Photograph of painted Easter eggs

The Easter holidays are upon us, and so too is a huge programme of events - from family-friendly fun to grown-up nights out and hands-on experiences. Whether you're getting away for a break with the kids, having a couple's trip to the coast or even a solo expedition, there's sure to be something going on that takes your fancy.

In this blog we've rounded up some of the highlights taking place in Portsmouth over the Easter break. As always, though, our Event Listings pages are where you'll find full details, including dates, times, prices and ways to book. Be sure to check back often as events are added all the time.

Happy Easter!

   

My Dog Sighs Treasure Hunt

This event is so eye-popping that it warrants being in a category all on its own.

Not content with being a world-renowned street artist with displays across the globe and even some celebrity clients, My Dog Sighs is taking it back to where it all started 20 years ago with his Free Art Friday movement. This isn’t just about hiding a piece on the street and waiting for it to be found, however. The artist is giving away a truly enormous cache of works and collectibles, totalling some £45,000. Yes, forty-five thousand pounds.

From Good Friday to Easter Sunday, a host of collectible coins, beer mats, painted pebbles and high-value can paintings (one of My Dog Sighs' signature items) will be available at attractions, cafes, tourist hotspots and various other locations across the city. There will be £15,000 worth of art on offer each day.

All you have to do is follow #MDSFindIt on social media for clues and get hunting.

   

Kids' events

There are easter-themed events aplenty, from egg hunts to craft activities and lots more besides.

At Blue Reef Aquarium you can embark on Mission Egg-Possible - an egg hunt that also lets you discover more about the fascinating underwater creatures. Or, head to Boathouse 4 where you can make Easter badges, go on an egg hunt and complete the activity to win a prize.

The Groundlings Theatre welcomes a visit from the Easter Bunny - who will greet children after they have made themed puppets with the team from Tigerboat Theatre. Plus, Cascades has a whole load of fun activities planned for 8 April, including an Egg and Spoon Olympics, Carrot Trail, and craft activities.

Meanwhile, Fort Nelson hosts a Bunny Hunt Activity Trail across the Victorian Fort - and there will also be Falconry Displays on selected days to enjoy as well.

Outside of the egg hunts and easter trails, there's plenty more family fun to be had.

Port Solent hosts its regular Kids Clubs, which take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays every school holiday. This easter brings a great variety, with magic performances, mobile farms, bubble shows and a disco. Port Solent also hosts a Ghostbusters event this weekend, featuring a replica Ecto-1!

Down at The D-Day Story you can get hands-on with a host of great things to do. There's the Parachute Making workshop and Airfix Extravaganza (offering you the chance to make a model to take home) making up just some of a packed programme of events.

Want to meet a TV star this Easter? That's what you can do at Spinnaker Tower, which welcomes Hey Duggee and JJ from CoComelon on consecutive Wednesdays and Thursdays. Plus, don't forget the amazing view and glass floor - which are always worth taking in.

Finally, there are family shows at the city's theatres that are sure to have young ones rapt. The New Theatre Royal hosts Tales From Acorn Wood - featuring the adventures of Fox and Rabbit from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheiffler's iconic books. Alternatively, there's another icon headed to the Kings Theatre, as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang rolls in for eight shows between 11 and 16 April.

   

All-ages events

Of course, Easter isn't just about the kids. If you've got a bit of time off (or want to make the most of the extra-long bank holiday weekend), there's plenty to keep you entertained over the coming weeks.

For starters, how about Gunwharf Quays' VIP event? Sign up on the website for a VIP pass to get discounts at a huge selection of shops and restaurants. Even better - these are discounts on top of the outlet prices, so you're getting double the savings.

If you prefer perusing the city's markets then you're in luck, as there are not one or even two over the coming fortnight, but five! The regular Love Southsea Market and Hampshire Farmers' Markets head to Palmerston Road, whilst the Hotwalls Open Studios is a short walk away in Old Portsmouth. There's also the Waterside Market at Port Solent, and the first of this season's Makers Markets at Southsea Castle.

Elsewhere, the Mary Rose hosts two different activities throughout the holidays. There's the Divers' Hands-On Experience and the Divers Stories Museum Tour - and don't forget, there's also the brand new 4D cinema experience offering something new.

Staying at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Boathouse 4 hosts a Pontoon Open Day, so you can learn about its operational boats, and maybe even head out for a ride on the water.

It's a similarly mechanical affair at Port Solent, where the regular Car Meets return - the perfect day out whether you want to show off your vehicle or take a glimpse at some of the rare ones on display.

The D-Day Story's Easter programme of events is well catered to all ages. Why not head along to see the Commando Chef - with his cooking that will inspire and enthuse in equal measure? Or, embrace the longer evenings and see LCT 7074 after hours with a special Late Opening event.

Finally, make your evening go off with a bang at the city's theatres and venues. One top pick is the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the New Theatre Royal, featuring new songs alongside the Academy Award-nominated score.

Don't forget, further information on all these events (as well as a great many others both this fortnight and beyond) can be found on our What's On pages. Give it a bookmark to come back regularly for all the latest updates and additions.

   

Related

My Dog Sighs Treasure Hunt
Special Events
A My Dog Sighs can painted with a face and placed on Southsea beach

Join My Dog Sighs' treasure hunt, where a whopping £45,000 of art will be given away - for free.

Port Solent Kids Club
Childrens Events
Wizzall the Wizard and his dragon

Port Solent's fantastic, fun Kids Clubs are a great holiday activity.

The Big Drop: Make your own parachute
Participatory Event
Two girls at The D-Day Story showing off the parachutes they've made

‘Drop’ in to this family-friendly craft activity to make and design your own parachute from scratch.

Airfix Extravaganza
Participatory Event
Boy at The D-Day Story showing off an Airfix model of an aeroplane - credit Matt Scott-Joynt

Make your own genuine Airfix model to take home at The D-Day Story.

Tales From Acorn Wood
Theatre
Illustration of Tales From Acorn Wood

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's beloved tales are brought to life on stage.

Love Southsea Market
Free Event
Love Southsea Market Palmerston Road Poster

Get your bag for life ready — there’s never been a more exciting time to shop the market.

Hampshire Farmers' Market
Food
Hampshire Farmers' Market

Hampshire Farmers' Markets bring beautiful, fresh local produce to Portsmouth and Southsea every month.

Hotwalls Open Studios
Arts
Hotwalls Open Studios logo

The Hotwalls Studios showcase some of the city’s brightest creative talent.

Port Solent Waterside Market
Food
Woman enjoying the Port Solent market

The ever-popular Port Solent Waterside Market brings the best traders to a unique waterfront location.

Southsea Castle Makers Market
Markets
Flyer illustration for Southsea Castle Makers Market

A monthly exhibition and sale of original work from local artists, designers, makers and crafters.

Pontoon Open Day
Heritage & History
People on a boat at a Pontoon Open Day outside Boathouse 4

Head to Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to have a free look around its operational boats.

Port Solent Car Meets
Free Event
Group of car aficionados at a Port Solent Car Meet

See classic cars and meet enthusiasts at Port Solent.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Theatre
Flyer image for The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Benchmark Musical Theatre presents The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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