With the first 2020 half term on the horizon, we thought we’d take the opportunity to remind you of all the great activities on offer for children across Essex. From preschoolers to teenagers there’s always something to keep families and children entertained, active and happy.
Details may be subject to change. Always check with the organiser before attending.
Activity camps across Essex
Essex Outdoors holiday activity days: anideal 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 to keep the kids entertained in the shorter school holidays in Colchester, Chelmsford, Bishop Stortford, Harlow, Brentwood etc..
Kidz camp Essex: fun and inclusive childcare service for children aged 4 – 12 in Essex, at 3 venues in Colchester, Rayleigh & Southend
Inclusive sports camps
Children who face barriers to participation will be able to enjoy a range of fun activities, delivered by award winning Sport For Confidence. Sessions will take place at three leisure centres.Advance booking is essential. For more information contact email@example.com. When booking you will be required to quote the child’s unique passport ID number. This can be accessed from www.shortbreaks.essex.gov.uk
Leisure World Colchester (Monday February 17, 2.30pm – 4.30pm)
Chelmsford Riverside Leisure Centre (Thursday February 20, 1.30pm – 3.30pm)
Witham Leisure Centre (Friday, February 21, 12pm – 2pm)
Explore Essex will be hiding throughout the school holiday some FREE books for you to find in all their parks.
What’s happening in …
Fun on the farm at Barleylands– 15th to 23rd February- They have so much going on including their lambing nursery where you can meet their adorable newborn lambs. They also have regular bottle feeding in the animal barn, exciting bumpy tractor rides, imperial birds of prey flying displays and reptile demonstrations.
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.
Nocturnal owl at Hedingham Castle– 17th to 22nd February, 6.30-8.30pm- Come and join the team at the historic Hedingham Castle for the most magical evening of your life where they will be flying a variety of owls to your gloved hand after the sun has set.
Snowdrop Sundays at Hedingham Castle– 22nd and 23rd February- Come and explore the valley walk, the bog garden and the ornamental lake, set amongst an astonishing display of flowers. Cafe also open with hot refreshments.
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.
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.
Princesses and pirates trail at Thorndon Country Park– 15th to 23rd February, 10am to 2.30pm- For children aged 3 to 8- Hunt for princesses and pirates, pick up a trail guide from the Forest Café and follow the directions, looking for the clues that are hidden around the paths. Once you have found all the clues head back to the café to get your prize and maybe a warming hot chocolate.
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.
Stick Man at Weald Country Park– 15th, 18th and 22nd February, 1 to 3pm- For under 5s- Join an afternoon of Stick Man fun! Listen to the Stick Man story, make your own Stick Man to take home and sing a long to Stick Man songs. And then….. Meet Stick man himself! This event is free of charge,spaces are strictly limited – so grab your ticket now.
Kids Camp at Leisure World-17th to 21st February 8am-5.30pm
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 Leisure World-17th to 21st February, 8am-5.30pm
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 Castle planetarium– 18th and 20th February- Suitable for children aged 4 and over- Climb inside their heavenly planetarium this half-term. See the constellations unfold before your eyes and learn all about Roman beliefs linked to the stars. Join the craft activity tables to get creative and have plenty of fun!
Colchester half term at the Zoo– 15th to 23rd February, 9.30am to 5pm -Learn more about your favourite animals during the ‘Fabzoolous Friends’ event, take part in the Friendship Trail answering 8 questions about specially selected animal friendships within the zoo for your chance to win an Animal Experience selected by them.
Half day and full day city camps – 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 dancing during the school holidays, giving children the chance to learn new skills and get active in a fun environment.
Wild Wednesday at Dambury Country Park– 19th February, 11am to 2pm- Families can join the rangers by making dens and mud pies, wading the stream, splashing in puddles, kicking leaves, forest craft…..every day is different. There’s always something new to stimulate the imagination and build an appreciation for the outdoors.
The School of Golf at Little Channels – Golf camps ideal for boys and girls who wish to experience playing golf during the school holidays. They are a unique and fun way to learn and improve golf skills, make new friends and have fun.
Disability inclusion slime making workshop– 19th February, 9.30 to 11.30am- Come along and make new friends with this super fun slime making workshop! Learn how to make all different kinds of slime! Siblings welcome.
Disability inclusion bounce and swim at Ongar Leisure Centre– 20th February, 1.30 to 3.30pm- Come and enjoy an hour of trampolining and hour of swimming. Parents can swim too! If your child is under 8 you need to be present for the swim session. Must book in advance. This session is only for children or young people with disabilities/SEN and their siblings.
Disability inclusion night at the Museum– 21st to 22nd February, from 5.30pm- For children aged 8 and upwards- Join Epping Forest District Museum’s very first museum sleepover .Get the chance to see the museum after hours as we take advantage of having the museum to ourselves. Take part in different activities and then settle down to a film before its lights out.
Winter in Promenade Park– Although the Splash Park may be closed until next season and the desire for ice cream replaced by the want of a warming drink, Promenade Park is still a very enjoyable place to spend some time in the colder months.
Snowdrop Open Day at the Gardens of Easton Lodge– 16th and 23rd February ,11:30am to 4:30pm- The Gardens are famed for their snowdrops, in the front garden, the Bosquet, the Glade and the walled kitchen garden. Food and drink, tours, and dogs on leads.
Felsted multi sports with Scott Forbes From 17th to 21st February- For children aged 5 to 14-Keep fit and make friends on this fun multi-sports camp which includes a full range of different sports including: football / hockey/ tennis / badminton / agility, team & skill games / tag rugby / nerf war / rounders / Super hero wrestling / nature walk / volleyball