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More than 30 Easter holiday activities in the Stroud district

Haresfield Beacon has great views

From egg hunts to paper birds, there are more than 30 activities here to keep families busy during the Easter holiday most of which are free-of-charge or low cost.

Hop around Stratford Park

There’s plenty of space and lots to do in Stratford Park including an arboretum, woodland, bandstand, lake, large lawned areas, sensory garden, a Victorian orangery, a stream with Victorian footbridge, small skate park, two play areas and more. The large play area has had lots of exciting new equipment installed in time for the Easter holiday. Guided walks include a downloadable Go Outside scavenger hunt (see below) and marked Health & Wellbeing trail and dog trails. If you feed the resident ducks, please don’t bring bread which isn’t healthy for either the birds or the water quality; offer them bird seed, oats, peas, lettuce, or sweetcorn as healthy alternatives. There’s plenty of free-of-charge parking, covered cycle store and public toilets (including one disabled toilet accessible with a RADAR key). https://www.stroud.gov.uk/sport-leisure-parks/parks-and-green-spaces/stratford-park Free-of-charge

 

Take up tennis

Stratford Park also has six newly refurbished tennis courts. You can hire a court by the hour, or by a £35 annual membership which allows households or groups of up to six people to play, bookable through the LTA https://www.lta.org.uk/play  

 

Join an Easter activity at The Museum in the Park

Easter Bunny 'I Spy' Hunt.

Saturday 23 March, - Sunday 7 April, 11am - 4pm.

Hop along to the Museum and see if you can spot some Easter bunnies hidden here and there. This simple ‘I Spy’ trail is aimed at younger children and their families, but all ages are welcome, and there are lots of other Family Explorer Trails to choose from. Free-of-charge, donations welcome.

 

Spring Cards & Decorations: Family Drop in Workshop

Tuesday 26 - Thursday 28 March, 11am to 3pm (drop in)

Make colourful paper bunnies, birds, or Easter egg decorations to celebrate Easter and Spring. Creative fun for families with children aged 5+.

£1 per child suggested donation (pay on the door).

 

Spring Family Explorer Trail

Friday 29 March – Monday 1 April, 11am - 3:30 pm

Come and enjoy a Spring Family Explorer Trail. This special trail is great for a fun look around the museum and walled garden at Springtime. Great for family groups, this trail will get you looking for signs of Spring outside in the garden, and for Spring-themed objects inside the museum. When you’ve completed your trail, head back to reception to claim your reward. Cost: £1 per trail sheet - ideal for family groups to enjoy together - ask at reception when you arrive. Includes a mini chocolate egg or sticker for each child.

 

Spring Birds Family Drop in Workshop

Tuesday 2 April, 11am- 3pm

Join artist Alison Cockcroft to collage colourful birds using beautiful, decorated papers. Turn your bird into a cut-out with flapping wings or make a pecking paper woodpecker toy. Creative fun for families with children aged 5+.

£1 per child suggested donation (pay on the door).

 

Marvellous Minerals Family Workshop

Wednesday, 3 April, 10:30am - 12:30pm

Get up close with some of real gems and minerals. Trying panning for ‘gold’ and open a geode to reveal the sparkles. Create a gemstone suncatcher and create some colourful gemstone artwork. Explore the museum to see how rocks and minerals have been used by people in the past with our themed trail and take away some activity ideas to do at home. A relaxed session for families with children over 5 years old. Booking required - book online or call 01453 763394.

Cost: £7 per child, or £5 per child for Museum in the Park Members.

Don’t forget to leave plenty of time to explore the free-of-charge museum which tells the story of the Stroud district in more than 4,000 objects – from ancient dinosaur bones, mammoth tusks and stone saws to one of the world’s first lawnmowers. For more information and to make a booking see https://museuminthepark.org.uk/  

 

Holiday Activities & Food Programme (HAF)

The Stroud district Spring HAF programme which offers free-of-charge children's activities, will be running from 25th March – 5th April. Search by location, age range, activity type and date to find in-person or online activities including sports, music, crafts, boat trips and cookery classes. Some activities (HAF) are for children who receive benefits-related free school meals, others (HAP) are open to all children. https://gloucestershirehaf.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Easter-2024-3.pdf and https://gloucestershirehaf.com/stroud-district-haf/ Free-of-charge

 

Make a splash at The Pulse

Easter Inflatable Parties - Saturday 30 March, various times.

Under 7’s will enjoy the Mini Inflatable Party and over 7’s can try their luck at the Beat the Bunny party - the Easter Bunny has challenged you to beat their time across The Exterminator! Duck, dive and scramble across this obstacle course inflatable to race your friends and to ‘Beat the Easter Bunny.’ If you can there are prizes to be won; the fastest wins a free Summer Passport Membership.

 

Activity Days. A jam-packed day of sports challenges, activities, crafts, an inflatable fun session in the pool, and an Easter Scavenger Hunt. Suitable for 5–11 year olds

Various dates from 26 March – 4 April, 9am – 3pm. £22.50 per child.

 

Intensive swimming lessons

A week-long course of stage 2 lessons. Monday 25 March – Friday 29 March

£36 per child per five-day course.

 

Dance workshop. An energetic dance workshop run by the Amy Addle Team for children 4-9 years. Wonka themed workshop: Tuesday 26 March, 3pm – 5pm

Barbie themed workshop: Tuesday 2 April, 3pm – 5pm. £8.50 per child.

 

For more information about activities at the Pulse: https://www.pulsedursley.co.uk/downloads/programmes/the-pulse_easter-leaflet_2024_digital.pdf   

 

 

Take in the views on a common

The wide-open spaces on the district’s many commons are fabulous spots for getting some fresh air and fine views. Selsley Common, managed by SDC, is home to a declining population of Skylarks which are making their nests now so please help protect them by keeping to the paths and ensuring dogs are on a lead. Minchinampton Common, Rodborough Common, Haresfield Beacon and Standish Woods are run by the National Trust and have car parks, and Kingscote and Horsley Woods, managed by Forestry England is accessible on from Horsley.

Stroud District Council manages Cam Long Down and Cam Peak, and Gloucestershire County Council Coaley Peak viewpoint - both have car parking. Free-of-charge

 

Enjoy the canal

There are miles of (mostly) flat and accessible canal towpaths, ideal for a walk or bike ride, with plenty of wildlife to spot along the route. Why not walk from Stroud to Stonehouse and get the train back (or vice versa) or work up an appetite on a shorter walk and treat yourself at one of the canalside cafes. See the Cotswold Canals Trust website for more information including lots of walking and cycling trails. https://cotswoldcanals.org/canals/ Free-of-charge

 

Go Outside and learn about your local area

Go Outside maps are fun, child-friendly, interactive maps that help you discover more about the place you live. There are seven to choose from, each filled with puzzles and facts. Start in Berkeley, Chalford, Dursley, Stonehouse, Ebley, Wotton-under-Edge or Stratford Park: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/community-health-and-wellbeing/go-outside-walks  Free-of-charge.

 

Find hidden treasure

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that uses a free app on your smartphone to help you find a hidden box of treasure. Each box is different, but expect to find a log book for you to leave a message in and small items – take one and leave one for others to find after you. There are hundreds of treasure boxes hidden in the Stroud district and it’s a great excuse to get outdoors and discover somewhere new. Find more information at www.geocaching.com/play  Free-of-charge.

 

Discover hidden gems on your doorstep

Take part in interactive family scavenger hunts, quizzes and learn about local events with Stroud District Council’s popular Discover Stroud Trails smartphone app. Choose a walk then discover attractions, interesting information and local stories while you explore. New family treasure hunts and quizzes have just been added in time for the Easter holiday  https://www.stroud.gov.uk/news-archive/step-this-way-to-explore-the-undiscovered-beauty-of-the-stroud-district  Free-of-charge.

 

Visit an unfinished Victorian Gothic masterpiece

Woodchester Mansion is a unique Grade I listed building, famous for being unfinished and exposing the secrets of its construction. See spectacular stone carvings, the restored Chapel east window, and watch the resident bat colony on CCTV. Open 11am-5pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from Friday 29 March to Sunday 3 November. Adults 11, concessions £10, children 3-16 years £2.

 

Run around in Woodchester Park

The parkland in Woodchester offers miles of wooded valleys, five lakes that are home to giant carp and a nature inspired play trail.  The parkland is free-of-charge to visit but there will be a parking charge if you’re not a National Trust member. Dogs are welcome in the parkland and remember to bring sturdy footwear as the walking trails can be steep in places. Swimming is not permitted in the lakes.

Find out more here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/gloucestershire-cotswolds/woodchester-park   

 

Discover Dursley Sculpture & Play trail

Visit Twinberrow Woods in Dursley and follow an artistic trail created by local community groups. The trail is always changing as new sculptures and groups get involved – a display of giant flowers is a recent addition. For more information: https://www.dursleytowncouncil.gov.uk/dursley-sculpture-and-play-trail.html or the Facebook page Free-of-charge.

 

Wander around Wotton-under-Edge

The Cotswold Way runs right through the centre of Wotton-under-Edge, a bustling town in the south of the district. Walk to Wotton Hill which has spectacular views across the River Severn, or to the Tyndale Monument in nearby North Nibley.

Find seven circular walks that start in Wotton here: www.wotton-under-edge.com/visit-wotton/walks/ or follow the Visit Glos accessible route here https://www.visitstroud.uk/ideas/my-perfect-day-wotton-town-janet-and-jeff  Free-of-charge

 

Climb the Tyndale Monument

The striking 111-foot Tyndale Monument in North Nibley was built to commemorate local hero William Tyndale, the martyred 16th century Bible translator. The monument is open every day with spectacular views of the Berkeley Vale and the River Severn to the Black Mountains. You can have the monument illuminated to commemorate a special occasion too. Free-of-charge with a suggested online donation: https://tyndalemonument.uk/

 

Borrow a book

Lose yourself in a book – and at your local library they’re all free-of-charge. Stroud library opens its doors to its new permanent home in the Five Valleys Shopping Centre from 2 April; the first 100 customers on the day will receive a goody bag. Free-of-charge

 

Get crafty with Kids Sutff

Drop in for a daily Easter egg hunt and craft session at Stroud District Kids Stuff which is a social enterprise based at Brimscombe Mills along with The Furniture Bank and The Long Table. Why not also donate or buy some low-cost children’s clothes & toys while you’re there? Children must be supervised. Pay as you feel.

Tuesday 26 March – make Easter bonnets or crowns

Wednesday 27 – crafts with Tineke

Thursday 28 – make hand bunnies or chicks

Tuesday 2 April – grow your own sunflower or meadow flowers

Wednesday 3 – crafts with Tineke

Thursday 4 – make a super hero lolly stick person

Friday 5 – fire breathing dragon crafts

Saturday 6 – doodle table

For more info see: https://www.strouddistrictkidsstuff.org.uk/

 

Go to the circus

Stroud-based Giffords Circus will be opening its UK tour of new show Avalon with performances at Fennels Farm near Stroud from 28 March – 21 April. Expect a colourful medieval world of pageantry and Arthurian legend, with lavish costumes, opulent set, and a live band. To book: https://giffordscircus.com/

 

Dr Jenners House reopens from 1 April. Learn about the remarkable Dr Edward Jenner who pioneered the smallpox vaccine and visit the vaccination clinic he established in his Berkeley garden. Open Sunday – Wednesday from 11am – 4pm. Adults £9, Concessions £8, Children aged 5-16 years £6. https://jennermuseum.com/

 

Art at Stroud Brewery

Graffiti workshop on Vinyl with local artist Zed in the Clouds. Design a personalised piece of graffiti on a recycled vinyl record. Suitable from 8 years. Tuesday 26 March 10am – 12 noon, £16.40.

Let’s Paint Kids egg-cellent glow party. Little artists create Easter themed art under UV lights. Monday 1 April, 10am – 12 noon, £16.40. To book: https://stroudbrewery.co.uk/pages/events

 

Visit a market

Browsing a farmers’ market or farm shop is a great way to introduce children to locally grown seasonal food. The cream of the crop is Stroud Farmers’ Market, with more than 50 stalls selling locally sourced produce and crafts every Saturday from 9am-2pm. The Shambles market in Stroud runs every Friday and Saturday from 8am-2pm (until 3pm for the indoor market). And there are regular markets in other towns including Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge, Minchinhampton and Nailsworth. See Visit Stroud for details https://www.visitstroud.uk/markets  Free-of-charge

 

Painswick Playgroup's Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday 30 March, 12 - 4pm. Buy a trail map and search for the decorated eggs that are hidden around the picturesque village of Painswick. Other activities in St Mary's Churchyard include face painting, a raffle, cake and plant stalls, egg decorating, refreshments and more. For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/PainswickEasterEggHunt

 

Take the bus

Take a scenic bus route through the district and discover somewhere new – local buses drop off in villages, towns and commons. Visit Stroud website has lots of inspiration, along with descriptions of some of the highlights: https://www.visitstroud.uk/  

 

Find out what’s on at your local community hub

There are community hubs around the district, most of which will have activities for local children during the holiday. There are activities and advice for adults too and often pay-as-you-can cafes or surplus food donated by supermarkets. Find out where you closest hub is here: https://maphub.net/CommunityHubsStroud/community-hubs-stroud-district-2  Free-of-charge

 

Join a Parkrun

Join one of the friendly Parkrun events held in the district – you can walk, run, take the children or even the dog (on a short lead). There are 5k Saturday morning parkruns in Stroud’s Stratford Park, Stonehouse, Berkeley, and Wotton, and 2k children’s events in Stonehouse and Wotton-under-Edge on Sundays: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/ Free-of-charge

 

Visit a ships graveyard

The unique Purton Hulks have to be seen to be believed – a graveyard of purposely abandoned boats that were beached on the banks of the River Severn with the aim of reinforcing the riverbank. There is a useful step-by-step guide here but note there is limited parking, so please respect local residents’ driveways.

https://www.visitstroud.uk/ideas/my-perfect-day-a-morning-in-purton Free-of-charge.

 

Become a Nature Explorer at WWT Slimbridge

Learn all about wetland nature and wildlife at WWT Slimbridge with a little help from Bing and his friends. There are activity trails, storytelling, character appearances and more included in the admission price (free-of-charge for WWT members).

 

Join a bunny hunt at Berkeley Castle

Help Mrs Rabbit find her baby bunnies all around the picturesque castle gardens. The mediaeval Berkeley Castle where Edward II was imprisoned, re-opens from Sunday 24 March: https://www.berkeley-castle.com/

 

Bottle feed a lamb at Cattle Country Farm Park

With acres of outdoor play and two indoor play barns, there’s plenty to do at Cattle Country. This Easter you can meet newborn lambs, chicks and giant rabbits, bottle feed lambs (limited availability), meet the Easter bunny and take part in a golden egg hunt to win a prize.  https://www.cattlecountry.co.uk/easter

 

If you, or someone you know is struggling during the Cost of Living crisis there is information and sources of support on our website: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/housing-benefit-universal-credit-and-council-tax-support/cost-of-living-support

 

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