Babar, the world’s most famous elephant, and Manhattan’s iconic Hôtel Plaza Athénée are partnering with The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, an innovative and engaging fundraising initiative that will see over 250 large egg sculptures, each designed by globally-renowned artists, designers and creatives, placed throughout New York City’s five boroughs from April 1 to 26, 2014.

The 30 inch Babar egg sculpture at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée was designed by Babar author and illustrator Laurent De Brunhoff and will be on display on the steps of the Upper East Side hotel, Babar’s New York home away from home, for families from all over the world to visit this Easter season.

As part of the festivities, on Saturday, April 5, Saturday, April 12, and Saturday, April 19, from 3 pm to 5 pm at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, families can enjoy a special “Tea Time with Babar,” presented in partnership with Nelvana Enterprises and The Clifford Ross Company.

The three upcoming “Tea Time with Babar” events, part of an ongoing Babar-centered celebration with the hotel, will feature a drawing contest that awards the winner with an autographed Babar book. In addition to enjoying delicious treats, young attendees and their families will have the opportunity to pose for a souvenir photo alongside Babar himself. “Tea Time with Babar” attendees will also enjoy specially-designed The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt cookies from New York City favorite Magnolia Bakery.

To make a reservation for “Tea Time with Babar,” families can call Hôtel Plaza Athénée at (212) 734-9100. The hotel is also offering a Babar Children’s Package that includes overnight accommodations at the hotel, a Babar-themed gift bag (see photo below), tickets to the Central Park Zoo and Top of the Rock, continental breakfast, milk and cookies at turndown and more. See the Hôtel Plaza Athénée’s website for more information.

Created as an innovative and engaging platform to raise funds for Elephant Family – a natural fit for the Babar brand – as well as other non-profits, The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt caused a frenzy in London in 2012, set two Guinness World Record titles and ultimately raised over $1.5 million for charity. The 2014 hunt in New York City is the world’s biggest egg hunt with over 200 egg sculptures, each individually created by the world’s leading artists, designers and creatives, will be displayed across the city for three exhilarating weeks.

The Big Egg Hunt in New York will benefit both Elephant Family and Studio in a School. Clifford Ross, of The Clifford Ross Company, which manages the Babar brand in tandem with Nelvana Enterprises, initially made the connection between Elephant Family and de Brunhoff to encourage the creation of the Babar egg. New York-based Mary Ryan Gallery represents the original Babar illustrations by Laurent and his father, Babar creator Jean de Brunhoff.

“Babar loves all holidays! I wanted his egg to be festive and celebratory,” De Brunhoff says. “I thought of the Easter Parade as I saw it in Fred Astaire’s film and tried to imagine the inhabitants of Celesteville having their own Easter parade. As it evolved, it became more a generally festive parade and less specifically an Easter Parade. The parade also served a design function, because it allows movement and invites the viewer to walk around the egg, which was an effect I wanted to have.”

The Babar egg (see photo below) will be placed in front of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée on 64th street between Madison and Park Avenue from April 1 to 18.

“Children and parents alike have been so excited to visit with Babar at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée that we have decided to continue the tea time celebrations featuring the well-loved character throughout the spring season” said the hotel’s Manager, Sebastian Wurst.

The general public will be encouraged to participate in The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt by finding all of the eggs, with incredible gemstone prizes from Fabergé serving as an incentive. The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt will culminate with a spectacular auction of the collectible and one-of-a-kind egg sculptures, held by Sotheby’s and online via Paddle8.

Limited edition miniature eggs and other merchandise will be available for purchase at The Big Egg Hunt website. For more information on the Big Egg Hunt please visit The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt.

Photos courtesy of Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York and Jean-Christian Agid

Babar Easter Egg at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York

Babar Easter Egg at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York

Babar Giftbag at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York

Babar Giftbag at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York

Babar Visits the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York

Babar Visits the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York