PLEASE NOTE: This is the 2011 guide to Easter Events. Here's a link to 2012 Easter Events.
The general guide to all things spring was getting pretty lengthy, so I decided to separate the Easter-related events from other general spring merriment – like kite-flying festivals, Earth Day celebrations, etc. Look for the updated guide to those programs withina few days.
Below you’ll find an Easter-centric list updated from last week, with a number of new events. The events you need to register in advance for are listed first, in chronological order. If you are indeed interested in any of these, register soon. I’ll keep updating this list over coming weeks, but of course suggestions are always welcome!
Don't forget your cameras -- and your baskets!
REGISTER IN ADVANCE FOR:
The St. Charles Park District has a Breakfast With the Easter Bunny scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, at 9 a.m. at the Pottawatomie Community Center. Children ages 1 through 6 will decorate their own bunny-face pancake, color bunny picures, have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny and end with a Bunny Hop. You must register in advance. Resident children and adults are $9; non-residents are $13.50.
The Yorkville Park District is offering a “Bunny Craft” class for kids ages 3-5 on Friday, April 15, at the Riverfront Recreation Center. The cost is $10 for residents, $12 for non-residents.
The Geneva Park District will hold its Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 16, outside the Stephen Persinger Recreation Center. The hunt begins promptly at 10 a.m. for all ages, but the children will be divided into two groups: Ages 4 and under and 5 and up. Before the hunt, you can enjoy pancakes and a visit with the Easter Bunny. The cost is $3 per person or $5 per person for non-residents. You must register for the breakfast beforehand; children 1 and under are free.
The Oswegoland Park District has an “Easter Basket Treats” class for kids ages 5-8 on Saturday, April 16. Kids will make three different treats, including Birds Nests. The cost is $22 for residents, $31 for non-residents.
The Yorkville Park District’s “Easter Egg-Xpress” lets you go see the Easter bunny and hunt for Easter eggs. Each child will get a chance to meet the bunny. The train departs from the Aurora Metra station and goes to Naperville, where the egg hunt is held in a local park. The event is Saturday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The cost is $10 for each resident, $12 for each non-resident; everyone in a family planning to attend must register.
The Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore is offering your children a chance to visit with “Spring Babies” on Saturday, April 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The museum will be hosting baby chicks, bunnies, ducklings, goats, and lambs. Tickets to visit with the animals are $2 each, plus museum admission and are sold in 15-minute increments. Space is limited and registration is required; call 815-895-9777 to sign up. Don’t forget your cameras!
Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is hosting its Great Egg Scramble on Saturday, April 16, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and also from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Registration is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. This event is suitable for ages 2-10. The event starts off with live animal presentations, crafts and stories. Then get ready to scramble for eggs and other trinkets. Don’t forget your baskets! Children are divided into age groups for the scramble based on enrollment. Groups are scheduled consecutively. Preregistration is required. This event is held outdoors rain or shine, so dress for the weather. Please plan on staying with your child. For more information regarding the event, call 630-665-5534.
You can have Brunch With the Bunny on Saturday, April 16, at the Prisco Community Center in Aurora. The event includes a brunch buffet, music, an egg hunt and a visit with the Easter Bunny. You must pre-register for this event before April 14. The cost is $9 for resident adults, $12 for non-residents; $8 for resident children and $10 for non-resident children. This event is organized by the Fox Valley Park District.
The Batavia Park District’s Breakfast with the Easter Bunny is Saturday, April 16, at 8:30 a.m. The free egg hunt follows at 10 a.m. Both are held at Rotolo Middle School/Prairie Path Park. You must register in advance for the breakfast, which features donuts, juice, milk and coffee. The cost is $4 for residents, $6 for non-residents. Children 2 and under are free.
The Oswegoland Park District has a “Lunch With the Bunny” on Wednesday, April 20 at 1 p.m. at Fox Bend Gold Course. The bunny will also lead your little one on a hunt for eggs in the park. The cost is 410 per resident, $15 for non-residents. All parenets and children must be registered, which you can do by clicking here.
The Oswegoland Park District’s “Flashlight Egg Hunt” is for children ages 6-16 and is scheduled for Thursday, April 21 at 8 p.m. at Wormley Heritage Park. Bring a flashlight and bag for prizes and dress for the weather. The cost is $5 for residents and $8 for non-residents, and pre-registration is required.
The Morton Arboretum is offering Breakfast With the Easter Bunny on Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Ginkgo Restaurant. Depending if you are a member, prices range from $25 to $32 for adults and $21 to $26 for children (Kids under 2 are free) and include a springtime buffet. Call 630-725-2066, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to buy your tickets, or do so online.
NO ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED:
Michaels, the craft store chain, has a number of spring-themed and Easter-focused craft opportunities for children scheduled in April and May. Check the Go West calendar for details on the free or low-cost events, which are held at stores in Oswego, North Aurora and Geneva.
The St. Charles Park District is hosting its free Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. at Pottawatomie Park. Children are asked to bring their own baskets to collect their eggs. Meet at the entrance to River View Miniature Golf, and arrive at least 15 minutes early. No registration is required.
The "Easter Bunny Train" in Waterman will run on Saturday, April 16, and Saturday, April 23, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Lions Community Park. You and your kids can take a free train ride with the Easter Bunny, who will have eggs for the kids. For more info, please call 815-264-7753. See a story about the "Pumpkin Train" run by the same folks by clicking here.
The Yorkville Junior Women’s Club and Yorkville Moose Lodge 2371 are holding their Annual Bunny Breakfast on Saturday, April 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Grande Reserve Elementary School in Yorkville. Tickets will be sold at the door: $4 per person or $15 for a family of four. Live entertainment by Dave Rudolf begins at 10 a.m. in the gym with door prizes, basket raffles, face painting, games and a photo opportunity with the Easter bunny. The Annual Egg Hunt begins at 11 a.m. for 2nd grade and under. The entry fee is one non-perishable food item per child for the Kendall County Food Pantry. Bring your own basket for hunting!
Heritage Prairie Farm in LaFox is hosting a free Easter egg decorating session on Saturday, April 16, from 9 and to noon. The session will be held in the farm store. Megan Kelly Photography will also be at the farm that day, taking family portraits from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call Megan for more info at 630-363-5279.
Cantigny in Wheaton is offering Easter Family Portrait Day with the Easter Bunny on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 4 p.m. Professional photographer Mike Smith will spend about 10 minutes with each family, and each picture will include the Easter Bunny. No reservations required. Photo images will be emailed to you within 48 hours. Packages range from $14.95 to $35.
Head to the Elgin Public Museum on Saturday, April 23, for a tutorial in Natural Egg Dyeing, using dyes like onion skins, spices, blueberries and more techniques handed down by Native Americans and pioneers. You can also use modern techniques like rubber bands and crayons to complete your designs. While your eggs dye, you can explore the museum; recipes of the dyes will be provided so you can try natural egg dyeing at home. No registration is required. The cost is $2 for two eggs. The event is scheduled noon to 2 p.m.
Heritage Prairie Farm is hosting its first annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon. Howling Hounds Farm will have its baby bunnies and chicks visiting the farm for the day, too. The free egg hunt will start at 10 a.m. sharp. Make sure to bring your own basket. There will be other craft activities, too.
The West Chicago Public Library is hosting its “Friend of the Library’s Annual Egg Roll Eggstravaganza” on its lawn. Children ages 2-9 are invited to join in the fun on April 16 at 12:30 p.m. Each child who participates will receive a special egg with a small goodie inside. After the egg roll, your kids can head inside the West Chicago Public Library as the Mini-Theatre Troupe presents a special spring puppet show at 1 p.m.
The city of Elgin will host its free Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 23, at 11:15 a.m. on the lawn at Grove and Kimball, next to the Gail Bordne Public Library. The play “Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing” will be shown beforehand at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. inside the Hemmens Cultural Center. This is free and no registration is required. You can take your photo with the Bunny in the Hemmels Lobby; a small fee applies.
Cantigny in Wheaton will have its Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 23 at 11 a.m., although activities will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the McCormick Museum, where you can take your photo with the Easter Bunny, make an Easter craft and enjoy balloon twisting. No registration is required. Activities are free, but the parking fee is $5 per car.
The Timbers of Shorewood (a rental retirement community at 1100 N. River Road in Shorewood) will be hosting its 7th annual Hippity-Hop Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. More than 10,000 eggs have been ordered for the event, which is free and open to the public. At 10:45 a.m. children from age 1 to 3 can participate in an indoor egg hunt in a balloon-filled room. At 11:30 a.m. the hunt will begin outside for children age 4 and older, with kids divided into age groups until children 10 and older have their hunt at 1 p.m. The event also features photos with the Easter bunny, a petting zoo, magicians, a moon walk, pianist, games, prizes, popcorn, hot chocolate and more. Click here or call 815-609-0669 for more info.