FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Families are invited to make their day sweeter during Fort Rucker's annual Children's Festival April 8 from 1-4 p.m. at the festival fields.

"The Children's Festival provides an excuse to get out of the house, switch up your Saturday routines and enjoy quality family time outdoors," Katie Oskey, Fort Rucker special events coordinator, said. "Playing outside provides many benefits than cannot be gained on the couch or by playing indoors. These benefits span from improved physical health to cultivation of a higher sense of emotional well-being. Often we get bogged down by life's daily stressors and Children's Fest, along with all of Fort Rucker's special events, is a time to let your hair down, let loose, and appreciate the time you have with your family," she added.

According to Oskey, this year's event, themed "Making Life Sweeter," features inflatables, such as a bounce castle, an inflatable jousting ring and an inflatable obstacle course; a trackless train; a petting zoo; pony rides for $5 per ride; a magic show; a stilt walker; kids' karaoke; free ice cream; bird house painting; and the largest Easter egg hunt in the area.

"More than 15,000 eggs are up for grabs -- separated into age groups to make it enjoyable for everyone," she said. "In addition to candy in each egg, prize eggs will be available in all age groups to add to the excitement and surprise of opening up an egg to see what is inside."

Oskey added that Children's Fest is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the spring weather.

"Does sitting in front of your computer or television give you the chance to find candy and prizes, play games and make crafts, or meet the Easter Bunny in person?" she asked. "No, but Children's Fest does!"

The event is free and open to the public, however small amounts of cash may be needed for certain vendors.

"The event and many of the activities are free to the military and their families," Oskey said. "There will be food vendors on site with delicious options to choose from, including The Landing Zone's Food Truck. Pony rides will also be available at a cost of $5 per ride; however, the inflatables, crafts, trackless train, egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny are free.

"Each special event throughout the year offers something different for its patrons," she added. "Children's Fest is no different as it lands during the Month of the Military Child this year, and aims to celebrate the uniqueness of the military child lifestyle and provide an afternoon of carefree fun just for them."

In the event of inclement weather, Oskey said the show will go on.

"If we are experiencing less than desirable weather on April 8, the event will be moved to the Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center," she said. "In the case of a location change, stay tuned to Fort Rucker MWR's social media outlets for updates."

For more information, call 255-1749 or visit https://rucker.armymwr.com.