20 Best Things To Do In Essex Near Me | Day Out With The Kids

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Many attractions are still closed, while others may have opened with social distancing in place. Please always check directly with the venue first before visiting.

Best Things To Do & Days Out In Essex

From big thrills to animal days out and historic landmarks, Essex is packed with fun things to  do with your kids all year round!

 

If your perfect family day out involves lots of furry, fluffy and feathered pals, your must-visit attraction in the region is Colchester Zoo where you can meet over 260 species of animals. They even have Red Pandas!  For traditional, laid-back farmyard fun, check out Old MacDonalds Farm or Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park - acres of farmlands, rides, games and lots of hands-on fun in the barn await. 

Into thrill rides and theme parks? Adventure Island Southend-on-Sea should be next on your list of places to visit in Essex. If you’d rather unwind with a relaxing family day out at a beautiful historic house, Audley End House and Gardens is our top recommendation. While you’re in the area, you should also take the kids to Audley End Miniature Railway - a leisurely ride through the woodlands is good fun for all ages. 

We couldn’t talk about family days out in Essex without mentioning Promenade Park. It’s the most popular park in the region, especially in the summer, as it features a large water play area. Best of all, it’s free! 
Before you start planning your next outing with the kids, check out the Essex school holidays dates - those could come in handy!

Find your perfect day out

Kids in ball pit at Wacky Warehouse Queen B in Chelmsford

Wacky Warehouse Queen B

  • Chelmsford
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

Wacky Warehouse at the Queen B features a family friendly restaurant with kids' menu on the ground floor, with a multi level adventure play structure...

Outside view of Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford Museum

  • Chelmsford
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Museums and Art Galleries

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 livin...

Woman painting pottery at Ceramics on the Hop in Writtle

Ceramics on the Hop

  • Writtle
  • Indoor
  • Pottery Centres and Ceramic Cafes

Want a unique day out with a splash of creativity? Take all the family down to Ceramics on the Hop and make something special to keep forever! Take a...

People playing cricket at Chelmer Park in Chelmsford

Chelmer Park

  • Chelmsford
  • Outdoor
  • Parks and Playgrounds

Chelmer Park offers a generously sized adventure play area at it's heart with loads of play equipment for 3 to 12 year olds and outdoor gym equipment...

Mushrooms at Hylands House and Park in Chelmsford

Hylands House and Park

  • Chelmsford
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Stately Homes and Gardens

Hylands House and Park has plenty for the family to enjoy, with 574 acres of parkland, including recreational ancient woodland, grassland, lakes, pon...

Outside view of Coggeshall Grange Barn

Coggeshall Grange Barn

  • Coggeshall
  • Indoor
  • Arts and Crafts

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 abbe...

A sheep & lamb at White Elm Petting Farm, Bicknacre

White Elm Petting Farm

  • Bicknacre
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Children's Farms

Come and take part in a feeding frenzy at White Elm Petting Farm, and let your little ones feed over 100 animals. Grab a bucket at the entrance and y...

Kids looking for clues on Treasure Trail

Maldon Treasure Hunt Trail

  • Maldon
  • Outdoor
  • Tourist Attractions

Eye patch? Check! Parrot on shoulder? Check! You’re all ready for a jaunt on the Maldon Treasure Hunt Trail where cracking codes and solving clues wi...

Outside view of Madison Heights in Maldon

Madison Heights

  • Maldon
  • Indoor
  • Ten Pin Bowling Alleys

Come for a day out guaranteed to bowl you over with fun whatever the weather at Madison Heights. First get ready to take the floor on one of the 22 s...

Family on splash pad at Promenade Park in Maldon

Promenade Park

  • Maldon
  • Outdoor
  • National Parks

Promenade Park is the District's most popular park and has undergone a major refurbishment programme in recent years. Promenade Park offers the follo...

Kids playing water polo at Blackwater Leisure Centre in Maldon

Blackwater Leisure Centre

  • Maldon
  • Indoor
  • Swimming Pools and Leisure Centres

Going to a new gym can be a little bit nerve-wracking, but the facilities and staff at Blackwater Leisure Centre will make you feel welcome! The pool...

Sign outside Monkey Puzzle at Madison Heights in Maldon

Monkey Puzzle at Madison Heights

  • Maldon
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

Monkey Puzzle offer an amazing giant play frame that is over 6 meters high with a series of exciting climbing structures and educational toys and pac...

Lake at Gosfield Lake Resort in Halstead

Gosfield Lake Resort

  • Halstead
  • Outdoor
  • Parks and Playgrounds

Gosfield Lake Resort is a private family run leisure park, set in the heart of rural Essex, close to Constable Country and right on the Essex Way. Th...

Peter Rabbit pottery at Essex Pottery Studio in Halstead

Essex Pottery Studio

  • Halstead
  • Indoor
  • Pottery Centres and Ceramic Cafes

Let’s admit it - adults love painting just as much as kids do! Share one of your favourite activities with your tots at Essex Pottery Studio and colo...

Boy with piglets at Boydells Dairy Farm in Braintree

Boydells Dairy Farm

  • Braintree
  • Outdoor
  • Children's Farms

Boydells Dairy Farm is a small, family working farm that specialises in sheep milking. Open to the public there’s a guided tour with lots of hands-on...

Flip Out Lakeside

Flip Out Lakeside

  • Grays
  • Indoor
  • Trampoline Parks

Jump into the fun at Flip Out Lakeside - the ultimate adventure park for trampoline lovers! With dozens of trampolines and lots of exciting attractio...

Mr Toad sculpture on the Wind in the Willows trail

The Wind in The Willows Sculpture Trail

  • Billericay
  • Outdoor
  • Tours and River Cruises

If your kids love The Wind in the Willows, take them to Hanningfield Reservoir and bring their favourite story to life with the Wind in the Willows s...

Indoor soft play frame and cafe area at Creepy Crawlies Play Centre in Chelmsford

Creepy Crawlies Play Centre

  • Chelmsford
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

Amongst the Creepy Crawlies Play Centre facilities we have a baby section, toddler area and junior structure where children can play, climb, slide, c...

Basket of strawberries at Cammas Hall Farm in Bishops Stortford

Cammas Hall Farm

  • Bishops Stortford
  • Outdoor
  • Children's Farms

If your kids need a country adventure, take them to Cammas Hall Farm. You can even get them to pick their own pudding! With a riot of berries availab...

A little boy with a paper plane at Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire

Imperial War Museum Duxford

  • Duxford
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Museums and Art Galleries

Step into the history of aviation at the Imperial War Museum Duxford! Discover the stories of those who lived and worked at RAF Duxford and explore g...

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