By Cassandra Lane
While spring of 2020 feels like one big blur, a few images stand starkly in our collective memory: virtual celebrations of Easter and Passover. While many churches and synagogues still are not open this season, we have all had more time to plan events and activities with fresh eyes and renewed creativity.
In this roundup, we’ve collected activities, food ideas, arts and crafts and more to help you and your family celebrate.
Easter arts and crafts — and movies
Crate & Kids will help you design the perfect basket your kids will love — full of Easter toys and crafts. See below for easy steps to make this holiday a magical one.
- Start with an Easter basket. If you’re looking for a reusable option try these chic, functional bins you can use for post-holiday toy storage.
- Find their new plush bestie. Whether it’s a classic bunny or a not-so-traditional Bashful Bee and Amuseable Tulip, there’s a stuffie BFF for every kid.
- Pick a (naturally) cool craft. Choose from an egg coloring and grass growing kit, a candle-making kit or even hopscotch chalk. These naturally made arts and crafts are the perfect family activity.
- Add a special surprise. Every little bunny needs a fun toy to celebrate the holiday. Check out the Etched Wooden Blocks, Felt Garden Set and Flora Pop Up Book.
Moms Caitlin Kruse and Mandy Roberson have created some magic to keep kids busy this holiday. Magic Playbook is a digital print-and-play kids activities subscription and is designed as an easy resource for parents to put together fun and educational activities for their kids.
Created for ages 2 – 6, each month’s Magic Playbook features seasonally-appropriate activities that will spark a child’s imagination and make everyday moments extraordinary.
Each Magic Playbook includes:
- A monthly collection of themed printable activities and ideas
- Easy-to-follow directions and an easy-to-shop supply list
- Seasonal activities including kid-friendly crafts, sensory play, games and recipes
- A library reading list to complement each month’s theme
- Curated screen time ideas
The April theme will feature gardening and bugs, as well as Easter. With activities such as a bug playdough mat, a farmer’s market setup and seed packet counting, kids will explore key lessons such as math and imaginative play. The digital subscription costs $9 per month or $84 annually at https://magicplaybook.com. For those who prefer to have physical printables shared (i.e. those without a printer), pricing is $15 per month.
For the artistically inclined, Art Classes for Kids is introducing its Easter ART BOX, which offers87 fun and educational experiences for artists of any age. Created by instructor Kim Bavington, each ART BOX includes all the supplies needed to create three cool art projects, along with exclusive video tutorials containing all instruction needed.
Celebrate Passover with PJ Library, which is providing downloadable, kid-friendly Haggadah in five languages this year: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and French.
And check out PJ Library’s updated Passover hub , with music, stories, crafts and recipes. It’s got games, history and printables, plus a step-by-step video playlist where kids can learn (or refresh) some serious seder skills.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a kid-friendly Easter movie with the whole family or want to learn more about the history of Christianity, FOX’s free streaming service Tubi has a number of options to choose from. A few options: conduct an “Easter” search on Tubi Kids, or check out specific titles such as Easterland, Hodge Saves Easter, Easter Bunny Adventure, or Amanda and the Easter Bunny.
Watson Adventures, known for its live scavenger hunts in cities around the country, has launched two brand new Easter virtual experiences to safely bring people together in a fun and interactive way.
Available for both public bookings and private bookings (families, friends, work groups, school groups, birthday parties, etc.), the hunts feature a live “hunt host” connecting teams around the world via videoconferencing and a computer, smartphone or tablet to navigate the 60 to 90-minute live game.
The two all-new Easter offerings include:
Hop To It, Kids! – This one-hour scavenger hunt hops around the world, following clues that lead to websites where eggs must be found – in paintings at art museums, the homes of kings and queens and atop a building in Spain! Fun questions will be asked. Suitable for children ages 10 and up, each team must include one adult.
Great Eggspectations – This adult-oriented online Easter egg hunt brings players to some of the world’s greatest museums, where a trail of clues will help find eggs and answer tricky questions. The full calendar of public hunts available for booking is available here. Public hunts begin at $19 per person (depending on the game) for teams of two to six people.
Evite party specialist Casey Martinez has a few tips on ways to make this year’s festivities more unique than 2020 (even if they are still remote and/or physically distanced):
- Help your kids decorate. Decorating your home is a great way to get in the spirit of any holiday. You can decorate your own eggs and make other decorations.
- Have a social distance Easter egg hunt. Setting up an Easter egg hunt is pretty easy to do in your own backyard (or throughout the home if it’s just your household participating), and there are plenty of ways to get creative , including color-coding eggs. You can also do a virtual egg hunt with your neighbors. Just print out an egg coloring page for your kid to decorate, place it in your window and neighbors can “hunt” for them while on walks in the neighborhood.
- Virtual brunch. While enjoying brunch over video may not be ideal, it’s a great way to connect with family outside of your home – or even your state. Set the party atmosphere with a festive backdrop and even share recipes with your virtual guests so you all can enjoy the same meal. Consider inviting your guests with a themed Evite Invitation.
- Include the grandparents. You can help your kid make an Easter basket for their grandparents and drop it off to the grams at home. The basket could include their favorite homemade treats, pictures and even a pastime like a deck of cards.
Family friendly Easter and springtime festivities are taking place in Los Angeles this month at The Grove, The Americana at Brand and Palisades Village
From March 22 – April 4, the iconic outdoor shopping and dining destinations will be adorned with Easter décor and spring-themed backdrops as each property rings in the spring season with exclusive offerings in food, fashion and more –including a limited-time Instagram storyEaster Egg Hunt, spring-inspiredphoto installations and a “shop for spring” spending incentive with a chance to win a private dining experience.
An interactive Easter egg hunt will be featured on property-specific Instagram channels, highlighting an impressive selection of exclusive spring products, promotions, and weekday surprise and delights Guests are invited to take part in a Willy Wonka-inspired spending incentive, in which shoppers who spend $500+ in a single day can present their receipt to the concierge to receive a complimentary chocolate bunny made by acclaimed French pastry chef Fabrice Benezit. The chocolate bunnies will be hollow, with a “golden ticket” hidden inside a select few. The special ticket will be redeemable for a private dinner for four of their choice at The Americana at Brand, The Grove or Palisades Village
Each property’s spring photo installation will be live, and guests will be encouraged to post their photos on social and tag the property handle. Caruso will reach out to guests who post with delightful prizes (including complimentary parking, car wash, discounts and more)
The South Botanic Garden is hopping with bunnies and bursting with blooms, and at this special three-day affair, kids are invited to find a series of enormous hand-painted spring eggs hidden amid all the color. Take a journey through lush formal gardens and wild nature trails to try to locate all of the eggs.
South Coast Botanic Garden is the perfect place to celebrate the season of renewal, as the property itself showcases the restorative and healing possibilities of nature, with its landfill turned botanic garden. Tickets are same as General Admission — members: free, adults: $15; seniors (62 and over): $11; students (with ID): $11; children (5 – 12): $5; children (4 and under): free. Get tickets here.
Enjoy photo ops in front of Wild Child Party balloons and socially distanced meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny at Platform’s spring-themed outdoor marketplace. Other springtime treats include Easter sweets from Candy Coach and Lee’Poof, spring picnic baskets from Party with Plants, and spring bouquets by local florists. Kids can pick up Easter activity sheets and crayons from the Courtyard all week long.
Good eats, good treats
Good food is the foundation of any celebration, and L.A. knows how to make it the shining center of any Easter or Passover celebration. Bianca restaurant is offering a festive brunch menu featuring caviar, crepes, truffle pizza, mimosas and more Easter specials. Bring the family and inspire your child’s inner confectionary artist with a chocolate egg decorating kit.
Indulge in Easter treats from its bakery inspired by family traditions. The menu features Italian, Argentinian, British and American pastries. Pre-order is advised.
Terranea Resort is inviting families to spend Easter on its sprawling 102-acre property, which sits along the Pacific Ocean. Easter and Passover celebrations include a variety of dining selections, stay specials for overnight accommodations, gourmet meals to-go and family-friendly activities, all designed to promote a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Stay: Guests may enjoy more Terranea and extra savings with the property’s “Third Night Free” offer. Enjoy a Southern California vacation for a quick weekend getaway or an extended stay. Outdoor adventures include whale watching, hiking, plein air painting by the sea, family activities, kayaking, archer and more. Restrictions may apply. Promotional code: 3FREE. Visit here for more.
Easter Gourmet Meals To-Go: Leave the cooking to “some bunny else” this year with Easter To-Go from Terranea. Offerings include: asparagus and parmesan soup with crispy shallots; pea and carrots spring salad; choice of house-cured maple ham with apricot and Dijon glaze or herb roasted leg of lamb with rosemary gremolata; roasted baby turnip with turnip greens; garlic and chive mashed potato; hot cross buns; and a ricotta citrus tart with candied fruit and tarragon.
Eat by the water
Weekend brunches overlooking the marina are in effect. In Marina del Rey, weekend brunch on an outdoor patio beckons along with stunning seaside views.
Click here for the updated Marina del Rey outdoor dining guide.
Click here for a list of restaurants offering take-out or delivery in Marina del Rey.
Vegetarian Easter To-Go
Offerings include: asparagus and parmesan soup with crispy shallots; pea and carrots spring salad; artichoke and olive tart; roasted baby turnip with turnip greens; garlic and chive mashed potato; hot cross buns; and a ricotta citrus tart with candied fruit and tarragon.
Passover Meal To-Go
Terranea’s chefs have created a specialty Passover Meal To-Go featuring savory herbed matzo ball soup, red wine braised brisket, traditional sides, delicious desserts and more.
Terranea’s to-go ordering deadline is April 1 at 12 p.m.. Pick up April 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please visit here. For more on Terranea’s dine-in and other options, including a Kids Club family activity and toddler box of arts and crafts and Mandala Easter egg painting, visit terranea.com.
Over at Superba Food + Bread, Passover delights include a Seder dinner package ($40/per person) for the first two nights of Passover (March 27-28).
The dinner package includes all the Passover greatest hits, from matzo ball soup to brisket, with plenty of great sides, veggies and desserts. Superba will even handle the bitter herbs and horseradish for you – just make sure to select the Seder Plate option ($45/per person) on Tock.
Books, Books, Books
Here are some picture books to celebrate Passover, Easter, Earth Day and more from Holiday House.
“Happy Springtime!” by Kate McMullan, illustrated by Sujean Rim(Neal Porter Books / Holiday House). Look ahead to sunny days with this bright, bouncy, and colorful picture book. Full of riotous watercolor illustrations by Sujean Rim, Kate McMullan’s ode to the joys of spring celebrates the burst of life following the thaw of winter.
“The Passover Guest” by Susan Kusel, illustrated by Sean Rubin(Neal Porter Books / Holiday House). In this fresh retelling of a classic I.L. Peretz story, Muriel assumes her family is too poor to hold a Passover Seder, but an act of kindness and a mysterious magician change everything.
“Pippa’s Passover Plate” by Vivian Kirkfield, illustrated by Jill Weber (Holiday House). A charming story with a happy ending, this book pairs simple, rhyming text with bright paintings. In bravely facing her animal neighbors, this adorable little mouse finds not only her missing Seder plate, but also new friends.
“Bunnies” by Gail Gibbons(Holiday House). Hop…hop…hop into spring with a cuddly board book all about bunnies. This information-packed but easy-to-read board book teaches toddlers and parents about rabbits and how they came to be a major tradition in Easter celebrations.
“A New Green Day” by Antoinette Portis(Neal Porter Books / Holiday House). On each spread, children will solve riddles about the familiar animals, plants and the weather that one child encounters outdoors throughout a whole day. Active readers will delight in the clever language and striking illustrations.
An Animal-Friendly Easter
Plant-powered kids everywhere are invited to join “The Biggest Vegan Egg Hunt Ever,” a free online event featuring fun and games, prizes, cooking and craft demonstrations and a live meet-and-greet with rescued bunnies, lambs and chickens at Animal Place’s sanctuary. Created by Miller Wolfson and Plant-Based Network Director of Events Helene Greenberg, The Biggest Vegan Egg Hunt Ever also marks the launch of PBNet’s new Plant-Based Kids Club that unites plant-based and eco-conscious families.
The virtual event will be held Saturday April 3 at 10 a.m. Pacific. Families must register in advance here. Special guests include author and illustrator Ruby Roth, who will lead a real-time drawing class from her studio, and a cameo by Omari McQueen, a 12-year-old British cooking show host, cookbook author and entrepreneur.
For the main event, kids will participate in a scavenger hunt for vegan treat-filled eggs in their own homes. Parents will get instructions for hiding places in advance as cookbook author Leinana Two Moons and her husband Anthony Two Moons, master of dad jokes, announce clues. Throughout the 90-minute Zoom event, families will win fun prizes, including a year’s worth of gelato from Nubocha, chocolate, toys and books.
Natural egg dyeing
Keeping with the sustainability theme, egg-dying is one fun activity you can do with the whole family, but rather than using artificial dyes (most synthetic food dyes are derived from petroleum), you can make your own natural dyes by upcycling food scraps from the kitchen. The following tips are from Lauren Olson, a Zero Waste Manager/ sustainability expert for World Centric.
Natural vegetables, fruits and spices in your kitchen that can be used to make dyes. In addition to using extra food items you might have laying around, you can also use food scraps you’d otherwise throw away and give them a second purpose before composting.
Red cabbage will create blue dye. For green, use red onion skins or spinach. Turmeric will create a golden yellow dye. For red try beet shavings, and for pink try avocado pits and skins. And for orange, try yellow onion skins.
Along with your food scraps, you will also need white vinegar, water, hard boiled eggs and bowls and spoons for dying. Use compostables from World Centric, which can be commercially composted along with your leftover food scraps and dyes.
Step 1: Boil the eggs
Hard boil 1-2 dozen eggs (depending on how many you’d like to dye), for 8-10 minutes on medium heat.
Step 2: Make the dye
Combine 1-2 cups of food scraps, 2-3 cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. For the yellow dye, combine 3 tablespoons of turmeric with 2 cups of water and microwave for 2 minutes. The more water you add, the less vibrant your dye will be. Remove the food scraps from the pot and pour the remaining dyed water into a bowl.
Step 3: Dye the eggs
Add 1-2 eggs to each bowl of dye. Let the eggs soak for 20 minutes, then flip the egg and let soak for an additional 20 minutes.
Step 4: Dry the eggs
Remove the eggs from the dye and place them back into the carton to dry.
Step 5: Clean up = compost
Don’t forget to compost all leftover food scraps, compostable bowls and utensils, and any paper towels.