

BMX Thrills and MTB Skills at the Lee Valley VeloPark

This ultimate BMX and Mountain bike session allows children between the ages of 7 – 11 to improve their skills, learn new techniques and gain confidence in two different cycling disciplines. Taking place on the remodelled Olympic BMX tack and MTB trail at Lee Valley VeloPark, this course teaches riders essential skills to improve their performance on a dynamic course. £27pp Tuesday  4 April , 10:00; Thursday 6 April , 10:00; Thursday 13 April, 10:00. To book your place, please visit www.visitleevalley.org.uk/velopark

Pedal Up Pump!

Get the kids tackling the indoor pump track at Lee Valley VeloPark before they try BMX or mountain biking! These sessions will help young riders stand confidently on the pedals and learn how to negotiate the pump track safely, along with key bike handling techniques. Price: £7 Age 7 – 12 years. Sunday 2 April, 11:00; Tuesday 4 April 13:45; Friday 7 April 13:45; Saturday 8 April, 09:00; Tuesday 11 April, 13.45.  Lee Valley VeloPark, Abercrombie Road, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 3AB. To book your place, please visit www.visitleevalley.org.uk/velopark

Sculpture Trail

A six mile long sculpture trail, launched by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, is one of the latest highlights of a visit to leafy River Lee Country Park, filled with lakes and green spaces. The 15 handcrafted artworks along the six-mile trail include a Giant Chair, Bird Transition – a stone carving depicting local birds in the River Lee, The Shrine and a Viking Ship. www.visitleevalley.org.uk/sculptures  For other ideas or a chance to get away from it all, there are plenty of walks or cycle routes in the Lee Valley, with over 30 walking routes and more than 20 cycle routes to find the perfect day out for the family. Bring the family and enjoy discovering the many and varied walks in the award winning open spaces. Go to www.visitleevalley.org.uk and download a range of recommended cycle and walking routes. Find out more: www.visitleevalley.co.uk or call 03000 030 610.

Stay the weekend

When visiting the Lee Valley and its attractions, including Lee Valley White Water Centre and the open spaces including River Lee Country Park, people can make a weekend of it by staying at one of three camping and caravan parks, including Lee Valley Caravan Park, Dobbs Weir, which offers a range of accommodation including Wigwams®, which are stylish timber cabins.  www.visitleevalley.org.uk/camping

 

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