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Your Easter Toolkit: 25 things to do in Ireland, from chocolate workshops to walks, beaches and egg hunts

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The Boda Borg activity room at Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Boyle, Co Roscommon
Head chocolatier Darragh Conboy with founders John and Kasia Connolly of Hazel Mountain Chocolate
Explorium: Dublin's new sports and science centre
Afternoon tea at the Johnstown Estate
Chocolate Garden Carlow
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  • Your Easter Toolkit: 25 things to do in Ireland, from chocolate workshops to walks, beaches and egg hunts

    Independent.ie

    Easter is late this year, which means longer daylight hours, better weather (we hope), and a host of festivals, events and activities to choose from. Here's our pick!

    https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/ireland/your-easter-toolkit-25-things-to-do-in-ireland-from-chocolate-workshops-to-walks-beaches-and-egg-hunts-38029403.html

    https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/article37041084.ece/c5327/AUTOCROP/h342/Boda%20Borg.jpg

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Easter is late this year, which means longer daylight hours, better weather (we hope), and a host of festivals, events and activities to choose from. Here's our pick!

1. Chow down on chocolate…

iw Mountain.jpg
Head chocolatier Darragh Conboy with founders John and Kasia Connolly of Hazel Mountain Chocolate

It would be rude not to. Instead of lying on couch and pouring Easter eggs down your throat, however, what about learning while you binge?

The Chocolate Garden in Tullow, Co Carlow, has several family-friendly workshops (from €13.50pp) running over the Easter holidays.

Hazel Mountain Chocolate, a boutique factory and visitor attraction in the Burren, has tours this weekend and next at 1pm (€15/€10pp).

Or why not drive the Skellig Ring in Co Kerry, steering towards a surprise stop at the open-plan Skelligs Chocolate Factory?

2. Hit the beach…

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Coomeenole, Dingle peninsula, Co. Kerry.

No, you're right, it's still April. But have you seen the weather forecast for this weekend? Temperatures are set to sneak into the 20s – the 20s! – throughout Friday and Saturday, making Ireland hotter than some parts of Spain.

Here are our readers' Top 10 beaches in Ireland for 2019.

Here are eight great beaches within an hour of Dublin.

And here are 15 of the best ice creams in Ireland.

3. Join an Easter egg hunt

There's one for everyone in the audience.

Lough Gur in Co Limerick has an Easter egg hunt on Sunday, April 21 at 1pm. The National Reptile Zoo in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, has them throughout Easter week, as does Birr Castle in Co. Offaly (well worth a visit for its treehouse, above).

In Bray, Co Wicklow, Killruddery House has an Easter treasure trail this Sunday and Monday… in collaboration with children's arts and craft partners Me and the Moon, and some newborn chicks and lambs.

In Mayo, Westport House has an egg hunt on Sunday… and it's just added a new mini-Ferris wheel, Vortex Tunnel and mini-play village to its line-up.

4. Break out the bonnets

The Johnstown Estae Afternoon Tea.jpg
Afternoon tea at the Johnstown Estate

Hotels all over Ireland are offering Easter deals and special offers, but you don't have to stay the night to get the royal treatment.

Johnstown Estate in Enfield, Co Meath, for example, is inviting visitors to drop in for Afternoon Tea wearing their best bonnets… to win a prize. The tea is themed, with treats including marshmallow and chocolate top hats, and judges will be giving spot prizes for the best bonnets and hats.

It's available from April 15-28 inclusive, from €30pp… the prefect excuse to break out that fusty fascinator from the top of your cupboard.

5. Try something new

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Explorium: Dublin's new sports and science centre

Heard of Explorium? Now you have.

Ireland's first sport and science centre has welcomed 50,000 visitors in its first 100 days, with over 350 interactive exhibits ranging from gravity-defying G-Force Bikes to the world's longest indoor cave in Dublin's Sandyford. It ain't cheap, with prices from €20pp or €65 per family, but it'll easily distract for few hours.

Like getting hands-on? Cool Planet is an interactive climate change attraction in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, while W5 in Belfast is a brilliant discovery centre with a new Spacebase multi-sensory activity zone for 3-11-year-olds.

Meanwhile, in North Dublin, Newbridge House and Farm has launched a new immersive experience with "state-of-the-art" interpretation across the estate, bringing its unique upstairs-downstairs living story to life. That's in addition to its 30-acre on-site traditional working farm and animals…

6. Take a hike

Everybody loves a good walk… and if they don't, well then roll them out of bed, confiscate the phones, and make them.

The Knight's Walk in Glin (above) is an easy trail for starters. But there are options in every county. Just remember snacks, water, and some dry shoes and socks for the boot for afterwards (you can thank us later).

Here's a list of Ireland's 30 best spring walks.

Here are seven amazing walks for a little extra adventure.

Oh, and Pilgrim Paths Week runs April 19-27.

7. Have fun on a farm

Wexford's Greenan Maze is running its biggest ever Easter egg hunt on April 20, 21 and 22, with admission (€10pp) including free treasure hunts, nature trails, a fairy trail walk and animal feeding (usually about 2pm).

In Midleton, Co Cork, Leahy's Open Farm has arranged for the Easter bunny to drop eggs "continuously" all over the farm, and there are egg-throwing competitions and egg-and-spoon races too (€10.50pp).

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