Livewell summer holiday activities

Basildon Borough, Braintree District, Brentwood Borough, Castlepoint Borough, Chelmsford City, Colchester Borough, Epping Forest District, Harlow District, Maldon District, Rochford District, Tendring District, Uttlesford District

Find activities and events to keep the kids entertained, active and happy this summer holiday in Essex.  Details may be subject to change. Always check with the organiser before attending. 

  • Essex Outdoors holiday activity days: an ideal way for young people aged 8-16 to try exciting new experiences in the outdoors! Book now for activities in Bradwell, Danbury, Harlow and Mersea.
  • Mega Camps offer a variety of activities to suit all different interests, with an option for a sporting or arts and crafts activity.
  • Fit for sport activity camps  Activity Camps are a great way for your child: To keep active; Have fun; Make new friends; Try something new; Take part in a whole range of activities and sports!
  • Barracudas multi-activity day camps

Kidz camp Essex: fun and inclusive childcare service for children aged 4 – 12 in Essex, at 3 venues in Colchester, Rayleigh & Southend.

Essex libraries: until 2nd September – The theme of this years challenge is marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and encourages children to read 6 books over the summer to earn stickers and a certificate. There will be plenty of space themed events too, so check your local library!

Change 4 Life Disney FREE Activities: Change 4 Life has collaborated with Disney to create a huge selection of 10 minute shake ups to get our children active. Explore games themed around Toy Story 4, Incredible 2, The Lion King and Frozen!

50 things to do before you’re 5! The time you spend playing together will help them learn all sorts of things before they start school– from counting and writing, to exploring and making new friends.

20 things to do this summer– encouraging you and your family to get outdoors! Print off the poster, stick it on the fridge and tick off each activity

What’s happening in …

Basildon Borough

Summer of fun at Barleylands until 2nd September– Enjoy a whole summer of fun on the farm where you can take part in all your favourite family activities! Such as lamb bottle feeding, wacky races, birds of prey displays, reptile demonstrations and much much more.

South Essex gymnastics Club fun sessions Fun sessions run every half term and end of term. Children have to be over the age of 5 to attend but children aged 4 and above are able to attend on a Friday between 10am-12pm.

New Town Sounds, 31st August, Basildon Town Centre – Another Basildon at 70 event, this free fun-filled musical celebration runs from midday until late at multiple venues across the town centre. There will be local bands, sing-along events, choir performances and children’s activities to partake in.

Basildon Sporting Superstars Competition, 20th to 22nd September, Woodlands School – Basildon is hosting the search for Basildon’s top sporting superstar in this weekend competition against their twin towns in Germany and France. They’ve held a search across all ages and sexes and 70 competitors will take part in four different age groups across sports including archery, football, basketball, running, swimming, and much more.

Braintree District

Xplorer events until 27th August– Explore the parks of Halstead, Witham or Bocking, find the markers, complete the challenge, have fun together!

Sky Ropes at Great Notley Country Park – With high ropes adventure courses to suit the whole family from tiny tots of two years to big kids and adults, Sky Ropes offers great, safe family fun. And why not make a day of it – tuck into lunch at Lily’s at Notley Cafe and explore the county’s longest adventure play trail.

Come rain or shine, Fusion has a range of indoor activities to stem the boredom in a fun, safe and social environment. Check out the timetables for each leisure centre:

Braintree Museum: Age of the Dinosaurs exhibition launches on 20th July and continues until the new year.
Dino Day – 30th July – An open day celebrating the dinosaur exhibition with crafts, tails and an animatronic T-Rex dinosaur called Regge Rexsome. No booking required.
Children’s Crafts – Tuesdays to Fridays
Week 4 – 20th-23rd August: Jurassic Landscapes – Make crafts from natural materials and transport back to the age of the dinosaurs
Week 5 – 27th – 30th August: Dinosaur Party – Create themed costumes and games for a dinosaur party!
Toddler Time – Every Thursday during summer 10.30-11.30 with animated story time, activity and small craft

Summer holiday Tennis Camps for 4-16 year olds with First Service Baker Tennis Academy
19th August – 23rd August- 10am-3pm every day, with the option of early drop off at 8.45am and late pick up at 4pm

The Maize Maze Challenge – Until 8th September between 10am and 4pm, you can try your hand at finding your way through the great Maize Maze at Blake House Craft Centre. There is a new interactive scarecrow competition, victory bell and mini golf as well as a craft centre and play areas.

Colne Valley Railway is hosting a number of great events for children over the summer.

  • 18th August – Wallace & Grommit will be making appearances at intervals throughout the day
  • 25th August – Transport Day – Heritage and Modern buses and Commercial Vehicles will be on display. Trains of all ages also feature.

Brentwood Borough

Try the high ropes and adventure Rope runners at the secret nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch: they are adrenaline- filled activities on new courses for anyone over 6 years old.

Gruffalo trail at Thorndon Country Park–  Discover the magic of the Deep Dark Wood with this self-led trail (around 45 min long) searching for the amazing hand-crafted carvings of Gruffalo characters.

BIkeKlubz sessions-Kids love to ride bikes and BikeKlubz Saturday inclusive bike sessions offer a great opportunity for children and young people (4 to 24) to take part in a number of activities.

Family Fun Days: Brentwood is holding a series of family fun days throughout the summer- This year six Family Fun Days will take place around the Borough:

  • Friday 23 August – Bishops Hall Park CM15 9NP
  • Friday 30 August – King George’s Playing Fields CM14 5AE

Castle Point Borough

Active kids activities at Castle Point Leisure Centre.

Colchester Borough

Park events at High Woods, Lexden and Westland’s Country Parks – Bat evening walks, fairies and pixies walks, stream side fun and find signs of animal life in the park on a discovery trail.

Kids Camp at Colchester Leisure World-A full day of action packed supervised activities for children in school years 1-6, which includes swimming as a core part of the day’s activities. Ideal for working parents.

Base Camp at Colchester Leisure World-A full day of action packed supervised activities for children in school years 7-11.  Deal for working parents. Activities include fun in the Leisure Pool, trips to Escape Room and Tenpin, multi sports, trampolining and inflatable obstacle course in the Fitness Pool.

Colchester museum events: There are plenty of interesting and exciting events taking place at the museums over the summer, here’s a selection;

Colchester Castle
Adorn – until February 2020: Explore the hidden stories of personal adornment from Bronze Age beginnings to modern makers. There are Adorn related craft activities across the summer.

Colchester Castle Under Seige – 24th and 25th August: Across this multi-period re-enactment weekend witness invasions from Romans, Vikings and Medieval invaders during key moments of Colchester’s history. The event is free after museum admission.

Hollytrees Museum:
T-shirt Making – 22nd August: Design your own t-shirt with golden armour, fun designs or your own name to make a fashion statement.

Natural History Museum:
Go Live!  21st August, 12pm, 1.15pm and 2.30pm: Get up close and personal with nature, find fascinating animals.

Fun for free in Colchester
Some great ideas for free things to do and free places to visit in Colchester. From walks and trails to free museumsconcerts, and plays there’s plenty for all to enjoy and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.  Follow #Colchesterforfree on socials.


Chelmsford City

Summer staycation – Come and explore a different country each week of the holidays for some summer holiday fun. Sessions include craft, messy play, cooking / food tasting, outdoor play and singing.

  • 20th August , 27th August at Chelmsford West Delivery Site, Dixon Avenue, Chelmsford, CM1 2AQ- 10am to 3pm
  •  22nd August, 29th August at Beaulieu Community Centre, Beaulieu Square, Centenary Way, CM1 6AU- 10am to 11.30am
  •  21st August, 28th August at Chetwood Delivery Site,  CM3 5ZX- 9.30am-11.30am

Foyles Summer events– running until August 31st.

Bring the children to Bond Street Chelmsford this summer and enjoy fun packed Saturdays in and around the Bond Street Bowl.

Half day and full day city camps throughout the school holidays for children between aged between 4 and 12 at Riverside Leisure Centre, South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre and Dovedale Sports Centre.

Active Fun sessions such as fencing, karate, scuba diving and go karts during the school holidays, giving children the chance to learn new skills and get active in a fun environment.

The School of golf – Holiday Courses

  • Coaching on all areas of golf
  • Playing out on the golf course
  • Golf quiz with certificates and prizes

Little Channels Golf, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 3PR. £50 for the day- Children will need to bring refreshments and a packed lunch.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Hyde Hall – Until 1st September – Enjoy craft activities, storytelling, interactive adventures, sow and grow workshops and more themed around this beloved children’s book.

Beginners Horse Riding Sessions, Thursdays – Beginner lessons for children from the age of 5 at Chelmsford Equestrian Centre.

Bubble’n’Bop – The Children’s Summer Festival, Marsh Farm – Until 2nd September – Throughout the summer holidays, Marsh Farm are hosting a children’s festival with bubbles, inland beach, foam pool, a maze, Teepee camp, bouncy village and even a chance to meet some dinosaurs!

Danbury Country Park– Woodland play forest school over a 6-week period from 16th September for pre-schoolers and their parents/carers. Activities are centred around nature, sensory stimulation, forest crafts, imagination, physical play and construction

Epping Forest

Multi Sports Days : Epping Forest Multi Sport Days gives young people ages 5-14 the chance to take part in fun packed days of exciting and engaging activities including football, dodgeball, tennis, mini olympics, games and competitions.

Play in the Park: Play games and have fun outdoors with a range of sports equipment and arts and crafts across various dates across the summer. No booking required and its completely free!

Craft Camp: Take part in a day of crafting exciting summer items to take home as well as fun and games.

Story Explorers: An imagination adventure to the moon using a mix of dance, drama and storytelling. Suitable for ages 4-7.

Epping Ongar Railway:

  • 25th-26th August – Come and See the Gruffalo –  Take a steam train ride into the deep dark wood and meet the Gruffalo himself!

Professor Nitrate’s Test Zone, Royal Gunpowder Mills – Until 28th August – Hands on experiments and activities to try out and take home as well as science shows throughout the day.


Harlow District

Harlow Town Park events such as orienteering to explore all areas of the Town Park, whilst getting some exercise and having plenty of fun.

Maldon District

Museum of Power in Langford– Workshops take place across the ‘Summer of Steam’ with mad science fun workshops.

Summer in Promenade Park– Enjoy the best of summer on Maldon promenade with plenty to do including the splash park, beach huts, parks, boat lake and of course a delicious ice cream!

Premier Sport Summer Activities at Blackwater Leisure – Running during the summer holidays, children aged 5-12 can take part in a whole host of activities that are fun, educational and keep them active as well as help develop their social skills.

Farm Open Day in Goldhanger – Visit Lauriston Farm and find out how a biodynamic farm works, meet the animals and feed the sheep!

Rochford  District

Rayleigh Leisure Centre fun activities during the school holidays.

Holiday camps at Clements Hall

Junior Angling Event – Tuesdays, 10am-3pm  – Do you know a child interesting in angling? This event is for ages 5 to 15 and all tackle and bait is supplied. Places must be booked in advance.

Drop-In Multi-Sports Sessions for Carers – Thursdays – Sport for Confidence run an exercise class for carers of all ages and backgrounds. Carers are also able to bring the people they care for, for free.

Tendring District

See all the school holiday activities at all the 5 leisure centres and pools.

Clacton Airshow – 22nd and 23rd August, from 11am – visit the coast and see an array of impressive flight displays as well as exploring plenty of stalls and activities in the area.

Essex Reptile Encounter, Princes Theatre – 2nd and 3rd August – Come up close to reptiles that children can handle as well as plenty to do including worksheets, drawing and colouring.

Brightlingsea Lido- a classic 1930s open air swimming pool run by the community for the community,  the place for a few hours of family fun on a sunny day.

Uttlesford District

Fit for Sport activity camps at Lord Butler Leisure Centre
From multi-sports to messy arts & crafts, from outdoor adventures to themed activities, join Fit For Sport for lots of active fun at your local Activity Camp this holiday! For ages 5-12 years.

Felsted School swim school 
Felsted’s swimming courses (for children aged 4+ up to 9) provide the perfect opportunity for children to receive quality coaching in small groups, by qualified and experienced teachers. These are highly intensive courses that focus on building confidence and improving the ability of each swimmer in a short period of time. Each participant will receive a certificate for their efforts.

Felsted netball
An excellent course for children aged 7 to 14 of all levels and experience to learn and improve their performance in netball. All children will develop their skills and confidence through games, fitness and tactical planning.

Hands on with History, Audley End House – Until 1st September, 11am to 5pm – This heritage site has plenty to do over the summer, there will be interactive storytelling, fairy trails, a WW1 obstacle course and an insight into Victorian jobs!

Summer Festival, Audley End Miniature Railway – Until 8th September – This summer long festival has plenty of activities and entertainment for all ages. As well as the miniature steam railway, there will be resident fairies and elves as well as a unicorn and dragon ready to tell spellbinding tales.


Hatfield Forest is holding a number of exciting events across the summer including a Military Style Family Survival Day, Pollinator Walks, archery, building forest dens and fitness forest style.

Some really useful links
  • Essex Mums summer holiday activities– There are a number of events across Essex such as family fun days, animal events, wellbeing days and even a toy collectors fair!
  • Essex Parks – Enjoy events, activities and family days out in a number of green and open spaces across Essex- from birdwatching to BBQs, Gruffalo trail and Stick Man play trail.
  • Days out with the kids– there are so many activities across Essex to keep the kids busy with soft play centres, bowling, karting, skateparks, crazy golfs etc…
  • Visit Essex– family days out such as Colchester Zoo, a number of railways RSPB wildlife sites and Colchester Castle
  • National Trust outdoor activities across Essex
  • Essex wildlife trust events such as nature tots for under 5’s, family orienteering, bird box building and campfire cooking.
Don’t forget!

Join a junior parkrun at your local Country Park– they take place every Sunday at 9am and are free to join!


Livewell Partners