When it comes to Easter events in southern New Jersey, the bunny's dance card is more than full. There are the breakfasts, the brunches, the egg hunts taking places on beaches and boardwalks, the photo opp in the Ocean City lifeguard stand - even fashion shows for families (and yes, a fashion show for pets). At each of those events, the Easter bunny will be there to greet children and families donning their holiday finest, sometimes even handing out chocolates.
Here are some of the Easter events taking place this weekend:
Breakfast with the Bunny, egg hunts, fashion shows in Ocean City
Ocean City is offering a weekend full of various Easter events for the family. From Friday, April 6, through Sunday, April 8, enjoy breakfast with the bunny at the Chatterbox, located at 9th and Central Avenue, beginning at 8 a.m. each day. Order from the menu and take free photos with the bunny. Call 609-399-0113 for reservations.
On Saturday the furry fun begins, when the "Woofin' Paws Pet Fashion Show" kicks off at 11 a.m. at Carey Stadium, 6th Street off the Boardwalk. The event is open to any "pet that will not eat another pet," according to contest rules. Pets compete in various categories including best dressed, best bonnet and intelligent pet tricks. A $5 entry fee benefits the Ocean City Humane Society, and spectator admission is free. Call 609-525-9300 for information.
"The Great Easter Egg Hunt" is held 2:30 p.m. Saturday, from 11th to 14th streets on the beach. There are five age groups: 0-2 at 11th Street; 3-4 years at 11th Street; 5 years at 12th Street; 6 years at 12th Street; and 7 years at 13th Street. Over 100,000 eggs will be given away filled with candy and toys.
The Easter Sunrise Service, a traditional, non-denominational service by the sea, takes place Sunday at the Music Pier, located at Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, at 6:30 am. The Nancy Fox School will provide music. David Burke of Ocean Grove will be guest speaker. The public is invited.
The Easter Fashion Promenade starts 1 p.m. Sunday, also at the Music Pier. Prizes are awarded for best-dressed family, children, teens, bonnet and most unusual bonnet. Contestants should congregate in the vicinity of the Music Pier no later than 1 p.m. The Easter Bunny arrives and hands out chocolate bunnies to children and poses for photos beginning 1 p.m. Call 609-525-9300 for information.
Easter Fashion Stroll in Cape May
The City of Cape May and the Washington Street Mall Management Association will sponsor the annual Easter Fashion Stroll, taking place on the Washington Street Mall on Sunday.
Registration will begin at noon and the event will begin at 1 p.m. A variety of ribbons, prizes, treats and gift certificates provided by the mall merchants will be awarded. The event will be highlighted by a visit from the Easter Bunny.
Contestants of all ages will parade in their Easter finest for the judges in a number of categories which include: ages 3 and under, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13 and up, best-dressed lady, best-dressed man, best-dressed couple and best-dressed family.
The Parish Hall of Our Lady Star of the Sea on Ocean Street, located behind the church, will be the inclement weather site. For more information, call Cape May Civic Affairs at 609-884-9565.
Best dressed contest at Steel Pier
Don your finest dresses and suits, because Steel Pier and the City of Atlantic City will host their traditional best-dressed contest on Sunday in front of Steel Pier, located at Virginia Avenue and the Boardwalk.
Registration is from noon to 1 p.m. and the contest begins at 1:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for categories including best dressed family and for ages 15 and under. The Easter bunny will arrive at 1 p.m. to give away goody bags.
For more information, call 866-386-6659 or go to www.steelpier.com.
Flanders Hotel brunch and breakfast
The Flanders Hotel in Ocean City will be offering two dining experiences - an a la carte breakfast in Emily's Ocean Room from 8 a.m. to noon, and a traditional Easter brunch in the second floor Banquet Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The brunch will include a kid's buffet and activities hosted by the Easter Bunny, as well as professional photos by AC Photo. Adults are $31.95; children 4-12 are $15.95. Children 3 and under are free.
Call 609-399-1000 for reservations.
Congress Hall events
Enjoy an "egg-cellent" Easter brunch in the ballroom of Congress Hall and participate in an egg hunt on Congress Hall's south lawn on Sunday, April 8.
Family favorite characters including the Blue Pig and the Easter bunny will make appearances all weekend long.
Sunday brunch is $38 per adult and $13 per child. Seating is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Easter weekend getaway package rates vary depending on room selection and number in party. Call 888-944-1816 for more information.
Easter dinner at Virginia Hotel
The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel will host a three-course Easter dinner on Sunday, April 8, featuring unique and traditional fare.
Chef Lucas Manteca will take full advantage of Beach Plum Farm, the 62-acre Cape May farm owned and operated by Cape Resorts Group, to fashion the Easter menu. The farm provides all herbs and produce for Cape Resorts Group restaurants. The prix fixe meal is $55 per person, and tax and gratuity is not included. Reservations are required. Call 609-884-5700.
Free Easter egg hunts in the Wildwoods
Looking for a few good eggs? This weekend, families with little ones can take part in several Easter egg hunts in the Wildwoods.
On Saturday, April 7, on the beach in North Wildwood at 19th and 20th Avenues, children 11 and under can pick up eggs and collect prizes at the Elks Annual Easter Egg Hunt at 12 p.m. Register at the event. Call 609-729-2170.
Down the beach at Lincoln Avenue, children 12 and under can dig through the sand to find eggs containing a toy beginning at 12 p.m. at the Greater Wildwoods Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt.
The Easter bunny will be making an appearance at Ed's Funcade on both Saturday and Sunday, where Easter egg hunts in the hay will be taking place both days from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and 100 Easter baskets will be given away. Ed's Funcade is located on the boardwalk at 23rd Avenue. Go to www.edsfuncade.com, or call 609-729-3223.
An Easter sunrise service will take place at the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Gazebo, First and Central avenues, on Sunday, April 8, at 6:30 a.m. Go to www.fbcanglesea.com or call 609-522-2951.
Easter at Wildwoods' Morey's Piers
Hop on over to Morey's Mariner's Landing on Sunday, April 8, and celebrate Easter with the whole family from noon to 5 p.m.
Kids can help design and color the "Monster Mural" and enjoy strolling entertainment from stilt walkers, jugglers and more. The Easter Bunny will be at the Parent's Pavilion, and face painting will be available from 1 to 5 p.m. Children ages 12 and under can pick an Easter egg for a chance to win prizes.
Mariner's Landing is located at Schellenger Avenue and the Boardwalk in Wildwood. Go to www.moreyspiers.com or call 609-522-3900.