Essex County, Braintree District, Colchester Borough, Uttlesford District
This Easter half term, as we ease out of lockdown, many of the annual half-term activities have been cancelled or postponed.
However, thankfully, many half term activities have moved online and there are plenty of resources for keeping your children occupied this half term at home.
As of 29th March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
Keep Essex Active has had a Easter Holiday takeover, so as well as their exercise classes for all ages, you can also view arts and crafts, cooking and games sessions. You can tune in live or catch up in your own time, simply visit the Keep Essex Active YouTube channel. There is a timetable of activities to occupy your Easter holidays, beginning Monday 29th March.
Essex ActivAte is the new holiday activity and food programme run by Active Essex in partnership with Essex County Council and funded by the Department for Education. Working with a network of holiday club delivery partners the programme provides FREE face to face clubs for young people who are eligible for benefits based free school meals, as well as young people from working families who would benefit from this extra support. Clubs will include fun activities, including sports and arts & crafts, for at least 4 hours per day over 8 days of the Easter holidays*. Plus every child will get a healthy, tasty lunch! For those that can’t attend, they are providing a free activity pack which can be downloaded from the website from 29th March. Visit the Active Essex website.
Essex Youth Service is running a series of virtual sessions across the Easter Holidays between Monday 29th March and Friday 9th April. Suitable for 13-16 year olds, they cover topics such as Healthy Relationships, Understanding law and legality, Online safety, Mindfulness, First Aid, Preparing for interviews and more. See the full list and sign up for a place on the Essex Youth Service Website.
Explore Essex is running a Virtual Easter Egg Hunt between 23rd March and 6th April. A colouring and design template can be downloaded and decorated and displayed in windows or front gardens for neighbours to look out for. More information from the Explore Essex website.
Artimate is running online Easter holiday workshops to teach young people how to animate using the Filpaclip App. They are running an animation taster session on Wednesday 31st March for 8 to 13 year olds. You can choose to do one session or both, £15 for one session and £28 for both. Visit the Artimate website for more information.
Essex Wildlife Trust has a number of live webcams showing wildlife such as owls, swallows, badgers and bats – so if you can’t get out in nature, let it come to you! They also have a number of online courses to choose from. Visit the Essex Wildlife Trust website.
Essex Highways have information and maps on walking and cycle routes across the county. There are lots of beautiful nature walks local to your area, so find out more on the Essex Highways website. Parks and walking routes may be busier than usual during half term, so remember to social distance.
Braintree Museum has a schedule of half term crafts that can be made from items you may usually throw away!
Tuesday 30th March, 10.30am-11.30am – Pop up Easter puppets and hatching chicks
Thursday 1st April, 10.30am-11.30am – Easter egg baskets and garlands
Tuesday 6th April, 10.30am-11.30am – Bird feeders and build a bird
Thursday 8th April, 10.30am-11.30am – Gnome/fairy houses and wands
Tickets are free, book in advance. Details of required materials listed on the website.
Easter Family Trail is an Easter egg hunt at Marks Hall Estate running between 27th March and 11th April. Try and find all 50 wooden Easter eggs in the Arboretum and collect a delicious treat at the end. £2 per child. Visit the Marks Hall website.
Nuclear Races Wild Forest in Kelvedon is running Easter Active Kids for ages 6 and up, featuring one hour of obstacle action based fun, across 6 obstacles with your leader. Visit the Nuclear Wild Forest website.
Nuclear High Ropes is an outdoors high ropes course on 3 levels, 6 courses with over 70 fun aerial obstacles. Groups of 6 welcome and there is axe and throwing activities for those over 13 years old. Visit the Nuclear High Ropes website.
Old McDonalds Farm is holding a late Easter festival between 12th-18th April and 24th-25th April. Activities include an Easter egg hunt, magic shows, baby animal encounters, circus workshops and puppet shows. Visit the Old Mcdonald’s Farm website.
Colchester and Ipswich Museums have a library of resources for you to download with plenty of activities around subjects including the Iron Age, Romans, local wildlife and much more! Visit the Colchester + Ipswich Museums website to browse their activities.
Colchester Zoo may not be open to the public at the moment, but they are bringing you the zoo online where you can watch content on their YouTube channel or download their activity pack. They hope to open from April 12. Visit the Colchester Zoo website.
Curious About Colchester are self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme, so you can discover this historic town’s hidden treasures. Visit the Curious About website for more information.
Audley End Miniature Railway is taking you on a journey into the woods to visit their very own Easter Bunny, receive a special treat and meet his other furry friends. Runs 12-25th April. Adults £15, Children £7.50. Visit the Audley End Miniature Railway website.
Saffron Walden Round Table Easter Egg Hunt is taking place on Sunday 4th April at Bridge End Gardens 10am-1pm. £1 entry for charity in return for clue sheet, small present from the Easter bunny and entry into a draw for a special Easter egg.