The summer holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re a parent or guardian you’ll know how important it is to keep the kids entertained during those 6 weeks off school! Luckily for you, Essex is abundant with family friendly attractions and activities suitable for the whole family. If you’re looking for things to do this summer in Essex, you’ve come to the right place.

Go Ape, Chelmsford

If you’re looking for an adventurous family day out in Essex this summer, then Go Ape in Chelmsford will tick your boxes! Located in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, just off the A414, this new attraction in Essex consists of three different high ropes courses suitable for different age groups. For families with younger children, the Treetop Adventure is a great action-packed hour-long introduction to high ropes. If you’re a family with older children, then the Treetop Adventure Plus is ideal – a series of more challenging obstacles including higher platforms and longer zip wires. For the adults looking to bring out their inner big kid this summer, take on the Treetop Challenge – a self-guided journey through the forest canopy.

Go Ape High Ropes in Chelmsford, Essex

Promenade Park, Maldon

Found in the coastal town of Maldon, this 100-year-old park is a favourite amongst locals and visitors during the warmer months. The park hosts numerous events throughout the year, and provides gorgeous views of the Blackwater river. Other features include a Splash Park which is a perfect summer activity for a hot day to cool down the kids, beach huts, a galleon play ship, and even an aerial zip-wire. You can pack your own lunch and enjoy a picnic or enjoy a tasty treat from one of the park vendors. To delve into the interesting social history of the town, be sure to visit The Museum in the Park.

Promenade Park in Maldon, Essex

Markshall, Coggeshall

There are many great memories to be had in the beautiful gardens of Markshall, a fantastic Essex day out for everyone from grandparents to kids. Stretching across over 2,350 acres of Essex countryside, Markshall is the perfect summer holiday activity for those who love to be outside and surrounded by nature. Have fun in Percy’s Play & Picnic Paddock, discover trees from across the globe in the Arboretum, stop to smell the roses in the Flower Garden, and then finish off the day with a bite to eat in the Orchard Kitchen Café.

Markshall Gardens, Essex

Marsh Farm, South Woodham Ferrers

This one’s for the animal lovers! Marsh Farm is an animal adventure park in South Woodham Ferrers near Chelmsford and is a guaranteed fun-filled day for all. Get up close with their adorable farmyard animals, hop on board a train ride or the carousel, play a round of crazy golf, or let off some steam in the play area – availability for different activities can depend on the day, but with so much on offer you can be sure to expect a jam-packed day out in Essex! Marsh Farm also run exciting events all year round, such as their Toddler Festival and Dinosaur Adventure, which add an extra sprinkle of joy to the experience.

Feeding horses at Marsh Farm, Essex

Audley End Miniature Railway, Saffron Walden

Why not add a little bit of magic into your summer holidays this year? Audley End Miniature Railway is a wonderful day out in Saffron Walden for families with great food and drink, activities, and all in a beautiful rural location. Enjoy a scenic ride on the miniature railway train deep into the enchanting woods, where you can spot woodland animals, maybe a teddy bear or two, and even the odd elf or fairy…

Audley End Miniature Railway, Essex

All Things Alpaca, Chelmsford

This isn’t your average animal encounter attraction! All Things Alpaca is exactly what they call themselves. Ramble through the beautiful orchards at Lathcoats Farm and spend time with seven beautiful, fluffy alpacas. During your visit, you’ll be able to get up close with these wonderful animals and learn all about the alpaca and its history. Of course, this is also a wonderful photo opportunity! They also offer farm experiences so that the kids can learn what it’s like to look after alpacas and other farm animals, as well as private party packages.

Alpaca Experience, Essex

Wyvernwood, Colchester

Immerse yourself in a whole new world when you visit Wyvernwood in Colchester, Essex, this summer. Step through the Magic Portal where a kingdom inhabited by dragons, fairies, wizards and more awaits you. This immersive story-led experience is a day out like no other, with unique interactions, play structures, food and drink kiosks, and the Treasure Trove gift shop.

Wyvernwood, Essex

West Beach, Clacton-on-Sea

No summer holiday is complete without at least one day at the beach, and Clacton-on-Sea has one of the many beautiful beaches in Essex for that classic summer’s day on the sand. With great accessibility for all, you can spend all day out in the sun by the water thanks to the many facilities on or nearby the beach, including cafes and restaurants, toilets, fun parks, and crazy golf! 

Clacton Beach in Essex

Mountfitchet Castle, Stansted Mountfitchet

This award-winning medieval castle and Norman village will transport you back in time to 1066. Perfect for lovers of history, both young and grown, explore the beautiful grounds and come face to face with dinosaurs in the dinosaur park! The House on the Hill Museum is home to outstanding exhibitions including World War 1 & 2 memorabilia and over 70,000 toys from the 19th century into the 1980s. If you’re brave enough, enter The Haunted Manor located inside the museum…

Mountfitchet Castle, Essex

Writtle Sunflowers

A pick your own flower field run by a family farm near Chelmsford, Writtle Sunflowers is a gorgeous day out in the Essex countryside for the whole family (including the dog!). Pick sunflowers and other wild flowers to take home with you and display, enjoy a picnic in the sun, and work your way through a maze at this unique outdoor attraction open from the end of July until the end of August.

Writtle Sunflower Field Essex

With so much to see, do, and experience in Essex, you’ll never be stuck at home this summer holiday. Check out our other family friendly attractions here, or head to our What’s On page for upcoming events in Essex this summer. To stay up to date on all things Essex, subscribe to our newsletter.  




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