February 2020 half term 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

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: 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 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 info@sportforconfidence.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)

20 things to do this winter

We’ve put together this ‘20 things to do this winter‘ poster to encourage your family to get outdoors, whatever the weather. Just print it out and tick what you have done and share your stories with us on Instagram @LivewellCampaign.

Look for a book in the Essex parks

Explore Essex will be hiding throughout the school holiday some FREE books for you to find in all their parks.

What’s happening in …

Basildon Borough

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.

Base camps at Noak Bridge Primary School– 17th to 21st February- Open from 7am to 6pm

Braintree District

Project 2020 at Halstead Leisure Centre– 18th to 21st February – Free multi-sports activities such as dodgeball, tactical games and futsal for young people aged 13 and over. To book or for more info, email scd-essex@fusion-lifestyle.com

Holiday football camps at Braintree Sport and Health Club– 18th and 20th February, 9.45am to 3.15pm (6 to 12 year olds) and 10am to 12.15pm (4 to 5 year olds)- Learn the basic techniques, develop core skills and improve overall performance.

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.

Tennis camps with First Service Baker Tennis Academy-for 4-16 year olds- 10am to 3pm each day- with the option of early drop off from 8.45am and late pick up at 4pm if required.

Half-term diesel day at East Anglian Railway Museum, Chappel(near Colchester) -19th February- Get yourselves down to the museum for unlimited rides on one of their classic diesel trains. Explore the vintage carriages and operate the signal box and much more!

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.

Family craft week at Cressing Temple Barns– 17th to 21st February,10.30am to 12pm – For children aged 2 to 10- Enjoy a range of crafts, trails and competitions on the family craft week.

Inflatable sessions at the leisure centres:

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.

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.

Castle Point Borough

Active kids activities at Castle Point Leisure Centre.

Colchester Borough

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 Museum animal encounters– 18th and 20th February- Meet some warm blooded animals and some cold blooded critters and discover more about the animal kingdom.

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.

Chelmsford City

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.

Woodland walks at RHS Garden Hyde Hall– Every Tuesday until 25th February, at 11am. Wrap up warm, grab your wellies and explore the estate at RHS Garden Hyde Hall.

Epping Forest

Kids for a QuidKids for a quid at Epping Ongar Railway during half term holidays– 19th to 23rd February- Regular steam and diesel hauled services in operation, with heated carriages, together with our connecting heritage buses from Epping Underground station.

Disability inclusion street tennis at Debden Arts & Community Centre– 18th February, 1.30 to 3.30pm- Learn new skills through various games and challenges- all equipment provided. Street Tennis is perfect for all abilities, including beginners. Siblings welcome.

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.

Harlow District

Snowdrop days at the Gibberd Garden– 16th, 19th and 23rd February, 2:00pm to 4:30pm- Snowdrops, tea, scones and cakes.

Multi-active holiday activities at St James School– 17th to 21st February- Activities include inflatables, circus skills, multi-sports and nerf wars.

Maldon District

Explore & discover half term activities at the Museum of Power, Langford nr Maldon- 19th  to Sunday 23rd February- Bug Hunt, Arts and Crafts, Power of Push and Pull and more.

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.

Multi sports at Blackwater Leisure Centre  from 17th to 21st February for ages 5-12- Your children will keep busy and active with a huge variety of activities and sports for them to enjoy.

Rochford  District

Clements Hall holiday activities such as junior gym and football.

Tendring District

See all the school holiday activities at Clacton Leisure Centre which include indoor activities and swimming.

Uttlesford District

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.

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 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

Some really useful links

  • Essex Mums February half term activities– There are a number of events across Essex such as dragons in the woods, science experiments, baby friendly cinema and dinosaur discovery.
  • 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
  • Explore Essex– explore the hidden gems of the county, its green spaces, kids play and trails, recommended family events, walks and tours and wildlife.
  • 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!

Livewell Partners