What’s up this Easter: 7 family-friendly events

By Dacia Thai,

There’s nothing we love more than a laid-back long weekend. Throw in a beach visit, a much-needed chocolate Easter bilby and some quality time with the family and friends, and you’ve pretty much got yourself sorted.

But if you have kids, four days off can be a long time to keep the little ones entertained. So if you’re looking to take the family away for the weekend, it’s not too late to get out of town to see some of the best Easter weekend festivities the East Coast has to offer. Not to mention that it’s a great way to squeeze in the last of the sunshine before autumn really hits!

Bendigo Easter Festival

Bendigo, VIC
25-28 March

Bendigo Easter Festival

Celebrate Easter with the best that Bendigo has to offer: there’s an Easter Egg Hunt for kids with a massive 86,000 Cadbury Easter eggs to be found, as well as events celebrating the multicultural fabric of the city. Highlights of the event include the Extended Awakening of the Dragon, with Chinese dancing, lion dancing and martial arts demonstrations, as well as Bollywood and Mexican piñata workshops.

Get ready to explore markets, carnival rides and art exhibitions, and it goes without saying that live music and fireworks will also be in the mix!

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Bathurst Motor Festival

Mt Panorama, Bathurst NSW
25-27 March

Bathurst Motor Festival

The tradition of Easter motor racing continues this year, perfect for car lovers of any age! Held at Mount Panorama, festival-goers can view the action from the grandstand or drive to the top of the Mount for epic views of the race (just make sure you have a valid ticket).

Motor enthusiasts are guaranteed three days of non-stop action, culminating in the highlight of the event, the Bathurst 6 Hour, on Sunday. Even if you’re just there for a couple of races, the smell of burning rubber, the sound of high performance engines and a classic lunch of hot dogs and chips are well worth the experience.

Tickets start from $15 and children aged 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Click here for more information.

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National Folk Festival

Exhibition Park, Canberra ACT
24-28 March

National Folk Festival

The National Folk Festival is out there to be the best folk festival in Australia, with more than 200 local and international acts set to appear. It’s perfect for discovering new talent, with a colourful mix of musical genres – everything from acoustic to blues, to folk and country. Attracting crowds of more than 46,000 people per year, the event also hosts poetry and dance performances, as well as a range of events just for children. Inspire your imagination with Little Puppet World, a 45-minutre show that brings together beautifully handcrafted puppet theatres, live original music and magical storytelling.

Immersive experiences are also on offer, including Dru Yoga, a guided session on de-stressing through energising stretches and uplifting yoga poses.

Discounted tickets are available through to the 20th March. For the full programme of events, check here.

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Griffith Easter Party 2016

Griffith NSW
24-27 March

Griffith Easter Party

Children and adults alike can enjoy a family-friendly Easter long weekend at the Griffith Easter Party, with plenty of food and wine events for the grown-ups and fun activities for the little ones. Take a ride on the Lachlan Valley Railway Steam Train, pick up a trinket or two from the Saturday Sidewalk Sale or let the kids loose on the free jumping castle to celebrate Harmony Day.

For a dose of exercise, fit families can take part in the Bacchus run – participants can choose from the 8-kilometre walk to the 5- or 10-kilometre run, so there’s something to suit all levels of fitness. But for those who prefer a relaxing and traditional Easter weekend, don’t miss out on the Children’s Easter Brunch on Banna. As well as brunch, the event also features games, craft, singing and dancing, face painting and a stage show.

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Gladstone Harbour Festival

Gladstone QLD
23-27 March

Gladstone Harbour Festival

Rock up to Gladstone Harbour Festival for an evening of family fireworks, free entertainment, fun rides and much more. If you prefer to drop the kids off so you can check out the fashion parade, grab a glass of wine or pick up a new plant for your home, simply check them into the Kid’s Zone. There, they’ll be able to get hands-on with various arts and crafts activities, as well as receive free face painting. But for some quality time together, pack a picnic basket and head to the Teddy Bears Picnic.

At the Family Fun Night, you can meet Blinky Bill, watch the entertaining Great Raft Regatta and the Blessing & Dressing of the Fleet, a ceremonial sailing parade. Finally, make sure you see the festival fireworks held on both Thursday and Saturday evening!

For the full programme of events, go here.

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Easter in the Country Roma

Roma QLD
24-29 March

Easter in the Country Roma

Celebrating all things country, Roma is the perfect place to bring the family over the Easter weekend. There’s something for kids of all ages, including classics such as an Easter egg hunt, miniature train rides, as well as Billy cart races and, for the more active types, colour fun runs.

There’s plenty to see and do, with local arts and crafts on display as well as drag racing shows and live music. Foodies are also catered for, with a gourmet Outback Tucker Under the Stars hosted on the opening night of the festival – the ideal start to a long weekend!

This is only the beginning of a heap of awesome festivities – for the full events calendar and ticketing information, go here.

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Easter Vintage Festival

Highfield Pioneer Village, Highfields QLD
26-28 March

Easter Vintage Festival

The Easter Vintage Festival is great for Brisbane folk wanting a country experience. Just a 15-minute drive north of Toowoomba, you can experience rural life of bygone years with everything from vintage machinery to live music and traditional billy tea and damper! Just be careful, as you might even have a run-in with infamous bush ranger Ned Kelly.

The festival is sure to be a hit with children of all ages. Not only can they find out more about old crafts such as silversmithing and tinsmithing, but they can also check out the old steam engines as well. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the baby animals onsite as well as catch the Grand Parade.

The Village is open from 9am to 5pm each day and family tickets cost $45. Find out more here.

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What have you got planned over Easter? Let us know below!