A long-weekend during lockdown doesn't have to be the stuff of nightmares.

As families think of ideas of how to both stay entertained, and all-importantly remain in their bubble, the Weekend Herald has gathered some great ideas to keep everyone happy over the long weekend.

1. Join the Prime Minister's Easter Egg Hunt

Grab the kids, the crafts and some binoculars and join in the search.

Kids can get crafty decorating their own Easter eggs with a template provided by the PM herself on Facebook. After popping eggs in the window, get the gang together for a spot of fresh air and venture around the neighbourhood trying to spot as many eggs as you can.


This is a message for the kids of New Zealand. I’ve been asked by lots of you whether the Tooth Fairy and the Easter...

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Monday, 6 April 2020

2. Try your hand at classic egg painting

It's an age-old Easter activity - and what better time than isolation to revive the tradition?

Simply mix 1/2 cup of boiling water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 10 to 20 drops of food colouring in cups to achieve desired colours. Dip hard-boiled eggs in dye for about five minutes. Use a slotted spoon, wire egg holder or tongs to add and remove eggs from the dye.

3. Have a go in the kitchen

Chocolate caramel easter cookies. Photo / Eat Well
Chocolate caramel easter cookies. Photo / Eat Well

Try these Chocolate caramel Easter cookies by Delaney Mes. It's a quick and easy recipe the kids will love getting their little hands into.

125g softened butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp golden syrup, or use maple syrup
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract, good quality
1½ cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
6 mini chocolate Easter eggs, caramel filled, chopped

Preheat oven to 180C. Using electric beaters, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the golden or maple syrup, milk and vanilla, and continue beating until well combined and slightly pale.

Sift over the flour and baking powder, then add the chocolate and the chopped Easter eggs. Mix together with a wooden spoon then your hands, to form a soft dough.

Roll out balls of dough, a little smaller than a golf ball. Place on a greased oven tray and flatten with a fork or spoon. If you have time, refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes before baking.

Bake at 180C for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.


4. Make Ima's world-famous hot cross buns

They were deemed "the best hot cross buns in the world" by Jet Star magazine, and if the annual frenzy is anything to go by, they may indeed just be.

If you are missing queuing up on Fort Street to get your delicious fix, well luck has it, you can make the delicious morsels at home too.

Ima Cuisine's hot cross buns

Ima's famous hot cross buns.
Ima's famous hot cross buns.

Makes 24

For the buns
• 120g fresh yeast
• 1 litre milk
• 350g honey
• 1.7kg flour
• 350g soft butter
• 6g freshly ground cinnamon
• 6g freshly ground nutmeg
• 2g ground cloves
• 800g currants
• 2 cups mixed peel

For the cross
• 130g corn flour
• 150g sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 5 eggs
• 1 litre milk
• 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
• 70g butter

1. Mix the fresh yeast, milk, honey, flour and the soft butter in a bowl.

2. Tip dough onto a floured surface, knead and then leave to rise for one hour in a warm spot.

3. Once risen, add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, currants and mixed peel, and lightly knead until evenly distributed.

4. Divide the dough into 24 and round into even buns, lay out on a lined baking tray and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes, until expanded.

5. For the cross, mix the corn flour, sugar, salt and eggs into a paste.

6. In a pot, bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil, then add the butter and paste and continue to cook, whisking until thick.

7. Using a piping bag, pipe the cross mixture in straight lines across the risen buns.

8. Bake the buns at 180C for 25 minutes.

9. If desired, glaze with sugar syrup once out of the oven.

5. Have a dance party

Take a leaf out of the Buchanan families book, and go viral with your own dance party.

Wellingtonian Jack Buchanan and his family became nationwide hits with their hilarious "Family Lockdown Boogie" gaining more than 250,000 views on the Facebook page Wellington LIVE in just 13 hours. The video has since gained a whopping 1.5 million views on YouTube in the past week.

So why not have a go and see how viral your family video can go.

6. Movie night in

If you can convince them to sit down in front of something other than Frozen, Netflix has released a suite of Studio Ghibli animations that are a delightful watch for the whole family.

Our picks, to begin with, are My Neighbour Totoro and Ponyo.

There are also a range of movies on free-to-air TV tonight which should entertain the young and the old.

TVNZ 2 has Kung Fu Panda at 7pm. At the same time, Minions screens on TV3, followed by RoboCop 3.

7. Catching game

Kids love games and this one from Jumping Beans founding director Sophie Foster could get your young ones on the fast-track to catching.

Called the Tummy Trap Catch, place an inflated balloon or cushion against your child's chest or tummy for them to hug with their arms.

Praise your child for "getting" the balloon. Progress to a small throw to your child's tummy level, gradually increasing the distance, making sure your child feels successful each step of the way.

Then use a lightweight plastic soccer ball to repeat the tummy trap.

Try bouncing it to their tummy level and asking your child to "get" the bounced ball. Praise your child for getting the ball, even if it's no longer bouncing.

This exercise develops hand-eye coordination and ball skills.

8. Classical music

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra was one of the many entertainment and arts organisations hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, with various performances impacted..

But now APO Connecting - the orchestra's education and outreach team - has developed online events and activities for young people and families to enjoy while everyone is keeping safe in their bubbles.

Tom Hamill, Director of APO Connecting said: "Usually at this time of year the team and our musicians would be flat out with concerts in the Auckland Town Hall, school visits, university masterclasses and a host of other activities. We have been thinking creatively about how to stay connected to our musical community during the lockdown. Everyone at the APO has been super enthusiastic turning ideas into action and we are excited to share these with families across New Zealand and even beyond."

A range of online activities are now available for a range of age-groups, including performances, weekly videos featuring musicians, become a member of a Virtual Play-In Orchestra via an online programme, and various encore repeat livestreams.

For more information visit the APO's Facebook page or website: https://www.apo.co.nz/