Sitting at a craft table full of plates, construction paper and markers, Chuck Miller, 5, and Kenny Miller, 3, search through the clutter for little sticky eyes so each could create his own paper Easter Bunny.
“I’m going to make a red bunny,” Chuck said.
“And I’m going to make a blue bunny,” Kenny said.
The two were among the 30 or so children and parents who gathered at Columbia’s Activity and Recreation Center on Saturday morning to have breakfast with Peter Cottontail. Every year, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department invites families to bring their children down to the ARC for breakfast, stories, crafts and a visit with the Easter Bunny.
“It’s a good family activity,” said Janel Twehous, a manager at the ARC. “Seeing the families interacting and the smiles on the kids’ faces is a real positive thing.”
Laura Miller, Chuck and Kenny’s mother, said she and her husband, Dennis, bring their boys to the event every year.
“The best part is letting the kids interact with the bunny and have fun crafts to bring home,” Laura Miller said. “The kids would say the best part is the doughnuts and the bunny.”
Across town, children participated in another Easter-themed activity — an egg hunt, also hosted by Parks and Recreation, in Douglass Park. Children arrived with Easter baskets to hunt the eggs, but chilly weather kept some participants from staying for outdoor activities that included face painting, bunny sack races and Easter Twister.
Camren Cross, recreation supervisor for the city of Columbia, said he was a little disappointed by the weather.
“Every time we set up, stuff gets blown away,” Cross said.
Cross said about 250 people came to the egg hunt last year. This year, about 120 people attended. Still, Cross said he was reluctant to let cold weather drive future hunts indoors.
“Maybe the games could be indoors, but I couldn’t imagine the hunt indoors,” Cross said. “I’ll just hope the weather is better next year.”