Bodiam Castle (38 miles)
Pleasures for all tastes: an absolute classic fortress, a thrilling interactive audio adventure, live costumed characters from the past and scenic grounds by the moat with ducks after your picnic. Best. Castle. Ever!
Sealife Adventure (< 1 mile)
Southend on Sea
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.
Belfairs Nature Reserve and Woodland (3 miles)
Leigh on Sea
Belfairs Nature Reserve and Woodland
Get away from it all at this nature reserve and woodland centre and enjoy the wildlife and scenery. Lots of plants and animals to see, plus exhibits and displays in the woodland centre.
Tropical Wings World of Wildlife (9 miles)
Tropical Wings World of Wildlife
All weather fun for the whole family, within acres of attractive gardens with one of the UK's finest tropical butterfly houses. Lively programme of animal encounters, animal feeds and fun activities, plus Monkey Run and Meerkat Lookout!
Colchester Zoo (23 miles)
One of the finest zoos in Europe with over 260 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 Butterfly Glade exhibit for 2015!
Seaquarium at Clacton Pier (26 miles)
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.
Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park (8 miles)
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!
Barleylands Farm Park (12 miles)
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, visit the reptile house, run wild in the indoor play or jump aboard the tractor and trailer ride or miniature railway.
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary (19 miles)
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 (25 miles)
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.
Boydells Dairy Farm (29 miles)
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!
Ada Cole Rescue Stables (31 miles)
Ada Cole Rescue Stables
Get up nose to nose with more than 70 wonderful rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules and find out more about these amazing creatures!
Lee Valley Park Farms (33 miles)
Lee Valley Park Farms
With lots of different farm animals to meet and others you wouldn't expect to meet: charming meerkats, cheeky marmosets, reptiles and llamas! 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!
Central Museum (< 1 mile)
Southend on Sea
Houses the collections of local and natural history and archaeology, and tells the story of Southend’s growth as a major seaside destination. Free to explore!
Southend Pier Museum (< 1 mile)
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.
Castle Point Transport Museum (4 miles)
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'!
Battlesbridge Antiques Centre (8 miles)
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 (14 miles)
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.
Chelmsford Museum (17 miles)
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.
Essex Police Museum (17 miles)
Essex Police Museum
Find out about the police and what they do in this fab little museum that is free to visit. Get your fingerprints taken and check out the recreation of a police cell.
Thurrock Museum (17 miles)
Learn about 250,000 years of Thurrock's past through their fascinating displays and extensive ranges of locally discovered artefacts.
Essex Fire Museum (17 miles)
Essex Fire Museum
A fascinating look into the history of Essex Fire Service with historic engines, uniforms, equipment and photos. Try on different helmets, have a go on the water hose and if you are lucky, climb aboard an engine!
Natural History Museum Colchester (26 miles)
Natural History Museum Colchester
Find out about wildlife habitats and climate change in a family friendly environment full of hands on activities, all of which are free! Best bits: crawling through a super sized badger sett and using their microscope!
Hollytrees Museum (26 miles)
Examine 200 years of clocks, study a dolls house replicating the house you're standing in, interact with the hands on exhibits like period dress up and see if you can spot a live costumed character to talk to!
Colchester Castle Museum (26 miles)
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.
North Weald Airfield and Museum (27 miles)
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 (30 miles)
The Museum of Harlow
Four galleries focusing on local history within major time frames, plus temporary exhibit gallery. Time Detectives kids' history and archaeology workshops at weekends, plus a walled garden to explore with picnic area.
The House on the Hill Toy Museum (33 miles)
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 toys on display. Plus Palaeontology House and Haunted Manor for older types!
Saffron Walden Museum (39 miles)
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.
Blackwater Leisure Centre (13 miles)
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.
Woodup Pool (16 miles)
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. Free to use!
Brightlingsea Open Air Pool (23 miles)
Brightlingsea Open Air Pool
Offering 2 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.
Braintree Swimming Centre (23 miles)
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.
Colchester Leisure World (26 miles)
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.
Kids Kingdom (1 miles)
Southend On Sea
Under new management this year and boasting 8,000 square feet of play including huge vertical drop slide and crazy 14 foot JELLY MOUNTAIN as well as obstacle course style fun and other activities besides.
Fun Factory Rochford (3 miles)
Fun Factory Rochford
7m high 5 level play structure, kiddie quads track, rock climbing wall plus a synthetic ice arena with penguin skate aids.
Monkey Bizzness (5 miles)
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 (5 miles)
Home of Megazone Laser Tag, MegaPlay Soft Play, Music Rooms, Theatre and S-Kape Youth Centre.
Wam Bam Boomerang (8 miles)
Wam Bam Boomerang
Indoor play and party centre, offering dedicated toddler area and much excitement and craziness for the bigger ones.
Cheeky Monkeez (8 miles)
South Woodham Ferrers
Family run children's soft play centre for children aged 0 to 7 years, with a separate baby area for non walkers. Strong emphasis on imaginative play. We also have a cafe area for 40.
Creepy Crawlies Play Centre (9 miles)
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.
Partyman World Basildon (10 miles)
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!
Small Monsters (11 miles)
For under 6s: bouncy castle, ball pools, soft play equipment and fine motor skill activities, plus musical crash mat and soft toys in the Baby Corner.
Monkey Madness Play Centre (12 miles)
Monkey Madness Play Centre
is a children's indoor adventure soft play centre for babies through to big kids, packed full of fun features to entertain energetic kids! Scramble, hide, climb and slide your way to exhaustion!
Monkey Puzzle at Madison Heights (13 miles)
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!
Dizzy Rascals (13 miles)
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.
Stay and Play (13 miles)
Stay and Play
is a ball pool and adventure play centre with sliding, climbing, sports court, trampolining and adventure maze, plus dedicated toddler area! Rainy day: saved!
Rockys Fun House Billericay (14 miles)
Rockys Fun House Billericay
is an indoor soft play centre with two separate play structures for children up to age 10. Also available for private hire exclusive parties at the weekends.
Wacky Warehouse Queen B (16 miles)
Wacky Warehouse Queen B
offer a plentiful multi level multi color adventure play frame plus dedicated toddler area. Family restaurant on ground floor, play zone on first floor with lift access available.
Rockys Fun House Chelmsford (17 miles)
Rockys Fun House Chelmsford
is the newest addition to Rocky's Fun Houses indoor soft play with two fun filled play structures for children from toddlers up to age 10 to enjoy. Also available for private hire at the weekends.
Thanks for all the great things to do and Holiday Centres near Southend on Sea 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.
Swimming Pools in Southend on Sea
Zoos near Southend on Sea
Theme Parks near Southend on Sea
Indoor play areas in Southend on Sea
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Things to do in Southend on Sea
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