About 10 years ago, a 5 year old DQ sat at her aunt’s window on Easter morning, staring out at the Napa vineyards just across the street.  All of a sudden, she began shrieking and pointing out the window.  There, among the vines of the vast field, was the real live Easter Bunny!  He was much smaller than we expected, and must have hidden his candy somewhere else.  But there he was, jumping below the vines before he finally disappeared from sight.

I hope each of you uncovers a little bit of magic in the weeks before Easter.  To get you started on your way, here are a few Egg Hunts you can take part in, happening all over Sonoma County.

Petaluma Mother’s Club Spring Festival:  (Past event – already happened)  Sunday, March 24, from 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m., the PMC invites families with kids aged 0-8 to join them at McNear Park for their free egg hunt and spring festival.  They have staggered the time of each hunt by ages.  Under 2 is at 11 a.m., 2-3 year olds are at 11:10 a.m., 3-4 year olds at 11:25 a.m., 4-6 year olds are at 11:40 a.m., and kids 5-8 years old are at 11:55 a.m.  The Easter Bunny will make a special appearance, food vendors will supply snacks to nibble on, and the band Sugar Moon will provide music entertainment.  For more information, call 778-6494.

Howarth Park Hunt:  On Saturday, March 30, the annual Spring Egg Hunt allows tots 5 and under to fill their basket with hidden eggs, visit the Easter Bunny, pet baby farm animals, or make a springtime craft.  Two age sessions will take place: 3 year olds and their parents will hunt for eggs at 10a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and 4-5 year olds can look for eggs on their own at 11:30 a.m.  Refreshments will be on sale.  The hunt will take place at the Howarth Park Softball Field, but will move to the gazebo if it rains.  $6 per tot, and only available by pre-sale at the Finley Community Center.  Call 543-3737 for more information.

Exchange Club Hunt:  The local service club will sponsor their 66th annual free egg hunt for kids ages 2 to 8 years old on Saturday, March 30 from 10-11 a.m.  Following the hunt will be a free raffle for prizes.  Doyle Park, Santa Rosa.  Meet under the oaks near the dog park.  Call (415) 370-3028 for more information.

Sonoma County Fairgrounds:  Touted the “Largest Easter Egg Hunt,” this event boasts 25,000 eggs filled with candy or small toys, hunts occurring every 15 minutes, jump houses, carnival games with prizes, and vendors with food to purchase.  Kids should bring their own basket, and prepare to have a ton of fun at this free event.  Sponsored by Tree of Life Fellowship.  11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.  1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. tolsr.org

Emeritus Egg Hunt:  The 14th annual egg hunt at the skilled nursing facility will allow kids 11 and under to search for over 600 eggs.  On Saturday, March 30, the festivities begin with arts and crafts at 9:30 a.m., followed by the egg hunt at 10:30 a.m.  The fun will include a guest appearance by Budderball the Clown, games, face painting, and refreshments.  300 Fountaingrove Pkwy., Santa Rosa.  Call 566-9600 to RSVP or for more information.

Healdsburg Rotary Egg Hunt:  On Saturday, March 30 beginning at 9 a.m. is the annual egg hunt at Fitch Mountain School.  Along with eggs will be candy, raffle prizes, and a visit from the Easter Bunny.  Kids ages 0-10 are invited to join in on the free hunt.  But don’t be late, because it will be over in the blink of an eye.  Call 975-5053 for more information.

Sebastopol Kiwanis Club Hunt:  For their 33rd annual hunt, kids are invited to Ives Park on Saturday, March 30th at 10 a.m. to hunt for eggs prepared extra special by Patti Stack of catering company Capers & Co.  The free hunt will include a guest appearance by the Easter Bunny who will be handing out chocolate and marshmallow eggs.  Ives Park is located at 7400 Willow St., Sebastopol.  Call (877) 828-4748 for more information.

Safari West’s Hunt for the Hare: Mr. Hare disappeared from the Savannah Cafe while Mrs. Hare was preparing Easter Brunch, and it’s up to the guests to seek him out.  Kids and adults alike will climb aboard the African Queen trailer to seek out the 6 foot tall rabbit.  Morning brunch package is at 10 a.m., and the afternoon brunch package is at 1:30 p.m.  Safari West’s egg hunt will take place at 1 p.m.  Prices range from $18.50-$68.  RSVP in advance at safariwest.com/easter.