Have you ever wondered where the Easter Egg Hunt tradition came from? I did, so I did a little research and found that, this particular tradition came from Germany. Since Easter began as a Pagan tradition, many believe it was initially meant to represent the Teutonic goddess of springtime, Eostre. Eostre was often associated with rabbits to represent the fertility and new birth of springtime. In early German tradition, Eostre and her egg-laying hares (Osterhase) would bring on the beginning of spring. In the early 1600s, when Protestant Reformer Martin Luther adopted this tradition, he and the men of his congregation would hide eggs for the women and children to find. It was meant to represent the fact that women discovered the empty tomb of Jesus; therefore, finding an egg was representative of the story of Mary Magdelene finding Jesus’ empty tomb. The tradition was brought to America by German Lutherans who emigrated here in the 1700s to Pennsylvania and quickly spread across the country. Today, we are still celebrating Easter with an Easter Bunny who hides colorful eggs for the kiddos to find!
Now that we know where this tradition came from let's talk about planning that party!
The first thing you need to determine when you’re planning your Easter Egg Hunting Event is the scope of the event. Are you planning the event for your church, your community, or your family and friends? Will the attendants be mostly little kids or a mix of age groups? Are you planning an event to raise money for charity, develop community relationships, or give the kids in your life a really great day? Once you’ve determined the size, the audience, and the goal of the party, then you can get to work on the planning part.
Next, you need to outline your budget and timeline. Every event planning endeavor needs to include a budget and a timeline to keep you from losing your mind in the planning process. Having these things established early on will help you and those helping you put on the event to avoid undue stress and unexpected problems.
The guest list depends on what you decided in the pre-planning stage about who this event is targeted towards. If the event is a wide-ranging community or church event, you’ll want to assume that you’ll have people of all ages in attendance. If that’s the case, you’ll need events/spaces to entertain people in different age groups. Teenagers are not as likely to enjoy hunting for plastic eggs as younger kids, so you should consider setting up an area for teens and older kids to hang out and socialize. The same goes for the adults, having an area where the parents can visit while their kids are gathering eggs makes the even fun for all ages.
Once you’ve determined your guest list, you’ll have a better idea of what type of venue size you’ll need to accommodate your party. Traditionally, Easter Egg hunts are held outdoors in a large open area. However, if you live in the northern part of the country as I do, Easter weather can often be unpredictable, so don’t be afraid to choose someplace indoors and out of the elements if you suspect uncomfortable weather. Make sure that whatever venue you choose has enough space for your guests to mingle comfortably and have designated areas set up for each part of your event.
Depending on the size of your event, you may want to offer refreshments to your guests. If you’re planning a large church or community event, you can keep the menu simple with cookies, juice, and bottled water. You can also opt for the large group go-to – a cookout! Grab some hotdogs, chips, and a range of beverages, and hop on the grill! If you’d like to provide a meal that requires a bit more prep but still keeps things affordable and simple, you could go with sandwiches, potato salad, fruit salad, and small desserts such as brownies or cupcakes. You can go a little more traditional with your Easter meal for more intimate parties, including baked ham, cheesy potatoes, fluffy dinner rolls, veggie dishes, and dessert. Just make sure that whatever you choose to do for a meal fits within your budget and your timeline, so you don’t over-burden yourself with a complicated meal along with all the other pieces of the event. Whatever you choose, make sure there are plenty of sweet treats for everyone to enjoy!
The most important part of an Easter Egg Hunt is obviously going to be the eggs! Ensure that you have plenty of eggs for the expected number of children. Whether you choose to hide real eggs or the more modern plastic ones, you’ll want to ensure that you have at least ten eggs per child attending your event. These days, Easter Eggs are plastic and filled with candy, small toys, or sometimes even coins or money, so if you choose to go the plastic egg route, you’ll also need to purchase things to put inside the eggs. Pro Tip: when you’re hiding the eggs, make a rough map of where they are hidden so that you can be sure that every egg is found and accounted for at the end of the event.
Aside from the egg hunt, there are also some other really great activities that you can set up for your guests. An egg decorating station is a popular one for this holiday as well. If you don’t want to use real eggs, there are now really great options for dye-able plastic eggs that your guests can use to decorate instead of the hard-boiled or raw eggs traditionally used for this purpose. You’ll also want to make sure you have different colors of food-dye, markers, paint, stickers, or whatever else you choose to decorate eggs with. Your guests will have a great time letting their artistic side shine!
Are you planning an Easter event?
You should consider renting a photo booth to capture all the fun! Your guests will absolutely love taking their turn behind the camera showing off their haul, and having a great time!
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