While it’s one of the most important holidays in Christianity, Easter in America is often a celebration that anyone can take part in. After all, who doesn’t love delicious Easter treats, fun games, and adorable chocolate bunnies? Cities all over the country host elaborate Easter celebrations, and marshmallow Peeps and Cadbury crème eggs abound. Some cities do Easter better than others, however, as proven by a recent study done by Wallethub.
In order to determine just which American cities are the best ones for celebrating Easter, the study took four different metrics into account. They scored each city based on the number of Easter observers (which was determined by the share of the population that is Christian as well as churches per capita), and the prevalence of Easter traditions by calculating candy and chocolate stores per capita, gift shops per capita, brunch restaurants per capita, the cost of a restaurant meal, and the number of Google searches related to Easter traditions. The study also ranked cities based on Easter weather, as well as whether they know how to have a kid-friendly Easter by taking into account the number of Easter egg hunts per capita, acres of parkland per capita (as this is where many of the egg hunts and events are held), and the share of the population that’s 8 years old or younger. While the Wallethub study ranked 100 cities, we thought we’d take a look at the top 10 to see why they’re the best cities to celebrate Easter in America.
One of the world’s most exciting destinations gets even more egg-citing (sorry) for Eastertime. Orlando ranked second in terms of Easter traditions, and all the great theme parks here definitely contribute to upholding them. You’ll find the Easter Bunny at Walt Disney World, Universal Resort, and SeaWorld, as well as local malls, and sunrise Easter services are held at SeaWorld as well as Walt Disney World. Universal Studios has a Mardi Gras celebration that feels like you’re in New Orleans, right down to a recreation of the city’s famous French Quarter, authentic Cajun cuisine, and beads everywhere. Visit Walt Disney World’s Epcot for their ongoing International Flower & Garden Festival full of Disney-fied wildlife habitats, exhibits, garden spaces, and more.
Ranking in the top 10 of cities with the most Easter observers, Cincinnati has a lot going on to cater to those celebrating. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has an Easter Celebration the day before, featuring activities for kids, animal egg hunts, the Easter bunny himself, and more (plus you can visit Fiona the baby hippo, who’s a little more grown now!). You can also hop onto the Easter Bunny Express, a train ride being run by the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad where kids can visit the Easter Bunny, participate in an Easter egg hunt, and receive a special gift.
Houston was also found to be in the top 10 cities with the most Easter observers, and the number of events in and around Houston reflects that population. Kemah Boardwalk, 30 miles from downtown Houston, is hosting Easter Weekend the two days prior to the big day; guests can take photos with the Easter bunny, decorate Easter egg cookies, and take part in a bunny hop egg hunt (for kids aged 8 and under). Visit George Ranch Historical Park in nearby Richmond the day before Easter for their 23rd annual Old-Fashioned Easter, where you can go back in time to make Victorian Easter cards and take part in a game of basket egg toss. Houston’s Downtown Aquarium is also hosting an Easter Sunday Brunch featuring a buffet of over 40 items in addition to an egg hunt and photoshoot with the Easter Bunny.
Atlanta found itself in the top 10 cities for Easter traditions as well as a kid-friendly Easter. Every year, the governor of Georgia’s wife hosts the state’s annual Easter egg hunt at the Governor’s Mansion, and the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center holds their Eggstravangza Easter Egg Hunt, during which four different egg hunts are held for different age groups featuring thousands of candy-filled eggs. The Eggstravaganza also has a LEGO building station, face painting, family-friendly games, and a dance floor for the kids. Home to some fantastic brunches, Atlanta is also a great place to have your Easter Sunday brunch.
Home to a higher percentage of people observing Easter than any other city, it’s no wonder Birmingham made it to this list. The city’s biggest Easter egg hunt is held at the Birmingham Zoo the day before Easter, and the zoo also hosts a breakfast with the Easter Bunny. On the same day, the McWane Science Center is holding their Great McWane Egg Drop featuring egg demonstrations and the chance to create a contraption to protect an egg — which you can test out by dropping it from 45 feet.
Los Angeles ranked fourth among the cities studied in terms of its observation of Easter traditions. Easter Fest, an annual event held in downtown LA, features several Easter egg hunts, as well as Easter-themed arts and crafts, facepainting, bounce houses, and more, with all proceeds going to benefit the homeless children of downtown Los Angeles. There’s also no better time to visit the Bunny Museum, located in nearby Altadena, home to thousands of bunny-themed items, a bunny library, and live bunnies for whom you have to bring treats in order to gain admission. And in a foodie city like LA, you definitely have to check out the Easter brunch scene.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens/Yelp
The most hip city in Pennsylvania is positively hopping during Easter, as it has the third most observers of any American city. Visit the National Aviary to have an Easter Sunday gourmet brunch in the company of beautiful birds and take part in their Eggstravaganza, a celebration that features a parade, story time with a live bird appearance, and an educational, bird-themed egg hunt. You can also further enjoy nature’s beauty at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens which is hosting an ongoing Spring Flower Show.
Chicago has the fifth most Easter observers, which is also probably why it’s the fifth best city for Easter traditions. Have a Medieval-themed Easter two days before the big day at the second annual Great Chicago Egg Hunt in Maggie Daley Park, featuring egg hunts with over 25,000 candy-filled eggs, knights-in-training drills for kids, arts and crafts, games, and more. The Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo is so popular that it’s already sold out, with multiple egg hunts, music, a breakfast buffet, and free rides on their Endangered Species Carousel and Lionel Train Adventure. There’s even a Doggie Egg Hunt for dog-lovers and their furry family members the day before Easter at Horney Park, where there’s also a doggie parade.
Kids will love Eastertime in St. Louis; the city ranked sixth out of the 100 cities studied in terms of its friendliness for kids, and being the second most observant city, there’s plenty of Easter events happening. The St. Louis Zoo hosts an Enrichment Eggstravaganza, where you can watch the animals hunt for Easter eggs and have some yummy Easter treats. Six Flags St. Louis is also hosting their Easter Weekend, where you’ll find Bugs and Lola Bunny decked out in their Easter best and ready to welcome you to a thrilling day full of rides and games.
We might be a bit biased towards New York at The Daily Meal, but numbers don’t lie. New York City ranked as the top city for Easter traditions, has the fourth largest population that observes the holiday, and made it to the top 10 cities for kids to enjoy this eggs and chocolate-filled holiday. A city that prides itself on its brunches, Easter is when New York ups its brunch game even more, and you definitely can’t miss the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival, in which you can get creative and show off your best bonnet as part of a parade down Fifth Avenue. Macy’s, known for its Christmas windows and Thanksgiving parade, gets into a festive spirit yet again around this time, with The Macy’s Flower Show, a stunning display of gorgeous flowers at its famous Herald Square location. You can find the rest of the ranking and more information on its methodology on WalletHub. Even if you can’t make it to one of these 100 destinations, every city has its own unique take on Easter — and you’ll find there are many interesting traditions around the world, particularly when it comes to food.
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