I know, I know… you are probably thinking that excluding chocolate from a list of Easter ideas in Cape Town is downright crazy. Easter without chocolate sounds like something out of a really bad dystopia horror involving cruel governments that have outlawed all that is good in life. But, hear me out for a second. As a life-long chocolate addict, I will champion the right to indulge as much as the next Lindt lover. With that said, the thought of being overloaded with cheap chocolate eggs, bunnies, slabs and marshmallow eggs makes me feel a bit sick this year. It also makes me think of how much added sugar and plastic goes out into the environment. There are kids (and adults) who are diabetic, lactose intolerant or just not really keen to over-indulge in the good stuff.
What if we were able to find alternative, rewarding, equally enticing ways to enjoy Easter in Cape Town without falling prey to the mass produced supermarket chocolate bunnies and eggs?
Fun Non-Chocolately Things to do on Easter in Cape Town
To be clear, I am not declaring war on chocolate. Nor am I suggesting that you need to cut it out of your Easter plans entirely. But, if you are feeling like me and looking for some ideas that DON’T involve sugar rushes, here are some suggestions to get you started…
* Easter Picnic.
Every year, for the last decade or two, my family has gotten together for a picnic on Easter Sunday. Over the years, we have had one at various gardens and community parks across the city – Groot Constantia, Wynberg Park, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens… as long as there was a lovely green lawn, sunshine and good company, we would pack up picnic baskets and head out into the fresh air. Gradually, the chocolate gifts made way for other small, thoughtful gifts. My mom loves to give bulbs or plants that she has propagated herself. My sister and I once made hand-painted duck eggs that had been hollowed out and cleaned. We always bring a good mix of healthy food and a few treats. All in all, it is about family, friends and being together. Even if you are celebrating with a partner or small group, being together somewhere scenic will mean far more than a low-cost chocolate bar!
* Go Green.
Going back to what I said about plants – these make a fantastic gift. While the southern hemisphere celebrates Easter in autumn rather than spring, we can still celebrate the miracle of growth. A tray of brightly hued perennial blooms, a mini herb garden, hanging planters, cut flowers, house plants, bulbs placed in nice vases with clear stones… these all make wonderful gifts. Another idea is to head out to one of the many great nurseries in the Cape to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour. Try Ferndale in Constantia, Stark Ayres in Rondebosch, Stodels in Kenilworth, Hart Nursery in Ottery or the Noordhoek Garden Emporium for starters.
* Low Sugar Easter Hunt.
Still want a hunt, but without a chocolate overload? There are many other things to include in a hunt besides chocolate eggs. And, you don’t have to completely exclude sweet things, either. Cute erasers, colourful pencils, pretty notebooks, bunny shaped wax crayons (brought or made using a candy mould), seedlings planted into empty egg shells, pom pom bunnies, adorable hair accessories for girls, growing dinosaurs in plastic eggs for boys, egg shaped bath bombs, hand-painted mugs, colourful socks… the list goes on. Get inspired and think out of the proverbial box.
Whether you love a bit of craft and DIY, or you prefer to buy things already made, there are plenty of other ideas out there that are affordable, rewarding and healthy. If you have the time and inclination, a home-made gift can be something that will be treasured for years to come. But a little gift, fun outing or memorable day with loved ones will always go a lot further than a hastily bought Easter bunny.
Looking for something more traditional? Have a look at our Easter in Cape Town 2016 guide for more ideas!
Do you have any ideas for celebrating Easter in Cape Town? I’d love to hear them… share any tips you have here in the comments and let me know!