Easter’s all it’s cracked up to be

THE Spring sunshine has provided the perfect weather for Easter – even if it did arrive a week too early.

For parents across the Capital the question now will be how to keep the children occupied through the Easter holidays.

And at a time when money is tight, fuel is in short supply and even a trip to the local bakers might break the bank, there’s no doubt most will be looking for something inexpensive and right on the doorstep.

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Help is at hand in the form of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which has opened it’s flagship event, InMotion, just in time for the Easter holidays.

Guaranteed to have something for everyone – from sport fanatics to techno whizz-kids, In Motion is a cutting-edge, hands-on exhibition which has been given pride of place in the revamped National Museum of Scotland.

The free exhibition is far from an ordinary trip to the museum, however, with youngsters and adults invited to test how high they can jump, how hard they can squeeze, and how fast they can throw a ball or race a handbike.

It also offers visitors a chance to find out how mind over matter – also known as egotistical willpower – can persuade your body to override the signals from your brain by plunging your hand into an ice bucket and timing how long you can keep it there. And Dr Peter Lovatt, aka Dr Dance, will be inviting visitors into the Dance Box where he is studying how people communicate through dance, and on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 there will even be a demonstration of dancing by some of the Edinburgh University’s humanoid robots.

Dr Simon Gage, director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival said, “InMotion is a fantastic, hands-on exploration of human movement, and one which can be enjoyed by all ages.”

The Science Festival will also be taking over the City Arts Centre, which will be transformed into a science playground packed full of scary skeletons, racing robots and manic monsters offering a full day’s entertainment for kids of all ages. Activities include Visual-Eyes, where children can peek inside a giant eye, find out how lenses work and even watch the dissection of an eyeball.

Prices for the exhibition, which opens today are £6.90 for adults, £8.90 for children over seven, £6.50 for children aged three-six and free for children under three.

Of course, there are plenty of other activities taking place over Easter, and if a traditional egg hunt is top of the youngsters wish list, then the Cadbury Easter Egg Trail will be just the event.

The National Trust for Scotland has teamed up with Cadbury to bring Easter egg trails to 44 Trust properties across Scotland, including the Georgian House in Charlotte Square and Gladstone’s Land in the Lawnmarket. Each trail is different, with youngsters invited to collect clues, solve puzzles and then enjoy their hard-earned chocolatey reward. The events run from April 4-9 and tickets cost £6. Full details can be found online at www.nts.org.uk

Musselburgh Racecourse will be welcoming a very special guest, as children’s favourite Peppa Pig makes an appearance at the annual Easter Sunday Family Race Day. BAFTA award-winning Peppa will make personal appearances on Easter Sunday at noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Children are given free entry to the event, which will include fairground rides, trampolines, bouncy castles, face painting, a magic show, a craft workshop and a dance workshop. The first 500 children through the gates will also receive an Easter egg.

So while the sunshine may not last, there’s no reason why youngsters should be short of things to do this Easter.

• InMotion runs for the duration of the Edinburgh International Science Festival until Sunday, April 15. Entry is free