Easter-related activities have developed in recent years from a one-day observance to one where festivities begin a week in advance. This year, there are lots of activities on tap for kids of all ages.
For the little folk, a trip to the Top of the World in the World Trade Center may be in order. Activities there will include face painting and egg decorating, and visits with distinguished guests -- Mayor Kurt Schmoke and the Easter bunny. For those who love the outdoors, the Baltimore Zoo will host an Easter with the Beasts party with entertainment and educational activities.
For music lovers, Handel's "Messiah" will be presented by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society just one day before the 250th anniversary of its first performance.
Details about these events and others follow:
* Union Memorial Hospital will have a neighborhood Easter egg hunt from 10 a.m. to noon today on the front lawn of the hospital. The Easter bunny will be there to lead the hunt and organize games. There will also be a magician performing at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are 50 cents or donation of a canned good. Call (410) 554-2035.
* Bunny Hop to the Top will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today the Top of the World Observation Level and Museum, 27th floor of the World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St. In addition to the activities detailed above, there will be a Ukrainian Easter egg decorating demonstration. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for senior citizens and children ages 5 to 15. Call (410) 837-4515.
* The Easter Bunny is greeting visitors at Harford Mall from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to next Saturday, through April 18.
* Johns Hopkins University's Spring Fair, which started yesterday, will continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow on the university's campus at 3400 N. Charles St. There will be arts and crafts, food vendors, live music, a petting zoo, hayrides and a photo contest. Call (410) 516-7683.
* The Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the society's Professional Chamber Chorus and Orchestra, under the direction Tom Hall, will present Handel's "Messiah" at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, just a day before the 250th anniversary of its first performance in Dublin, April 13, 1742. Guest artists will be Jayne West, Molly Donnelly, Derek Lee Ragin, William Watson and Nathaniel Watson. Ticket prices range from $10 to $30. Call (410) 523-7070.
* The Johns Hopkins International Club will hold its annual Easter egg hunt at the Decker Garden on the University's Homewood campus from 10 a.m. to noon April 18. Meet the Easter bunny, play games, search for eggs and have refreshments. Call (410) 955-3370.
* The Cloisters Children's Museum will have a Spring Fling from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 18 at the museum, 10440 Falls Road. There will be juggling, balloon sculpting, ribbon dancing and magic. Tickets are $4, free to members. Call (410) 823-2551.
* The Baltimore Zoo's Easter with the Beast party is from noon to 3 p.m. Easter Sunday, April 19. Among the offerings are face painting, education stations and an Easter bunny hop through the hippo plaza. Admission is $6.50 for adults, $3.50 for children ages 2-15 and seniors.
* The Pennsylvania Avenue Jump-Up Parade will be held at 3 p.m. April 19 and will travel from Pennsylvania and Pitcher Street to Pennsylvania and Dolphin Street. Stroll along in your Easter finery and enjoy the music and performers including the reggae bands Uprising and Determination and Young Impressions Go-Go Band. Also, there will be appearances by the Dunbar High School Poets basketball team. Call (410) 235-5270.
* Ladew Topiary Gardens will open its 22 acres for the season at noon April 19, with spring flowers in bloom and an Easter egg hunt for small children. The gardens are at 3535 Jarrettsville Pike. Admission to the garden is $4 for adults, $3 for students and seniors over 62, and 50 cents for ages 12 and under; for a combined house and garden tour, the cost is $6 for adults, $4 for students and seniors and $1 for ages 12 and under. Call (410) 557-9466.
* "Nana," an Easter play for children, will be performed at 8 p.m. April 24-25 and 2 p.m. April 26 at the Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Road, Hyattsville. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and students. Call (301) 277-1710.
* The Baltimore Ethical Society will hold a spring festival and craft fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25 at St. John's Church, 27th and St. Paul streets. There will be kids activities, storytellers, magicians, jugglers, folk singers and clowns. Call (410) 366-33499.