You all know where Monkey’s happy place is, and we got to share it with some of his oldest friends last Saturday. It was time for an Easter Egg Hunt at Stowe Landscape Gardens with 2 of Monkey’s NCT buddies and their mum. The weather could not have been more different from Good Friday and we arrived just after Stowe opened. Although it wasn’t raining, the wind was blowing and it was very cloudy and a tad chilly!
We were all wrapped up warm and were determined to make the best of things. Monkey’s friends had dressed up as Knights to match the theme, but they soon decided warm coats might be a better idea. It was S and B’s first time at Stowe and Monkey was looking forward to showing them around his favourite spot.
The children were offered free Face painting, and Miss B became our own Easter Bunny for the day.
We picked up Trail sheets and headed down to the main gardens. It was great that the route would take us left at the bell, rather than Monkey’s normal route, for a change.
Although we can always be found at National Trust properties we’ve never actually completed an Easter Egg Hunt trail at one of the sites before, so we had no idea what to expect. The trail sheet gave us a map showing us where to find the numbered clues, and the option of 2 trail tasks to complete. There was a letter ‘search and sort’ option which the children all loved, and a series of questions to answer along the way, for older children.
As we reached each point along the course the children found an egg-shaped clue which gave them a letter for their sheet. Each point also gave the children a chance to read part of a story, giving them answer for the questions on the sheet. Monkey’s friends are more proficient readers and it was lovely to see them both making a great job of reading the story at each stop. We really liked the idea of following a story around the trail.
A little map reading was also required along the Easter Egg Hunt at Stowe Landscape Gardens. At one point the children raced ahead and spotted a clue point, but look guys, check the map, you’ve missed number 4 and 5!
A genius part of the whole event for us was the addition of props along the way which helped to bring the story alive. The children loved it, and it was totally unexpected. We took a few moments to enjoy being party guests.
As well as spending time learning about spinning wheels and how yarn was spun from fleece.
Before heading off in search of more clues.
Monkey and his friends really were having a wonderful time, the weather wasn’t great but there wasn’t one moment of moaning. They were having fun in each others company and enjoying being out in the fresh AKA bracing Spring air!
My friend and I enjoyed the views and watching the three amigos running around, in search of the next clue in their quest to win their chocolate prize. Even on a bleak day, you can’t help but be inspired by the scenery around Stowe.
Monkey’s friends were fascinated with all the little temples and follies we came across on the Easter Egg Hunt at Stowe Landscape Gardens. We explained a little of the history of the place and the reason why the temples would have been constructed. It added to the magic of the day.
We were promised a treat at the end of the trail. The children had sussed that the story they were reading along the way was in fact Sleeping Beauty, but we were all surprised by what we found hidden in the Sleeping Wood – brilliant idea!
Of course the bed was just too inviting for our intrepid explorers! They deserved a little sit down at the end of the trail.
We were all in need of a little warmth, so we headed to the New Inn Restaurant for hot drinks and cake, well we did deserve it. It was freezing.
Once we’d warmed up we headed back to the main entrance so the three friends could claim their prizes.
I think their smiles sum up our time on the Easter Egg Hunt at Stowe Landscape Gardens. We’d all really enjoyed ourselves, despite the weather and it was lovely to share one of our favourite places with special friends. My friend and I both thought that the event was really well organised, with some lovely surprise elements. I’ll certainly be bringing Monkey back next year. We saw families with children of all ages, as we walked around the grounds and they all seemed to be having a wonderful time too.
disclosure: Although I have family membership with the National Trust, my friend and her children were given free access for the day, and all three children were given free access to the Easter Egg Hunt which would normally cost £3.00 per child. This is my honest review.