Natural History Museum Colchester (< 1 mile)
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!
Colchester Castle Museum (< 1 mile)
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.
Crafty Mums (< 1 mile)
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.
Hollytrees Museum (< 1 mile)
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!
Castle Park and Gardens (< 1 mile)
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.
Tenpin Colchester (< 1 mile)
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.
Colchester Leisure World (< 1 mile)
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.
Go Bananas Indoor Soft Play Centre (< 1 mile)
Go Bananas Indoor Soft Play Centre
Enormous play zone with terrific design and atmospheric play features on top of the usual fare, including vertical drop waterfall slide, bouncy Aztec Ruins and a spooky cavern with smoke machines and light effects! Plus a bigger than implied Tiny Town for the under 4s too. Awesome!
Rollerworld (< 1 mile)
Classic family friendly roller skating offering Roller Disco, plus separate sessions for Family, Over 8s and Adults Only. Plus cool laser tag arena for zero contact combat gaming!
Rollerworld Quasar (< 1 mile)
Classic laser tag, the no contact combat game played with infra red, plus family friendly roller skating.
Bourne Mill (1 miles)
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.
High Woods Country Park (1 miles)
High Woods Country Park
Includes 3 superb adventure play areas plus woodland, open spaces, lakeside and wildflower meadows. Great for fishing, picnicking, hiking, cycling and general exploring!
Jungle Adventure (2 miles)
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!
Colchester Zoo (3 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!
Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve (5 miles)
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.
Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve (5 miles)
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!
Blue Owl (6 miles)
- is a paint your own pottery studio, coffee 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.
Layer Marney Tower (6 miles)
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.
East Anglian Railway Museum (7 miles)
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
Cudmore Grove Country Park (7 miles)
Cudmore Grove Country Park
Tucked at the eastern tip of Mersea Island, the park includes a pleasingly sandy beach backed by a large expanse of open grassland perfect for summer games and picnics plus woodland to explore too. The information station offers maps… and parties!!
Brightlingsea Open Air Pool (8 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.
West Mersea Beach (8 miles)
West Mersea Beach
A sandy pebbly beach great for crabbing, windsurfing and traditional beach days, with sandier shore at the eastern end where there's also a playground and some nature footpaths.
Mistley Place Park (8 miles)
Mistley Place Park
Animal sanctuary and tea rooms. An educational day out where you can feed the animals and teach the kids something important.
Coggeshall Grange Barn (9 miles)
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.
Woodup Pool (9 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!
Alton Watersports Centre (11 miles)
Alton Watersports Centre
A water sports centre for sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. Also a good spot for walking and cycling. Classes available or bring your own craft. Racing and junior events held throughout the year.
Glass and Craft (12 miles)
Glass and Craft
is an indoor family craft workshop providing glass painting, ceramic painting and decopatch crafting for all ages. No booking required, just turn up, get creative and have fun. Kids' craft parties also available!
Strikes (13 miles)
Child friendly ten pin bowling with an exciting laserquest facility also on site.
Laser Quest Sudbury (13 miles)
Laser Quest Sudbury
offers a full futuristic laser tag arena with infra red laser equipment and immersive atmospherics! Plus classic tenpin bowling to calm down with afterwards!
Push Kiting (13 miles)
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.
Space Kingdom (13 miles)
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.
Frinton on Sea Beach (13 miles)
Frinton on Sea Beach
Good swimming with some lifeguard cover, nice sand and excellent fossil hunting territory close by. Deliberately traditional, no arcades, etc.
Clacton Zoo (13 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.
Clacton Pavilion (13 miles)
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
Robbie Rascal Party and Play Centre (13 miles)
Hollow Trees (13 miles)
There are different routes and lots to see so your walk can be as long or as short as you like to make it. On your walk you will find Dirty Dave the tractor stuck in the mud, the Rolly Polly pole, Goat Mountain, Mini Tractors and the Welly Game.
Clacton Pier (13 miles)
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.
The Cressing Temple Barns (13 miles)
The Cressing Temple Barns
Learn about the Knights Templar; explore the knot, nosegay, medicinal and kitchen gardens; cross the moat (repeatedly if you wish, making clip clop noises) and enjoy a picnic. Classic day out material.
Seaquarium at Clacton Pier (13 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.
Jimmys Farm (13 miles)
An exciting day out for all the family. We are a working farm and breed rare breed pigs but also have cows, sheep, chickens and more! We have a nature trail, butchery and shop, cafe and playground. We hold farmers markets on 1st Saturday of every month.
Gosfield Lake Resort (14 miles)
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.
Braintree Swimming Centre (14 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.
Crazy Kids Adventure Play (14 miles)
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 its very best and safest.
Namco Funscape Braintree (14 miles)
Namco Funscape Braintree
Kids love bowling, and if they are under 6 they can use a ramp and gutter guards. Great family fun!
Suffolk Ski Centre (14 miles)
Suffolk Ski Centre
Special sessions provided for absolute beginners over 4, general access to slopes is at age 7. Activities include kindergarten ski play, race training, ski toboggan and snowboard parties, and Ringos!
Hedingham Castle (15 miles)
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.
Chantry Park (15 miles)
Spacious parkland and great adventure play areas with rope and trampoline climbing structure and zip wire, plus nice new swings, slides and roundabouts too!
Blackwater Leisure Centre (15 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.
Maldon Promenade Park (15 miles)
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.
Monkey Puzzle at Madison Heights (15 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!
Thanks for all the great things to do in Colchester 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.
Places to go in Essex
Kids fun in Hertfordshire
Things to do in Norfolk
Places to visit in Chelmsford
Where to go in Kent
Surrey days out
Things to do in Harlow
Theme parks in Hertfordshire
Swimming in Colchester
Play centres in Colchester
Zoos in Colchester
Ice skating near Colchester
Tenpin bowling near Colchester
Dry ski slopes near Colchester
Places to go in London
Zoos in Essex
Places to visit in Suffolk
Places to visit near Southend-on-Sea
Days out near Braintree