Menifee Mom: Easter Egg Hunt Scored Another Hit

By Karen Thomas

It was Saturday morning of the annual Menifee community Easter egg hunt. I walked through the door from my weekly group long run and found my family all still in bed. The hunt was set to start in just 45 minutes! Our spring break sleep habits were seriously encroaching on our plans for the day.

I quickly surveyed my kids: "Does anyone still want to go to the Easter egg hunt?"

The answer was a unanimous, "Yes!" (At least from the younger kids. There was one member who was a bit less enthusiastic about rushing out the door for plastic eggs.) After a scurry to get changed, gather the baskets from the attic and find some breakfast, we were in the car and on our way.

We haven't been to the Marion Ashley Community Center very often and we were pleased to see that the newly completed section of Menifee Road made it a short drive. We arrived at 10 a.m. on the dot, just when the flyer said the event would begin. However, we soon learned that the hunt didn't actually start until 10:45.

Our early arrival was not a disappointment, though, because there were several fun activities to keep the kids busy. They participated in a bean bag toss and a ring toss and won treats. My husband and I liked the idea of the bunny hop race, a version of the potato sack races we did as kids. It took A LOT of prodding, but our girls finally participated.

We enjoyed seeing the kids, young and old, try to hop down the little race track. One kid would take the lead, only to get caught up in his sack, fall down, and get passed by. Our girls all admitted it was exhausting trying to hop down the track and back, but they had fun. We enjoyed a bit of nostalgia.

The main event, the egg hunt, did not disappoint. The hunts were organized by age groups, to make it fair, and there was no shortage of eggs! For the older groups, the entire outfield was littered with eggs.

Our youngest daughter had a small section to hunt in. We remembered how last year she would pick up an egg and open it to see what was inside before gathering another egg. Needless to say, she didn't get many that year. This time she knew what to do. Running to an open area with lots of eggs, she started picking them up as fast as she could. Good thing, too, because in less than two minutes the eggs were gone.

I noticed an event worker had kept back a few eggs to give to some little ones who had missed the hunt or not gotten many. I was impressed at their thoughtfulness.

The oldest kids were led to the backstops of the baseball fields. You could see it in their eyes: they were ready to race. We watched as our two kids strategically positioned themselves and discussed their egg collecting plans.

With their eye set on a particular patch of grass, they listened for the signal. Soon we heard, "On your mark, get set, go!" and the kids were off, leaving a cloud of dust behind them. We watched all the kids running everywhere, frantically gathering as many eggs as possible. We laughed when we noticed one daughter's basket was so full that eggs fell out as she ran to another area. Kids were right behind her, picking them up!

It was a brief and fun way to start our Easter weekend. I really appreciated that the activities were planned for Saturday, leaving Sunday free for family and religious services. Valley-Wide Recreation has held this event in Menifee for many years and each time my kids have enjoyed it.

It would have been easier to let everyone stay in bed and enjoy a lazy Saturday morning, but we would have missed an opportunity to create memories. Sometimes the best family events and traditions are the little things we do.

Thanks, Valley-Wide, for continuing a great Menifee Easter tradition and helping a growing city maintain a small town feel!

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every other week. Comments are welcome.


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