NEWINGTON - Kids, get ready to start hunting for Easter eggs.
The candy-filled treats were stuffed by the hundreds at Bel-Air Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center this week. The nursing home at 256 New Britain Ave. is hosting an Easter egg hunt for the community on Sunday, April 14, at 10:30 a.m.
Sue LePage, therapeutic recreation director at Bel-Air, said she expects a big crowd. She reached out to Annunciation Parish, comprising St. Mary Church and the Church of the Holy Spirit, along with the Lucy Robbins Welles Library.
Grandchildren of Bel-Air residents have also been invited to participate.
As of Monday, 250 eggs had already been prepared and another workshop was to be held on Wednesday.
“I want this to be an annual thing, starting this year,” LePage said.
If the weather is good Sunday, the hunt will be held on the property outdoors. If it rains, children aged 5 to 8 will hunt for eggs in Bel-Air’s rotunda room, while those under 5 will have a separate event in another room.
The Easter Bunny himself is even expected to make an appearance. Another special guest will be “Vitality Archaeologist” Kathy Gregory, a musical entertainer who will play the guitar and other instruments and sing songs befitting the Easter theme.
Cookies, juice and other kid-friendly refreshments will be served.
“We definitely want to get the residents and kids socializing and having fun together,” LePage said. “I think it’s so important to keep our residents connected to the community. The more connected they are the less institutionalized they feel. We try to make their lives as normal as possible.”
Bel-Air specializes in short-term rehabilitation, nursing back to health patients who have suffered strokes and heart attacks or who are recovering from surgery. Long-term care is provided in a separate wing.
As they filled the colorful plastic eggs with candy this week, Bel-Air residents chuckled together.
“I get a kick out of it,” Marie Battista said. “It brings back memories from back in the day.”
Sitting at her table was Angela Sipela, a friend and fellow resident.
“I forgot how hard it was to close the eggs,” Sipela said. “I’m excited for the egg hunt on Sunday.”
Easter Sunday falls on the following weekend, April 21. Bel-Air will be hosting a formal dinner for residents and their families.
Stew Leonard’s Newington store is also getting into the holiday spirit. Its annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza is set for next Tuesday, April 16, from 4 to 5 p.m. Children will use handheld maps to navigate the store, meeting costumed animal characters and collecting Easter treats along the way. Two eggs will contain the top prizes: $50 gift cards to Build-A-Bear and Barnes & Noble.
The event is free and open to children 8 and under, with tickets required. Register at eventbrite.com.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or email@example.com.