Cincinnati Family Magazine

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September 28, 2021

Epic Easter Traditions for 2021

You can hop for joy knowing that Easter egg hunts are happening in many communities this year - with new safety measures in-place - plus we have creative ways you can celebrate at home.

Family traditions are the best gift I’ve ever received from my parents. Honestly, I can count on one hand the gifts I remember getting for my birthday or for Christmas. Holidays and family occasions are not so much about the physical gifts you receive, but rather more about the people who are there with you to share the occasion and the memories you’ll make celebrating together. Easter was one of the biggest holidays of the year at my house and it was chock full of family traditions. I happily carry the Easter traditions forward with my own family. Now don’t overthink it, a tradition can be as simple as getting to church on Easter Sunday or having an Easter egg hunt. There are so many ways to make it special. With the COVID-19 pandemic still in our midst this spring, we have to get creative yet again by celebrating at home or in smaller groups. Here are some ideas to add to your family tradition list to make your Easter season epic this year.

Attend an Easter Service at a Local church or Place of Worship

Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the beliefs in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter holiday includes a series of events known as the Passion of Christ. It all begins with a period of fasting and penitence called Lent that lasts 40 days and ends with Holy Week. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week and it ends on Easter Sunday. No matter your religious affiliation, Easter is a good opportunity to reignite your spirituality. There’s something out there for just about anyone. Most places of worship are offering Easter services online that you can watch from the comfort of your home this year again. No matter your religious denomination, there are lots of Easter traditions with roots that can be traced to non-religious celebrations. So if this one isn’t for you, don’t sweat it.

Easter Outfit

Easter morning is always hustle bustle at our house. Everyone is dashing about putting on their best outfits. There is not a bell or whistle missing or out of place in our Easter outfits. Fluffy ruffle skirts in pastel colors with matching ruffle socks and Easter bonnets, check. There’s no reason not to get fancied up every now and then and Easter is the perfect excuse to be all dressed up even when you have nowhere to go. My grandma sewed us special matching Easter outfits and sadly I can’t sew to that level, but there are so many affordable options in the fashion industry that at least I can get everyone in my house to wear the same color scheme so we match-ish. Once you’re all dressed up don’t forget to snap a family portrait. A family photo in special Easter outfits is an easy, fun tradition to start. An added bonus,  you get a good start on your new spring and summer wardrobes.

Easter Egg Roll

The great Easter egg roll tradition spans many cultures and religions. The annual White House Egg Roll may be the most famous. Sadly, for the second year in a row it is cancelled. Perfect chance to get creative and do it at home this year. For each contestant you’ll need: 1 hard boiled egg (a decorated egg is the most fun), 1 rolling lane marked with string or paint, and 1 spoon or rolling baton (rolled up newspaper works and, fun fact, it was the original tool used for an egg roll). Line everyone up at the starting line and on your mark get set, go. The goal is to roll your egg using your spoon or baton all the way to the finish line first. Lots of ways to plan this event. Let your creativity flow. You can have a tournament style egg roll, make it age-based or just do one simple race. Give away a prize or a golden egg as a trophy. It’s a fun activity sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Plant a Jelly Bean Garden

On the day before Easter, plant a jelly bean garden with the kids. You can use an existing garden bed or if it’s easier to use a pot filled with dirt that works, too. Don’t forget to water your freshly planted seeds. Once it’s safe, secretly head back out to the garden while the kiddos are asleep and place lollipops in the jelly bean garden. When the kids return to the garden on Easter Sunday and find their jelly beans had grown into lollipops, they will be shocked and amazed. It will be absolutely delightful to see the wonder in their eyes.

Decorate Easter Eggs

At our house we have an annual Easter egg decorating contest on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter to see who can create the most beautiful Easter egg. Sometimes we had a theme or a special medium like crayons or stickers that we could use. Dying our hard boiled eggs different colors is definitely something I look forward to each year. Even the littlest toddlers can enjoy this tradition. It’s one that I think is worth the effort, chaos and the inevitable mess. Simply recipes host a great basic recipe for hard boiled eggs. Hard boiled eggs do stink a bit because when you cook the egg yolk you release iron and when you cook the egg white you release hydrogen and sulfur. When these gases combine they create a compound called hydrogen sulfide which is extra stinky. It’s nothing to be alarmed about in terms of food safety. The smells come from normal food chemistry. At least now you’ve been warned so be prepared for a faint rotten egg smell while decorating. If you can’t stand the smell you can buy white plastic eggs to color instead. Same effect, probably more expensive, yet still loads of fun. Egg dyeing can easily be done using vinegar, boiling water and food coloring. You can also buy an egg dying kits. The Stay at Home Chef created a simple video tutorial that shows how to dye hard boiled eggs using the traditional food coloring method as well as how to use homemade dyes to color eggs.

Personalized Easter Basket 

On Easter Sunday, we had to hunt for our Easter basket before we could hunt for any eggs that were hidden. Once we found it, we could unpack all the goodies and snag a few jelly beans before we even had breakfast. We were truly living on the edge. A unique Easter basket with small gifts for each person at your celebration is a small seemingly unnoticeable tradition, but it goes a long way in making the day extra special. Inside, the Easter bunny always loads our baskets with practical items that we need already for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. We live outdoors in the summer so lots of the goodies are useful outdoors. A favorite blog of mine, Busy Toddler, has a great list of ideas to get ya started; or if you aren’t into creating your own, local sensory store, Puzzle Pieces is doing it for you this year! Head to their Facebook page to learn how to order your customized Easter basket!

Easter brunch

Food is an excellent way to create a tradition for your family. My mom always made an Easter-themed brunch after church. This is the perfect tradition because brunch kills two birds with one stone. It feeds hungry people and it doesn’t have to be hot and ready at the crack of dawn when everyone wakes up. It’ll give you time to prep or cook once the initial excitement of Easter morning wears off. There are lots of fun recipes out there on the blogosphere to suit everyone’s dietary needs. Here are a few healthy, simple, toddler and kid-friendly options.

(Recipes courtesy of superhealthykids.com)

Easter Egg Hunt

An epic Easter egg hunt is a long-standing family tradition at our house. We pull out all the stops. Each child participating has a designated egg color or design to hunt. With this method, each child has an equal number of eggs to find and they are hidden to match the child’s finding abilities. This takes away all the drama of an egg hunt. I promise. We usually also hide one gold egg for each child to hunt for that contains a special prize. Most eggs are stuffed with jelly beans, but we’ve been known to stuff them with non-food items as well such as quarters, hot wheels, Shopkins and stickers. No need to stop the hunt when the kids get older. Continue the tradition with growing kids, too! If you don’t want to host your own egg hunt, chances are you can find one to attend in your local community.

We compiled a brief list of the best Easter Egg hunts in Cincinnati! This year, many community organizations have elected to have an egg hunt, but many of them are being done with a creative twist to allow for social distancing and smaller crowd sizes.

Best Easter Egg Hunts and Celebrations in Cincinnati and NKY

Washington Park Easter Egg Hunt; (Washington Park 1230 Elm Street Cincinnati, Oh); washingtonpark.org

Date: Saturday, March 27 & Sunday, March, 28

Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days

Cost: Free courtesy of event sponsors Galerie Candy & Gifts and Graeter’s

Details: Instead of the traditional egg hunt, Washington Park is hosting an Easter egg scavenger hunt. Pre-filled prize bags will be given to all scavenger hunt participants completing the challenge. Pre-registration is recommended for this event since supplies are limited. You can participate on either Saturday or Sunday. Check in at the park between 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. the day you registered for and receive a scavenger hunt card. After you locate the six colorful eggs hidden in the park,  head back to the check-in area for your prize pickup.

Pre-register using Eventbrite: Washington Park Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens Easter Celebration; 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Oh; 513-281-4700; cincinnatizoo.org/events/easter-celebration

Date: April 4

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: No additional charge. This event is included with zoo admission. Reservations required.

Details: This Easter celebration features animals receiving Easter-themed enrichment activities throughout the day. Enrichment is a tool the zookeepers use to provide care to the animals’ environment to stimulate their senses and elicit natural behaviors such as foraging, exploration, hunting, problem solving, and play. When the animals. The enrichment keeps the animals healthy physically and mentally.

Lebanon M&M Railroad Easter Bunny Express; LM&M Railway Ticket Office 16 E. South Street, Lebanon, Oh; 513-933-8022; lebanonrr.com/easter

Dates: March 27 & 28; April 2, 3 & 4 (2:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. departures only)

Departure Times for the Train: 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m.

Cost for Coach Seating: Adults (18-61) $24, Seniors (62+) $20, Children (2-17) $20, Infants (any child under 2 must ride on an adults lap) $5. For deluxe seating add $5 to the price of each ticket.

Details: All aboard the Lebanon M&M Railroad Easter Bunny Express! This family friendly event takes you on a train ride to meet the Easter Bunny and then you get to hunt for Easter eggs at the Lebanon Sports Complex. You don’t have to bring your own Easter baskets since participants will receive a bag to use during the Easter egg hunt, but you do have to wear a mask on the train and during the egg hunt. Rain or shine this event will go on so dress accordingly. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your tickets because popular departure times sell out fast. Important to point out that due to the historic nature of the train equipment, the LM&M Railroad is not handicapped accessible.

Montgomery Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt; Montgomery Park 10105 Montgomery Road Montgomery, Oh; eventbrite.com/e/montgomery-kiwanis-easter-egg-hunt-tickets-145738450629

Date: Saturday, April 3

Time: 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Don’t be late or the eggs will be found before you arrive)

Cost: Free (Pre-registration is required)

Details: This is a free Easter egg hunt for ages 1 – 9 years old! Some of the eggs contain a certificate for a stuffed Easter bunny friend. The Easter bunny himself is expected to make a brief appearance at this egg hunt.

Independence Easter Bunny Trail; Summit View Academy 5006 Madison Pike Independence, Ky; Independence Easter Bunny Trail 

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Pre-registration required)

Details: This is a drive-thru Easter Bunny trail that offers dazzling entertainment by circus performers, costume characters and the kids will get to fill their Easter bags with goodies (bags will be provided). Organizers are requesting pre-registration for this event to ensure there are enough supplies to last for the entire event.

Deer Park’s Chamberlin Park Easter Bunny Hop; 7640 Plainfield Rd Deerpark, Oh; facebook.com/events/907313553173428

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 12 p.m.

Cost: Free

Details: This isn’t the annual Easter Egg Hunt, but it won’t disappoint. The Deer Park Silverton Fire Department will be transporting the Easter Bunny through Chamberlin Park with a special friend who lives in the North Pole with eight of his reindeer

Shiloh United Methodist Church is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt and Kite Flying Event; facebook.com/events/906610576756309

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 2 p.m.

Cost: Free (pre-registration is required)

Details: They invite you to bring your Easter basket and hunt for eggs in the ball field. Bring your kite with you to fly kites in the ball field after the egg hunt

Deerfield Township Parks and Rec Annual Easter Egg Hunt; All Deerfield Township Parks; 513-701-6958; Easter Egg Hunt Park Sheets

Dates: April 3 & 4

Time: Self-guided during Deerfield Township Parks Operating Hours (daylight)

Cost: Free

Details: This is a no-touch event for families to enjoy at their own pace during the Easter weekend. Each park in Deerfield Township has a different egg theme. Participants are asked not to collect or move the eggs so everyone in the community can enjoy finding them. This is a self-guided activity available during park hours. The eggs will be strategically placed about paved accessible pathways. You can print off a “hunt sheet” on their website to take along for the adventure. Each park in Deerfield township has its own egg hunt and corresponding printable take along sheet. If you share a photo of you and your family enjoying the hunt between April 2 – 4 via social media and tag #ChooseDeerfield, you have a chance to win a prize bucket containing fun outdoor goodies.

(The Great Symmes Township Easter Egg Hunt is cancelled in 2021.)

Anderson Parks Annual Egg Hunt; Riverside Park All Weather Fields, 3969 Round Bottom Road Cincinnati; 513-388-4513; andersonparks.com/event/youth-egg-hunts

Date: Saturday, April 3

Time: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cost: $3 for children 0 – 2 years; $5 for ages 2 – 17 years

Details: Anderson Parks Annual Egg Hunt is customized by age and promises to ensure safety and fun no matter what age and skill level your kids are Easter egg hunting with this Easter. A ticketed event this year, this egg hunt is taking all the precautions they can to ensure the event is following COVID-19 safety guidelines on social distancing. As such, masks and pre-registration. Buy your tickets before the event sells out.

Egg Orienteering with MetroParks of Butler County; Voice of America MetroPark – Overlook Parking Lot – 7850 VOA Park Dr., West Chester, Oh; reservations.yourmetroparks.net/programs/2561; 513-867-5835

Date: Sunday, April, 4

Time: 11 a.m.-. 1 p.m.

Cost: $4 per child

Details: The MetroParks of Butler County will have a few opportunities for their “Egg Orienteering” events. They’ll have a full range of courses for all ages & skill levels including a special “egg hunt” course for kids. Following an easy map, kids will find several checkpoints. When finishing, they will have a choice of candy or toy from a treasure chest. Pre-registration for this event is required.

Working In Neighborhoods 2nd Annual Easter Bunny “Hop-Up”; Working In Neighborhoods Parking Lot 1814 Dreman Ave. (enter from Llwellyn Avenue) Cincinnati, Oh; 513-541-4109; wincincy.org/event/win-2nd-annual-easter-bunny-hop-up

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 1 – 4 p.m.

Cost: Free (pre-registration is required)

Details: This event is a fun event for kids age 5-12 to visit the Easter Bunny, play games and win prizes. Pre-registration allows for staggered arrival times in order to maintain social distancing and limit contact between individuals/families who do not live in the same household.

Northern Hills United Methodist Kids Easter Drive Through; 6700 Winston Road, Cincinnati, Oh; 513-542-4010 facebook.com/events/143930294248157

Date: Saturday, March 27

Time: 1 – 3 p.m.

Cost: Free (pre-registration is required)

Details: This event is a drive through Easter celebration. Organizers suggest you pile your car full of kids and head to the church parking lot. Each child in your car receives an Easter basket with candy, books, and a craft. Organizers assure that all baskets will be packed safely and treats are individually wrapped. Volunteers distributing baskets will be wearing masks and social distancing guidelines will be observed.

No matter the budget or the number of people under your roof, establishing family traditions is a worthwhile effort. Easter season is a perfect opportunity to share family traditions. With the pandemic on our heals this spring, it might even be that much more of a perfect opportunity to start some new family traditions!

 

About the Author

Kelly Hater

Kelly Hater, owner of Mama Bear Domain, has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science. She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. As a mom of two she gets it. Get your E-Book: Mom, Open Your Eyes to Self-Awareness.