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  • Essex Parks

The School Holiday Guide - 31st July - 6th August

Here are some activities and events happening at parks, playgrounds and nature reserves across Essex in the first week of the summer holidays





Abberton Reservoir CO2 0EU 4th - Artists in the Wild - Explore the nature reserve looking for wildlife and beautiful scenery to sketch. The team will provide some tips to help improve your drawing and try watercolours! £8 Bedfords Park, RM4 1QH 1st - Nature Tots Taster Session - Enjoy swinging in the hammock, crafts, digging in the mud kitchen, looking for minibeasts, and so much more! We will finish the session around the campfire. £7 2nd - We're Going on a Bear Hunt Storytime - Settle down in the story circle. Explore the woodland, and get creative with some themed crafts! £5 4th - Drop Off Day - Make shelters, climb trees and use natural materials for crafts. Each group is led by an experienced Forest School leader. £30 Belfairs Woods, SS9 4LR 3rd - Woodland Explorers - Activities including slackline walking, bug hunting, woodland crafts, tool use, mud kitchen and more. £8 3rd - Marvellous Minibeasts - Be led into the woodland to try your hand at searching for all our creepy critters! Use equipment like bug pots and trays to explore. £5 4th - Drop Off Day - Make shelters, climb trees and use natural materials for crafts. Each group is led by an experienced Forest School leader. £30 4th - Very Hungry Caterpillar Storytime - Settle down in the story circle. Explore the woodland, and get creative with some themed crafts! £7 Fingringhoe Wick, CO5 7DN 31st - Wild Survival - Do you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Build a den in the woods, create a tasty treat, navigate the reserve with a compass, design your own tribal flag and use tools to practice whittling. £8 1st - Wildlife Explorers - Use our special wildlife adventure kits to find what lives at Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve. Minibeasts, birds, pond creatures, tracks and poo from mammals are just some of the many exciting things we may stumble upon! £7 From 3rd - Summer Trails: Magnificent Mammels - Join us this holiday for a series of fun, fact filled trails, taking you exploring all round the reserve - on this trail discover fascinating facts about our familiar UK mammals! £3


1st - Summer Nature Day - There will be craft activities to try, trails to follow and nature clues to hunt. The event is a collaboration between the National Trust, RSPB, Dedham Vale AONB, Field Studies Council and other local organisations. Free

Hadleigh Park, SS7 2PP Free family activities this summer 1st - Outdoor games and sand pits 2nd - Songs and Stories Under the Tree 3rd - Family Fun Film Night


Hanningfield, CM11 1WT 31st - Drop Off Day - Make shelters, climb trees and use natural materials for crafts. Each group is led by an experienced Forest School leader. £30

2nd - Nature Journals - venture round the nature reserve looking for wildlife and flowers to provide inspiration. We will practice some drawing techniques, have a go with water colours and see what we can make. £8

2nd - Minibeast Safari - Drop in and spend some time hunting for the minibeasts that call Hanningfield their home. £5

3rd - Family Forest Fun - Build a den, climb a tree, hunt for minibeasts, create in the mud kitchen, woodland crafts, camp fire and much more. £7


5th/6th - Wind in the Willows Open Air Theatre - Meet all your favourite characters including loyal Mole, faithful Ratty and wise old Badger as they do their best to keep the mischievous Mr Toad out of trouble. Will they be able to stop the Wicked Weasel from taking over Toad Hall?! £16 Adults, £14 Children


3rd - Bounce Inflatables - Outdoor fun and frolics at Hardie Park. Purchase on the day, £5

4th - Inflatable Fun - A wide range of inflatables from 70ft assault courses, ginormous inflatable slides, large bouncy castles, large football dart board and a variety of inflatable games. From £5.50


2nd - Inflatable Fun - A wide range of inflatables from 70ft assault courses, ginormous inflatable slides, large bouncy castles, large football dart board and a variety of inflatable games. From £5.50


2nd - Pixies and Fairies - Join the ranger in looking for signs of fairies and pixies in the woods. Create a pixie picnic, make a fairy wind chime and discover the wonders of these small magical folk. £5.50

Hyde Hall - CM3 8ET From 22nd - The Grand Bug & Pest Hotel Hunt family trail - Follow the trail around the garden and see if you can spot Lloyd the housefly and some of his friends along the way. Admission charges apply

Langdon, SS16 6EJ 2nd - Family Forest Fun - Build a den, climb a tree, hunt for minibeasts, create in the mud kitchen, woodland crafts, camp fire and much more. £7 3rd - Drop Off Day - Make shelters, climb trees and use natural materials for crafts. Each group is led by an experienced Forest School leader. £30




31st - 6th - Around the World Japan - Complete a treasure hunt to find facts about animals and plants native to Japan. Meet the storyteller in the Wild Wood who will share a traditional tale that will link to a traditional textile method – weaving. Take part in a weaving activity. Make a kite based on Keiko Koi. Try making a Suzu which is a traditional 17th century Japanese instrument. Make a fan decorated with images of flora such as the cherry blossom. Entry fees

The Naze, CO14 8LE 3rd - Seaside Senses - Explore the coast on this 1km wander (distance approximate), with plenty of stops to play and investigate along the way. Find out more about the coast and it’s wildlife with games and activities to engage the senses. £6


5th/6th - Anglo Saxon Weekend - Take part in Anglo-Saxon themed crafts and activities, and get hands on with archaeological excavation! £8 adult £6.50 child.


4th - U Fest - Live music, activities, stalls and events for the whole community, focusing on health, wellbeing and fun. Free


1st - All Abroad - Get ready for a session packed with train-rides and craft activities that will keep your little ones entertained. £8


1st - Inflatable Fun - A wide range of inflatables from 70ft assault courses, ginormous inflatable slides, large bouncy castles, large football dart board and a variety of inflatable games. From £5.50


1st/2nd - We Love Bee - We will be exploring the life of the bee and finding out all about their little secrets. There will be bee and flower crafts, stories and learning how to do that Waggle dance. Drop in

3rd - Make a Bug Hotel - Use a hammer and nails to construct your hotel, decorate your box and use of range of materials to make your hotel attractive to a range of small creatures. £15

4th - Circus Skills - Join the Rhythm and Balls Juggling and Circus team at Thames Chase Forest Centre, for a fun, engaging morning session learning circus skills. £8




5th - Forest Fun for Neurodiverse Children - A day of exploration and play in a peaceful woodland setting awaits! For Neurodiverse children only, aged 5+.


31st - Turn the Tide Tots - Discover and learn through a range of fun wildlife themed activities from bird watching and meadow sweeping to water play and natural crafts. £7


To pre-book call 01268 205267 between 10am-4pm.

£6 per child, £4.30 siblings, £2 adults

31st - Cottage & Craft, Hedgehog Hike, Soft Archery

1st - Kite Making, Cottage & Craft, Pond Dipping

2nd - Pond Dipping, Cottage & Craft,

3rd - Campfire Cooking, Soft Archery

4th - Pond Dipping, Cottage & Craft,


From 22nd July - Animal Mysteries Summer Trail - Help your children find the animals hiding in the parks, count up your answers and send them in to enter our prize draw to win a Colchester Zoo Animal Experience! FREE


From 22nd July - Nuts about Nature Trail - Enjoy the outdoor green spaces as you discover more about the natural world in this fun nature trail. Suitable for ages 3 and up.​ Drop in, FREE.


Don't forget to check back for our "What's On in Essex" posts - EVERY month. School Holiday Events in Essex posted every half term and weekly during the summer holidays. See past event posts here.





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