Things to do in Colchester with Kids

Colchester is packed full of child-friendly venues, and has a fantastic selection of childrens' events running throughout the year. From pre-schoolers to teenagers there's always something to keep the children entertained (and plenty that adults can secretly enjoy as well).

Read on to discover Family events in Colchester, some great child friendly venues, and plenty of things to do with children in Colchester.

A Family Day Out in Colchester

Great For Kids Events

Join in with the fun with children’s events in Colchester. There are regular arts & craft events, film screenings, museum activities and wildlife workshops, as well as exciting festivals and shows happening during half term and school holidays.

If you can't find what you're looking for, get in touch with us at the Visitor Information Centre as there are many community activity groups in Colchester hosting regular sessions, especially for children and young people that we can help put you in touch with. 

Be sure to check out our What's On page for special events listings focussing on the school holidays, and follow us on Twitter for regular and up-to-date information.

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The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

Wed 28 Jun - Sun 2 Jul 2017

Theatrical adaptation of the classic children's book, at the Mercury Theatre

Bat Walk

Bat Walk

Fri 30 Jun 2017

Guided Bat Walk around Castle Park.

Fete on the Field

Fete on the Field

Sat 1 Jul 2017

A family friendly day out at King George V Playing Field in Wivenhoe

Sounds Of Essex

Sounds of Essex

Sat 1 - Sun 2 Jul 2017

Live music, world music workshops, hands on experiences and a world record attempt. All in Castle Park

Music In The Park

Bandstand - Colne Endeavour

Sun 2 Jul 2017

Live Music on the bandstand in Castle Park

Big Sunday

Big Sunday

Sun 2 Jul 2017

Music, Comedy, Food and more in Colchester's Cultural Quarter

Castle Park Trees

Tree Tour

Sun 2 Jul 2017

Guided walk through the trees in Castle Park

Layer Marney

Tractor Rides at Layer Marney Tower

Mon 3 - Thu 6 Jul 2017

Tractor Rides in July and August Monday to Thursday 2.00

Modou Diouf

African Kora & Sabar Drumming

Wed 5 Jul 2017

African Drumming with Modou Diouf & Sefo Kanuteh at Colchester Arts Centre

Tendring Show

Tendring Show

Sat 8 Jul 2017

The Show is always a fun family day out – full of interest, entertainment, education, and local country colour!

The Concorde Singers Summer Concert

The Concorde Singers Summer Concert

Sat 8 Jul 2017

An evening of songs from the Concorde Singers Choir at St Stephens Church.

Rice and Spice

Festival of Rice & Spice

Sun 9 Jul 2017

Festival celebrating Colchester's Diverse Communities at Firstsite.

Summer Steam Gala

Summer Steam Gala

Sun 9 Jul 2017

Steam Train Celebration at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Layer Marney

Tractor Rides at Layer Marney Tower

Mon 10 - Thu 13 Jul 2017

Tractor Rides in July and August Monday to Thursday 2.00

Moscow State Circus

Moscow State Circus

Wed 12 - Sun 16 Jul 2017

The world-famous Moscow State Circus is coming to Abbey Fields in Colchester.

Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

Fri 14 Jul 2017

Little Red Riding Hood - under 5s concert by Roman River Music

Military Show

Colchester Garrison Show

Sat 15 Jul 2017

Free Military Show on Abbey Fields

Colchester United

2017 Colchester United Open Day

Sun 16 Jul 2017

Annual Open Day at Weston Homes Stadium

Tree Trail

Highwoods Country Park Tree Trail

Sun 16 Jul 2017

Ranger-led walk around High Woods Country Park.

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v West Ham XI

Tue 18 Jul 2017

Pre-Season Friendly at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Our Child-Friendly picks.

Colchester Museums

Hollytrees Educational Visit
Take your pick from Colchester Natural History Museum, Hollytrees Museum or Colchester Castle Museum - all are fun places to visit at any time of the year.

You'll discover plenty of hands-on activities from the cases of toys in Hollytrees to the opportunity to ride a Roman Chariot in Colchester Castle. Be sure to check for any special events that are happening too.

Colchester Zoo

Leopard at Colchester Zoo. Photo: Scott Davey
As if a day wandering around the expansive zoo grounds wasn't enough, Colchester Zoo offers a world of fantastic experiences. Touch an elephant, feed a giraffe, or stroke a snake. Take a seat for wildlife shows as some of the zoo's residents get their daily exercise, and enjoy the interactive displays.

If you need a break from the animals the zoo also offers a fantastic outdoor adventure playground, and indoor soft play area.


Firstsite Art Gallery
Firstsite is Colchester's contemporary art gallery and shows some fantastic exhibitions, usually accompanied by great interpretation for children. It's open-plan layout is very child friendly, and at weekends and on school holidays there are great activities and free artist-led sessions to keep the kids amused.

Be sure to check out the accompanying programme of events. As well as art exhibitions Firstsite offers a film programme, and childrens activity classes.

Colchester Outdoors and Wildlife

Exploring Colchester can be a real adventure for all the family. Stretch your legs and mind whilst discovering the area's history, heritage and wildlife.

Discover nature reserves, woodland, playgrounds, parks, gardens and sandy beaches. Embark on one of our recommended walks, or explore for yourself.

At weekends and school holidays you can find great activities for the children, or just let them run wild. Having great fun doesn't have to cost the earth.

Discover More Activities

Family Attractions in Colchester

For families with energy to burn, make sure you discover our fantastic indoor and outdoor activity centres!

Splash around in Leisure World, skate around Rollerworld's massive rollerskating rink, bounce around Jump Street, and much more!

Colchester Borough Council has a list of playgrounds around the town for all ages.


Great Family Attractions