Durham Easter events begin as soon as the schools have closed - so there will be plenty of activities to keep the whole family occupied. We've picked out family-friendly Easter activities from across County Durham.
Easter in 2019 is on Sunday April 21, but it sits right at the end of the Durham Easter school holidays, which come during the preceding two weeks. You'll need some family Easter activities to enjoy, then, and as usual Durham comes up trumps for family things to do. Try some of these out for size.
Durham Easter events #1: Raby Castle Easter children's tour
Raby Castle Easter trails will take place throughout the Durham school holidays. The popular Raby Castle guide will see interactive children's tours taking place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday throughout the Durham Easter holidays, from April 6 until April 22. Children can enjoy finding out about how Raby Castle would have been defended when attacked, and learn about what it was like to be knighted.
Booking is advised as children's places on the tour are limited. You can contact Raby Castle on 01833 660202.
Durham Easter events #2: Tanfield Railway Easter Eggstravaganza
Tanfield Railway is always good for a family day out and the Durham Easter holidays are no exception - or should that be eggception (thank you, I'm on all week)?
The Easter bunny is heading to Tanfield Railway and will be putting on a host of activities (egg-tivities? That's probably going too far) such as an egg hunt competition, and arts and crafts. There's also a small chocolate egg for every child. The Tanfield Railway Easter Eggstravaganza takes place on April 7 and April 14.
Then on April 19-22, Tanfield Railway is hosting another Easter event: an Edwardian Easter. You can travel on Tanfield's Edwardian train, and find out what life was like living in the terrace houses around Marley Hill shed. There's also entertainment with The Ragged Victorians and The Palace of Curiosities.
Tanfield Railway tickets - or fares, to use the railway terminology - are £27.50 for a family ticket (two adults, two children), £10.50 for adults, £6.50 for children's tickets (under fives go free) and senior citizens £8.50. This allows unlimited travel for a day.
Durham Easter events #3: Crook Hall Princes and Princesses
Another family favourite is Crook Hall, which as usual has provided an activity around the school holidays. For Easter 2019 it's Princes and Princesses, which will see a child-friendly afternoon tea, served by Crook Hall's princes and princesses, who will then lead storytime.
Crook Hall Princes and Princesses takes place on Monday and Tuesday April 8 and 9, with two sittings each day at 12 noon until 1.30pm, and 2-3.30pm. Tickets cost £15 for adults and £12 children, which includes entrance to Crook Hall, and there are discounts for Crook Hall annual pass holders. Book on 0191 384 8028.
Durham Easter events #4: Easter Island Creations at The Whitham
Meanwhile, at the Whitham in Barnard Castle, you can get involved with turning recycled materials into fantastic artwork. Turn waste into your very own Easter Island head, on April 10 at 1.30pm. Admission is £8 and £6 for children aged 16 and under. You can contact the Whitham on 01833 631107.
Durham Easter events #5: Beamish Museum Great North Festival of Transport
From Thursday to Sunday April 11-14 during the Durham Easter holidays, you can head to Beamish Museum Great North Festival of Transport: Great North Steam Fair. This Beamish Museum event is a must-see for steam enthusiasts and basically anyone who likes big pieces of exciting engineering that produce steam and noise. There'll be steam locomotives and motor vehicles including motorcycles, cars and lorries, as well as road steam vehicles such as traction engines. Last year focused on the end of the First World War, and the 2019 Beamish Great North Festival of Transport's theme will be homecoming and the return of peace. There'll also be a Manchester Tram 765 and a model tramway.
Between April 19-22 there's also Beamish Easter fun, where you can find out how Easter was celebrated in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s.
You can use your unlimited pass or Friends of Beamish membership; otherwise an adult year-long ticket is £19.50, senior and student £14.50, family ticket one adult two children £36.50, family ticket two adults two children £51, and family ticket two adults and one child £44.50.
Durham Easter events #6: Ushaw College concerts
Ushaw College is holding the SRP (Society of Recorder Players) Fringe Festival on April 13 and 14 to run alongside the SRP Festival being hosted in Durham. Concerts are free and open to all festival goers and the public, and run throughout the day on Saturday (11am - 7pm) and Sunday (10am-12.30pm).
There is also the family-friendly Music of the Renaissance concert at Ushaw College will take you on a musical journey to explore the different instruments in the early orchestral lineup, including voice, recorders, harp, theorbo (like a large lute) and cello.
Find out more at the Ushaw College events page.
Durham Easter events #7: Chicken Licken: a talejam at the Gala Theatre
This is a family musical storytelling experience from Ruth Mary Johnson, the Director of Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo, Hey Presto!, Man on the Moon and The Worst Princess. The show involves lots of antics as a musical band tries to tell the tale of a young chick who can’t decide what to do.
It's on Sunday April 14 and Monday April 15, at 2pm and 4pm. Adult tickets are £7 and concessions £6. You can contact the Gala Theatre on 03000 266600.
Durham Easter events #8: The Bowes Museum Super Saturday
The regular Bowes Museum Super Saturday event returns for the Durham Easter holidays. Bowes Museum Super Saturday is on April 13 at 1-3pm and promises lots of crafty sparkly activities for all the family.
It's free for Bowes Museum ticket holders; if you're going with children then the best Bowes Museum admission ticket is the family pass, which costs £16 for one adult accompanying up to four under 18s, or £30 if there's a second adult in the group.