Cheap Lancashire Easter ideas: Egg hunts, day trips and free children’s meals

Things to do across the county for all the family that won’t cost a fortune this Easter

The Easter holidays are upon us.

That means egg hunts, day trips out, heading to restaurants and cafes, spending time with family and friends, sightseeing and visits to local museums and parks. But not all of this comes cheap and the costs can soon mount up, especially for parents with multiple children with wide-raging ages, who all want to do something different.

Throw in the rising cost of fuel, utility bills and the general increase in the cost of living and the school holidays don’t seem so fun anymore. So, to give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a few ideas to inspire you to stay local but still get out and explore what Lancashire has to offer.

From family Easter-themed events to things you can do any day, have a look to see if there’s something to suit you.

NB: We have made every attempt to only include events and ideas that are either free or under £30 for a family of four.

Kids eat free

Ah, those three glorious words all adults with children love to see. Eating out can be expensive, but there’s a number of places offering free or discounted meals for your youngsters. Blackpool’s famous entertainment complex Coral Island on the seafront right next to the Tower offers free meals for kids all year round, while there’s a number of chain restaurants, pubs and supermarkets offering great deals for families.

Children can eat for free when you spend £5 at a Marks and Spencer cafe from April 4 to 22, while Morrisons are running a ‘feed the family for £10’ deal throughout Easter. At ASDA cafe’s it won’t cost anything for a child’s meal after 3pm Monday to Friday, while Farmhouse Inns, of which there are several in the county, including Sycamore Farm in Burnley and Plum Tree Farm in Blackpool, up to two children per paying adult can eat for £1 from April 4-22.

Families heading to Hungry Horse establishments can enjoy a free breakfast for little ones from 9am to midday, while Table Table, Beefeater and Brewers fayre venues are offering two free breakfasts for one paying adult. Also, if you sign up to the chain’s newsletter, kids can eat free with a special code.

Get down to Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in Ormskirk on Saturday, April 16 and follow the clues to discover the chocolate treats. Venture to Rufford Old Hall to explore the historic grounds, follow the trail and take part in activities to find a chocolate egg at the egg.

Events run at the hall in West Lancashire run over the April 8-12 and 15-18 weekends from 10.30am to 3.300pm and trial entry is £3 per child. Head to the Judges’ Lodgings in Lancaster to explore the historic building and spring garden, with entry £1 per child. Doors open 11am to 4pm.

Drop into the Easter Bunny’s burrow at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston on Sunday, April 17 with pre-booking essential as you will be allocated a timeslot. Tickets are £5.50 per child (accompanying adults free) and include a meet and greet with the Easter bunny, craft activities and a chocolate treat.

Over at the the Ribble Steam Railway, there’s four days of events including an egg hunt and the chance to meet the Easter bunny and a family ticket is £25.

Visit a craft fair or market

The Lowther Gardens in Lytham St Annes are hosting a free four-day Easter craft and gift fair from Friday, April 15 to Monday, April 18. The fair is undercover inside a marquee, in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Alternatively, why not head to one of Lancashire’s famous markets? Chorley Markets are open throughout the Easter holidays, as is Preston Market Hall and if you are looking for a venue offering other family activities too, then head over to Cedar Farm in Mawdesley, which also has it’s own petting zoo.

Take a trip to the beach or seaside town

This Easter we could strike lucky and enjoy some sunny and clear days just like we enjoyed recently, with a trip to the seaside the ideal way to make the most of warmer climates.

On the cooler days, resorts tend to be a little quieter, so if you’re feeling bold and able to pack plenty of layers, you could find yourself with a private beach and plenty of space. Dig out your bucket and spades, kites and beach games and head to one of Lancashire’s famous beaches, whether it be Fleetwood, Lytham or Blackpool on the Fylde Coast or Morecambe further north, to catch a glimpse of the Eric Morecambe statue..

You don’t have to spend a fortune on rides and attractions to enjoy a visit to Blackpool and there’s still plenty of bright lights to see on one of the the three piers, the Golden Mile, while the illuminations recharge ahead of being switched bac on in September. You can take in the Comedy Carpet in the shadows of Blackpool Tower, stroll along the seafront all the way to the mirror ball sculpture on South Promenade and get your steps in and if you get lucky with a clear day, tuck into a picnic or build some sandcastles.

Explore woods, country parks and nature reserves

From bird watching hides, picnic areas and wildlife trails, most parks offer either free or limited cost car parking. Head to Beacon Country Park in Up Holland to play Beacon Bingo or go on the Beacon Minibeast Trial Hunt or explore the 480-acre Witton Country Park in Blackburn.

Or the Ribble and Alt Estuaries could be just what you’re looking for, with a number of lakes, RSPB-certified nature reserves, a variety of landscapes and visitor centres scattered among a huge area which spans from the Irish Sea coast all the way to Southport in Merseyside. There’s Hesketh Out Marsh which is home to rare wildlife, or you could head up to Leighton Moss near Carnforth and Hest Bank mudflats in Morecambe Bay.

If you prefer to visit smaller outdoor places with shorter nature trails and woodland walks, then Fairy Glen and Mere Sands Wood, both near Ormskirk, Brockholes in Preston, Fleetwood Marsh Reserve or Heysham Nature Reserve near Morecambe are ideal. Find the mythical creatures dotted throughout the Pendle Sculpture Trail in Aiken Wood in Barley or if an area of natural beauty close to a town and city centre is what you are after, how about Williamson Park in Lancaster, Corporation Park in Blackburn or Avenham and Miller Park in Preston?