Virtual Easter egg hunts may not be as exciting as squealing kids racing to snatch colorfully decorated prizes off the ground but holiday planners hope they provide a colorful alternative to hunts canceled amid the spread of COVID-19.
“We thought about safe and fun Easter activities for people to do in their own homes with their families,” said Kellen Toulouse, branch manager of the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.
The YMCA traditionally hides hundreds of plastic, candy-filled eggs around its museum. But this year virtual eggs were hidden in an online picture of its center and its grounds for kids to find and count. An Easter-egg decorating video is also available on the YMCA site.
The YMCA was one of many Colorado businesses and community and religious groups that created modified Easter activities for kids while adhering to strict COVID-19 rules requiring social distancing and the elimination of large group gatherings.
Kids all over the Denver metro area can register through Zoom to participate in another virtual Easter-egg hunt staged at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Highlands Ranch, owner Becka Johansen said.
Kids watching a live-streamed video will sing songs, dance and see a bunny hopping around a gym filled with more than 1,000 Easter eggs. The bunny will open the colored eggs so kids can see the goodies inside, Johansen said.
People must pre-register so their kids can participate. There is a fee for families not enrolled in the gym program. For a fee, the Easter Bunny will deliver eggs to children’s homes, Johansen said.
It’s not as exciting as the kids being there in-person, but it will be fun, she said.
This year would have been the 12th Easter egg hunt sponsored by Jared’s Nursery, Gift and Garden store in Littleton, owner Juanita Bauman said. Every year more and more kids have attended, so in January Bauman ordered 20,000 eggs and enough candy to fill them.
Though she was disappointed she had to cancel the hunt because of the spread of COVID-19, that won’t stop her from giving candy to kids. Bauman’s grandchildren, wearing protective masks and gloves, will hand out bags of Easter eggs between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday through the windows of vehicles at the store, Bauman said.
“Maybe we’ll have an egg hunt in July, because we’ll have a lot of eggs left over,” she said.
Denver-area bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores are offering special Easter candy and meal deals with COVID-19 in mind.
Olive & Finch Eatery and Bakery‘s Denver shops traditionally hold Easter cookie decorating classes in its restaurants for the holiday.
This year, the stores are offering a $35 do-it-yourself cookie decorating basket with a dozen baked sugar cookies in three sizes. Baskets come with five pastel icings and six different colors of sprinkles.
“Because of what’s going on with COVID we wanted to offer something exciting people can do themselves at home for Easter,” said Sarah Heaney, store operations manager.
Leaders at Vista Church in Arvada have assembled Easter boxes containing a craft item and candy, Brandon Hoover, church pastor, said. They will leave the Easter boxes this weekend on doorsteps of church members with kids, he said.
“We’re trying to do something,” Hoover said. Traditions including gifts and candy are a big way that kids learn about the meaning of Easter, he said.
The church had considered doing a scaled back Easter-egg hunt by allowing just 10 kids to search at a time, but decided against the idea, Hoover said.
“It’s just not worth it,” he said. “We don’t want to get anyone sick.”
This content was originally published here.