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On the hunt for Easter at Cadburys Egg Hunt for Barnardos

The rain pecking off the windows as we lay in bed this morning didn’t spell success for the planned Egg Hunt today.  If you read my most recent post, The Giant Bunny in the corner…, you will be aware that this was my sitting-on-the-fence reaction to all the Easter Bunny talk in my house.  The clouds were dark and heavy, the forecast was rain, rain, rain but if we didn’t go it meant us all being cooped up inside on a rainy day.  With kids who had been promised an egg hunt.  So wellies, optimism, waterproof coats, trousers and buggy covers were unearthed from their hiding places (all the easier because we only moved a few months ago) and off we set.

The planned excursion was to the Cadbury Egg Hunt for Barnardos which was held in Dublin’s Merrion Square yesterday (Friday 25th) and today (Saturday 26th March 2016).  A family ticket for four was €20, and on arrival we were gifted a very generous goodie-bag of treats and a map detailing the activities available and the egg hunt trail.  The goodie-bag had box of miniature heroes, creme eggs, natural confectionery company jellies, Dairy milk mini eggs and Ritz Crackers.  We happily munched our collective way through the stash while we played games to win tokens that resulted in a fancy pair of bunny ears for the five year old.

By this point the rain had started to ease off and while the ground was muddy, it wasn’t an issue.  We knocked over coconuts, tried to land a hoop on a bunny, played mini-golf and I even participated in an egg and spoon race (while holding my 18 month old much to his delight) and came 4th!  There was a petting farm, photo opportunity points, face-painting, a magical show amongst many other distractions.  I was especially taken with the Easter Bunny’s burrow and all the attention to detail that went into it.

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The big pull was of course the hunt.  I had made it clear to my daughter that this was not the traditional searching for eggs hunt, but that there was a series of clues to be solved and then every participant received an Easter Egg at the end.  Clearly this went in one ear and out the other as my fore-warning was not remembered and a tantrum threatened.  In the end, the desire for the Easter Egg helped us all to join forces and we collected the requisite stamps needed to collect our prizes.

All in all we were probably at the event for an hour and a quarter.  Had the weather been nicer, or both my kids older (the youngest didn’t really get the benefit of it other than a couple of miniature Fudge bars) we might have stayed longer.  It was scheduled from 10:30 – 1pm so you could make quite a morning out of it.  There was complimentary hot chocolate (with the hot chocolate at a kid friendly temperature, a nice touch) and hot drinks for the adults, food stalls (these were not free, or busy but I imagine in the afternoon session it was a different story.  11am is a bit early for a hot dog).  There was clearly sign pointed toilets and baby-changing facilities and a first aid tent and area for lost children.  I especially liked the fact that it wasn’t competitive and there was no pushing or shoving in the quest for eggs, every adult and child got an Easter Egg so there was nothing to be gained by trying to beat the person beside you.

We definitely enjoyed it and I can see its potential so if it is held again next year, I hope it will become an annual tradition.  Unfortunately if you’re reading this and thinking this sounds like the best idea every, you’ve missed the boat as today was the last day this year.

 

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The Giant Bunny in the corner…

I am a self-confessed chocolate addict, I have stashes of chocolate hidden everywhere for emergency purposes.  You just never know when or where the need for a Toffee Crisp will strike so I find it prudent to make sure there is always one on hand.  I am a hoarder of all things chocolate.  We moved home last year, and the confectionery hauls that were discovered were impressive, even I had forgotten what was where!  From memory I believe that approximately 6 Easter Eggs from last year were located (I have to hide them from my daughter’s line of sight and ration them out, of course like any good mother I help protect her from herself and do my duty and eat a couple), I must start keeping an inventory.

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So it’s fair to say I’m on board with Easter.  What’s not to like?  Chocolate abounds and it is socially acceptable to enjoy it in more than moderate quantities.  I am also very partial to the occassional Cadbury’s Creme Egg and the seasonal availability of these stresses me, so I always have a couple stored with the “For emergencies only” supplies all year round.

Clearly that’s a thumbs up for Easter eggs from me, but there is an elephant in the room.  Or rather a giant bunny.  It appears my 5 year old really does think a giant bunny hops around leaving little chocolate eggs all over the place for her to find.  I am not quite sure how this belief has crept in and am unsure what to do with it.  I usually encourage any magical thoughts as childhood is fleeting and the joy is so pure.  But the Easter Bunny was not part of my childhood, or anyone else’s in Ireland from a quick straw poll.  We all knew the American’s had him bouncing about the place, but we were content that he stay that side of the Atlantic.  It wasn’t like we didn’t get any chocolate without him.

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But somehow his enormous furry presence is now casting its shadow over our emerald isle.  I blame our parental delight in creating little egg hunts so we can watch welly-booted toddlers clamour around damp gardens on Easter Sunday with baskets…. I think I have helped create this problem, by trying to only take on board half of the tradition without fully realising how small minds connect the dots. What do I?  If I start laying down the facts and gently directing her towards the truth I am afraid that will open a can of worms and her inquisitive little mind will start putting two and two together and questioning the magic I am happy to support.   On the other hand I am slow to start encouraging the notion as it’s a step too far for me.  So what do you do?  Does the Easter Bunny pay a visit?  Do you have an egg hunt but no bunny talk?  Or is it clear that it’s family and friends that bestow the giant Easter egg mountain on your children?

In the meantime, Tesco now have 3 medium Easter Eggs for €4.50 and rumour has it Dunnes Stores has the same deal for €4.00!  So bunny or not, it’s a good time to stock up.