While Easter can mean everything from taking part in traditional practices to more time spent with family and friends to simply overindulging in chocolate – it’s four special days a year that allow us to try something new and have some fun. We’ve rounded up eight hot (cross) tips to make your Easter one to remember:
1. Whip up an extravaganza of Easter treats
Easter wouldn’t be the same without a glut of doughy buns and your typical annual chocolate intake crammed into just a few days. And while the shelves of most food retailers will be lined with Easter treats, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes with making your own. And once you’ve eaten a hot cross bun fresh from the oven with lashings of butter, you’ll struggle to return to the supermarket variety. There are plenty of recipes online, from these easy hot cross buns to a chocolate take on the standard fruit-studded bun, so roll up your sleeves and make homemade hot cross buns a new Easter tradition.
For the patient few, you can even try your hand at handcrafted chocolate made from scratch – but be warned, if you’re starting with raw cacao seeds, the whole process can take around a week. Once your homemade choc is ready, pour it into your mould of choice – from cute bunny paws to traditional quilted eggs or even a bilby – wait for it to set, and then take a well-earned chomp!
2. Balance it out with some sport
For many of our significant dates worldwide, there are sporting events to commemorate them. And Easter, in particular, is filled with stand-out events to view or partake in over the long weekend. In Australia, specifically Adelaide, there’s the Easter Coastal Bunny Run – a fun run with 5km, 10km, or a half or full marathon options; there’s The 125th Annual Easter Tennis Tournament in Yarrawonga and the Easter Classic basketball tournament held in Adelaide.
In New Zealand, Basketball Pacific’s premier event, The Easter Tournament, features on the calendar, world-class T20 Cricket takes place in Queenstown, and the ANZ Premiership Netball is held in Auckland.
3. Be entertained at fairs and shows
Dating back many years, annual Easter fairs and shows are some of Aussies and Kiwis’ most beloved Easter events. Over in Sydney, the Sydney Royal Easter Show (established in 1823) runs for a massive 12 days, from the 6th – the 17th of April. Thousands of Sydney locals (and many from across Australia) flock to the show each year to sample the delicious fare, hop on exhilarating rides, get up close with the over 14,000 animals, and step back in time with the famous history pavilion.
Over in Auckland, New Zealand, The Royal Easter Show is back after a three-year hiatus. Promising fun for the whole family with petting zoos, markets, live music, the best carnival rides, and a giant Easter Egg hunt; pack the family and plan to stay for the day (or the week if you’re travelling from Australia).
If a big show isn’t for you, there are also plenty of smaller Easter fairs that pop up around the country – for instance, the Bendigo Easter Fair and Maldon Easter Fair in Victoria, Australia, and over in New Zealand, the Easter Extravaganza in Auckland and the Easter Carnival in Waipu. Keep an eye out for events near you.
4. Pack a picnic before the weather packs it in!
Picnicking has experienced a huge resurgence, and Easter is a great time to spread out the picnic rug one last time before winter rolls in. It’s a nice way to move away from a traditional lunch around a dining table, to share the load by opting for a casual bring-a-plate affair, and inject some fun with outdoor games like frisbee, cricket or volleyball. Homemade hot cross buns aside, fill your picnic basket with some of these easy Easter finger food recipes
5. Have a feel-good (and fun) Good Friday
Traditional shows and fairs aside, Good Friday is where you’ll find plenty of events and music festivals to kick off the long weekend. In Australia, there’s the Kids Day Out – a family fun festival raising money for The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. For the adults, there’s the Good Friday Garden Party – a music festival in Adelaide featuring heavy hitters Basement Jaxx and Roger Sanchez.
Over in New Zealand, take your canine friend along and join the epic Scoop Dog’s Easter Egg Hunt in Christchurch. Featuring specifically formulated easter eggs for dogs (and treats for humans, too), entry is by gold coin donation, with 100% of funds raised going to NZ Chihuahua Rescue. For jazz lovers, hop on the ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island for the Good Friday Groove. Held in the natural amphitheatre of the picturesque Allpress Olive Grove, relax and enjoy an afternoon of live music from NZ music icons.
6. Get outdoors and work up an appetite
Even if you’re not a nature lover, getting amongst the great outdoors for a walk or hike (or surrounding yourself with nature) is a sure-fire way to boost your physical and mental health. Most of us will have a day to spare over Easter, so grab a buddy or your family and bring some balance (in amongst the chocolate) with a walk amongst a national park or local reserve. Your mind and body will thank you.
7. Join a giant Easter egg hunt (or create your own)
Embrace your inner child (or take the kids along) and experience the buzz and excitement of an organised Easter egg hunt. With plenty of events (like The Brisbane Easter Egg Hunt Extravaganza, Sydney’s Biggest Easter Egg Hunt and the Giant Easter Egg Hunt at the Amazing Maze in Maize in Auckland), there’s sure to be something close by.
And if the havoc of an organised event is too much, get creative and try one of these ideas for creating your own Eggs-tra Special Easter Egg Hunt.
8. Establish a new Easter tradition
Stuck in an Easter rut with the same old routines and traditions? From the great Orthodox traditional egg battle known as tsougrisma to fasting or foregoing luxuries as part of Lent or hosting a less traditional Easter Sunday feast complete with an Easter bunny cocktail, there are plenty of interesting, meaningful and fun traditions you can incorporate into your Easter to change things up.
Overall, Easter is a great opportunity to carve out some precious time with family and friends, have a little fun, take part in old traditions or develop new ones, and accompany it all with a side of chocolate.
If you’re looking for a new home to host your Easter traditions, contact your local First National Real Estate office. With offices across Australia and New Zealand, we’ll help you find the perfect place for that backyard Easter egg hunt or home complete with a chef’s kitchen destined to whip up batches of hot cross buns for years to come.