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

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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 skiing at Sandown Ski Centre in Esher

Sandown Ski Centre

  • Esher
  • Outdoor
  • Skiing and Snowboarding

Sandown Ski Centre welcomes families but you need to plan this one in advance, the kids' sessions are pre arranged and need pre booking, plus the Ope...

Cliff at Botany Bay in Broadstairs

Botany Bay

  • Broadstairs
  • Outdoor
  • Beaches

Botany Bay is a common name, this particular Botany Bay is at the foot of chalk cliffs halfway round the Isle of Thanet headland. There's a wealth of...

Jaguar at Banham Zoo

Banham Zoo4 out of 5 starstotal reviews(3)

  • Banham
  • Outdoor
  • Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Banham Zoo is an award winning attraction with lots of exciting animals and experiences to see and do! Passionate about animal conservation, the zoo...

Indoor soft play frame at Bumble Beez in Ramsgate

Bumble Beez

  • Ramsgate
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

At Bumble Beez their caring and approachable staff are trained in disability awareness and all inclusive play. Their custom play equipment is designe...

Clear day at Joss Bay in Broadstairs

Joss Bay

  • Broadstairs
  • Outdoor
  • Beaches

Joss Bay offers a sandy beach with chalk cliffs (be wary of restricted access here) with safe shallow swimming and lifeguard cover July through Septe...

Indoor soft play frame at Imagine Play Centre in Ashford

Imagine Play Centre

  • Ashford
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

Imagine Play Centre is Kent's biggest indoor children's adventure play centre offering under lots of fun, excitement and adventure within a secure an...

Team building activity at Kempston Outdoor Centre

Kempston Outdoor Centre

  • Kempston
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Activity Centres

Kempston Outdoor Centre offer a full range of adventurous and outdoor education activities, and national award training on and off site. More than en...

Soft play frame at Adventureland and Youth Gym in Redhill

Adventureland and Youth Gym

  • Redhill
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

Adventureland at Donyngs Leisure Centre is a specially designed indoor adventure play area for children 6 years and under, featuring plenty of slides...

Lake at Marston Vale Forest Centre in Marston Moretaine

The Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park

  • Marston Moretaine
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Parks and Playgrounds

Marston Vale Forest Centre is set in the stunning and award-winning Millennium Country Park and is perfect for a family day out. Explore the 8km of t...

People swimming at Chesham Heated Open Air Pool

Chesham Heated Open Air Pool

  • Chesham
  • Outdoor
  • Swimming Pools and Leisure Centres

Don’t let the cold weather stop you from swimming. Come and float under the starry night sky at Chesham’s Heated Open Air Pool whilst everyone else i...

Indoor soft play frame at Kidabulous in Sunbury

Kidabulous3 out of 5 starstotal reviews(8)

  • Sunbury
  • Indoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

There’s no such thing as Too Much Fun at Kidabulous! This indoor soft play centre in Sunbury-on-Thames features a huge 4 storey play frame for kids u...

The Climb

  • Amersham
  • Indoor
  • Climbing

The Climb is a state of the art climbing centre: it's active, dynamic, friendly and fun. They run a really full range of fun physical activities for...

Chiltern Pools

  • Amersham
  • Indoor
  • Swimming Pools and Leisure Centres

Swimming is a great activity for fitness or fun and at Chiltern Pools you can do both! With three pools there’s a swim session for everyone. The 25m-...

Soft play slide at MinorMania in Tunbridge Wells

MinorMania

  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Indoor and Soft Play Areas

Looking for a rainy day inspiration? Take the kids for a couple of hours of soft play at the MinorMania Indoor & Outdoor Play Centre in Tunbridge...

Outside view of Scotney Castle in Tunbridge Wells

Scotney Castle

  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Tourist Attractions

Scotney Castle is not one but two houses. At the top of the hill is the new house, designed by Anthony Salvin in Elizabethan style and built in 1837...

Kids on Spy Mission Treasure Trail

Broadstairs Spy Mission Treasure Trail

  • Broadstairs
  • Outdoor
  • Tourist Attractions

See the sights like never before on the Broadstairs Spy Mission Treasure Trail. As super sleuths you’ll need the eyes of a hawk and the nose of a blo...

Kids petting sheep at Woburn Safari Park in Milton Keynes

Woburn Safari Park5 out of 5 starstotal reviews(1)

  • Milton Keynes
  • Outdoor
  • Safari Parks

What’s better than a safari? Two safaris, of course! Explore the wild side twice over at Woburn Safari Park on foot and by car. Either way, you’ll le...

Outside view of house at Groombridge Enchanted Forest in Tunbridge Wells

Groombridge Enchanted Forest4 out of 5 starstotal reviews(4)

  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Outdoor
  • Parks and Playgrounds

Discover a world of mystery deep amongst the trees at Groombridge Enchanted Forest. It’s home to imagination, nature and one adorable Zedonk! Journey...

Kids jumping into pool at Woburn Open Air Swimming Pool

Woburn Lido

  • Woburn
  • Outdoor
  • Lidos

There’s something special about being poolside on a warm day, which feels like a small slice of holiday! That’s what you get at Woburn Open Air Swimm...

Outside view of Woburn Abbey and Gardens

Woburn Abbey and Gardens

  • Woburn
  • Indoor and Outdoor
  • Stately Homes and Gardens

Woburn Abbey and Gardens has a beautiful building and stunning grounds to explore. There are 22 rooms to investigate, which are full of collections,...

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