Essex School Holidays

girl swinging off tire swing and laughing

Looking for things to do with the kids during the Essex school holiday dates? We’re here to help you with a school holidays and term dates super-guide! We’ve also included some popular attractions and things to do in Essex during the holidays.

Get ready to plan your family escapes!

kids finishing school

Essex School Holiday Dates 2023/24

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Autumn, Term 1

Term begins: Monday 4 September 2023 – Friday 20 October 2023

Half term: Monday 23 October 2023 Friday – 27 October 2023


Autumn, Term 2

Term begins: Monday 30 October 2023 – Wednesday 20 December 2023

Winter holiday (Christmas):  Thursday 21 December 2023 – Wednesday 3 January 2024


Spring, Term 3

Term begins: Thursday 4 January 2024 – Friday 16 February 2024

Spring half term: Monday 19 February 2024 – Friday 23 February 2024


Spring, Term 4

Term begins: Monday 26 February 2024 – Thursday 28 March 2024

Easter bank holiday: Friday 29 March 2024 – Monday 1 April 2024

Spring holiday (Easter): Tuesday 2 April 2024 – Friday 12 April 2024


Summer, Term 5

Term begins: Monday 15 April 2024 – Friday 24 May 2024

Early May bank holiday: Monday 6 May 2024 – Monday 6 May 2024

Spring bank holiday: Monday 27 May 2024 Monday 27 May 2024

Summer half term: Tuesday 28 May 2024 Friday 31 May 2024

Summer, term 6:

Term begins: Monday 3 June 2024 Tuesday 23 July 2024

Summer holiday: Wednesday 24 July 2024 Friday 30 August 2024

Things to do in the Essex School Holidays…

Girl with owl on her wrist

Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, South Woodham Ferrers

Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park prides itself on offering all-weather entertainment for families with kids. The main attraction is, of course, the animals. Your tiny farmers-to-be will have the chance to meet, feed and pet the animals; even groom a pony. There’s also a bird aviary to walk through and an animal trail to explore.

In addition to the animal-related activities, you’ll also find large indoor and outdoor play areas, plus a theatre if you fancy watching a live show. If you decide to come during the summer holidays, there will also be bouncy castles, bouncy pillows and a maize maze!

Shape Location Get directions

Marsh Farm, Marsh Farm Rd, South Woodham Ferrers CM3 5WP

Opening Times

Peak Season - All school holidays, bank holidays or between March/April to the end of August
7 Days a Week – 10am to 5pm

Autumn Season - September to the 5th October
Fridays & Weekends – 10am to 5pm
Unless school holidays then we are open weekdays as normal

Halloween Season - 6th to the 30th October
7 Days a Week – 10am to 5pm

Off Season - November to March (Closed throughout November/December except for the Father Christmas Experience Bookings)


Adult (16+) from £5.99 to £23.99
Child (2 - 16 years old) from £5.99 to £23.99
Toddler (6 months to under 2 years old) from £2.00 to £6.00

Find out more
girl swinging off tire swing and laughing

Great Notley Discovery Centre and Park, Braintree

Here’s something free to do during the Essex school holidays! At Great Novelty Discovery Centre and Park you’ll have the opportunity to explore Essex’s longest play trail, all 1.2km of it! Climbing, sliding, playing with sand and swimming on the tyre swings – your kids will enjoy every bit of it! Not to mention there’s also a water play area and forts….

Since the park spreads across 100 acres of open spaces, it’s a great place to do all your favourite outdoor activities, including cycling, fishing, football, picnics and kite-flying. It’s also a wonderful spot for bird spotting enthusiasts.

Shape Location Get directions

Great Notley, Braintree CM77 7FS

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 24 hours



Find out more
disney characters at Lee Valley Park

Lee Valley Farm Parks, Waltham Abbey

Lee Valley Farm Parks is home to all sorts of creatures, including farmyard animals, exotic animals and birds of prey. This means you can see a bearded dragon, watch a falconry display and feed pigs, goats and tortoises all on the same day.

Animals are just the tip of the iceberg – explore 5 adventure play zones (featuring a toboggan run and dinosaurs), go on a family tractor ride through the farm and cheer along at the lamb and goat races. That’s how you make the 2019 Essex school holidays unforgettable!

Shape Location Get directions

2ED, Fishers Green Ln, Waltham Abbey EN9 2ED

Opening Times

During peak season the animal park is open from 10am to 5pm for all bank holidays, school holidays and between March/April to the end of October!


Please see webite for prices.

Find out more
Old mcdonalds farm train ride activity

Old MacDonalds Farm & Fun Park, Brentwood

Already singing the popular kids tune in your head? You’re in the right spirits; time to visit Old MacDonalds Farm & Fun Park and meet all 200+ animals who live there! With over 30 species on-site, the farm doesn’t have just donkeys, goats and pigs. There also are some exotic creatures to be seen, including alpacas, wallabies and meerkats.

Ready for adventure? The theme park rides for little ones will bring a much-needed dose of excitement into your day out. From facing the heights of the Gigantic Snake Slide, to operating a digger at the JCB Construction Zone, to swinging in the air on the Thrilling Crazy Barn Ride – your tiny daredevils are sure to go back home satisfied.

Shape Location Get directions

Weald Rd, Brentwood CM14 5AY

Opening Times

Open everyday from 10am - 5pm


Free entry

Find out more
people exercising at Blackwater Leisure Centre

Blackwater Leisure Centre, Maldon

How about some indoor fun? Pull out your swimsuits and get ready to dive into the fun at Blackwater Leisure Centre in Maldon! You can learn to swim, or practice your stroke in a 25-metre pool, but if you’re all about the fun you’ll head straight to the fantastic flume and make a splash.

During the Essex school holidays the centre runs a holiday activity programme for kids aged 5-12, so why not use the opportunity to keep the kids busy and maybe even discover their new favourite sport?

Shape Location Get directions

Park Dr, Maldon CM9 5UR

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 6am - 10pm
Saturday & Sunday 7.30am - 5pm


Please check wbesite for activity prices.

Find out more
2 girls sitting in the back of a car with suitcases.

We know you can’t fill in all the Essex school holidays with just these 5 attractions, no matter how awesome they are. Don’t worry though! There are lots more ideas and things to do in Essex for you to explore on Day Out With The Kids. Just enter your location press “Search” and be ready to be inspired! You’re sure to find heaps of school holiday activities and maybe even some holidays too…

We’ve got everything from UK Staycations to the latest info on international family attractions like Siam Waterpark in Spain! And hey, don’t forget to grab yourself a VIP Pass in time for the school holidays – we save families money across thousands of top UK theme parks, castles, theatre shows, restaurants and so much more!

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