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The Hunt for Easter Cheer.

I have barely recovered from the overwhelming sea of red Hallmark that was Valentines Day. I haven’t even thought about which Irish pub I will be visiting on March 17th, but nonetheless, this morning, I was jolted into the future by the ultimate Americanization of Easter Cheer: an advertisement for a McDonald’s Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry. ‘The hunt is over’, it read.

If the hunt is really over, then I’d better forget my planned spring beach trip and go get fat on some ice cream blended with chocolate, sugary Easter goodness.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am just as fond of chocolate eggs as the next girl with a sweet tooth. In fact, I kind of love them. But not for a third of the year, and especially not the third that falls before prime swimsuit weather. The consuming public does not need to be chased with bunnies and creative milkshakes just days after stowing away their Christmas wreaths.

And what is all of this sneaky rhetoric? Is the ‘hunt’ really over? The hunt for what? Fast food chains? Cadbury Eggs? Happiness?

As joyful as I feel after the occasional Happy Meal, I would rather make my personal quest for Easter Cheer a bit more mysterious and exciting. How fun is a holiday hunt if you can spot the glowing yellow prize from 3 blocks away…every 3 blocks? Not so much.

So today I have decided to embark on a global Hunt for Easter Cheer. Do join in! There are over 31,000 McDonald’s franchises worldwide. The least we can do is find a dozen or so interesting places to spend our Easter and/or summer holidays. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Cadbury World, UK.

Located in the heart of England, this famous behind-the-scenes visitors’ center will take you on a journey through the history and evolution of your favourite Dairy Milk Bar, from its indigenous cocoa plant roots to its gleaming, digitally designed wrapper. Fun for the whole family, youngsters will especially delight in the ‘beanmobile’ ride through a chocolate fantasy land, followed by live demos and interactive exhibitions (specifically involving Crème Egg chasing, to stick to the theme). There is also much to do and see in the surrounding historic city of Birmingham, former home of J.R.R. Tolkien, Ozzy Osbourne, and of course, George Cadbury himself.

Cadbury Chocolate Factory + more, Tasmania.

Maybe you want to spice up your Cadbury pilgrimage with some adventurous surrounds Down Under. How about a trip to Tasmania’s bustling port city of Hobart? You can get your chocolate fix on a guided factory tour (complete with samples galore) and then explore the culture of Australia’s southernmost island state. Embark on a cruise down the Derwent River, and coast alongside the landscapes and rock caves formerly inhabited by the semi-nomadic Mouheneer people. If Easter has put you in the mood for some furry, hopping mammals, you could go and feed some cuddly kangaroos at Bonorong Wildlife Park, but don’t be fooled by the unassuming gaze of the not-so-cuddly Tasmanian devils…

Easter Island

I know—how original. But it doesn’t get much better than an exotic island the South Pacific, does it? Oh, if only there existed a far off land full of fluffy bunnies, jelly bean trails, and chocolate egg-laying hens…

Deriving its name from the day on which it was discovered by Europeans in 1722, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is ironically one of the least Easter-y places on earth—unless, of course, your holiday decorations consist of quirky stone statues. Known for its famous moai, or giant monolithic human figures carved from compressed volcanic ash, the island radiates mystery. Over 800 of these ancient, hand-carved figures are scattered across the triangle shaped island, all facing inwards to further isolate one of the most remote habitable places in the world.

There—I think I’ve made some good progress. It sounds like the perfect Easter hunt so far: lots of chocolaty goodness, some cuddly creatures, and a bit of mystery.

Have you any creative Easter destination ideas? Do share. For this Easter Cheer ‘hunt’, my friends, has just begun.

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