Everybody is ready and willing to celebrate Easter, but does everybody know what the Easter Bunny has to do with it? Surprisingly few do, as the sole focus is often the chocolate… but who can blame them for that? However, in the name of tradition we’re going to not only shed some light on the origins of the Easter bunny; we are also going to give you some fun, Easter bunny-infused ideas to help you celebrate Easter in Melbourne.
Where did the Easter Bunny come from?
The idea originally came from German Protestants in the late 1600s, and they imagined the bunny to be a hare, and he was something like a ruminant’s answer to Santa Claus. Where Santa gave out toys, the Easter Bunny handed out eggs as gifts. This hare apparently shared Santa’s attitude too: gifts were not given unconditionally – they were only bestowed upon the most deserving of children.
If the bunny judged kids to be good, he would award them with an Easter egg hunt. If not… well, better luck next year. The Easter Bunny would parade around with a basket of eggs, which is how you knew he was not your average hare. Why eggs? Eggs were considered a symbol of purity and new beginnings. The eggs weren’t always colourful, but it was the Dutch that kicked off the egg-colouring tradition around the 1700s.
They took it one step further by granting the hare egg-laying capabilities – and colourful eggs at that. Called the ‘Osterhase’, this version of the hare wanted favours in return for his pretty eggs. Kids were expected to build him nests and in return he would lay a few eggs in them. At some point eggs became baskets, and now we return the favour with a carrot for the bunny.
So how can you maximise your fun with this judgmental, egg-laying ruminant this Easter? We have a few ideas:
Easter Egg Hunt at South Melbourne Market
- Thursday 18th April, 10:00 – 13:00
- Saturday 20th April, 10:00 – 13:00
- Sunday 21st April, 10:00 – 13:00
Good for: All the family
Join the Easter Bunny as he bounces around South Melbourne Market over Easter for this free family event. The kids will love the opportunities to munch on chocolate, take part in an Easter Egg hunt, and perhaps have their cute little faces painted. Adults will be kept entertained by the market’s usual delights and some live music too.
Easter Fun Day at Rippon Lea, Elsernwick
- Sunday 21st April, 10:00 – 16:00
Good for: All the family
This fun-filled family day consists of heaps of activities set in the grounds of a beautiful historic mansion and gardens. Easter bunnies abound here (a whole team to be precise), and there will be Easter egg hunts, outdoor games, picnics, house tours and plenty of other fun activities.
As if that weren’t enough, you can expect fairground rides and bouncy castles, and adults might want to explore the mansion itself. Colourful Easter Bunnies will be guarding a few giant Rippon Lea eggs, so winning one of those will be the order of the day.
You’ll need tickets for this event, so grab them before they run out!
Easter Scramble at The Big Goose
- Friday 19th April – Monday 22nd April
Good for: All the family
As happens annual, the Easter Bunny makes his way over to The Big Goose for an Easter Scramble. This game consists of collecting as many plastic Easter eggs as possible before the Bunny rings his bell. At that point, you hurry over to the counting station with your stash to be rewarded with a bag of yummy chocolate eggs.
There are all kinds of other activities happening, from egg and spoon races to potato sack races, darts, unicorn rides, face painting, crafts and chuck-a-chook. There will be a maze, tractor rides, sheep dog and reptile shows, and many more. Prizes are there to be won, and if you’re the lucky one who finds one of the Golden Eggs, you’re in for a treat.
Throw an Adult’s Easter party and invite some Easter Bunnies
Good for: Adults only
If you want to have as much fun as possible without kids hanging from your ankles, make this an adults only Easter party. What’s to stop you from letting your ears down and prancing around in the yard in your best Easter bunny clobber
Who said Easter is only for the kids? Now it’s time for rave music and candy-inspired cocktails like this Easter Jelly Bean Cocktail. Encourage your guests to dress up in at the very least a pair of bunny ears or an Easter Rabbit hat, and bring a basket of booze and/or liqueur chocolates, some of which can be used for hunt or game prizes.
You can stage your own hunts, with or without the eggs; maybe you’ll turn your egg hunt into a drinking game. For instance, if you find a blue egg, you swig your drink. If it’s a yellow egg, you down it. If it’s pink, you nominate someone to swig or down theirs, and so on. Other fun games for your bunny crew might be Twister or charades.
There are so many ways to have fun in Melbourne, and the Easter Bunny is a big part of it. Get out there and give him a reason to be judgmental!