At the age of 6, Dylan Lauren set her sights on opening the modern-day equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and in 2001, she fulfilled her dream by opening Dylan’s Candy Bar, which grew to be the largest candy emporium in the world. Dylan gave Downtown some tips for an Easter tablescape, egg hunt, basket, and more!
Tips for Making an Easter Tablescape
Easter is a special time of celebration with family and friends, and I love to make my guests feel special with personal touches. I love to create place settings with name tags that also double as party favors, and of course I incorporate sweets, such as mini chocolate bunnies or the perennial favorite, Peeps. To add a whimsical touch, I station a large chocolate bunny as the centerpiece, and usually by the end of the festivities, an ear or two may be missing due to the chocolate lovers in the room. In addition to decorating with confections, florals help bring the season indoors. Elegant touches like cherry blossom branches in a tall vase, fresh tulips in an Easter basket, or vintage ceramic bunnies on a mantel are the perfect finishing details.
Making the Perfect Easter Basket
I typically include traditional Easter treats in all the holiday festivities, whether they be as decor on my tablescape, as treats in my gift baskets, or as prizes in my esteemed Easter egg hunt. With delectable chocolate creme eggs and bunnies, you can’t go wrong!
Whatever treats I choose, I make sure they are bright and colorful. It’s no secret that I love color. If you look in my store, the hues of the rainbow are everywhere. Therefore, I go for the foiled wrap chocolate goodies since they come in bright blues, purples, pinks, greens and gold.
I also always include a novelty product. We sell so many at Dylan’s Candy Bar that it’s hard to choose just one! Top sellers include a mini surprise egg, an apothecary jar filled to the brim with gummies and chocolate, and a paint can with on-theme sweets.
For those celebrating Passover, we have fun takes on classic traditions, such as mini Matzos, a dark chocolate seder plate, “Ten Plagues Passover Finger Puppets,” Milk Chocolate Passover Ungapotchkies and more. If you celebrate both Easter and Passover, include these items in baskets to give a nod to both holidays.
Throw the Best Egg Hunt Ever
Keep Score With Color
If you’ve ever been to one of my stores, the first thing that catches your eye is a splash of bright colors. To rainbow-ify your hunt this year, come up with a points system for mini foiled chocolate eggs that you can hide in plastic eggs. Each color has a different value (ex: gold is 1 point, blue is 2 points, pink is 3 points, etc.), and the participant with the highest score at the end is the winner. You can hide the more valuable eggs in harder-to-find places for an extra challenge – totally worth the hunt!
Put a Spin on Prizes
Since you’re bound to find chocolate bunnies and foiled chocolate eggs in any traditional Easter egg hunt, I like to mix in nonedible prizes for the kids to collect (that are just as sweet!) One of the biggest hits was making coupons for family friendly activities and meaningful experiences you can tuck into plastic eggs for the kids to redeem later. Whether it’s a coupon to have ice cream for dinner or host a slumber party for friends, the excitement from Easter will linger on. It also doesn’t hurt to have an Easter Bunny costume contest. Not only will it layer in another fun aspect of the party, but the photos will be some of the best!
But Have Them for Everyone
Although the crux of any good Easter Egg Hunt is the competition aspect, it’s important to make sure everyone is happy and fulfilled at the end. In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, work on making prizes with your kids that all hunters can take home afterwards. Whether it’s making a homemade holiday card, or something more intricate like cookie decorating and Easter egg basket making, everyone is sure to leave with a smile on their face. And this activity also provides some special, one-on-one time with your bundles of joy, so who doesn’t love that?
Treat the Adults Too
While the kids hop into the Easter egg hunt, there’s no reason the adults can’t have their own celebration. Prepare a spread of spring treats, cocktails, and mocktails for everyone to enjoy while watching the action unfold – I love making Dirt Cake with an Easter twist, and everyone goes crazy over my candy cocktails. Once the hunt is over, the young ones can join in on the snacking – and enjoy an age appropriate treat by making their own version of Dylan’s Candy Bar’s Easter Peeps Shake! See the at-home recipe here.