Say so-long to those crazy egg hunts where your child is lucky to snag just one puny plastic egg (and those neighbor kids take home basketsful). These five places add a little something different to the egg hunt tradition.
For children with special needs
Holiday traditions can be a bit overwhelming for kids with special needs. Thats why Simon Malls has developed Caring Bunny, a special photo session with the Easter Bunny in an environment designed for kids who have sensory, physical and other developmental needs. In the Chicago area, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Orland Square Mall in Orland Park and River Oaks Center in Calumet City are all onboard for the event on March 29. Visit simon.com for more details and to RSVP.
1. If you’ve always longed for a holiday straight out of the pages of a storybook, look no farther than Bubbles Academy, where the annual egg hunt has a more literary theme. Kids can hunt for eggs in the meadow—Meadow Room, that is—or do art projects, listen to live music and nosh on yummy snacks. Happily ever after, indeed! 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. April 4. $30. 1504 N. Fremont St., Chicago. bubblesacademy.com
2. “We’re going on a treasure hunt, X marks the spot.” This familiar childhood ditty finds new meaning at Cantigny Park, where the reimagined egg hunt is suited for true treasure-hunters. Guests receive a map when they arrive to help with the “open house-style” hunt. The eggs are empty, so be sure to bring them to a prize station to claim your goodies. Plus, visit with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny and paint an egg-shaped ornament. 9 a.m.-noon April 4. $5 per car. 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. cantigny.org
3. All aboard the Bunny Train! The Chicago French Market transforms into the hoppiest place of all, thanks to free rides on the Bunny Train, which takes families around the concourse of the Metramarket (watch for the Easter Bunny!). Starting at 1:30 p.m., the market’s 30 vendors take part in a large-scale egg hunt, so kids can keep an eye out while mom and dad shop for some artisanal delights. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 4. Free. 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago. frenchmarketchicago.com
4. Forget Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. You can hunt for eggs with Cosley Zoo’s resident lapines at the annual Great Egg Scramble, which is divided up by age. After the 20-minute hunt, take some time to visit with the Easter Bunny and then meet some of the zoo’s residents, from box turtles to a miniature donkey and, yes, two rabbits, Petey and Cadbury. 9-11 a.m. March 28. $15, $12 resident. 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. cosleyzoo.org
5. Most egg hunts only target the under-12 set, but at the Bunny Rock Chicago 5K& Egg Hunt, there’s something for everyone. Runner types can dress up in neon shades and bunny ears before hopping into the race, while kids 2-8 won’t break a sweat hunting for 3,000 eggs (each child is guaranteed to take home at least 10). Plus, there’s a post-race petting zoo with ducks, rabbits, goats, lambs and donkeys. 9 a.m. race; 10:15 a.m. egg hunt. April 4. $45 and up race; $10 and up egg hunt. Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago. bunnyrock5k.com