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More than chocolate and hot cross buns at Easter
Bayside Church Good Friday Service @ 10:30am
Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament (Wikipedia). While I love to celebrate with the best of them, I'm also keen to include some spiritual awareness in my family's celebration of this pivotal Christian holiday. I hope some of these ideas help you to celebrate the spiritual side of Easter with your kids.
Gateway Family Church: Start your celebrations a little early on 30 March with Gateway Family Church (Seaford). "Godzone" will have fun Easter craft activities and a visual presentation and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. The church will have an Easter service on Easter Sunday (20th April), with a focus on "We do HOPE" (Jesus' resurrection). There will be a drama presentation (for the whole church, no separate childrens' programs), and Easter eggs handed out at the end of the service by the children.
Bayside Churches: Bayside Churches (Cheltenham & Frankston) hold Good Friday Services (19 April) at 10:30am. "Good Friday ushered in a new beginning. Discover why and how our hope is alive at the Good Friday service at both Cheltenham and Frankston campuses."
Good Friday on the Frankston Foreshore: Good Friday on the Frankston Foreshore: Frankston Minister's Network and City Life Inc. are hosting Frankston's traditional Good Friday Festival, 11am-3pm. The Festival includes interactive children's entertainment (has included a jumping castle, animal farm, Easter craft activities, and games in the past), a free 'Road to Jerusalem' live performance rolling out at five different locations along the foreshore, and live music presented by Youth Access Entertainment featuring some of the best of Melbourne's talented young singers.
Thousands are expected to commemorate Good Friday with more than 40 actors and extras performing the story of Easter along the Frankston foreshore in a special 'moving theatre' event.
Mass: The Catholic Archdioces of Melbourne was unable to tell me whether there were any special kids' programs on over Easter weekend, but did send me this list of Mass times listed by parish.
Passion Play Melbourne
The Melbourne Passion Play: Ruffey Lake Creek (Doncaster) provides John the Baptist's River Jordan in The Melbourne Passion Play. One performance only, Sunday 13th April, at 1.30pm. Please note that some scenes may not be suitable for younger viewers.
Giant Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, 19 April
The Giant Easter Egg Hunt: The Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Chirnside Park Melbourne: Saturday, 19th April, 9:30am-noon. Not a particularly spiritual event, per se, but The Giant Easter Egg Hunt is hosted by Life Ministry Church. Funds raised are going towards the Amari Community Development organisation, who are "providing vital help in combating poverty through education and community development in Buliisa, Uganda." $10 per egg hunt participant, includes inflatable rides, face painting, music and entertainment; food available to purchase.
Beaumaris Baptist Church: Beaumaris Baptist Church has a special kids' program in their Sunday morning program from 10am-11:30am. The week prior to Easter (13 April), Beaumaris Baptist Church is hosting a free Community Easter Festival, 11am onwards in the church car park. They will have a jumping castle, face painting, show bags and lots more.
The Beginners Bible: Easter cartoon (full length, 25 minutes):
Resurrection Eggs: D.I.Y. Resurrection Easter Eggs and Easter story books (with free printables). Resurrection eggs provide an interactive way to teach your children about the Easter story. They are made with a simple set of plastic Easter eggs in various colours. Inside each egg is a symbol of the Easter story: a donkey for Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, dice to represent the soldiers casting lots for Jesus' clothes, etc. Here's a nice summary of the scripture verses used (no free printables though).