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  • Essex Parks

The School Holiday Guide - FREE EVENTS

Here are some FREE activities and events happening at parks, playgrounds and nature reserves across Essex next week and beyond!


Elmer Square, SS1 1NS

12th - Space Jam, 19th - Surfs Up, 26th August - Cars

Outdoor Family Friendly Cinema Screenings at The Forum, taking over a refurbished Elmer Square! The outdoor screenings take place every Saturday in August at 3pm. Bring your own chair or blanket to sit on the pavement or grass, respectively. Free, no booking necessary.

Danbury Country Park, CM3 4AW

9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th

Child-led free play in the great outdoors, run by the Essex Country Parks Outdoor Learning Team. Activities and equipment available for children and families to use and enjoy include hammocks, den building, mud kitchen, water play, ID charts, squirrel trail and slacklines. This is an informal drop-in session between 11am and 2pm.

Read, Count and Explore

Great Notley Country Park, CM77 7FS Enjoy story times and sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge with Essex Libraries, take part in drop-in craft sessions with Park Rangers. Pick up an Animal Mysteries Summer Trail booklet, borrow a Read and Count Under a Tree book bag, and much more. Running from 10am to 2pm

Hadleigh Park, SS7 2PP

All activities run from 10.30 - 12.30pm. No booking necessary

8th - Womble Junk Trail & Modelling

9th - Gingerbread Decorating

10th - Just for Tots


Animal Mysteries Summer Trail

From 22nd July - 2nd September 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! Pick up a FREE Animal Mysteries Summer Trail booklet while stocks last, print at home or download the activities straight to your phone.

Nuts about Nature Trail

From 22nd July - - 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.


The following trails are open all year!

Gruffalo Trail - Thorndon Country Park CM13 3RZ

Stickman Trail - Weald Country Park CM14 5QS

Zog Trail - Thames Chase RM14 3NS

Peter Rabbit Trail - SS16 6EJ


The following playgrounds all have free car parking!

For over 90 parks, playgrounds and nature reserves head to our DIRECTORY!

  1. Abberton Reservoir, CO2 0EU

  2. Oaklands Park, Chelmsford CM2 0JJ

  3. Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, SS17 0RN

  4. Runwell Park, Wickford SS17 7JG

  5. Bedfords Park, Romford RM4 1QH

  6. Chappel Viaduct, Chappel CO6 2DF

  7. Chelmer Park, Chelmsford CM2 8RL

  8. Coalhouse Fort Park, Tilbury RM18 8PB

  9. Pelican Playground, Chigwell IG7 6DP

  10. Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve,

  11. Grove Woods Playing Fields, Rayleigh SS6 8UQ

  12. Stanway Community Centre, Colchester CO3 ORH

  13. Belfairs Woods, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 4LR

  14. Wat Tyler, Basildon SS16 4UH

  15. Tiptree Park, Tiptree CO5 0JL

  16. Southchurch Park, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2XB

  17. Priory Park, Southend-on-Sea SS2 6ND

  18. Hanningield, Billericay CM11 1WT

  19. Memorial Park, Wickford SS11 8JE

  20. Broomfield Park, Chelmsford CM1 7AH

  21. Frinton Park Playing Fields, Frinton-on-Sea CO13 0AN

  22. Gunners Park, Shoeburyness SS3 9QB

  23. Stoke-by-Nayland Park, Stoke-by-Nayland CO6 4QY


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