Easter holiday ideas

With longer days and better weather, Easter holidays are the perfect time to head out and try new things, without spending a lot of money. Even if you’re revising for exams in the summer, make sure you schedule time for fun and relaxation – these will make you more effective as well as happier.

Whatever your interests, and wherever you live in the country, we hope you’ll find inspiration in the Agnes Easter Things To Do List 2017.

Watch some sport

Rowing If you’re in London, head to the Thames to watch the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races on Sunday 2 April. The women’s race starts at 4.35 pm and the men’s at 5.35 pm; there is usually a great atmosphere on the river bank, and lots else going on; you can find out all you need to know on the official website here.

Horse-racing A spring day at the races can be a great experience. You’re unlikely to get tickets for the Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool on Saturday 8 April, but check out other racecourses near you: including Carlisle, ChepstowDoncaster, KelsoKempton Park and Newcastle. Many have special family or open days to encourage new racegoers. If you live in the country, you may also have a local point-to-point, often on Easter Saturday – check your local newspaper or news website.

Cricket County cricket matches are beginning to start, and your local county club may well have special ticket offers to encourage visitors during the unpredictable spring weather. You can find links to all the different county cricket club websites on “county” tab of the England and Wales Cricket Board website here.

Athletics You can join the crowds watching the London Marathon for free on Sunday 23 April – find out everything you need to know on the official website here.

Play some sport

There are lots of sports courses and camps all over the country at Easter and you should be able to find one near you, whether you want to develop your existing sports skills or try something new. Try your local university or schools as well as sports centres.

If you don’t want to do anything organised, or are worried about money, you could just meet up with friends or family for a game of football or cricket or rounders in your local park. You may be lucky enough to find freely available tennis or volleyball courts as well – try this site to find freely accessible tennis. Bring some sandwiches and a bottle of water, and take it as seriously or unseriously as you wish.

Explore somewhere different

There is always something new to see, wherever you live. Our travel pages give your all the practical info you need to make your journeys easily and confidently.

If you’re interested in history or art, and like visiting old buildings, think about joining the National Trust; annual membership isn’t particularly cheap, at £32.40 for 13-25 year olds, but this gives you free entry to all their properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to properties managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Many National Trust properties organise special Easter events.

Whatever your beliefs, religous buildings can be fascinating places to visit. If you’re not a member of the relevant religious community, and don’t know anyone who is, then you can find some useful advice through these links on  visiting synagogues,  visiting mosques  and visiting Churches. A list of Hindu temples in the UK can be found here and you are recommended to contact your local temple directly to arrange a visit.

If the weather is good – and even if it isn’t – a day at the seaside is always fun. Nowhere in the UK is supposed to be more than 70 miles from the sea, and there are some amazing places you can easily reach by bus or train. Scoop up your friends and family, take a picnic or some cash for chips, and rediscover your inner five year old.

Spend time with animals

The sight of newborn lambs is one of spring’s real treats. You might be able to get up close to them on a farm near you, sometimes for a small fee.

Don’t despair if you’re stuck in the city; you can visit many city farms for free, including Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh, Bath City Farm , and Vauxhall City Farm in London.

get out into the wild

Visit a nature reserve or wild place: try the Natural England website here or the Wildlife Trusts website here to find a nature reserve near you. Many nature reserves are free and have special activities over the school holidays.

You could also join Springwatch’s Do Something Great Campaign.

Be geek and chic

See Holly Smale in conversation with Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney at Oxford Literary Festival on Saturday 1 April at 12 noon – tickets £8
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See some art

There are art exhibitions to suit every taste all over the country. You can find a list of current art exhibitions here. Many are free to visit.

Listen to Beautiful Music – FOR FREE

Holy Week, which runs from Palm Sunday on 9 April to Easter Sunday on 16 April, is the most important week in the Christian calendar; churches and cathedrals across the country have special services and concerts, often featuring some of the most beautiful and powerful music in the repertoire, and many ask only for a contribution to the collection. Check out the websites of cathedrals and churches near you.

Win a competition

If you need a break from all that sport and travelling, sit down and write something amazing.

There is a competition especially for girls aged 11 to 16 living in the UK: send in your short story on the subject of family before 7 July 2017.

Mother and daughter writing team Perdita and Honor Cargill are running a monologue/duologue competition – judged in two age groups 10-13 and 14-16, closing date 30 April 2017.

And you have until 7 April 2017 to complete your brilliant entry to the Vogue Talent Contest 2017.

Try a Workshop

There are all sorts of Easter workshops allowing you to try all sorts of new skills, up and down the country. Here are a few to start you off.

If you’re interested in theatre, try one of the Easter workshops for 11-17 year olds organised by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, from 10-21 April 2017.

The National Portrait Gallery in London has a FREE 3-day performance and photography workshop for 14-21 year olds on the ever-fascinating theme of identity, from 11-13 April 2017.

The Fashion and Textile Museum near London Bridge has creative workshops for 12-18 year olds, on 5, 6 and 7 April – £10 -£25.

Also in London, the Royal Institute of British Architects has some special architecture workshops for teenagers – from five hours to four days, £40 to £200 (less if you’re entitled to free school meals), between 4 and 14 April.

And also in London, the famous Leiths School of Food and Wine runs cooking courses for teenagers; very good but sadly also very expensive (£100 per short day).

In London and Hampshire – the Song Academy runs singing and songwriting workshops for 12-16 year olds : various prices and dates.

Leeds College of Art is running an Easter Art School for students from 7 to 18 – £35 per day, from 3 – 12 April 2017.

Sharp Shots is running photography courses for teens in Kent and Surrey, between 3 and 6 April 2017; £35 or £40.

Try your local craft or wool shop for craft workshops. Abakhan has special teenage workshops in Liverpool and Mostyn, North Wales from 11-21 April; £25 each. Made to Sew in Somerset is running a 2-day dressmaking workshop for teenagers – £120. You can find details of different craft course across the UK on craftcourses.com.

plan your summer holiday!

Because it’s always good to have something to look forward to. We will be giving you plenty of great Agnes suggestions in the coming weeks.

Add your own recommendation for Agnes readers here!

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