Kew’s Maya Chocolate Adventure: Easter 2012 at Kew Gardens
31 March - 15 April 2012
Easter at Kew is all about fun, family, learning and chocolate. Our hands-on sessions and trails give youngsters the opportunity to explore the world of chocolate and discover the Maya culture. Our traditional Easter Egg hunt is a fantastic way to start your Easter Sunday.Angela McFarlane, Director of Public Engagement and Learning at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
8 March 2012
Kew up for Easter 2012 and take a journey through ancient Maya culture and 3,000 years of delectable chocolate history, with adventurous trails, fun filled family activities and, of course, delicious chocolate on offer.
Pick up a trail card and crayon at any gate and explore our interactive, self guided Maya chocolate adventure trail around the Gardens, collecting crayon rubbings to spell a word that will allow them access to the botanical explorers’ camp on Kew Palace Lawn, where you can take part in craft workshops. Along the way you will learn the story of the ingredients the Maya used for a spicy chocolate drink.
On your journey explore the Palm House, offer an origami flower to the scared jaguar god in the Waterlily House, or add your wish to our cacao wishing tree in the Princess of Wales Conservatory film room.
Get your face painted with an Easter design or symbol that you have discovered on your adventurous trail and try the unusual hot chocolate drink the Maya invented. Take the opportunity to make your very own Easter chocolate, all while learning about the cultural meaning of plants the Maya used to flavour their spicy chocolate drink, highlighting the necessary role of plants in everyday life.
Take part in our special Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday (8 April 2012) and seek out Buzzie Bee, Wriggler the caterpillar, and Venus fly trap plants, Snap and Trap, the friendly characters from Kew’s indoor play area Climbers and Creepers. They will be waiting around the Gardens for youngsters to gather the three tokens needed to collect a scrumptious chocolate egg from our Easter bunnies. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
TRAILS, TOURS AND ADVENTURES
Saturday 31 March to Sunday 15 April 2012
Maya Chocolate Adventure Trail
- Pick up a trail card and crayon at any gate and follow a self guided trail.
- 10.30am to 4pm
Kew Explorer Chocolate Tours
- Ride the Kew Explorer land train and take part in a special tour exploring the history of chocolate and old Maya myths.
- 11am – 12 noon
- Friday 8 April – Monday 11 April 2012
- Location: Victoria Gate
- £5 explorer charge
WORKSHOPS, ARTS AND CRAFTS
Saturday 31 March to Sunday 15 April
Maya Chocolate Adventure Trail Craft Workshops
- Make origami flowers to offer the jaguar god in the Waterlily House. Add a leaf or chocolate pod to the evolving cacao tree sculpture in the Princess of Wales Conservatory film room, with each paper creation containing a wish. At the botanical explorers’ camp on the south west corner of the Kew Palace Lawn make a Maya mask, headdress or worry doll to take home.
- 10.30am to 4pm
Chocolate Making Workshops
- Learn from chocolate experts about the origins of chocolate, ingredients that go into making chocolate and plants used to flavour chocolate. Visitors will have the opportunity to make an object in chocolate and try a drink similar to the Maya’s favourite chocolate drink.
- Up to 50 children can take part in a session (places are based on a first come first served basis). Chocolate may take up to an hour to set, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
- 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm &3.30pm (each session lasts approx 30 min)
- Location: Munchbox, at Climbers and Creepers
- Get your face painted like one of the Maya masks you have made, or choose a symbol discovered on your adventure today. Traditional Easter designs are also available.
- 10.30am to 5pm
- Location: Climbers and Creepers
- £4 per face or 2 faces for £7
Maya Magic hands on sessions
- Volunteer guides will tell visitors about the Theobroma cacao (cocoa tree), its botanical make up, origins, uses and development of chocolate making.
- 2pm to 4pm
- Location: Orangery
- Get more information about the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao)
Community Outreach Storytelling (next to White peaks cafe)
- Head to the Temple of Imagination to listen to stories exploring the history of chocolate and old Maya myths through storytelling.
- 11.30am & 1.30pm (30 min sessions)
- Sunday 8 April
- Location: Temple of Imagination, next to White peaks cafe
Saturday 31 March to Sunday 15 April
- Peyton & Byrne Easter Offer
- Take your completed trail card spelling the Maya word for chocolate to Whitepeaks or the Kew Orangery and receive 50% off an Easter biscuit.
- During opening hours
Spring 2012 at Kew Gardens
The biggest display of colour in the country…
Spring at Kew Gardens offers something for the whole family. Come and enjoy the stunning beauty of over five million bulbs blooming, flooding the open spaces of Kew Gardens with three months of flowering splendour. The swathes of crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils, rhododendrons and azaleas are set to be a riot of colour.
On entering the Gardens at Victoria Gate (from mid February), visitors will be greeted with a sea of over two million blue, white, and mauve crocuses (Crocus vernus) stretching beyond the Temple of Bellona and towards King William's Temple. Take a stroll down the length of the Broad Walk bathed in the glorious sunny glow of daffodils, the perfect setting for a gentle amble on a spring day (from March onwards). Visitors will also be able to enjoy the sight of Kew’s trees as they awaken and burst with new life.
Later in the season thousands of deep blue, starry flowered Chionodoxa siehei carpet the lawns surrounding White Peaks. These delicate alpine plants are known as Glory of the Snow in western Turkey as they emerge from the melting snow of the mountains.
To really get the most from the Gardens at this wonderful time of year, join one of Kew’s blossom and bloom tours, hosted by our volunteer guides, and marvel at the beauty blooming in every corner. The tours run from Thursday 1 March 2012 – Monday 30 April 2012, arrive 15 minutes before tour start at the Guide’s Desk, spaces are limited to 15 people per tour. Groups of 6+ will need to book in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8332 5604
You can also plan your visit using the bulbwatch map
For more information about the blossom and bloom tours
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- Opening hours: 9.30am – 5.30pm (until 24 March 2012), 9.30am – 6.30pm (until 25 August 2012). Weekends and bank holidays close an hour later
- Last entry to the Gardens, the glasshouses, galleries and the Xstrata Treetop Walkway is 30 minutes before closing
- Admission: Adults £13.90, concessions £11.90 and free for children under 17 (with an adult)
- Visitor information: 020 8332 5655 or see our Visit Kew pages
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and Kew's country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly two million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10% of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species) and aim to conserve 25% by 2020.
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