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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 03/ 9/2010

On the hunt

By Anne Kenderdine

With all the egg-decorating options available at Hillwood's family festival, kids of all ages can create a real treasure. (Courtesy of Hillwood)

As we hop our way toward Easter, lots of egg hunts and kid-friendly celebrations are popping up on the calendar. I've gathered up a handful of the ones that stand out -- either for their out-of-the-ordinary offerings or great value.

Aqua Egg Hunt
Here's a springtime event that might make you think more of summer. For the first time, the Herndon Community Center will host a hunt where kids get to jump into an indoor pool to scoop up their eggs. For ages 6 and younger, the hunt will be in the shallowest part of the pool, and for older kids, the water will be three feet deep. No need to worry about getting your fancy basket wet, either; community center staff will provide mesh bags to contain your finds. The eggs will be empty, and then kids can turn them in for trinkets when they're done. After the hunt, stick around and you can swim for the rest of the day.
When: March 27
For ages: 12 and younger
Cost: $10/kid (includes one parent)

Faberge Egg Family Festival
There's no actual egg hunt at this festival; instead, kids can roll colored eggs down a hollowed-out wooden ramp and take part in egg-and-spoon races. The bigger focus, since the Hillwood museum boasts Faberge eggs in its collection, is decorating plastic eggs with glittery gems, beads, ribbons and flower stickers. Costumed Nicholas II and Carl Faberge reenactors talk with kids throughout the day, the Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble performs using traditional instruments and storyteller Arianna Ross shares "Faberge Surprise," a tale inspired by Hillwood's treasures.
When: March 27-28
For ages: All
Cost: $12; $5 ages 6-18; free for ages 5 and younger

Easter Eggstravaganza
The National Community Church puts on this free festival at several locations, but the biggest one is on Capitol Hill, where it attracts about 1,500 visitors. At this site, there's a whole field full of homemade carnival games, including a football toss and bowling. You'll find a great photo op with actual bunnies for kids to pet -- a more low-key alternative to the giant costumed rabbit. Preschoolers and younger ones go first with their own hunt, and kindergartners through fifth-graders get to ransack the field after that.
When: April 3
For ages: 5th-graders and younger
Cost: Free

Egg Hunt Weekend
At your standard no-frills neighborhood hunt, the thrill is really in the anticipation of waiting for that roped-off field covered with eggs to be opened up to little looters. But the hunt itself is over in minutes. Then what? Clark's Elioak Farm opens early for egg hunts, but you can take in all the rest of its offerings, too. When you're not hunting, check out the pine-tree maze, hay rides, pony rides and a petting farm with baby animals, some of which were born right there on the farm. What you'll find nowhere else are the restored attractions from the Enchanted Forest theme park, including the Old Woman's Shoe slide.
When: April 3-4
For ages: 6 and younger
Cost: $5

-- Anne Kenderdine

By Anne Kenderdine  | March 9, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Events  
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