Meagan Graddy, pictured here with festive Easter accent pieces, has some suggestions for planning a themed event for the whole family or for grownups only.
Contributed Photo | Sean Larkin
By Meagan Graddy
Easter has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. When I was little, it was the time of year when my dad’s whole family would come to town. My grandma would cook for three days in preparation, and we had a pig pickin’ and an Easter egg hunt for all of the cousins. My grandparents would invite about 15 families from the neighborhood, and we would all spend the day eating, celebrating and enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
As an adult, Easter has always been an opportunity for us to spend time with both family and friends. While other holidays are often reserved for all-day celebrations, in our experience, Easter family obligations are often over in the afternoon.
Because of this, we started hosting a second Easter celebration for our friends on Easter night. Some years it’s as simple as a cookout with a few spring-themed cocktails, while others we have a full-scale Easter egg hunt and decorate eggs. These are some of my favorite tips and tricks for a fun Easter celebration:
• Host a non-traditional egg hunt
Whether you’re 6 or 60, everyone loves a good Easter egg hunt. While you can always stick with the tried and true candy favorites, my personal favorites are a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt or if all of your guests are 21 and up, have an “adult” egg hunt, where the eggs are filled with miniature liquor bottles.
Amazon has mini glow sticks, which fit well in the regular-sized plastic eggs. The beauty of this is you can hold it inside or outside, so it’s great for any type of weather! If you decide to go the adult egg hunt route, you have to get the XL-sized eggs to ensure that they will fit. (Last year, my husband bought the large eggs, and rather than going back to the store, he cut holes in the top to leave room for the neck of the bottles. This, of course, serves as a great plan B!)
• Have desserts other than candy
Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that candy is one of the best parts about Easter parties. But after a certain age, I think there are probably only so many marshmallow Peeps I can eat in a given year.
By dipping strawberries in orange-colored melting chocolate, you can make a quick and easy dessert that looks like carrots. You can even top chocolate pudding cups with Oreo crumbs and have individual servings of dirt cake to go along with them!
Cupcakes are a personal favorite in our house, and while carrot cake seems the obvious choice as far as flavor goes, you can decorate them as flowers, or even topped with those yummy Robin’s Egg Whoppers that only come out around Easter.
• Experiment with edible decor
While Easter doesn’t have to be all about the candy, using some crowd favorites as part of the decor provides the best of both worlds for the candy lovers and more health-conscious out there.
Using jellybeans and marshmallow Peeps in your centerpieces make the table fun and colorful. Placing the chocolate bunnies from your Easter basket in apothecary jars make cute additions to the mantle or your food table. You can also use candy necklaces as napkin rings to keep the kids of all ages at the table happy — and when the cleanup is edible, even the kids will want to lend a hand!
Whether your Easter holiday is spent surrounded by kiddos hunting for eggs or the plan is to spend the day with just a few close friends, I hope that it brings you as much joy as the holiday has always brought me.
Meagan Graddy of Wilson is the owner of Magnolia Grove Weddings and Events. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.