For an Easter holiday packed with family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures in the fresh sea air, and a spot of culture, the Channel Islands Heritage Festival kicks off on 8 April, just in time for when the schools break up. Running throughout the Easter holidays until 10 May, this year's festival takes a 'Heroes, Myths and Legends' theme, celebrating the history of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, and looking at the tales that have drawn visitors to their shores for centuries. At just a short flight or ferry ride from the mainland, there's plenty to entertain visitors of all ages as they hop around the islands.

Here are the top ten family activities at the 2017 Channel Islands Heritage Festival:

Tamba Park: The Home of the Dinosaurs, Jersey

8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th April & 6th, 7th May, between 11.00-16.00 on the hour 

Jersey's Tamba Park is holding educational, guided talks along its Dinosaur Trail during the Heritage Festival, where children can learn facts and myths about the 16 life-size animatronic dinosaurs from knowledgeable park rangers. On each weekend of the festival, children can also have their face painted as mythical creatures for free, face painting available from 12-3pm. Adults: £3.95, Children (aged 2-14): £4.95. www.tambapark.co.uk 

Legends of the Coast, Guernsey

9th April, 23rd April, 30th April, 7th May (times vary)

A thrilling tour of Guernsey's coastline aboard a fast, open-air RIB, where families will hear about local folklore, smugglers' stories, and tales of pirates at the island's hidden coves and secret anchorages. Adults: £29.50, Children: £19.50. Book at www.islandribvoyages.com

The Sunday Cyclist Cycle Tour, Jersey

9th, 16th April, 7th May 10.00-13.00

A relaxed ride around Jersey's Cycle Network with its special speed-restricted Green Lanes, passing many of the island's highlights in just a few hours, including The Jersey War Tunnels, the National Trust for Jersey property: Morel Farm and St. Lawrence Parish Hall, seat of the local Honorary Police. The tour is £15 per person. To book, visit www.arthurthebluebadgeguide.com

Secrets of the Caves – a Kayak Exploration, Jersey

11th, 18th, 25th April, 2nd, 9th May 10.00-12.30    

Carved from Jersey granite created by the pounding of ocean waves and tectonic movements, Jersey's sea caves are rarely visited, yet associated with many fables and myths of fishermen and smugglers. This kayaking excursion goes beneath the cliffs to discover places that are only accessible by sea. All abilities welcome. Adults: £40, Children: £27. Book at www.jerseykayakadventures.co.uk

Design and Make Your Own Fairy Lantern, Guernsey

12th, 19th April, 10.30 – 12.00

Children can join a fairy-themed tea light making workshop with creative experts at Guernsey's print studio, Iris and Dora. After a couple of hours of drawing, colouring, cutting, gluing, sticking, lamp making and lots of glitter children will leave with their own little fairy house or rocket tea light. The price is £14.50 per child (including all materials, tools and tuition). Book at www.irisanddora.co.uk

Geocaching for Muggles, Jersey

13th, 20th, 27th April, 4th May 10.00-12.00 

A local Geocaching expert gives a pre-Geocache talk, especially designed for 'Muggles' (a non-Geocacher), before heading off to discover hidden treasures around Jersey. Ideal for those who love treasure hunting, Geocaching is a fantastic way to explore Jersey's landscape using GPS-enabled devices (like a smart phone) and learn about some local heroes, myths and legends along the way. Free. www.geocaching.com

Island Explorer's Treasure Hunt, Guernsey

14th April – 10th May, 10.00 – 17.00

With the help of an explorer's map, adventurers young and old are challenged to find clues across Guernsey's historic sites on a family treasure hunt. The map is free to download from the Guernsey Museums website and all completed treasure hunts that are returned to Guernsey Museum at Candie Gardens will receive a medal. For more information and the map, visit www.museums.gov.gg 

HistoryFest: Heros, Myths and Legends, Guernsey

14th – 16th April, 10.00 – 17.00

Over Easter weekend, HistoryFest at Castle Cornet brings Guernsey's symbolic castle to life with costumed characters, music, live action role play, interactive sessions and hands-on activities for the whole family. Having guarded Guernsey harbour for 800 years, Castle Cornet is the ideal backdrop to explore and learn the Bailiwick's heroes, myths and legends. Adults: £10.50, Children over seven: £3.00 www.museums.gov.gg  

Alderney Lighthouse Tour, Alderney

16th, 23rd, 30th April, 7th May, 15.00 – 16.00

An opportunity to explore the lighthouse on the third largest Channel Island of Alderney, with a tour climbing 120 steps to the top to see its historical machinery and for views towards France. Adults: £4.00, Children (under 16): £3.00. Tickets on the door.  www.visitalderney.com

Jersey Heritage - Fête de Renouvé

22nd - 23rd April 10.00-17.00

Jersey Heritage will be welcoming the season of renewal with a mini-spring festival, comprising live music, dancing, food, creative activities and local producers, all in the beautiful surroundings of Jersey's historic La Hougue Bie Museum. Adults: £8.95, Children (aged 6-16): £5.70. www.jerseyheritage.org

Package:

Guernsey Travel's 'Best Western's Heritage Festival Break' offers three nights at the three star Best Western Moores Hotel in atmospheric St Peter Port, Guernsey before a further three nights at the three star Best Western Royal Hotel situated just on the outskirts of the Jersey capital St Helier. The break is priced from £625 per person based on two people sharing and includes B&B accommodation, travel between the islands by fast ferry and return flights. The package also includes a Jersey Heritage pass, entitling entry into four Jersey heritage attractions and a Guernsey Discover Pass allowing free entry to four historic attractions in Guernsey. Two day bus passes are also part of the package offering free bus travel on both islands. To book call 01534 496 660 or visit www.guernseytravel.com