The winter holidays are over and Easter is fast approaching. It’s time to start planning what you’re going to do when it rolls around this spring. Since the pandemic is still going, many of the typical events are delayed, changed, or canceled (though some are still happening). More than ever, people are planning Easter parties in their own homes, with close-knit family groups or small gatherings with friends.
Easter in 2020 was largely disappointing. Nowhere had an infrastructure in place, and governmental restrictions shut down just about every traditional venue. This year, though, we have a year’s worth of preparation on deck. We know how to safely hold small gatherings and handle an at-home Easter celebration.
Whether you’re planning a rich Easter meal, an egg hunt in the back yard, or something else, we’re here with ideas to help you kick it off in style.
Easter gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of food. The holiday is more about celebration than it is about any specific meal, unlike holidays like Thanksgiving. As such, you have a lot of freedom to make what your family likes. If you’re looking to try a few new recipes, break out of your traditional fare, or just spice up what you normally make, here are a bunch of recipe compilations you can browse for ideas.
- Southern Living – 27 Traditional Easter Dinner Recipes That’ll Impress Guests – From ham to lamb, this guide contains plenty of ideas for your dinner’s main course. It also has linked guides for more recipes, including lunch, brunch, and sides.
- The Spruce Eats – Top 30 Traditional Easter Dinner Ideas – Put together a full dinner meal with this list of recipes that includes entrees, sides, and desserts.
- Good Housekeeping – 55+ Easy Easter Dinner Ideas – With everything from Hot Crossed Buns to salads to your traditional ham, Good Housekeeping has something for everyone in this gallery.
- Delish – 62 Delicious Easter Dinner Ideas The Whole Family Will Love – Starting strong with a bacon-wrapped turkey, there’s something for every taste, including side dishes, appetizers, and desserts.
- Country Living – 87 Best Easter Dinner Ideas for a Meal That Everyone Will Love – No matter how picky or disparate the tastes are amongst your family, there’s something in this gallery for them.
Of course, the world doesn’t stop turning just for Easter. You might have a lot of work on your plate, so much that you don’t want to work on your plates. Cooking is a luxury not everyone has the time to handle, especially for a multi-dish meal typical of an Easter dinner.
So why not get your dinner catered? You don’t need to specifically order a large catering meal, but a simple takeout order from a great restaurant can do just fine. Many restaurants are closed on Easter, but many more remain open and offer their own specials for Easter. Check out a list of great local restaurants like Chelsea Corner, Eatzi’s, OddFellows, The Rustic, and more. Or, just call your favorite restaurant and see if they’ll be open and willing to prep a meal for your Easter dinner.
What is Easter without an egg hunt? While the tradition is older and more nuanced than you might imagine, we’re not here to dig into the history of Easter eggs. For egg hunts, you have a few different options.
Option 1 is to do a virtual egg hunt. Last year, the City of Irving hosted a virtual egg hunt. They produced a video walking through a park, with eggs hidden throughout the scene. Virtual attendees could watch the video, count the number of eggs, and submit a form with their guess to be entered into a drawing for a prize. Chances are pretty good that they’ll do something similar this year, so pay attention to their Twitter feed to see the details when they announce it.
Option 2 is to do a household egg hunt. In fact, you can combine several different egg-based celebrations.
- Start by hard-boiling a bunch of eggs (enough to give each participant in the hunt a handful to seek out), or purchasing wooden or plastic eggs for the purpose. Wooden eggs are great for paint. Plastic eggs can be layered with stickers and filled with treats. Hard-boiled eggs are perfect for paint or dye.
- Allow each participant to decorate their batch of eggs according to the methods you have prepared. Do this ahead of time, to give the paint or dye enough time to dry before hiding the eggs.
- Hide eggs throughout your home or yard. If you’re using eggs with candy inside or hard-boiled eggs, we recommend taking a photo of all of the eggs and making a checklist, along with notes where you hid them, to make sure they’re all recovered by the end of the day. Nothing is worse than dealing with an ant problem or a rotten egg a month down the road because no one thought to find it.
- Get the kids and let them loose to find the eggs. Allow them to capture the treats they find, or turn in the eggs for treats they want.
If you’re using a permanent kind of egg, like painted wooden eggs, you can even save them as holiday souvenirs for years to come.
Decorating and Crafts
In addition to decorating eggs, you can do all manner of Easter-themed crafts throughout your holiday. Pick age-appropriate crafting options for your kids and let them have fun. Here are some options.
Coloring pages. For younger kids, coloring pages are a great activity. Crayons, markers, colored pencils, or any coloring implement of your choice can be used on a huge array of coloring pages available online. You can print off pages in advance with a home printer, or take them to an office store to get them printed. Some examples of coloring pages you can find come from WFAA, Crayola, and Free-N-Fun Easter.
Easter Terrariums. Something for the older kids, an Easter terrarium can contain anything from small foam bunnies and decorated egg-shaped rocks to succulents and other small plants. They can be used as a centerpiece for your Easter dinner, or as decorations, and can be a great small way for your kids to keep something alive for the year. Some inspiration can be found at Design Improvised.
Paper flowers. Papercrafts are always fun, because there’s not much involved beyond some paper, folding or cutting, stapling or gluing, and yet the end result can be fantastic. The Spruce Crafts offers a variety of different paper flower ideas to use for your crafting segment.
Cotton bunnies. Making small bunnies out of sticks and cotton balls give your kids a great way to make a toy that will last a few days or a decoration you can pull out again next year. There are numerous tutorials available online, including these from Making Things Is Awesome.
Turning your holiday into something special doesn’t necessarily take much time, money, or energy. We can offer you a bunch of different methods to help you get there. One of the recommended options of ours is a rentable inflatable or two. If you have the yard space and a power hookup (or the space for a generator as well), you can rent some equipment such as a bounce house to give your kids something to do for hours, keeping them occupied and out of your hair while you make dinner. Water slides are another option.
If you want something a little more sedate, there are numerous Easter-themed movies you can pick up to watch with the family. Why crowd around a computer screen or TV, though, when you can rent a big screen? Setting up a screen and projector in the yard takes Easter to new heights. If you want, you can even get the neighbors to chip in, and let everyone watch from their windows or from appropriately socially-distanced seating arrangements.
Another option is to hire an entertainer or two. Getting a surprise visit from the Easter bunny can be delightful for younger kids, and can be perfectly safe so long as proper care is taken to isolate beforehand, for the safety of the performer and your family.
There are always Easter-themed spins on arcade games as well. Set up cans or cups and challenge your kids to knock them down with egg-shaped foam balls. Set up buckets with bunnies in them for a ball toss game. Pretty much any carnival game can be set up with an Easter theme, with the only limit being your imagination.
For many, Easter is a day of religious reverence. Celebrations and secular festivities are one thing, but for many families, nothing beats the elegant church service.
There are hundreds of churches in the North Texas area, so there’s no way we can list down all of them and their restrictions. You will need to check with your church to see what kinds of services they plan to hold on Easter and for the days surrounding the holiday.
The most common form of church service is digital service. Many churches have used the past year to set up digital services, live streaming sermons over Facebook, YouTube, and even Twitch. Others host smaller gatherings and scheduled calls with church officials through video calls on Zoom or Skype.
A few churches may also be open for limited services and socially-distanced gatherings. You’ll have to check on specific churches and up to date restrictions when April rolls around; we can’t predict the future, unfortunately, so we can only give you ideas.
We have no idea what sort of state or city-level restrictions will be in place come Easter. The vaccine is slowly rolling out and seems effective, but a lot depends on distribution and production levels, so there’s a lot that can change in the next few months. It’s better to be prepared for anything than to prepare for a situation that might not happen.
If you’re allowed in-person gatherings, then, by all means, host a family gathering. If you have family members who aren’t vaccinated, it’s a good idea to isolate them for around 10 days prior to the date of the gathering, so that everyone who attends can be assured that they’re reasonably unlikely to be infected. Getting a COVID test ahead of time is also a good idea, to make sure that no one involved is an asymptomatic carrier.
If gatherings are somewhat limited, you may need to pare down the guest list to just your closest family members. Some families can do this easily, while others may find that it’s impossible to figure out who can and can’t come to the gathering. As with larger gatherings, you’ll want to take as many precautions as possible to avoid becoming a spreader event and putting family members at risk.
If gatherings aren’t allowed, the next best option is a virtual gathering. Using tools like FaceTime or Zoom, you can set up a family gathering with relative ease. Letting the family talk to one another on a group stream, or just passing a device around from person to person so everyone gets their chance to talk, is quite common these days. Though, to be fair, passing a phone around so distant family members can talk to one another has always been an option for families that can’t gather, so there’s not much difference.
If you want to go the extra mile for the kids, you can set up something like a special Minecraft map with Easter-themed events and let the kids go wild. It takes some technical know-how and some knowledge of how the game works, but games like Minecraft are popular for a reason.
You can also do limited family entertainment using platforms like Zoom and a screen sharing service to share a movie or other form of entertainment with the family. Even if you can’t all gather for a movie night, a virtual movie night can be just as fun.
No matter what your plans are for Easter, there’s something for everyone; you just need to plan it in advance.