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What’s on this Easter in Sussex

Adventure parks, egg hunts, Easter trails - there's heaps to keep the little ones busy this Easter in Sussex! Here's our pick of the action happening around the county.

PARKS AND ATTRACTIONS

Fishers Farm Park, Wisborough Green, from April 12

Outside rides and attractions open from April 12 klaxon! Muddy’s favourite destination with the kids is a superb day out, filled with heaps of activities and rides to wear the little ones out, farm animals to admire and pet, and incredibly helpful and friendly staff to make sure you have the best day ever. The safe and enclosed site is perfect for basing yourself on a convenient picnic bench and letting the kids go wild on all the bouncing pillows, trampolines, rides, games, adventure playgrounds, castles and loads more. Plenty of places to get your takeaway food and drinks from too. Pony rides, climbing wall, indoor soft play and animal handling will reopen once restrictions allow.

Drusilla’s Park, Alfriston, from April 12

The doors to the best zoo and family day out in Sussex will open once more from April 12! Most attractions and facilities will be able to open, although capacity will be managed so it’s best to book online in advance – we’re all used to that by now though, right? There’s hundreds of exotic animals to admire (including baby meerkats!) and several play areas including a brilliant new dinosaur-themed area, a splash park, a maze, an adventure playground and much, much more. Visit in a group of six, or with one other household – the kids can enjoy the animal adventures, rides and activities on offer, and you can catch up over a well-deserved coffee.

Knockhatch Adventure Park, Hailsham, from April 12

Another fantastic venue for a fun day out set to re-open on April 12. Full details of what exactly will be operational haven’t yet been published, so keep an eye on the website and make sure you book your visit in advance. Outdoor play areas, a rowing lake, a dragon’s castle, a farm, owl sanctuary and zoo area and the bumpy Quadapillar Train Ride are all among the attractions likely to re-open.

Weald & Downland Living Museum, Singleton, from 2 April (members only) and 12 April (everyone)

Step back in time and discover how people lived long ago at this open-air museum near Chichester. The outdoor areas will reopen to members first, and then to the wider public from April 12. Indoor areas are likely to remain closed but updates will be put on the website nearer the time. Takeaway food and drink will be available from the cafe.

GARDENS

Dennis and Gnasher’s Big Bonanza, Wakehurst Place, East Grinstead, 31 March – 18 April

Celebrate plants and pranks at Wakehurst this Easter with an interactive Beano trail devoted to all things mayhem and mischief, to mark Dennis the Menace’s 70th birthday. Kids can also get involved with a Beano Banana Mission, as well as explore the usual fabulous gardens and grounds. Takeaway food available, book your time slot online in advance

Easter Trail at Leonardslee Lakes & Garden, Lower Beeding, 2-18 April

This stunning Grade I listed garden provides the most beautiful backdrop for a springtime Easter trail. Search out the animals that are hiding around the gardens, explore the magical surroundings, and exchange a completed activity sheet for a delicious Easter treat! Don’t miss the Joey Watch either – the resident wallabies within the maternity enclosure are fed daily at midday, so you can catch a glimpse of the two albino and two brown wallaby joeys tucked up safely in their pouches.

Bertram Bunny’s Easter Pirate Adventure, Borde Hill Garden, 2-17 April

Enjoy pirate-themed fun and nature discoveries at this beautiful garden near Haywards Heath. Follow a treasure hunt set by Bertram Bunny, and solve puzzles along the way. Let the kids run off all that chocolate-induced energy in the adventure playground, or by exploring the gardens and woodland which will be full of spring colour. Cafe open for takeaways.

Easter Egg Hunts at Nymans, near Haywards Heath, 2-18 April

Follow a fun, family-friendly trail around the gardens and woodlands of this lovely National Trust-owned hotspot, and earn a chocolate prize at the end. Book online – we all know the drill by now. Admire colourful azaleas, carpets of jaunty daffodils and blossoming trees within the stunning walled garden. Takeaway food and drinks available.

Easter adventures at Sheffield Park, Uckfield, April 2-18

The popular Easter trail is back at Sheffield Park this year! Take on the grasshopper hurdles, discover the giant bug hotel and help wake the animals from their winter sleep, and earn a chocolate reward. The gardens themselves are spectacular in spring, and little ones will love the natural play area for a spot of tree climbing or den building.

Easter activities at Standen House & Garden, East Grinstead, 2-18 April

Help the Easter Bunny find all the nature activities hidden round the garden – find buzzing bees, check out what’s springing up in the Kitchen Garden, have a go at nature art and discover a spring display of crocheted flowers! Chocolate rewards await. Another National Trust winner, with cafe serving takeaways.

Petworth Park, Petworth

John Miller

The glorious deer park at Petworth is a spectacular sight year round, and spring brings seasonal colour, fallow deer roaming freely and big skies. Kids will adore the slopes of the landscape, perfect for hurtling up and rolling down. The Easter trail is set to run in the Pleasure Grounds, keep an eye on the website for more details and to book.

Denmans Garden, Fontwell

This gorgeous, Grade II listed hidden gem is still open (outside only, natch) and is compact enough to navigate with smaller ones. It’s also a great place to go for your daily constitutional with one other – a walk with a friend or parent around the tranquil gardens at Denmans will soothe all lockdown woes. Book your timeslot on 01243 278950 or email office@denmans.org

Bodiam Castle, Bodiam

How do you take your castles, ma’am? Moated? OMG us too! The grounds of Bodiam are still open so you can admire the glorious 14th century behemoth from afar. It’s another National Trust special, so book online before you head out. Cafe open for takeaway only.

NATURE RESERVES

Arundel WWT, Arundel, from April 12

The WWT at Arundel has plenty of space for socially distanced days out and with 65 acres of wetlands teeming with autumn and winter wildlife activity, you should find enough to keep the kids happy. It’s set to open again on April 12 but full details have yet to be released so keep an eye on the website.

Knepp Estate, Dial Post

Knepp Wildland

Brilliantly served with footpaths and bridleways, Knepp kept many a Sussex wanderer sane over Lockdown 1 and it’s set to do the same this time. Kids will adore the space and there’s wildlife galore including rare and wonderful sights like wild white storks and herds of free-roaming pigs, cows, deer and ponies.

RSPB Pulborough Brooks, Pulborough

The trails and car parks at this lovely wetland nature reserve are open so it’s a great one to visit if you want a bit of predictability – ie a parking space – but as yet there’s no news on when the cafe, playgrounds and toilets will re-open.

WATERSPORTS

SUP and kayaking at Ardingly Reservoir, from April 2

Get them out on the water at Ardingly! From April 2 you can resume SUP and kayak hire, or launch your own if you have one. Book in advance. This gorgeous and tranquil venue is well worth a visit even if watersports aren’t your thing – a stroll around the 4km Kingfisher Trail will wear out little legs nicely.

Canoe and kayak hire from Fluid Adventures, River Arun or Chichester Harbour, from April 2

Paddle up the River Arun from Pulborough or head out onto Chichester Harbour from Itchenor in a hire canoe or kayak from Fluid Adventures. Buoyancy aids for you and the little ones included. If yours are too young to paddle, be warned, this is one heck of a workout for the arms. I speak from experience.

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