Aquatic egg-stravaganza a big hit with families

by Dan Holland

The Easter season floated into the Broadview Heights Recreation Center Natatorium on March 16 as the city hosted its annual Aqua Egg Hunt for children ages 6 months to 10 years.

The event, first initiated in 2012 by then aquatics manager Amanda Hutcheson, who now serves as the city’s director of parks and recreation, featured thousands of floating plastic eggs to be collected by children in baskets, with different age groups staggered in 30-minute shifts. An adjacent meeting room provided photos with the Easter bunny, snacks and crafts.

This year’s event sold out in two days, according to Hutcheson.

“I firmly believe that this event is so popular because the aquatic staff runs it so seamlessly with cute holiday gestures sprinkled in,” she said. “It’s like a well-run machine, and all the moving parts just sync together. Also, I think a draw for the event is that the kids are split up into age categories, so often times, the kids are with all of their friends and can enjoy the event together.”

Richard and Sarah Danforth of Parma brought their children, Jackson and Eleanor, to the event for the second year in a row.

“We came last year, and we had a really good time at the Easter egg event, so we decided to come back again,” said Sarah Danforth.

Siblings Addison and Miles Moll enjoyed the event with parents Dean and Maggie Moll of Broadview Heights.

“They love swimming and they love Easter,” said Maggie Moll. “So, it’s a perfect combination of the two.”

Kevin and Rebecca Budziak of Brunswick brought their young son, Oliver, to the event along with one set of grandparents. “My parents belong to the rec center here, so we come out here quite often to do the drop-in swimming lessons,” said Kevin Budziak.

“We have really been looking forward to the egg hunt,” added grandmother Sue Budziak of North Royalton. “We belong to the rec center and come here frequently for the exercise classes.”

Broadview Heights resident Samantha Olschansky, who brought her son Dylan Gembela, said the event is a great way to begin the Easter season.

“We’ve really been looking forward to celebrating Easter with the kids and having them take part in the Aqua Egg Hunt,” she said.

Ljubisa and Laila Petrovic of North Royalton brought their daughter Elena to the event for the first time.

“She takes swimming lessons here,” explained Laila. “She came mainly for the Easter bunny and to have fun in the water.”

Following a fun time of collecting eggs in the pool, Lennox Seaborn made a beeline with mom Brittany Seaborn for photos and snacks with the Easter bunny.

“He just loves getting in the water,” Brittany said. “He takes swim classes here, and I work out at the gym here. He wanted to swim and to see the Easter bunny. It’s something fun to do to get out of the house on a Saturday afternoon.” ∞

Bryce and Bennett show off their egg collections.

Children and their parents search for eggs in the lazy river

Photo (main): Dylan Gembela and Cami Brown pose with the Easter bunny. Photos by Dan Holland.