What’s On: May Half-Term

Events & days out in and around Essex this half term.

The May half term holidays are just around the corner so if you’re looking for ideas for days out, activities and family events we’ve got a great selection for you below. We’ve included a mix of free events, some low cost options and ideas for special days out – like a day trip to London – plus we’ve got a special discount code (up to 25% off!) for the BBC Earth Experience, full details below.

Gruffalo at Thorndon Country Park
Gruffalo Day, Thorndon Park

Free Events in Essex

Gruffalo Day at Thorndon Country Park – Brentwood

20th May, 11am – 3pm

This fun-filled, free, family day will feature Meet the Gruffalo! as well as forest tales and woodland stories, bushcraft, circus skills, magicians, bird of prey displays and much more. Colourful woodlands, birdlife, open parkland, fishing and the Gruffalo Trail make Thorndon Country Park the perfect destination for nature lovers, dog walkers and families alike.

Marsh Farm Country Park Wetland Trail – Chelmsford

27th May – 11th June, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Head to Marsh Farm Country Park car park (not the farm attraction, carry on past this, until you reach the end of the road) and turn your kids into mini explorers. Discover fun and fascinating facts about wetlands and wildlife, and see what you can spot along the way. Follow the route beside the Fenn Creek (loosely marked in the booklets), hunt the trail markers and find the letters to make the mystery word. Take a picnic and make a day of it. Enjoy the extra activities which include a word search and maze.

Higham Library – Family Macrame Crafting Session – Higham, Kent

1st June, 10:30am – 12:30am

Family Macrame Crafts – come along and join in with our family crafting session. All children are welcome in the library but remain the responsibility of a parent or accompanying adult. Children aged 7 or under must be accompanied by a responsible adult.Spaces limited – Book today!

Essex Photo Album Workshop – Canvey Island

May 30th, 11:00am – 4:00pm

Participants are invited to reflect on stereotyping representations of the county, offer strategies for how this can be combated and engage in a co-creation of a photo album by contributing images from their homes, cameras and phones. The workshop will produce a curated educational resource, combining archival images of Essex from Magnum’s extensive collection, with the newly commissioned contemporary work by Magnum photographer Lua Ribeira.

At the end of the workshop, each participant will be able to contribute to the Essex Photo Album by donating a reproduction of their family albums, snapshots and mobile images to enhance the “insider” and “local” gaze of what Essex means to them.

The Instrumentals, Mercury Theatre

 Family Days Out – £15pp & Under 

The Instrumentals at Mercury Theatre – Colchester

May 31st – 4th June

Tickets From: £10.00 – £14.00pp

When Belle is feeling down she slips into her grandfathers basement and discovers his old dusty instruments. But far from being junk, The Instrumentals are pure funk, and they teach Belle to ‘get down’ in a whole new way. Bursting to life with brilliant puppetry and bold music, the Instrumentals is full of love and laughter, about the memories we hold and how we celebrate life. A new family show ideal for ages 4+, show duration approx 45mins.

Audley End Miniature Railway: Craft Festival – Saffron Waldon

May 27th – 4th June, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Tickets From: £7.25 children, £14.50 Adults

Our creative play will encourage children to connect with nature while also exploring fun ways to make new things. By the end of the day, your child should graduate to become a fully-fledged forager just like our resident wilderness Elf Twig! Our four craft activities will be spread around site, each station will provide your child with the opportunity to create something that relates to the great outdoors such as nature medallions, floral crowns and even their own fortune teller!

Superheroes & Princesses at Marsh Farm – South Woodham Ferrers

May 27th – 4th June

Tickets From: £4.00 6months – 2yrs, £12.99 2yrs+

Dress up as your favourite character and join us for a magical & exciting day as Superheroes and Princesses take over Marsh Farm! Explore the farm and meet the animals, get a hole in one on our crazy golf course, ride our brand new train and meet some of your favourite superheroes and princesses. As you mosey around the farm you’ll be able to see Llamas, Alpacas, Pigs, Cows, Goats, Rabbits, Hens & more! You’ll also be able to experience our furry-tastic Pet Encounters and Goat Feeding throughout your stay.

Squishy and slime workshop – Rayleigh

May 31st, 10:00am – 11:30am

Family tickets with 2 children £27, with 3 children £40. 

Squishy making and decorating, Kinetic sand slime, Cotton cloud slime and a slime bubble, there’s coffee and tea provided for mums and dads plus biscuits for the kids.

The Princess Paradise: Farewell to Spring – Waltham Abbey

May 29th, sessions at 11:00am & 1pm

Tickets from £15pp

Join us to celebrate the changing of the seasons… fun, magic and pixie dust! Included in each ticket is:- 90 minutes of entertainment – meet & greets, dancing, games, ribbon dancing & live performances. Live animals to meet and pet! Including goats bunnies, ducks, chicks and lambs! Meet our Tinker fairy, Mermaid Princess, Tower Princess, and Miracle Maker! Join in on our wonderful scavenger hunt around the venue! Glitter tattoo station!

BBC Earth Experience
BBC Earth Experience, London

Special Family days out Essex & London – £15pp+

BBC Earth Experience – London

Open daily Monday – Friday from 10:00am / Saturday & Sunday from 09:00am

Ticket prices vary, see website for latest information.

Special Offer: 25% off Adult & Child tickets Monday – Thursday until July! Full details below.


This half term, take your family on an unforgettable adventure through the natural world at the BBC Earth Experience.  Children of all ages can enjoy an unforgettable journey through the natural world and explore the extraordinary diversity of our seven unique continents on the most epic scale.
This immersive journey at The Daikin Centre, London, with bespoke narration from David Attenborough, features breath-taking footage from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit television series Seven Worlds, One Planet, projected onto huge multi-angle screens using the very latest digital screen technology.
We went along with the kids in May 2023, read our review of the BBC Earth Experience here.

Offer Details:

Offer Link: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/artist/5393443?did=mands

How to redeem the offer:

Select ‘Book Now’ to visit the BBC Earth Experience website.

Choose a desired date and time in accordance with the below Terms & Conditions.

When prompted input offer code: BEEGH6TFD


  • The offer is 25% off adult and child tickets to the BBC Earth Experience at The Daikin Centre, London.
  • Booking from now until 31st July 2023.
  • Limited to time-slots between Monday and Thursday.
  • Subject to booking fees.
  • Prices are dynamic depending on time and date.
  • The experience lasts for approximately 1 hour but you are welcome to stay longer and continue to explore.
  • This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or offer.
  • Discounts are valid for new ticket sales only and excludes tickets already purchased.
  • To be eligible for the BBC Earth Experience offer with Essex Mums, you must be 18 years or over at the time of purchase.
  • This offer is not open to employees of EssexMums and Live Nation or their immediate families, or to anyone promoting the BBC Earth Experience.
  • For any queries in relation to the BBC Earth Experience, customers can contact [email protected].
  • The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Studios Productions Limited and BBC Studios Distribution Limited are not in any way affiliated or involved in this promotion.
  • Promoter: EssexMums. Offer Provider: Live Nation.
  • Venue: The Daikin Centre London just 10 minutes from Earls Court and surrounded by local food amenities.

Colchester Zoo: Zoobilee Half Term – Colchester

May 27th – 4th June, from 10:00am

Tickets From: Under 3’s free, 3-15yrs £19.47, 16yrs+  £24.64

Throughout the May Half Term, we are hosting a variety of fun activities daily in celebration of turning 60! Our Zoobilee week is bursting at the seams like our party balloon’s and is packed with mystical shows from Magic Iain, Samba Dancers, and Marimba Music from Otto & The Mutapa Calling. PLUS, so much more!

Peppa Pig & George at Old MacDonald’s Farm & Fun Park – Brentwood

May 30th & 3rd June, from 10:00am

Tickets From: Under 2’s free, 2yrs-15yrs £19.50, 16yrs+ £19.00

See Peppa Pig and George at intervals throughout the day and we’ve over 30 different species of animals here; including meerkats, pigs, wallabies, rabbits, ponies, cows, our wonderful Annie the European Eagle Owl and many more and you even get the opportunity to get hands on and meet some of them face to face. The farm is packed with the best family rides and amusements from the thrilling Doggy Dog Roller Coaster (height restriction of 1.2m) or Crazy Barn ride to the themed tractor ride or Happy Horses, the pony adventure ride to name but a few.

With so many events taking place across the county and belong there’s something to entertain every little adventurer – have a great time!

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