Thankfully, the frigid days of winter are behind us and spring has almost sprung. There’s nothing like the sound of chirping birds and the smell of blooming flowers to remind us that sleet and snow will give way to much-longed-for sunshine, setting the stage for the perfect Easter egg hunt or parade. These events, some of which are expected to draw thousands, will take center stage in some of the country’s hottest spring break destinations, from vibrant New York City to historic New Orleans. No matter the occasion, people of all ages will be basking in spring fun. Read on for a smattering of parades and egg hunts scheduled to hit major cities in April or sooner.
If you plan to be in New York City on Easter Sunday (April 4), join hundreds as they stroll along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th streets for the Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival, an annual tradition that dates back to Civil War days. Unlike most parades, this one does not feature marching bands or floats. Instead, people come from all corners of the world to sport some of the fanciest Easter bonnets imaginable. From Civil War period costumes to animal-patterned attire, outfits range from elegant to outlandish, and you’re just as likely to find them donned by pets as you are their owners. The Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. What’s more, free admission makes the event both fun and easy on the pocket.
Travelers in or near the Bay Area can take part in the 19th annual Union Street Spring Celebration and Easter Parade on Easter Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Expected to attract 30,000 attendees, the parade will feature live music, inflatable bounces, a climbing wall, vintage cars, stilt walkers, kids’ rides, and a hands-on activities area. Those on hand can enjoy al fresco dining while watching the parade wind its way between Gough and Filmore Streets. Families have been known to call this the biggest little parade in San Francisco.
If the kids enjoy Easter egg rolling, they’ll love rolling hard-boiled colored eggs down the lawns at the White House this year. The White House Easter Egg Roll is set to take place at our nation’s capital April 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tradition stretches back to 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes declared that neighborhood children were allowed convene on the White House lawn to play Easter games after Congress had banned them from the Capitol grounds. The Egg Roll is currently the largest public event at The White House, attracting approximately 40,000 visitors annually. This year’s theme – “Ready, Set, Go!” – is intended to promote health and wellness. Children aged 12 years and younger and their families can enjoy live musical performances, cooking classes and other activities at the South Lawn of the White House for free.
Miami’s tropical climate makes it a great place for a family vacation year round. If you’re not planning on catching some rays on Miami Beach or strolling by the unique shops of Ocean Drive this Easter, take the kids to Miami Metrozoo for its annual Miami Metrozoo Egg Safari. The event is free with regular admission and runs April 3 and 4 from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Youngsters 12 and under can take a photo with the Easter Bunny, cavort in fun bounce houses and enjoy great music. Fun for the whole family also awaits at Miami Seaquarium’s Egg Hunt Celebration, which takes place Friday, April 2 through Sunday, April 4. In addition to the park’s regular shows and exhibits, kids will delight in “Bunny-palo za” which boasts five acres of rides, slides, bounce houses and other fun activities.
The 6th annual Easter On The Avenue Parade, also known as the St. Charles Easter Parade, will roll up and then down gorgeous St. Charles Avenue at 12:15 p.m. on Easter Sunday. The Parade will start at Emeril’s Delmonico Restaurant and make its way around Lee Circle and up Cadiz Street before eventually turning back and returning to the restaurant. Feel free to showcase your Easter finery as you ride in a supplied carriage or convertible. Best of all, there will be throws and surprises for onlookers, so be on the alert! Dino lovers should not miss the Audobon Zoo Dinosaur Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28. Kids can make dino crafts, enjoy snacks and hunt for their very own dinosaur eggs. Alternatively, if you’re an avid runner, you can take part in the Crescent City Classic, held on the Saturday of Easter weekend each year. This 10k road race takes runners down Esplanade Avenue, a beautiful tree lined boulevard at the edge of the French Quarter, and ends in picturesque City Park. A post-race party, costume contest and other events follow. Indeed, there’s much more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras!
Easter only comes once a year, as do these fun-packed egg hunts and parades. Whether you plan to go in search of Easter goodies this year or join thousands as they stroll down a busy street, it’s time to spring forward and have some fun.