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A Bumper Easter in The National Forest

Tuesday, 28th February 2012

The bumper load of special activities during Easter, gives visitors even more reason to take a break in The National Forest.

The two mighty beam engines and twenty six other steam engines will be fired up for Claymills Easter Steaming on 8th and 9th April.  This is a rare chance to see the sheer scale and power of these amazing vintage machines! There is also a large Victorian workshop and for families there is the dreaded Rat Trail to follow, Model Making and a chance to start up a real Victorian steam engine.

Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre is holding an Easter Extravaganza on 6th and 9th April where visitors can take a half hour ski or snowboard taster lesson for just £5, toboggan for just £1 per ride, Sno-Tube for £4 per 30 minute session or enjoy a ski/ snowboard open practice for just £5 per hour.  In the evening on 6th April four very funny stand-up comedians will perform a Comedy Night in the Alpine Lodge at the ski centre, as part of their UK circuit tour. Pre-booking is essential – call the Comedy Lodge on 07939 892199.

April is a fantastic time to visit Calke Abbey as it is lambing time.  Visitors can see the young lambs close up and meet the wardens as they care for the flock.  Children will love Calke’s Easter Trail, which leads to an Easter prize. These run from 6th to 8th April and cost just £3 per child.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

CONKERS at the heart of The National Forest, will be hosting some brilliant activities during the Easter holidays. Pirate Pat will bring some swashbuckling fun to CONKERS on 1st and 15th April.  The ever popular Nick Spellman and his entourage of furry, slithery and feathered friends will be back on 6th and 9th April.  The Flip and Dippy Clown Showwill delight the children who can try plate spinning, stilt walking and juggling on 2nd, 5th, 12th and 13th April.  The adorable chubby Dream Ponies will offer short rides on 4th and 11th April and there will be dray rides on 8th April. Trevor Hill is back this year with an amazing Animal Road Show together with his birds of prey falconry show on 3rd and 10th April.  And on 14th April the sky is the limit with Sky Magic Kite Flying. 

There will also be ranger activities at CONKERS throughout the holidays.  Every day will see Easter Craft activities and an Easter Egg Challenge between 12-3pm as well as a Gruffalo Story at 1pm in the atmospheric Story Teller Hut.  Book a place onto the pond dipping sessions taking place every Monday and Friday, bush craft sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and ‘Tracks+Trails’ sessions every Wednesday. On Saturdays and Sundays visitors can embark on the self-led outdoor Adventures.  Tickets can be booked online, which are all included within the admission price.

From 7th to 9th April an Easter Beer and Food Festival brings a delicious array of temptations to the National Brewery Centre. Organised in association with the Society of Independent Brewers, visitors can sample a range of bottled beers and taste a great range of food and chocolate specialities from regional suppliers. Plus there will be steam engines and dray rides, as the Shire Horses return to the National Brewery Centre this weekend. A DJ will keep the music going during all three days and Kick'n Rush will be playing live on the Saturday night.

Families will love solving the festive clues to find the Easter Eggs hidden throughout the galleries at Snibston on the 7th and 8th April.  There will be Cadbury's Cream Egg prizes for young participants – but they’ll need to be quick as it is only while stocks last!  The Easter weekend will also be a ‘Gaming Weekend’ as the Retro Computer Museum at Snibston invites visitors to play on computers and consoles from the last 35 years - including Acorn, Amstrad, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, Sega and Sinclair.

From 7th to 9th April Twycross will be running an Easter Egg Hunt and children can join Tipsy’s Easter Bonnet Making workshop and Parade. 

Rosliston Forestry Centre will be running Out & Active Holiday Club from 2nd to 5th April.  These fully supervised, fun-packed days for the kids will have a fantastic range of outdoor activities, which may include archery, laser games and climbing wall. There will also be regular drop-in activity sessions for families at Rosliston Forestry Centre.  Visitors can try out the following activities:

- Woodland laser combat on 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th April

- Archery on 2nd, 6th, 9th and 13th April

- Wildlife watch on 3rd and 10th April

- Mountain biking on 3rd and 10th April

- Kraftiz craft activities on 4th and 11th April

- Climbing wall on 4th and 11th April

From 31st March to 15th April the National Forest Adventure Farm will have a ‘choccalicious’ Easter Trail. If children can find all the Easter animals hiding around the farm site and tell us their names, they can claim a chocolate reward! They can also have a go at Easter crafts, feed the lambs, help collect eggs, choose a winner from the now famous racing pigs or ride the barrel train. And from April there will be a brand new Crazy Golf Course!

The Visit section of our website has more information on these events, including times and prices.  It also has details on things to do and see throughout the whole year including attractions, activities, events and places to stay in and around The National Forest.

The National Forest spans more than 200 square miles across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and is one of England’s most ambitious environmental projects – to create a new Forest for the nation.  The gentle undulating landscape is perfect for walking, cycling and horse-riding. And through the creation of new habitats, The National Forest is an ideal location for bird and wildlife watching.