As well as all the chocolate-related fun on over the Easter holidays, there's some good stuff for adults too, from brandy tasting in Cornwall to a free Record festival in London
Hobbledown is a jolly children's theme park based around the "mysterical" people known as Hobblers. Quirky, playful and well, yes a bit hysterical, the Hobblers are pulling out all the stops for the holidays. It runs until 21 April with activities ranging from a knight warrior training school to being part of a Viking camp. Anyone with any energy left after all that warfare can help Rumpletump the mythical dragon, who has had his giant egg stolen, resulting in an egg hunt of huge proportions. Add to this falconry, a high-ropes course and exploration of the Hobblers underground tunnels, as well as animal talks and feeding, and it's safe to say the drive home should be pretty quiet.
• Adults £9.50, children £10.50, 0843 289 4979, hobbledown.com
The John Muir Way and festival, Scotland
Artist Andy Scott’s colossal 300-tonne, 30-metre high horses head is part of the John Muir festival
Artist Andy Scott’s colossal 300-tonne, 30-metre high horses head is part of the John Muir festival in Falkirk
Dunbar-born naturalist John Muir is revered in the United States as the preserver of some of its greatest wilderness areas, including what is now Yosemite national park. To mark his life, the new John Muir Way, a 134-mile national pathway stretching from Dunbar on the east coast of Scotland to Helensburg on the west, opens on 21 April. Between 17 and 26 April the John Muir festival will celebrate the life of this extraordinary man with a series of events along the pathway including poetry readings, film, live music, theatre, fireworks and celebrations of the world's wild open spaces.
• Prices vary, many events are free, 17-26 April, johnmuirfestival.com
Vintage Festival at the Great Central Railway, Leicestershire
This preserved section of the Great Central Railway near Loughborough – which used to link Manchester and Sheffield with London – will bring the steam-engine past alive for young train-lovers. As well as being able to ride steam engines from Loughborough to Leicester North, from 18-24 April Quorn station will be hosting a vintage fair complete with a steam-powered big wheel and carousel, craft stalls and a real ale tent with live music for the grown-ups.
• 18-21 April, all day travel tickets £12 adults, £7 child, under five's free. 01509 632315 gcrailway.co.uk
Family ski lessons, Hertfordshire
The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead
The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
It's fair to assume there probably won't be much snow left in the Alps come Easter weekend, but there's still time to get your planks on. Good Friday sees the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead turned over to freestyle for everyone from beginners to advanced skiers, with coaches on hand to give hints and tips. Over the rest of the weekend adults can enjoy a vin chaud in the themed Lodge Bar and dream of being in the mountains while the young shredders can hoon around the main slope. And sledging is available for those too young, old or disinterested to abuse their knees.
• A four-hour session costs, adults £39, juniors £32, 0844 770 7227, thesnowcentre.com
Easter hatchings, At-Bristol Science Centre
If you're worried your children think that eggs are always made of chocolate, At-Bristol's Live Lab will be playing host to Spring Alive over the holiday fortnight, celebrating nature's party season. At the Hatchery kids may be lucky enough to see new chicks being born, while elsewhere they have the chance to dissect daffodils, investigate plants and even plant their own mini garden. This is in addition to Bubble Blast, which includes the rather interesting spectacle of bubbles bursting into flames.
• Adults from £12.05, children from £7.70, 0845 345 1235, at-bristol.org.uk
Egg hunting, Cornwall
St Michael's Mount, Cornwall
St Michael's Mount, Cornwall
National Trust properties have teamed up with Cadbury's at over 300 locations across the UK to create Easter-egg trails for young explorers. But St Michael's Mount in Cornwall may be one of the most epic. The hunt takes place on two separate days – 18 and 20 April – with clues leading "eggsplorers" around the village and harbourside. There will also be facepainting, a "design your own egg-head" workshop and live music. Any adults suffering from over exposure to pastel colours and chocolate can seek refuge in the beautiful sub-tropical gardens.
• Egg hunts £2 per child, 01736 710265, stmichaelsmount.co.uk
Festival of Stories, Coalbrookdale, Iron Bridge Gorge, Shropshire
Children's literature gets a big thumbs up on Easter Saturday with this pop-up festival of stories at Enginuity and the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron. Children's writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers will be on hand to entertain families and bring a host of stories to life. There will also be interactive exhibits and art and craft stalls, as well as free entry to both museums. The festival runs alongside Easter celebrations at Ironbridge, including an Easter bonnet competition and egg dancing.
• Festival of Stories, free. pop-up.org.uk. Some Ironbridge Easter events have a small charge, ironbridge.org.uk
Chester food festival
Chester Food Festival
Chester Food Festival
Obviously you can spend the Easter weekend eating nothing but chocolate but if your tastebuds are craving something different, they should find satisfaction here. There will be over 150 exhibitors from around the country and beyond, plus cooking demonstrations and a culinary school for the kids to learn about life beyond cream eggs. You can opt to camp as part of Camperfest making the event a three-day foodie adventure (19-21 April) for all the family.
• Children under 12 go free, adult tickets from £6, chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk 01244 405 615
Bikes and bunnies in the Lake District
Sky Ride Local launches its 2014 programme of rides from the village of Hawkshead on Easter Sunday with an easy going – and free – bike ride suitable for all the family. British Cycling ride leaders will guide participants on a Beatrix Potter-inspired route, taking in various sites that became the setting for her much-loved children's books. Also launching in April is the Climb the Mine experience at Honister slate mine, where a series of rope bridges and vertical climbs going deep into the belly of the mine should test the mettle of most adventurers.
• Sky ride: goskyride.com/lakes. Climb the Mine from 12 April, adults £19.95, children £14.95. honister.com
Record Store Day, Soho, London
Listening to live music during Record Store Day on Berwick Street in Soho, London.
Listening to live music during Record Store Day on Berwick Street in Soho, London. Photograph: David Parry/PA
Ditch the iPod and go back in time to the days when Saturdays were spent flicking through racks of vinyl in old record shops. Berwick Street, in the heart of Soho, has a long history of independent record shops, and on 19 April it will celebrate Record Store Day with an outdoor mini festival. A stage will host live acts all afternoon while smaller stages play host to DJs. Indie music stores around the area will host quizzes, DJs and parties. Throw in a streetfood market and you've got a unique musical treat that should see you into Easter Sunday in style.
• Free, 19 April, recordstoreday.co.uk
Chocolate masterclass, Lake District
It is a scientific fact that if you make your chocolate yourself (and this applies to all desserts) then no harm will come from consuming them. Embracing this theory with vim is Borrowdale's Leathes Head Hotel, where you can learn the secrets of chocolate making over the Easter weekend with chef David Jackson. You will be shown how to create truffles and chocolates as well as helping to create the dessert for Easter Sunday's meal. Luckily the hotel is close to the peaks of Scafell Pike and Skiddaw, so you'll also get a chance to work off the calories.
• A two-night stay from £185 per room per night for two including breakfast, dinner and chocolate making masterclass. Call 01768 777247 to book, leatheshead.co.uk
Willy Wonka at Kew Gardens, Surrey
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Kew Gardens
Celebrate 50 years of Willy Wonka and his marvellous factory at Kew Gardens (in partnership with the Roald Dhal Museum and Story Centre). Kids get the chance to design their own chocolate bar as well as taste chocolate recipes from the Georgian era. Obviously there will be egg hunts which are an opportunity to come into contact with a diverse range of plants as well as facepainting and the chance to learn about the different plants involved in the making of various confectionary. Kew is also home to 30,000 types of plants and the gardens are hosting a series of spring tours to highlight spring flowers as they come into bloom.
• Until 21 April, adults £14.50, children under 16s and members free, 020-8332-5655, kew.org
Feed lambs, Staffordshire
Nothing says spring quite like cute newborn animals. Get your fill at the Shugborough estate's Georgian park farm, where a baby boom has created lots of cuddly new visitors. Families can watch goat milking, and help out with feeding. For Easter itself the mansion house will be filled with displays of spring flowers and there will be an egg hunt in the formal gardens. There's also an art exhibition with works from artists across the county.
• Adults from £12.50, children from £7.50, 0845 459 8900 shugborough.org.uk
Let the kids loose, Boreatton Park, Shropshire
There comes a point in every teenager's life when they just want to be alone. Boreatton Park, set in 240 acres, is a PGL activity centre for anyone aged between 10 and 16 and is for kids only. From an indoor pool and sports hall to abseiling and quad biking, pretty much every whim is catered for. PGL is also offering adult-free Easter breaks at a number of other centres.
• Four nights including accommodation, all meals, activities and equipment from £239pp, 0844 3712424, pgl.co.uk
Farm tractor rides and brandy tasting, Cornwall
Pygmy goats, shire horses and baby rabbits should keep the youngsters entertained at this working cider farm while adults test the first brandy made in Cornwall for over 300 years, created in the family still at Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm. You can take tractor rides around the orchards, as well as a tour of their cellars and distillery – including tastings of their award-winning ciders. The farm also provides the ingredients for Healeys homemade jams which families can enjoy over an afternoon cream tea.
• Entry free, 01872 573 356, thecornishcyderfarm.co.uk
Story-telling and butterflies, Hertfordshire
Yellow and black Zebra longwing butterfly at Butterfly World
Photograph: Scott Aiken/REX
Butterfly World in St Albans has a packed Easter timetable running until 21 April. As well as the tropical houses spread over 26 acres which are home to thousands of butterflies, insects and bugs from all over the world, kids can take part in bug hunts (a nice change from choccy eggs), facepainting, art workshops, story-telling sessions and insect handling. For the more dextrous there is even the chance to make a bug hotel and flower or feather crowns – something every Easter prince or princess should sport.
• Reduced entry of £5pp until 30 April, 01727 869 203, butterflyworldproject.com
Egg and spoon racing at Floors Castle, Scottish borders
Scotland's largest inhabited castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, reopens its doors to the masses on 20 April for the summer season. On this day an Easter bunny will be on hand to greet visitors and children can bring along their own decorated egg to be judged in the associated competition. They can also take part in egg-and-spoon and bunny-hop races before jumping on to the bouncy castle, while adults get stuck into the barbecue hosted by the castle chef. With magic shows, balloon modelling, facepainting and crazy golf, all set in the castle's beautiful gardens there's a ton of things to do to keep everyone occupied all day.
• Adults £4, children £3.50, 01573 223 333, roxburghe.net
Pond dipping at the National Wetlands Centre, Llanelli
Over the Easter holidays the National Wetlands Centre is running a series of fun days designed to involve all the family in the joys of Britain's wildlife. Pond dipping sounds a lot more dangerous than it actually is, basically involving standing near the water's edge plunging a net into the waters to get a closer look at life under the water – and in the sludge. Mud? Water? Weird pondlife? Kids will love it. The centre's flock of flamingos will also be on show, and for those looking to get a bit creative there are craft workshops and den-building lessons.
• 12-27 April, adults £8.95, children £4.95, 01554 741087, wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/llanelli