It’s almost time for the kids of Niagara-on-the-Lake to get hopping!
The annual Niagara Nursery Bunny Trail will take over the community centre property again with arts and crafts, kids’ games, touch-a-truck vehicles, and the perennially popular chocolate egg hunt.
About five years ago, the NOTL Kinsmen Club gladly merged its Easter egg hunt with the Bunny Trail event, says Kinsmen president Bob Forbes, “so people wouldn’t have to drive all over town” to attend both events.
Forbes says the two groups share the cost of the candy, and the Kinsmen source it, collect it, scatter it, and clean up after it.
“We usually order between 4,000 and 5,500 eggs,” says Forbes, emphasizing this year they were happy to find a Canadian manufacturer, who could also commit to providing a nut-free product.
Members of the club arrive on-site at around 9:30 to check for puddles and debris, and to create a grid to separate egg-hunters into age categories, “so the little kids aren’t being run over by the bigger ones,” says Forbes.
Kids are grouped into two to three years old, four to six years old, and seven and up.
“We set it all up, and it takes the kids about 10 minutes to destroy it,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun to watch the little kids find the eggs. Sometimes you see them find one and just sit down and try to unwrap it and eat it on the spot.”
“The hunt starts at 10 a.m. sharp,” warns Forbes. “If you’re not there at 10 a.m. sharp, you miss out.” He also points out that parking can be challenging, and while some of the club members keep a few chocolates on hand for kids who get there late, Forbes recommends planning to get to the event early.
Forbes and Candice Penny, the nursery school’s executive director, both also suggest coming on bicycles, on foot, or carpooling to make things easier for everybody.
Penny describes “a wonderful event we put on for families and the community.”
Parents and volunteers work hard to put the fun-filled festivities together: “We have always had passionate parents and community members,” she says.
“It’s such a fun event — I’m looking forward to seeing the community come out.”
Various community institutions will be involved, including the Niagara Pumphouse Art Centre, and the local public library. The Pumphouse will have an art activity, and the library plans to have some reading pursuits.
According to Penny, the touch-a-truck participants will include “an ice cleaner, a grape harvester, and half a dozen vehicles kids can explore.” The fee for unlimited access to all activities is $5 per child.
There will also be face painting, and a fundraising bake sale.
A spokesperson for the Niagara Nursery School and Child Care Centre board says, “We are very excited as this is the 21st year we are celebrating Easter weekend with fun activities for the families that come out year after year.” They go on to say over 1,500 people are expected to attend.
“It’s always a great family event and we are so grateful to all the volunteers and Niagara Nursery families who help with this event. Their support is critical to the success and we could not do it without them.”
Penny says Crystal the Bunny will make an appearance, and there will be a photo booth with
opportunities to get a print right away, as well as photos taken on people’s devices. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.