Winter is officially over. The calendar says so, but here’s how you really know: children hunting for three hundred candy-filled plastic Easter eggs on a sun-drenched terrain. This was main event on Saturday afternoon at the sprawling 55-acre Awbury Arboretum in East Germantown.
There were parents with cameras, children with smiles, and eggs with chocolate and candy inside.
“This is a walking Easter egg hunt. But of course you can speed walk,” said Beth Miner, director of outreach and community engagement at the arboretum while donning a set of bunny ears.
Those under four years old, about half of the 25 egg hunters in attendance, were given a two-minute head start.
Before the “ready, set, go!” sounded, an onlooker could be easily reminded of runners anxiously moving about before the beginning of a race.
The children had happy feet and many were pointing where their first move would take them. The eggs were scattered in a triangular portion of land dotted by trees still with no leaves.
Instructions from Miner were simple and safe: “Stay off the road and away from the poison ivy.”
Eggs were hidden near bases of trees, around bunches of bushes, and some simply sat in ground crevices surrounded by patches of grass. Many children seemed to be doing their very best to mimic the bunny hop as they searched.
Parents trailed along, snapping memories on smartphones throughout. The baskets, when returned to the porch for some candy unwrapping, were by and large, evenly filled with eggs.
The arboretum, in existence since 1916, hosts a multitude of events for children each year. Before the hunt was a basket-making class run by Vivian Rowe, owner of Zahra’s Floral Studio in Germantown. Zahra means “flower” in Swahili and was Rowe’s nickname during her college years.
“[The basket making class] wasn’t like a school class at all, or even like classes I usually run at my store,” said Rowe, who was also sporting bunny ears.
“It was really nice to see and be a part of. Parents and their children on the porch huddled together, laughing, making something nice that they can keep for a few years,” she added.