If you know any other great things to do in Essex with kids not listed on DAYoutWITHtheKIDS - please get in contact - so we can add them to the site and share the fun places to go with other children - thanks a lot
Family Days Out in Essex
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Colchester Zoo
Colchester
Colchester Zoo One of the finest zoos in Europe with over 250 species of animals set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes. Includes the unique chance to help feed the elephants and giraffes yourself, plus the new Bears of the Rising Sun exhibit for 2014.
Sealife Adventure
Southend on Sea
Sealife Adventure From sharks to seahorses, starfish to stingrays, it’s all here in a family friendly environment with fascinating talks and presentations by their knowledgeable aquarists throughout the day.
Tropical Wings World of Wildlife
Chelmsford
Tropical Wings World of Wildlife All weather fun for the whole family, it is set within acres of attractive gardens and features one of the finest tropical butterfly houses in the UK. Throughout the day the Zoo offers a programme of animal encounters, animal feeds and fun activities, plus Monkey Run for older children and Meerkat Lookout for...
Seaquarium at Clacton Pier
Clacton on Sea
Seaquarium at Clacton Pier An informative, educational, fun learning opportunity to appreciate from an up close perspective some of the intriguing creatures surrounding our coastal areas.
Ada Cole Rescue Stables
Nazeing
Ada Cole Rescue Stables Kids can meet more than 50 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, and learn an important lesson about how we treat our fellow creatures.
Lee Valley Park Farms
Waltham Abbey
Lee Valley Park Farms If you want to get the kids out of the house and are looking for something that is fun, interesting and educational, Lee Valley has all of this and more! With lots of different farm animals to meet and others you wouldn't expect to meet: charming meerkats, cheeky marmosets, reptiles and llamas!
Barleylands Farm Park
Billericay
Barleylands Farm Park Get ready for all weather free range family fun. Say hello to cuddly farmyard friends, join in animal activities, meet birds of prey, run wild in the indoor play or jump aboard the tractor and trailer ride or miniature railway.
Boydells Dairy Farm
Braintree
Boydells Dairy Farm Provides a fun-packed and educational visit for children and adults alike. Try your hand at milking a cow or sheep, feeding hens, riding a donkey cart or outstaring a llama!
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary
Brentwood
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary is a child friendly sanctuary provides a safe haven to animals that need it. They include horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, chinchillas and Max the bull, who loves nothing more than being tickled between his horns!
Clacton Zoo
Clacton on Sea
Clacton Zoo - a children's petting zoo with animals you can feed, stroke and interact with. We have many different friendly animals that the children can learn about including alpacas, goats, micro pigs and various birds. 80 metres from Clacton sea front and 200 metres from Clacton pier.
Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park
South Woodham Ferrers
Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park Meet all your farmyard friends, Tractor and Trailer Rides, Indoor and Outdoor Play, Animal Interactions, Pesky Pet Show, Birds of Prey, Pet Barn, Milking Demonstrations and much more!
Colchester Castle Museum
Colchester
Colchester Castle Museum Lots of hands-on exhibits of appeal to children and adults alike. Displays on castle prisons, medieval and norman colchester - lots going on.
The House on the Hill Toy Museum
Stansted Mountfitchet
The House on the Hill Toy Museum This is the largest privately-owned toy museum in Europe with over 80,000 individual items of mixed antiquity on display, based on the collection of one man who started in 1946 by buying a Hornby train set with his pocket money.
Hollytrees Museum
Colchester
Hollytrees Museum Follow the story around this beautiful Georgian building taking in domestic life and childhood in Colchester over the past 300 years. Meet many different characters from the past and experience Colchester's fascinating history.
Natural History Museum Colchester
Colchester
Natural History Museum Colchester A fascinating chance to get closer to nature. Find out about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change in a family friendly environment full of hands on activities.
Saffron Walden Museum
Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden Museum We are a family-friendly museum where you can have fun exploring ancient history, natural history, local history and world cultures. We have an archaeological sandpit, where you can come and excavate, animals to stroke, microscopes to peep through, fossils, quizzes and much, much more.
Battlesbridge Antiques Centre
Battlebridge
Battlesbridge Antiques Centre Over 80 dealers housed in a variety of old buildings and courtyards, and a vintage motorcycle museum. Great for quieter kids who'll just love all the mysterious stuff!
The Cater Museum
Billericay
The Cater Museum A series of accurately set up Victorian rooms which is great to help kids studying the period visualise it better. They also host displays on local history and have a World War II exhibition room and Victorian garden.
Castle Point Transport Museum
Canvey Island
Castle Point Transport Museum Home to over thirty old and rare buses and coaches alongside vintage commercials, military and emergency vehicles. Great for kids into all things 'vroom'!
Chelmsford Museum
Chelmsford
Chelmsford Museum Set in a park with an adventure play area, the museum offers a nice variety of exhibits, from a fine collection of fossils, a living beehive and British wildlife galleries, to the history of the Essex Regiment and the Essex Yeomanry.
North Weald Airfield and Museum
North Weald
North Weald Airfield and Museum Still a very active airfield and on most summer weekends visitors can see some of the veteran and classic aircraft based on the airfield in action. The museum focuses on local service personnel and civilian histories.
The Museum of Harlow
Harlow
The Museum of Harlow Uses objects, text and pictures to tell the story of the area now known as Harlow from ancient times to the present day. Free quizzes and trails for kids available.
Thurrock Museum
Grays
Thurrock Museum Here you can explore the history of Thurrock through 40 permanent display cases and 20 temporary display cases, containing over 1,500 objects, interpreting 250,000 years of Thurrock's past.
Central Museum
Southend on Sea
Central Museum Houses the collections of local and natural history and archaeology, and tells the story of Southend’s growth as a major seaside destination.
Southend Pier Museum
Southend On Sea
Southend Pier Museum boasts an exciting range of vintage train and tram carriages plus pictorial memorabilia, penny slot machines and period costumes.
Colchester Leisure World
Colchester
Colchester Leisure World 16 family fun features including two thrilling flumes, river rapids, crazy river, waves, geysers, still more slides and family spa pools! Also has standard swimming facilities.
Blackwater Leisure Centre
Maldon
Blackwater Leisure Centre boasts a superb leisure pool, incorporating the challenging Jungle River ride, a fun flume ride, lazy river ride, a safe swimming area for children and novelty bubble pool! Plus separate Baby Pool for our youngest visitors and lane swimming provided.
Brightlingsea Open Air Pool
Colchester
Brightlingsea Open Air Pool Two pools, one a 15m paddling pool, and the second a 50m main pool. The season runs from the end of May through to the beginning of September.
Woodup Pool
Maldon
Woodup Pool A very basic salt water bathing pool with an area of sand at one end. Open May to September. It should be noted they do not have lifeguards. Currently undergoing changes, call before going.
Braintree Swimming Centre
Braintree
Braintree Swimming Centre Facility includes a great family fun orientated pool, with slide and interactive equipment. Children must be under 8 years to use this pool and acompanied by a parent or an adult.
Childsplay Adventureland
Colchester
Childsplay Adventureland For the older children there are three ball ponds with slides, a large spooky area fitted with special effects, aerial glide, spiders webs, giant rapids and a cascading ball foundation for them to explore.
Crazy Kids Adventure Play
Braintree
Crazy Kids Adventure Play A massive, air conditioned, modern warehouse fitted out for high adventure and excitement on the multi-level activity areas in a controlled environment. This is children's playtime entertainment at it's very best and safest.
Go Bananas Indoor Soft Play Centre
Colchester
Go Bananas Indoor Soft Play Centre This is the ultimate in climbing frames with over 5000 sq ft on three levels. Children will be entertained for hours as they bounce on the Aztec Ruins; scream in the spook rooms with strobes, smoke machines and skeleton squeeze rollers.
Kids Kingdom
Southend On Sea
Kids Kingdom Kids Kingdom has approximately 8,000 square feet of play including a 14 foot vertical drop slide and their own 14 foot JELLY MOUNTAIN as well as obstacle course climbs and runs.
Play Rascals
Clacton On Sea
Play Rascals Indoor adventure play with a dedicated section for the under 3's, including ball pool, raised tunnel and slide and an array of toys. For the older children a fascinating labyrinth of nets, climbing walls and slides. Also outdoor play in summer.
Small Monsters
Stanford-le-Hope
Small Monsters is an indoor adventure play area for the under five's and their parents.
Creepy Crawlies Play Centre
Chelmsford
Creepy Crawlies Play Centre We are a fun and exciting place for children under 8 to come and use up all their energy. We have a suitable soft play area for toddlers all on one level. Another softplay section on two levels for toddlers and youngters. Also a baby section with mats, baby gyms and toys.
Tumbletown Indoor Play Centre
Basildon
Tumbletown Indoor Play Centre - is a children's indoor soft play centre for babies to big kids packed full of fun features to entertain and exhaust!
Monkey Puzzle at Madison Heights
Maldon
Monkey Puzzle at Madison Heights There is an amazing giant play frame that is over 6 meters high with a series of exciting climbing structures and educational toys and packed with slides, fun areas to explore and loads more!
Wild n Wacky
Harlow
Wild n Wacky A fantastic jungle-themed indoor play and party centre for 0 to 12 year olds offering play, parties, private hire and freshly prepared food and beverages. Facilities include: state of the art three-tier play frame, 150 seater air conditioned cafe, free wifi internet access, leather sofas and free customer...
Coco Nuts Play Ltd
Dunmow
Coco Nuts Play Ltd Multi tiered frame indoor play facility with dedicated toddler areas and varying bonus features! Outside play area with bouncy castle open May to September. Parties hosted in animal themed rooms.
Tumble Downs
Saffron Walden
Tumble Downs Children and adults will love this new centre - there is lots to keep the children amused whilst the parents relax in the Tumble Downs cafe area with comfortable sofas. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do with children in Essex
Monkey Bizzness
Hockley
Monkey Bizzness Traverse climbing wall, 4 Lane waterfall Astra slide, Canon soft ball shootout guns, 5-a-side football and basketball court, separate under-5's area with mini cars, ball juggler, educational key panels etc
Rayleigh Megazone
Rayleigh
Rayleigh Megazone Home of Megazone Laser Tag, MegaPlay Soft Play, Music Rooms, Theatre and S-Kape Youth Centre.
Wam Bam Boomerang
Burnham On Crouch
Wam Bam Boomerang Indoor play and party centre, offering dedicated toddler area and much excitement and craziness for the bigger ones.
Cheeky Monkeez
South Woodham Ferrers
Cheeky Monkeez Children's soft play centre for children aged 0-6 years with a separate baby area for non- walkers. Strong emphasis on imaginative play. Cafe area for 40. Emma and Martin took over on July 2012 and have extensively refurbished the venuw, please come and see the changes :)
Jungle Adventure
Colchester
Jungle Adventure Huge jungle themed indoor adventure play offering terrific features like aerial glides, ball pools it rains in, cannons, trampolines, assault course and more. In the toddler sensory zone everything apparently comes to life, including a talking tree!
The Firehouse Playcentre
Waltham Abbey
The Firehouse Playcentre A fantastic fire station themed soft play facility across three levels of fun, with separate toddler adventure area, inflatable slides and more!
Kids R Us
South Ockendon
Kids R Us Offering 4 separate age zoned areas with bright, clean and suitable equipment including slides, balls, climbing walls and all the other classic to entertain and exhaust them.
Wacky Warehouse Queen B
Chelmsford
Wacky Warehouse Queen B offer a huge multi level multi color adventure play frame which features all the classic fun features and padded equipment one expects, plus dedicated toddler area.
Stay and Play
Laindon
Stay and Play is a ball pool and adventure play centre with sliding, climbing, sports court and adventure maze, plus dedicated toddler area.
Space Kingdom
Clacton On Sea
Space Kingdom Top notch space themed adventure facility with multi level play frame, go karts, sports arena, drop and spiral slides, Toddlers' Milky Way Centre and very much more! Awesome decor too.
Partyman World Basildon
Basildon
Partyman World Basildon is an indoor play centre which provides lots of fun and play for everyone on the huge themed play structures, football area, fantastic slides and the UK’s only indoor climbable volcano! There is also a specially designed toddler area for little guests who are under 3 years!
Partyman World Lakeside
West Thurrock
Partyman World Lakeside is an indoor play centre which provides lots of fun and play for everyone on the huge themed play structures, football area, fantastic slides and much more! There is also a specially designed toddler area for little guests who are under 3 years!
Fun Factory Rochford
Rochford
Fun Factory Rochford 7m high 5 level play structure, kiddie quads track, rock climbing wall plus a synthetic ice arena with penguin skate aids.
Dizzy Rascals
Maldon
Dizzy Rascals is a indoor soft play centre, age 0 to10. Multi level skill building and adventure play equipment. Featuring interactive panels and a three lane 3 storey astra slide. Delicious food, fresh ground coffee and homemade cakes are all on sale.
Kids Korner
Epping
Kids Korner Indoor karting arena with double seaters, multi level adventure play with loads of features, plus toddler zone with their own special equipment, and outdoor playground too.
Timbuk2
Upminster
Timbuk2 Indoor play centre for children with a baby area, an under 3s area, an over 3s area and a football and basketball area.
Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker
Kelvedon Hatch
Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker Come and witness the three lives of the bunker starting with its role as an RAF ROTOR Station, then a brief period as a civil defence centre through to its most recent life as a Regional Government HQ. Designed for up to 600 military and civilian personnel, possibly even the Prime Minister!
Audley End House and Park
Saffron Walden
Audley End House and Park is a Jacobean house set in a serpentine park. The park contains a circular temple and a bridge over the River Cam, loads of events go on through the summer. Children can let loose in the fun themed play area
Mountfitchet Castle
Stansted Mountfitchet
Mountfitchet Castle The only motte and bailey castle in the world that has been faithfully reconstructed on its original site. A unique time capsule that is steeped in history, enabling the visitor to travel back to Norman England and experience life as it was in 1066.
The Cressing Temple Barns
Braintree
The Cressing Temple Barns This year we have a calendar packed with great events to suit everyone. We have jousting knights, history brought alive with re-enactors from down the ages. Smell the cordite with Sharpe's Rifles and clash swords with the Vikings. Be transported to Tudor times with sound and taste or be enthralled by the...
Layer Marney Tower
Colchester
Layer Marney Tower A great place to visit whether you are planning to exhaust the children in the play area or enjoy the tranquility of the garden. The view from the roof shows the church, outbuildings, play area, gardens, estate and wildlife walk.
Southend Planetarium
Southend
Southend Planetarium Presents a range of talks about astronomy and the night sky. All presentations are given live, giving plenty of opportunity for any questions you may wish to ask, and are generally suitable for ages 7 to adult.
Bourne Mill
Colchester
Bourne Mill Set in tranquil grounds next to a bubbling stream this picturesque mill still has a rare working waterwheel. It's a short stop, but unusual and educational, and kids with a sketchpad or camera will certainly get something from it.
Coggeshall Grange Barn
Coggeshall
Coggeshall Grange Barn 13th-century monastic barn. One of Europe's oldest timber-framed buildings, it has a cathedral-like interior and is linked to a local Cistercian abbey. Inside the barn hosts an exhibition of local woodcarving, tools and a collection of agricultural carts.
Rayleigh Mount
Rayleigh
Rayleigh Mount An early medieval motte and bailey castle site, which offers sweeping views across the Crouch Valley. Make the most of your day by visiting the adjacent windmill to explore historical exhibitions.
Hedingham Castle
Castle Hedingham
Hedingham Castle Bring a picnic and explore the beautiful gardens and lakes then take time to explore the 110ft tall Norman Keep. Many special events are held throughout the year from jousts to outdoor theatre productions from the Globe theatre.
Hadleigh Castle
Hadleigh
Hadleigh Castle Striking castle remains great for photos and sketches, overlooking some great play and picnic territory. Be warned though it's a little isolated, and there are no toilets or facilities nearby.
Royal Gunpowder Mills Secret Island
Waltham Abbey
Royal Gunpowder Mills Secret Island An exciting visitor attraction for all the family. Meet Professor Nitrate in his Mad Lab for fun-filled experiments and crazy science shows, head to the Test Range to fire rockets and try air-soft shooting or take a ride on the Military Truck to see secret parts of the site!
Rayleigh Windmill
Rayleigh
Rayleigh Windmill Try a charming little stop at an award-winning tourist and educational attraction which contains an accredited museum, an exhibition space and information about Rayleigh Mount.
Coalhouse Fort
East Tilbury
Coalhouse Fort A visit to the fort provides an insight into the history of how it was used and how it has evolved over the years in the defense of the approaches to London.
Tilbury Fort
Tilbury
Tilbury Fort Spend a great family day out here as you explore the magazine houses used to store vast quantities of gunpowder or enter the bastion magazine passages and feel what it was like for the soldiers who lived here.
Leigh Heritage Centre
Leigh On Sea
Leigh Heritage Centre Interesting museum with local history artefacts, plus the new Leigh On Sea Heritage Trail starts nearby.
Brentwood Park Ski and Snowboard Centre
Brentwood
Brentwood Park Ski and Snowboard Centre Overlooking 54 acres of beautiful scenic woodland, the Centre offers an exciting variety of dry skiing and snowboarding to suit all ability levels from age 4. They also incorporate other exciting facilities such as a go-Karting track, golf driving range.
Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre
Chelmsford
Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre The latest in sound and lighting effects combine with a lively disco atmosphere in Riverside's ice rink to get some great family skating done.
Sk8rs at Madison Heights
Maldon
Sk8rs at Madison Heights Family friendly roller rink and skate hire, an excellent fun and healthy activity for the whole family. Other activities available on site.
Rollacity
Rochford
Rollacity offers a classic, healthy family zip about on quad or inline skates. Great for balance and skill building, good exercise, plus they offer varying session types with differing music and games.
Rollerworld
Colchester
Rollerworld Classic family friendly roller skating plus laser tag, the no contact combat game played with infra red.
Stubbers Adventure Centre
Upminster
Stubbers Adventure Centre Family adventure starts here, from individual activities to whole days and courses, with a fantastic range including motor sports, jet ski, laser tag and bushcraft. New for 2012: family laser tag!
Flatford Boat Hire
Flatford
Flatford Boat Hire Row a boat along the river in beautiful Constable country
Legacy XS Centre
Benfleet
Legacy XS Centre A 4,500 sq ft indoor skate park and 5,500 sq ft outdoor park containing a 6ft volcano, 90° and 45° hips, 8ft quarter-pipe, vert wall and more!
Laser Mayhem
Abridge
Laser Mayhem Laser combat games are great fun and ideal for active kids between the ages of 8 and 12. All the fun of paintball without the mess! Plus they have an indoor arena incase of bad weather.
Off Road Action Park
Wickford
Off Road Action Park A unique outdoors activity centre providing a wide range of activities including a high ropes course, quad biking, archery, army assault course and many more for the whole family to enjoy. Now with new discounted wristbands!
Southend Marine Activities Centre
Southend On Sea
Southend Marine Activities Centre Nationally recognised watersports courses, including introductory courses in Sailing, Canoeing, Windsurfing, Powerboat Driving and Jetskiing. They also offer a wide range of beach based activities.
Push Kiting
Clacton on Sea
Push Kiting Kite boarding, kite buggying, kite flying and kitesurfing lessons can be taken up by all ages from 8-80yrs, so if you're interested in a great outdoor sport then come and have a go.
Grangewater Outdoor Education Centre
South Ockendon
Grangewater Outdoor Education Centre From granny to youngster, at Grangewaters they offer tailor-made sessions just for your family. Wet or dry or a combination of both just let them know what kind of activities you would like to try and they will put them together for you. It certainly beats shopping!
Basildon Bowl and Quasar
Basildon
Basildon Bowl and Quasar 20 modern tenpin bowling lanes, fully sanctioned by the BTBA and a Quasar Elite Arena, all with a great family atmosphere.
Walton Pier Bowl
Walton on the Naze
Walton Pier Bowl Set beside the pier's funfair and amusements, this family friendly bowling centre is a refreshing break out of the sun and a great excuse for a few games!
Tenpin Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Tenpin Chelmsford is a bowling centre located in Widford Industrial Estate. We have 36 modern fully computerised lanes, American and English Pool tables, Amusement Arcades all catered towards families and kids. There is also the Beach Road Cafe Bar for some delicious meal and snack options.
Tenpin Colchester
Colchester
Tenpin Colchester is a bowling centre located in Cowdray avenue, Colchester. We have 24 modern fully computerised lanes, American and English Pool tables, Amusement Arcades all catered towards families and kids. There is also the Beach Road Cafe Bar for some delicious meal and snack options.
AMF Hollywood Bowl Basildon
Basildon
AMF Hollywood Bowl Basildon Kids love bowling, and if they are under 6 they can use a ramp and gutter guards. Great family fun!
CJs Bowling
Hockley
CJs Bowling 12 tenpin bowling lanes with free entry kiddie soft play area also on site. Cafe plus pro shop.
Madison Lanes
Maldon
Madison Lanes Tenpin bowling in their Air Conditioned environment with 22 fully computerised Tenpin bowling lanes, in two fun areas.
Namco Funscape Braintree
Braintree
Namco Funscape Braintree Kids love bowling, and if they are under 6 they can use a ramp and gutter guards. Great family fun!
Broadway Superbowl
Leigh on Sea
Broadway Superbowl 10 lane family friendly tenpin bowling centre with ramps and gutter guards to give them a sporting chance!
1st Bowl Billericay
Billericay
1st Bowl Billericay Classic family friendly tenpin bowling offering 14 fully automated lanes plus pool and amusements.
Lakeside Karting
West Thurrock
Lakeside Karting Passengers can be taken as young as two, and kids can drive from as young as eight. Karting is a thrilling activity for kids, especially here where you can take tiny passengers.
Brentwood Karting
Brentwood
Brentwood Karting This is an outdoor circuit, 825m in length, with plenty of options for the younger karter from Bambino School to Junior Raceway.
Rayleigh Indoor Karting Stadium
Rayleigh
Rayleigh Indoor Karting Stadium Suitable from age 10, the Arrive and Drive sessions provide a great introduction to karting and a chance to compete with the whole family.
F1K Karting East London
West Thurrock
F1K Karting East London 8+ only. Karting race events, training and parties. Race up to 40mph in their 200cc biz karts. Their track is 400m long with 100m main straight.
Colne Valley Railway
Castle Hedingham
Colne Valley Railway Sample the atmosphere and take a ride on an award winning period country railway. A pretty line, relocated station buildings, signal boxes and bridges all lovingly restored and rebuilt.
Audley End Minature Railway
Saffron Walden
Audley End Minature Railway A delightful 1.5 mile ride on Lord Braybrooke's private 10 and a quarter inch gauge railway through Estate woodland. The children all enjoy looking out for the teddies that live in the woods!
East Anglian Railway Museum
Colchester
East Anglian Railway Museum Go back in time and come and explore the museum. Learn about railways and the people who worked and traveled on them. Have rides on our Mini Rail during the school holidays. Check for details on our website for whats happening
Chelmer Cruises
Chelmsford
Chelmer Cruises Take a leisurely hour long cruise on Caffel, or hire a row boat or open canoe and explore the canal yourselves! Public tours and private hire.
Epping Ongar Railway
Epping
Epping Ongar Railway The longest heritage railway in Essex, and closest to London: running mainline steam and diesel trains and a heritage bus service to Epping Underground station. Step back in time and enjoy the romance of travel with our great value ticket, offering three heritage transport experiences.
Barnards Miniature Railway
West Horndon
Barnards Miniature Railway - is a miniature railway that runs steam trains and diesel trains through the Essex countryside and woodlands. It has a picnic area and places for the kids to run round.
Southend Cliff Lift
Southend On Sea
Southend Cliff Lift Take a pleasurable journey on an iconic feature of Southend's rich heritage with fantastic views of the pier and estuary. It runs between Western Esplanade and Cliffton Terrace and will take pushchairs.
Castle Park and Gardens
Colchester
Castle Park and Gardens Features include a children's play area, crazy golf and putting green, children's boating lake, cricket ground, traditional cafe, riverside walks, and Hollytrees Museum.
Waltham Abbey Gardens
Waltham Abbey
Waltham Abbey Gardens Wander around the remains of what was once one of the largest Augustinian Abbeys in the country. Discover this truly magical heritage site where dragonflies flock!
Promenade Park
Maldon
Promenade Park Formal gardens, splash park, adventure playground, sandy play area for children, picnic, play and recreation areas, maze, tennis courts, shops and cafes, a large model boating lake, skateboard park and much, much more...
Great Notley Discovery Centre and Park
Braintree
Great Notley Discovery Centre and Park A whole day's worth, including a sensory trail, endless play equipment suitable for multiple age groups, cycle hire centre, fishing, visitor centre and bistro, sports and educational facilities, plus an extensive events programme.
Hatfield Forest
Bishop Stortford
Hatfield Forest Extraordinary woodland involving trees of up to 1200 years old. Great for outdoor play, hiking and picnicking. Please note the adjacent car park has seasonally limited opening.
Cudmore Grove Country Park
East Mersea
Cudmore Grove Country Park Located at the eastern end of Mersea Island, the park includes a sandy beach backed by a large expanse of open grassland, perfect for summer games, picnics and taking in the views.
High Woods Country Park
Colchester
High Woods Country Park Had three superb adventure play areas and also includes woodland, open spaces (ideal for picnics) a lake and wildflower meadows.
Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve
Colchester
Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve Great for rambling, bird watching and nature photography; there's also a visitor centre. In the spring there is the unusual sight of Cormorants nesting in trees, one of the few places in Britain where they do this
Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve
Fingringhoe
Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve Set in a spectacular position overlooking the Colne Estuary the visitor centre provides stunning views even on the dullest days It offers the visitor real peace and quiet. Out on the reserve you will find a picnic area, nature trails and bird hides.
Gosfield Lake Resort
Halstead
Gosfield Lake Resort The activities on site are wide-ranging from the gentle relaxation of Fishing, to the excitement of Water Skiing and banana boat rides. Or Just come and enjoy our lakeside picnic area and watch. A pleasant safe environment for family fun and relaxation. Camping facilities available.
Grays Beach Riverside Park
Grays
Grays Beach Riverside Park Great play equipment like their giant sand pit, adventure trail, aerial slide and the famous Grays Beach play galleon are open all year round and during the summer months there's a whole treasure trove of activities, competitions and special events.
Admirals Park
Chelmsford
Admirals Park A wide range of facilities; football and cricket pitches, pitch and putt golf, bowling green, tennis courts, angling, canoeing and play areas offer recreational opportunities.
Baddow Hall Park
Chelmsford
Baddow Hall Park Popular with families and dog walkers this area offers plenty of open space for games and a great children's adventure play area.
Bedfords Park Visitor Centre
Havering atte Bower
Bedfords Park Visitor Centre Offers visitors a really warm welcome and the opportunity to find out about the wildlife within the 215 acre park, which includes many valuable species rich habitats - so take your magnifying glass and sketchbook or camera for the kids to identify mini beasts!
Chelmer Park
Chelmsford
Chelmer Park An adventure play area, outdoor gym equipment, football pitches, netball and tennis courts, plus oodles of green open space to play and picnic in so take your frisbees, bats and balls!
Brook End Gardens
Chelmsford
Brook End Gardens Children's play area, formal gardens and recreational gardens. Not huge, not fancy, but just the thing for a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon. Take a ball!
The Gardens of Easton Lodge
Little Easton
The Gardens of Easton Lodge Plenty of beautifully tended green space plus simple but fun wildlife activities for younger visitors, such as Scavenger Hunts for which they are rewarded with stickers; also craft activities.
Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens
Braintree
Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens 5 acres of formal public gardens plus tennis courts and a pretty good children's play area. To make the most of the trip take bats (or rackets!) and balls, sketchpad and camera.
King Georges Playing Fields
Brentwood
King Georges Playing Fields Features a unique garden for the blind with many flowering and non-flowering plants which appeal to senses other than sight. They also offer crazy golf, a skatepark, children's adventure play area and paddling pools.
Thorndon Country Park
Brentwood
Thorndon Country Park This beautiful all access country park contains a diverse range of habitats and is managed both for people and for its precious wildlife. Get out your bug and bird books, binoculars and sketchbook and have a great old fashioned family nature walk!
Weald Country Park
Brentwood
Weald Country Park 500 acres of glorious parkland that's over 700 years old! Ranger led activities for children vary from investigating flowers and insects to kite making and Halloween walks.
Hylands House and Park
Chelmsford
Hylands House and Park 574 acres of parkland, woodland and lakes surround this sumptuously ornate building, both of which are a delight to explore. Their adventure playground is extensive and has a special focus on disability friendly equipment.
Epping Forest and Visitor Centre
Epping
Epping Forest and Visitor Centre As well as being a popular area for recreation and enjoyment it is also of national and international conservation importance with two thirds of it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
Harlow Town Park
Harlow
Harlow Town Park A grand adventure playground plus large paddling pool (open in the summer) and a Pets’ Corner home to a variety of animals including fish, sheep, llamas and reindeer.
The Gibberd Garden
Harlow
The Gibberd Garden Younger children will adore spotting all the little features and hidden sculptures throughout the gardens, and they'll all love the children's moated castle with drawbridge!
Parndon Wood Nature Reserve
Harlow
Parndon Wood Nature Reserve A haven for flora, fungi, birds, minibeasts, small mammals and deer, waiting for you to explore and discover. During school holidays activity sessions are run for children.
Hockley Woods
Hockley
Hockley Woods A tremendous amount of ancient trees, stunning wild flowers and local wildlife for an old fashioned family ramble. Plus playground and way marked trails.
Abbey Fields Play Park
Colchester
Abbey Fields Play Park Fenced in playpark with plenty of climbing frames, slides and classic features to entertain and exhaust the kids.
Thames Chase Visitor Centre
Upminster
Thames Chase Visitor Centre Set in a vast and unique community space, the visitor centre at it's heart offers three children's play areas, family rambles, plus a great range of events, workshops and other entertainments.
Wat Tyler Country Park
Basildon
Wat Tyler Country Park Nature walks and wildlife, multi media and interactive educational exhibits in the 2 centres, sculpture trail and great summer activities.
Maldon Promenade Park
Maldon
Maldon Promenade Park Summer time splash park plus tree trail and orienteering, skate ramps and BMX area, formal sports facilities (managed independently) plus model boating and crabbing lake.
Leigh on Sea Beach
Leigh on Sea
Leigh on Sea Beach Regularly voted in the Top 100 British Beaches, a lovely sandy beach which stretches for 7 miles from Leigh to Shoeburyness, excellent for swimming, windsurfing and sailing.
Frinton on Sea Beach
Tendring
Frinton on Sea Beach Good swimming with some lifeguard cover, nice sand and excellent fossil hunting territory close by. Deliberately traditional, no arcades, etc.
Blake House Craft Centre
Braintree
Blake House Craft Centre Challenge your friends to a round of crazy golf on the 9 hole minigolf course and then test your wits against 'The Original Great Maze' challenge! Plus browse their great range of specialist arts and crafts shops.
Ceramics on the Hop
Writtle
Ceramics on the Hop Ceramics on the Hop now also run clay workshops during the school holidays and are able offer potters wheel for older children and adults, although this is a bookable activity.
Made by You Pottery Painting Studio
Leigh On Sea
Made by You Pottery Painting Studio is a Pottery Painting and Craft Studio, where people of all ages and all abilities can paint , create and have fun, we offer parties and school holiday sessions too.
Blue Owl
Colchester
Blue Owl is a paint your own pottery studio and gift shop. You can come in anytime and choose from a wide selection of pottery pieces that you can paint in a variety of colours. Baby hand and foot prints can also be taken. All ages are welcome.
Crafty Mums
Colchester
Crafty Mums is a Handmade Gift shop and Craft workshop. Offering a regular programme of craft workshops for children and adults. We also offer creative kids’ birthday parties, with a range of activities from Ceramics, Felt making, sewing, paper-craft and much more.
Adventure Island
Southend on Sea
Adventure Island Situated on Southend Seafront on both sides of the world famous pier, the park boasts over 40 rides and attractions!
Walton Pier
Walton on the Naze
Walton Pier Take a ride on the Red Baron, be thrilled on the Waltzer, ride into the sunset on the Gallopers, release that road rage on the Dodgems or play some classic tenpin bowling: or all of it!
Mistley Place Park
Manningtree
Mistley Place Park Animal sanctuary and tea rooms. An educational day out where you can feed the animals and teach the kids something important.
Zorbit
Waltham Cross
Zorbit Recommended 8yrs plus, Zorbiting is a safe exciting high and a really unique experience.
West Park Pitch Putt and Crazy Golf
Chelmsford
West Park Pitch Putt and Crazy Golf Established 18 hole pitch and putt course, with a 9 hole crazy golf course, cafeteria, equipment for hire and a large car park.
Gnome Magic
Colchester
Gnome Magic Visit the enchanted Gnome woodland, explore mysterious and delightful gardens and finish off with a cup of tea and cake while painting your own gnome as a keepsake.
Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf
Southend On Sea
Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf 18 hole crazy golf course with fun features and amusing challenges for the whole family to play together.
Clacton Pier
Clacton on Sea
Clacton Pier Experience 360 Meters of All Weather all year fun and Rides including The new Lanes Tenpin Bowling. From Tiny Tot Rides to The return of The Stella Rollercoaster Families will have hours of fun and memories.
Clacton Pavilion
Clacton on Sea
Clacton Pavilion Exciting fun park choose from Adventure Golf, Dodgems, 5D Cinema, Terror Tower, 360 Dance party, Bungee Trampolines, Gold Mine Roller Coaster, State of the Art Ten Pin Bowling and fabulous Bar & Restaurant
Southend Pier and Train
Southend On Sea
Southend Pier and Train Apparently the longest pleasure pier in the world, featuring pier train and transport museum, fishing and sightseeing.
Rollerworld Quasar
Colchester
Rollerworld Quasar Classic laser tag, the no contact combat game played with infra red, plus family friendly roller skating.
Colmar Farm Riding School
South Weald
Colmar Farm Riding School BHS approved all weather facility offering lessons, plus scenic hacks in South Weald Park. Educational facility also offering horse care and qualifications.

Thanks for all the great things to do in Essex with kids you keep sending in.
Now we have the easter and summer holidays fast approaching, we're trying to find the best days out and as many fun things to do with kids as possible, especially cheap and free family friendly places to visit this year - theme parks, waterparks and swimming pools, museums, indoor playcentres and softplay for toddlers, petting farms, wildlife parks and zoos, aquariums, horse riding, castles, steam railways, pottery making and ceramic cafes, roller and ice skating rinks, karting tracks, snowdomes, dry and indoor ski slopes, climbing walls, activity centres, outdoor play at the best local parks, ten pin bowling alleys and all the other best family tourist attractions, that you can visit at the weekend.

Also teachers may find the site useful for ideas for the best places to take their classes on school journeys with many historical and educational atractions listed

So, if you've been for great days out with the kids, or a school trip, which isn't shown above, just send in an email and we'll add it on so people visiting on holidays and all the other children in Essex can enjoy the great day out as well.



Things to do in Hertfordshire | Places to visit in Surrey | Things to do in Colchester
Where to go in Kent | Places to go in Suffolk | Things to do in London
Theme parks in Surrey | Zoos in Norfolk | Museums in Hertfordshire
Bowling in Essex | Skiing in Essex | Ice Skating in Essex
What to do in Norfolk | Places to visit in Chelmsford | Places to visit in the UK
places to go with kids