Kids were warned to avoid stinging plants and fire ants (trails marked with little orange flags) and not reach into the gopher holes (since most eggs were in plain sight).

Julian, 4, of San Diego cracks open his plastic eggs to find his candy. Photo by Chris Stone

With that, and an appeal not to grab more than 10-13 eggs, Senior Park Ranger Charles Gailband set loose first toddlers and then older kids Sunday at El Monte County Park in Lakeside.

Nearly 500 plastic eggs packed with candies and nuts drew about 30 children, parents in tow, around the grassy space.

Easter egg hunts abound this coming week. Most are free, but some (like the El Monte Park event Sunday) have a day-use park charge. In Lakeside, it was $3.

Events we’ve spotted:

Louis A. Stelzer County Park, Lakeside

10 – 11 a.m. event April 15 at 11470 Wildcat Canyon Road, 619-561-0580.

Dos Picos County Park, Ramona

10 – 11 a.m., April 15 at 7953 Dos Picos Road, 760-789-2220

Fallbrook Community Center

Pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. April 15 with egg hunt starting at 10:30 a.m. at 341 Heald Ave., 760-728-1671

Mackenzie of Lakeside, pleased to meet the Easter Bunny, gave him a hug at El Monte County Park in Lakeside. Photo by Chris Stone

Spring Valley Community Center

Pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. April 15 with egg hunt starting at 10 a.m. at 8735 Jamacha Blvd., 619-479-1832

Poinsettia Community Park, Carlsbad

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 15 at 6600 Hidden Valley Road. Multiple egg hunts with groups of 20-30 kids joining egg scrambles. Separate fields for children ages 6 and older; ages 5 and younger; and young children or kids with special needs. Family scavenger hunt, photos with the Easter bunny, fun zone with bounce houses and giant slide. carlsbadconnect.org; (760) 434-2843.

Carmel Valley Community Park

9 a.m. to noon April 15 includes arts and crafts, prizes and photos with Easter bunny at 3777 Townsgate Drive. Different time slots for egg hunting, depending on age. Visit sandiego.gov or call (858) 552-1616.

Grace Point Church, Carmel Valley

10 a.m. to noon April 15 with jump houses, games, face painting and festivities at Grace Point Church, 13340 Hayford Way. Visit gracepointsd.com

Hunter Krout of Lakeside, 3, colors eggs just before the Easter egg hunt at El Monte County Park in Lakeside. Photo by Chris Stone

Encinitas Community Park

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 15 at 425 Santa Fe Drive. Hunt times are 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 11:45; Children ages 4 and younger will hunt in the upper field and kids 5 and older hunt in the lower field. Live shows by Hulabaloo at 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Free. Additional children’s activities. encinitasparksandrec.com; (760) 633-2740.

Fallbrook Community Center

10:30 a.m. April 15 for ages 2-12 at 341 Heald Lane. Games and prizes. Pancake breakfast is 8 to 10 a.m. Breakfast: $5; $4 for children 11 and younger. fallbrook.community.center@sdcounty.ca.gov or (760) 728-1671.

Mance Buchanon Park, Oceanside

10 a.m. April 15 at 425 College Blvd., with food vendors, magic show and fire engines. Meet Easter Bunny. Bring a basket. Visit oceansiderec.com

Lighthouse Christian Church, Oceanside

10 a.m. to noon April 15 at 4700 Mesa Drive. Egg hunts will be divided into age groups. Cafts, games, jumpers, cupcake hop, food and photo booth. Free; bring basket. Visit lightcc.org or call (760) 726-0590.

Living Way Church, Poway

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 15 at 13094 Civic Center Drive. Free egg hunts start at 9:30 a.m. with separate times for different ages, ranging from 3-10. Free carnival games, pony rides, jumps, slides, crafts and petting zoo. Pancake breakfast starts at 8 a.m; $4. LWCPoway.com; (858) 486-1441.

Existence Church, Rancho Bernardo

10 a.m. April 15 at 10960 Via Frontera. Children hunt for eggs in various age groups starting at 10:30 a.m. with kids up to 3 years old, 11 a.m. for ages 4 to 6 and 11:30 a.m. for kids older than 6. Bounce houses, face painting and bunny photos. Visit existencechurch.com.

Walnut Grove Park, San Marcos

Starts with pancakes and Peter Cottontail from 8 to 10 a.m. April 15 at 1950 Sycamore Drive. $5; $4 for children 10 and younger. Egg scramble for toddlers through fifth-grade age starts at 10:15 a.m. sharp. Egg scramble participants should arrive early. Carnival games and jumps. Suggested donation: $5 per family. san-marcos.net or (760) 744-9000.

La Colonia Park, Solana Beach

Children’s Spring Festival and Egg Hunt — 10:30 a.m. to noon April 15 for third-graders and younger at 715 Valley Ave. Egg hunt starts at 10:30 a.m. followed by games and refreshments at 10:45 a.m. Free. Bring basket or bag. Call (858) 720-2453. Visit ci.solana-beach.ca.us

Brengle Terrace Park, Vista

Free for children ages 1 to 10 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. April 15 at 1200 Vale Terrace. Festivities include face painting, bonnet contest, music and more. The event is sponsored by the Pride of Vista Lions Club. cityofvista.com

About 30 local children scurried to gather plastic eggs at El Monte County Park in Lakeside. Photo by Chris Stone

Vista Optimist Club

All you can eat breakfast, games, jump houses, crafts and pictures with Easter Bunny 7:30 to 11 a.m. April 15 at 600 Optimist Way. Bonnet contest with prizes is at 9 a.m. Egg hunt is at 10 a.m. Tickets are $5 at the door, including breakfast and hunt. All participants must have a ticket. Hunt is for children 11 and younger. Call (760) 598-5907. Visit cityofvista.com

San Diego Metro KOA, Chula Vista

Easter Weekend at 111 N. 2nd Ave. Registered guests can spend a weekend of camping, spring crafts, an egg hunt, a movie and a visit from Mr. E. Stir Bunny. April 14-16; visit website for more information. www.koa.com/campgrounds/san-diego/events.

The Westgate Hotel, Downtown San Diego

Traditional European afternoon tea with treats at 1055 Second Ave. plus an egg hunt, magic show and the Easter Bunny. 2:30-5 p.m. April 14 and 15; $35-$50 plus tax and gratuity. Make reservations online. www.westgatehotel.com.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Welcome spring and the changes it brings during this annual event where you can make a shark egg craft, view animal eggs, join an “underwater egg hunt” and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 14-16, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. Free with admission. www.aquarium.ucsd.edu.

Carmel Valley Community Park

Egg hunting, crafts and prizes, jumps and bunny photos 9 am-noon April 15 at 3777 Townsgate Dr. Call or visit website for egg hunt times. For ages 12 and under. www.sandiego.gov; 858-552-1616.

Santee Lakes

Egg hunts for ages 8 and under, pony rides, crafts, inflatables, petting zoo, carnival rides and games 9 a.m. to 3 pm. April 15, Ride/activity tickets $1 each (cash only). Lake 5 at 9310 Fanita Pkwy. www.egghuntsantee.com.

Two boys go for plastic Easter eggs during an egg hunt at El Monte County Park in Lakeside. Photo by Chris Stone

Lakeshore Learning Store, San Marcos and San Diego

For ages 3 and up 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 15 at 7510 Hazard Center Drive (San Diego) 702 Center Drive (San Marcos). www.lakeshorelearning.com.

La Jolla Recreation Center

Crafts, goodie bags, photo op with Peter Rabbit and more. 10 a.m.-noon Aoril 15. Egg hunt is free; $5 for other activities. For ages 2-12 at 615 Prospect St. 858-552-1658.

Pacific Beach Recreation Center

Egg hunts plus a 40-foot obstacle course, a bounce house, arts and crafts, and face painting at 1 p.m. April 15 at 1405 Diamond St. Returned eggs will qualify participants for goodie bags. 858-581-9927.

Torrey Hills Community Park

Egg hunt, crafts, music, jumps and face painting 9-11 a.m. April 15 at 4262 Calle Mejillones, San Diego. 858-552-1687.

Mance Buchanon Park, Oceanside

Four egg hunts with prizes, a magic show, vendors and more 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 15 at 425 College Blvd. www.ci.oceanside.ca.us; 760-435-5041.

Adams Recreation Center, Normal Heights

Egg scrambles, face painting, crafts, music and more. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 15 at 3491 Adams Ave., San Diego. Bring a basket. www.sandiego.gov; 619-235-1149.

Morley Field Sports Complex, North Park

Egg Hunt, games, arts and crafts, egg toss, sack races and cake walks. 9:30 a.m.-noon April 15; egg hunt at 11 a.m. 2221 Morley Field Dr., San Diego. 619-525-8262.

Belmont Park, Mission Beach

Egg hunt on the beach (9 a.m-12:30 p.m. April 16 (register online) as well as hunt within the park (1 p.m.). Up for grabs are 12,000 eggs filled with candy, toys and Belmont park goodies. Egg hunt in park is free; $5 for beach egg hunt. 3146 Mission Blvd., San Diego. www.belmontpark.com.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets

Eggs at participating stores. Treasure map at Center Court. 12:30-3:30 p.m. April 15.

Sea Grove Park, Del Mar

Register for egg hunt. Pack a festive brunch to eat after the search. Reservations required. 9:30-noon, April 15 at 15th Street and Coast Boulevard.

La Colonia Park, Solana Beach

Children in third grade and younger are invited to a spring festival and egg hunt. BYOBasket. 10:30 a.m.-noon April 15.

Poway Community Park

Teen Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt. Join quest to find 1,000 glow-in-the-dark eggs filled with treats and gift cards. 5-9 p.m. April 22.

Salvation Army Kroc Center, College Area

Egg hunt, music, free crafts, games and candy. In infant egg hunt at the preschool grounds. $1/child. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 15 at 6845 University Ave.

Grossmont Center, La Mesa

An egg hunt for all ages, costumed characters, face painting and a train display. Free event. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 15.


Mt. San Miguel Park, Chula Vista

Make your own bunny ears. Egg hunts, fire trucks to explore and a lesson on fire safety. Stop by fire department to get your entry ticket. Free event. 8.30-11.30 a.m. April 15.

Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado

Champagne brunch buffet along with an egg hunt on the Windsor Lawn. Arts and crafts zone at 1500 Orange Ave. Reservations required. 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 16.

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