Bunnies and eggs fills the air, and the water
Families in the Florida Keys love Easter. Here, kids can run through tropical gardens seeking out colorful eggs, or they can jump in the water and pluck them off the reef. It’s a time for communities to socialize, for beach sermons to celebrate the sunrise, and for everyone to eat a really good brunch. Here are a few notable events for 2017.
Key Largo & Islamorada
The Easter Bunny turns aquatic for the Key’s most unusual Easter event. Every year, the elusive rabbit dives on the reef to hide bunches of eggs. Kids can enjoy the event with snorkels or in a glass-bottom boat, and adults can scuba to the fun. Everyone gets a prize, but the one who finds the golden egg gets something special. The event is hosted by Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures in Tavernier and benefits Kids in Special Situations. Eggs are real and dyed with nontoxic colors for reef safety. April 16, 8 a.m., reservations needed, captainslate.com, 305-451-3020, mile marker 90.7, oceanside.
The Kindness Festival & Giveaway doesn’t have eggs, but it does bring out a lot of smiles and giggles, with plenty of activities for kids, like rock painting, art, live music and dancing. Adults also enjoy yoga in the garden, Peace Bell raffles and food and drink. All are invited to donate what possessions they can and take what they need in the community spirit of sharing. April 9, Morada Way Arts & Cultural District, mile marker 81.5, oceanside, Islamorada, keystopeace.com.
Hunt for eggs filled with candy, then pet stingrays and watch sharks at Aquarium Encounters. The search is for children under 12 and is free with regular admission. April 8, 10 a.m. to noon, 11710 Overseas Highway, floridakeysaquariumencounters.com, 305-407-3262.
The Giant Easter Egg Hunt happens Saturday, April 15 at the Marathon Rotary Park. After hiding the eggs, the Easter Bunny will be available for photos, plus there will be arts, crafts and refreshments. Organized by the Rotary Club. 7575 Overseas Highway, 10 a.m.
All children from ages 0 to 10 are invited to the egg hunt, games, crafts and snacks at Marathon Lutheran School. That starts at 10 a.m. on April 8th, 325 122nd Street, 305-289-0700. On Easter proper, early risers can also catch their sunrise service at Curry Hammock State Park, followed by breakfast.
Watch the sunrise on Easter Sunday at Sombrero Beach, for the annual interdenominational service. Bringing blankets or chairs is encouraged, starts at 7 a.m. Afterward, many restaurants offer a special Easter Sunday brunch, including Key Colony Inn, the Lighthouse Grill and Hawk’s Cay Resort.
Big Pine & the Lower Keys
Eggs and the Bunny can be found at Blue Heron Park for the 18th annual Big Pine Key Easter event. Kids search and complete for prizes in three categories: 3 and under, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10. Saturday, April 15, 9 a.m., Lytton’s Way.
The Vineyard Community Church makes a weekend out of the holiday, with a Good Friday Concert, a Holy Saturday Beach BBQ at Bahia Honda and a sunrise Easter Celebration Service. 100 Country Road, Big Pine Key, 305-872-3404.
Join birds, lizards and other critters for Migration Mania & the Great Egg Hunt at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens. Age groups compete to find eggs filled with prizes, then play games, tumble in the bounce house, make arts and crafts, and of course explore the wilderness. Butterflies from the Butterfly Conservatory and Nancy Forrester’s exotic birds will be on hand, as will a “selfie” costume corner. Parents stay entertained with a native plant sale and refreshments. April 8, 10 am. to 2 p.m., 5210 College Road, Stock Island, 305-296-1504.
The inaugural Easter Egg Roll happens on the Little White House Lawn, a tradition that’s taken place at the northern White House since 1878. Besides the roll, there’s an egg hunt, an Easter Bunny for photos, and plenty of arts, crafts and music. Free, up to age 12, first 500 kids get a wooden egg souvenir. April 1, 10 a.m. to noon, festive dress encouraged, 111 Front Street, 305-294-9911.
The Easter Bunny doesn’t upstage a good meal in Key West. Many restaurants offer special Easter buffets, brunches and dinners, including Bistro 245, the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, Southernmost Beach Cafe, and Tavern N’ Town.