Kids enjoy treats, discover history at Rutherford House
It’s Easter. Isabella Tavano is hopping up and down the concrete steps leading up to historic Rutherford House, swinging her pink wired-framed basket along as she goes.
The burst of energy is certainly a sign of youth, but it might also have something to do with what the four-year-old already has in her belly.
"She had a big, giant chocolate egg with Smarties in it. That was for breakfast. And then for snack it was chocolate eggs with peanut butter in them," said Dona Tavano as her daughter nodded in excitement.
Isabella has already been on one Easter egg hunt at home, but when she enters the 1915 Edwardian mansion it’s time to start all over again at the Easter Eggstravaganza. Hidden throughout are historically dyed eggs, and it’s her job to find them and record the different colours.
Jeannie Glassford explains that everything from red cabbage to spinach to tea is traditionally used as dye, and that part of the hunt is learning about the historic methods.
"This is actually so they can see what kind of natural ingredients dye the eggs — not so much how, because it is such a long process," Glassford said.
In the kitchen, pre-baked sugar cookies are waiting for the kids to decorate and eat. But eight-year-old Benjamin Lameris wants to save his cookie. He carefully designs it like a work of art, layering the many colours of icing then topping it off with sprinkles.
Then Ben heads upstairs. The task of finding more eggs is overshadowed by a trunk filled with old-fashioned garments to try on in one room, a table of craft supplies in another, and crayons and colouring sheets in another.
Of course, the festivities wouldn’t be complete without the Easter Bunny, who wanders from room to room, greeting children with chocolate treats. The surplus of sweets seems too good to be true. Just ask Isabella — it’s not everyday she gets chocolate for breakfast.