BERLIN - Following the trail marked by Easter eggs, paw prints, flowers, and butterfly signs, children carrying colorful baskets found their way to the Easter Eggstravaganza at Hungerford Park Saturday morning.
“We’re probably going to get at least 160 kids,” said Holly Gagnon, museum educator at the park, which is part of the New Britain Youth Museum. “Last year we had 140 and we up it by about 20 every year. It’s very popular.”
The hunt was well organized, with just 10 to 20 children allowed into the hidden egg zone at a time.
The others were inside the museum, doing crafts, visiting with the resident animals or checking out the bake sale, until it was their turn.
“It’s a lot more calm this way, so we don’t get kids trampling each other,” Gagnon said. “The older kids are usually done getting all their eggs in a minute or two.”
Every participant was allowed to collect 10 eggs, each with candy, a sticker, a small toy or a raffle ticket inside. The raffle tickets were good for prizes too big to fit inside a plastic egg. Everyone got a goody bag, too.
The weather was perfect for late March.
“We’ve actually lucked out. Every year it’s been nice weather. One year we got a little bit of snow but just a little,” Gagnon said.
Elizabeth Weeks, a third-grade teacher at Vance Elementary School in New Britain, was there with her husband, William, and their children, 2 1/2-year old Elliot and 1-year-old Samantha.
On her very first hunt Samantha had managed to put a few eggs in her basket but was then taking them out and putting them back on the ground.
Elliot was wearing sunglasses and a determined look as he collected his eggs.
“He’s on a mission,” Weeks said. “He was here last year and he had fun, so we had to come back.”
The Weeks family looked at the snakes in the museum before coming outside for the hunt and were planning on going back afterward to meet Speckles, the museum’s black and white, floppy-eared rabbit.
They came all the way from their home in Avon.
“It’s a drive, but we came because it’s so much fun,” Weeks said.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.