Free family days out this Easter

The chocolate-filled excess of Easter can get the better of even the most devoted of chocaholic children so to take their minds off the candy, why not enjoy a fun-filled family day out.

Free days out bank holiday
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The Natural History Museum, London
If you're close to the capital, a trip to the Natural History Museum is a must - the kids will be enthralled by the dinosaurs in the Blue Zone, marvel at the way the planet changes in the Red Zone and can explore the wonders of the Wildlife Garden in the Orange Zone. Entry to the museum is completely free and even special events such as Sensational Butterflies and the Age of the Dinosaur are free for children.

Tilgate Park, Crawley
If the weather's good, Tilgate Park in Crawley, West Sussex is sure to get everyone active - miles of lakes, gardens and woodlands are perfect for rambling in, there are champion trees (some of the oldest and highest of their kind), a play area and a nature centre which is home to over 500 animals from frogs to pheasants and cows to cranes. The children can learn about conservation as well as enjoy the wide open spaces of the park itself. Entry is free though Tilgate suggest a £1 donation.

Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh
Spring is the ideal time to visit a family-friendly farm - lambs, piglets and other adorable babies will have you 'oohing' and 'aahing' like there's no tomorrow. At Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh, the animals take centre stage and kids can learn about farm animals, birds and pets of all sizes. The Pet Lodge offers Small Animal Cuddle Corners for the little ones on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and on Friday April 22, the farm celebrates World Earth Day, with a showing of DIRT! The Movie, free mud cake and refreshments and plenty of "dirt-themed" fun as well. Entry is free but donations are welcome.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Even if sculpture is not your cup of tea, few could fail to be impressed by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - discover sculptures by some of the 20th century's leading artists amidst 500 acres at the beautiful Bretton Estate. The Park encourages both young and old alike to ramble through the stunning landscape, seeing and touching the sculptures as they go. And from Saturday April 23 through to Easter Monday, there's an Easter Fun Trail that will add to the adventure. Entry is free for all but car parking is £4.

National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford
Should Easter be plagued with April showers, an indoor activity may prove more popular. The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford offers 10 interactive galleries - ride a magic carpet, try out your news-reading skills or take a look back at some old TV favourites. There are exhibitions, tours and talks that enable visitors to discover some treasures from the world of TV and film. Entry to the museum is free though you may want to bring a little cash... there's an IMAX cinema on site!

Create your own Easter egg hunt
Of course, you could always stay closer to home and create a fun Easter egg hunt for the kids in the garden or local park. Write clues or riddles on pieces of paper (that lead from one hiding place to the next) and watch the kids work out where you've hidden those prize mini eggs!

Are you planning a fun, free family day out? Let us know what you'll be getting up to this Easter...
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