29th March 2023

The Easter school holidays are upon us, and the time has come to get planning some fun activities for the kids over the two-week break. Lots of parents have historically used this time to take children to zoos, aquariums, or petting farms. But, as we know, these kinds of attractions are cruel and exploitative, and create the harmful misconception for children that animals are commodities or props to be paraded by businesses in exchange for your hard earned money. This year, Freedom for Animals has collated a list of 22 days out across the UK where live animals are not exploited for profit.

South West England

Pay a visit to our friends at Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary, Looe, Cornwall. This charity is committed to rescuing, campaigning, educating and providing sanctuary to primates in need. Wild Futures is home to 40 monkeys, all rescued from the pet trade, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the cost of living crisis and increasing costs has meant that the sanctuary is on the brink of closure, so the reasonable ticket prices starting at £2.50 are more needed than ever to help protect the incredible animals who call the sanctuary home.

On April 2nd Salisbury Guildhall Square, Wiltshire will host Salisbury Vegan Market, showcasing a wide variety of vegan goods and services including vegan street food, sweet treats and bakes, vegan cheese, ethical clothing brands, zero waste living stalls, cruelty-free skincare and much more! And all free to attend!

On April 9th The Promenade in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire will host Cheltenham Vegan Market featuring a range of traders selling everything from the tastiest vegan street-food through to homemade bakes and cakes. As well as a number of non-food items like ethical fashion brands, cruelty-free skincare, homeware items and much more. Free to enter!

North West England

Between 1st and 16th April Eureka National Children’s Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire presents “Commotion on the Ocean”, an aquatic adventure featuring live performances and opportunities to learn more about the marine world both from human and animal perspectives. Visiting the museum is free for under 1s, £6.95 for 1-2 year olds, and £15.95 for +3 year olds.

Book a visit to Pigs in the Wood, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire to meet the rescue pigs, or take part in the Eco Easter Egg Hunt on 9th April. Visits cost £6 to support the sanctuary, and the Eco Easter Egg hunt starts at £3.30 for a child.

On Friday 14th April head to Formby Point, Merseyside for an Outdoor Drawing Club. Get out into nature and bring some of it home with you by capturing it in a drawing! All materials provided, suitable for ages 4 to 104! £15 per adult and child. £5 per extra place.


Now approaching its 10th anniversary, Dean Farm Trust in Chepstow, Monmouthshire is an award-winning sanctuary housing rescued animals to give them the fresh start they deserve. Guided visits are provided for a donation of £10 per person, which will directly help to care for the residents you will meet on the day!

Bardsey Island off the North Welsh coast is teeming with life this time of year, with hundreds of migratory birds starting to arrive including puffins, and the island’s resident grey seal population lounging on its shores. Book a visit for between £25 and £45 through Bardsey Boat Trips to take in British wildlife at its best!  

Between the 1st and 16th April join a free art trail around Mermaid Quay, Cardiff, Glamorgan and learn spring facts along the way! Pick up a treasure map and entry form from any of the participating venues or download one from the website! 

North East England

On Saturday 8th April Theatre Illumiere, Tatwood Puppets and Tim Davies will open Newcastle Puppetry Festival 2023 with Beasts on the Street puppet theatre on Northumberland Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. A wide array of different animal puppets will take over the street in this completely free to attend performance.

Take a trip down to Filey Country Park, North East Yorkshire where if you’re lucky you may be able to spot whales or dolphins from the coast, and you are sure to find scenic walks, plenty of birds to admire, as well as mini golf, a cafe, and a caravan and camping park. Free to enter, with charges for some of the activities and accommodation if you choose to use them.

Feed your children's imaginations over Easter Weekend with special story and craft sessions at the National Centre for Children's Books, Seven Stories, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and look around the rest of the centre while you’re there! Entry to the centre is free and sessions start at £2 per child.


Combine a love of literature with a love of our feline friends at Book Buddies: Reading to Cats at Shropshire Cat Rescue Retirement Village. Book a 30 minute slot at this rescue in Shrewsbury, Shropshire to read to some of the residents on 1st April. £2.50 donation per participant.

On Friday 7th April Book onto the Hoppy Explorer Trail at The Farm Animal Sanctuary, Evesham, Worcestershire. This sanctuary was founded 40 years ago to rescue animals from livestock markets, and today it continues to provide happy homes for animals whose lives could have been so much worse. Participation in the trail is £5 for Adults, £7.50 for children under 14.

These ‘pay what you can’ Wildlife Collage Workshops at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Staffordshire are running on multiple dates throughout April. Suitable for ages 7-11, children can celebrate wildlife, nature, and biodiversity by using recycled materials to make a collage that will be included in an exhibition, opening on Earth Day 2023.

South East England

Pay a visit to The Retreat Animal Rescue Farm Sanctuary and Cafe, Ashford, KentThis vegan sanctuary has just reopened to take its Spring/Summer visitors. It is home to around 1200 rescued animals, including farmed, domestic and wildlife, and has a vegan café onsite! Entry is free, but please donate to the sanctuary if you can to help fund its important work.

On Sunday 9th April Market Place around Wokingham Town Hall, Berkshire, will host a special Easter edition of their monthly Wokingham Vegan Market, including food, drink, gifts, and treats, as well as live music and children’s entertainment. All free to enter!

Learn about endangered animals at Horley Library, Surrey with David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. This free to attend creative workshop on Wednesday 12th April will teach children aged 5-10 years old all about elephants and how humans can live more harmoniously with endangered wild animals.


Pay a visit to The WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, Moray Firth to find out about the amazing dolphins and whales that swim around our shores. Entry is free and so are some bookable activities and talks.

Wilderness Clan Forest School is a monthly event set in Queen Elizabeth Forest, Aberfoyle, Perthshire, which provides a sensory journey through the seasons for primary and pre-school aged children. On Saturday 1st April attendees will explore Spring through the story of the Golden Egg, a Nature hunt, and make music in the woods. Tickets start at £9.38

On Saturday 8th April Paisley Lagoon Sports Centre, Renfrewshire, will host Scotland Vegan Festival, featuring over 80 stalls from 10.30am – 4.30pm. Entry is just £5 (under 16’s free).

Northern Ireland

On Sunday 16th April Belfast’s Europa Hotel will host the 10th Irish Vegan Festival, in aid of Farplace Animal Sanctuary. From artisan vegan cheeses to handmade and eco friendly gifts, this event promises to have everything you could ask for, and all for a good cause! Advance tickets are just £4 and under 16s go free!

- 29th March 2023