With the Easter holidays looming and the winter chill still here to stay, letting the children out to play is no longer a reliable option for entertainment. Whether you have just received your monthly pay check, or are reluctant to empty your pockets, there is a basket-load of ways to entertain the troops this Easter.
The Julian Charles team has compiled a list of ideas to suit all budgets, so keep scrolling to find out how to leave you and your family with a memorable Easter break, this spring.
The half-term holidays are the perfect time to get your aprons on and get messy. Whether they fancy themselves as the next Junior British Bake Off contestant or just love being your little helper in the kitchen, baking with your children is one of the most therapeutic and rewarding ways to bond. So why not try this simple recipe to make Easter-inspired Flowerpot mini chocolate chip muffins for an extra cute and yummy treat! Before the baking bonanza commences, here are all the ingredients you will need:
3 tbsp vegetable oil, 125g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 25g cocoa powder, 100g golden caster sugar, 1 large egg, 100ml milk, 150g milk chocolate chips, 25g chocolate cake decorations of your choice (We would recommend chocolate-coated popping candy), 20 rice paper wafer daisies, 10 mini terracotta pots (Try Hobby Craft for these)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly oil the inside of the terracotta pots with a little vegetable oil and place on a baking tray. Place a paper mini muffin case in the bottom of each pot.
Put the flour, baking powder and cocoa in a bowl and stir in the sugar.
Crack the egg into a jug and whisk with the milk and remaining oil. Pour this over the flour and cocoa mixture, and stir in with 50g of the chocolate chips. Be careful not to overmix – you want a loose but still quite lumpy mixture. Spoon into the pots up to three-quarters full. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 12-15 mins until risen and firm. Transfer to a wire rack (still in the pots) and leave to cool.
Put the rest of the chocolate chips in a small bowl and melt over a small pan of gently simmering water, or put in a microwave-proof bowl and heat on High for 1 min until melted.
Spread the tops of the muffins with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle over the chocolate decorations and add 2 rice paper wafer daisies to each pot to serve. If there are any left over, they can be kept in an air tight container for up to 2 days.
If you’re lucky enough to catch a clear day, get the kids and their friends outside for some healthy nature interaction. An egg hunt is always guaranteed fun and such a simple way to create hours of entertainment for the little ones. Start by hiding chocolate eggs scattered around the garden and let them loose on the hunt for the hidden treasures. To stop those warm little fingers melting the chocolate eggs, give them all a little basket/ bag to collect their eggs in. You could even print off rhyming clues to get them thinking. Whoever finds the most eggs wins a final prize- we will leave it up to you to decide what the trophy will be!
Fancy getting out the house? Round the troops up and drive down to The Lowry Outlet. Here, you and the whole family can experience and immerse in a world of pure imagination at the ‘Chocomania’ event, exclusive this Easter. This event is free to attend and will give the kids a full chocolate factory experience that those little sweet tooth’s have always dreamt of. There will be challenges for all the family and surprises along the way, so gain your free entry ticket by hunting around the Golden Ticket trail. Expect live chocolate themed demos, musical performances and market stalls selling delicious sweet goodies, regional food, crafts and jewellery. From Friday 25th to Monday 28th March, head down between 10am and 6pm daily to get involved in this sweet treat experience. You could even pop into our Rectella outlet store in the Lowry to see our new collection treats before you head home!
There are many other Easter activities to take part in within the city of Manchester this March. For the 7th year running, the Manchester Duck Race is back for Good Friday, 25th March. The event starts at 11am where there are lots of craft workshops, fairground rides and street food traders to browse around and take part in, before the duck race begins at 2pm. Prizes are available for the whole family, with a family duck costing as little as £1. All the proceeds made will go to the charity Brainwave, so why not have a fun packed day out with the family, whilst doing your part and supporting a great charity!