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

Summer Holidays 2017

Summer in Colchester

Whether you're visiting Colchester or a resident looking for inspiration, we've got your Summer Holidays all planned out for you.

  • Browse our comprehensive event listings to see a complete picture of everything happening in the borough this Summer.
  • Check out our Fun For Free page for ideas that won't break the bank
  • Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date announcements, or join in the conversation with your own suggestions and ideas.
Family on Mersea Beach by Visit Essex
Browse Our complete Events Listings for the Summer Holidays
Firstsite Art Gallery

Discover Free events in Colchester happening all summer long.

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.

Follow Visit Colchester on Twitter

Layer Marney

Tractor Rides at Layer Marney Tower

Mon 21 - Thu 24 Aug 2017

Tractor Rides in July and August Monday to Thursday 2.00

Brambly Hedge

Brambly Hedge Adventurers

Tue 22 Aug 2017

A day of fun on the reserve for all the family. A day of fun and adventures based around Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge stories. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. ADVANCED BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Children's Creative Net

Children's Creative Net: Introduction to Animation

Tue 22 Aug 2017

Create your own short animation from beginning to end.

CAT Timetable

Mini Excavation

Tue 22 Aug 2017

Meet a real archaeologist at Colchester's Roman Circus Centre

Wartime At The Castle

Wartime At The Castle

Tue 22 Aug 2017

Family activity day at Colchester Castle Museum

CAT Timetable

Archaeological Finds Washing

Wed 23 Aug 2017

Meet a real archaeologist at Colchester's Roman Circus Centre

Natural Colchester

Natural Colchester

Wed 23 Aug 2017

Family Activities at the Natural History Museum

Round The Island Race

Round The Island Race

Wed 23 Aug 2017

Unique competitive sailing race around Mersea Island

Finishing with a picturesque putt

WFDF 2017 World Team Disc Golf Championships

Wed 23 - Sat 26 Aug 2017

The World Flying Disc Federation 2017 World Team Disc Golf Championships

CAT Timetable

Archaeological Finds Sorting

Thu 24 Aug 2017

Meet a real archaeologist at Colchester's Roman Circus Centre

Clacton Airshow

Clacton Airshow

Thu 24 - Fri 25 Aug 2017

Clacton-on-Sea's spectacular airshow continues into it's 26th year.

Explore Learning Free maths & English workshops!

Explore Learning Free Workshops

Thu 24 Aug 2017

Explore Learning are excited to be holding FREE maths and English workshops to keep children's brains fighting fit over the summer holiday!


Halloween Lanterns

Thu 24 Aug 2017

Family Activities at Hollytrees Museum

It's A Wrap

It's A Wrap!

Thu 24 Aug 2017

Family Activities at Hollytrees Museum

Adventure Course

Pay and Play

Thu 24 Aug 2017

Essex Outdoors Mersea - Pay and Play

CAT Timetable

Archaeological Finds Quiz and Handling

Fri 25 Aug 2017

Meet a real archaeologist at Colchester's Roman Circus Centre

Castle Park Flower Bed

The History of Castle Park - Guided Tour

Fri 25 Aug 2017

A guided tour through the ages of Castle Park

Tudor Re-enactment Hands On Event

Tudor Re-creation 'Hands On' Day

Fri 25 - Mon 28 Aug 2017

Tudor High Summer is a very popular re-creation with over 250 costumed Tudor's going about their daily lives and living in the 16th century. Watch and participate in all the activities; bread making, butter churning and many more.

Coggeshall Flower Festival

30th Annual Coggeshall Flower Festival

Sat 26 - Tue 29 Aug 2017

The 30th Annual Coggeshall Flower Festival will take place over the August bank holiday weekend in the beautiful Church of St Peter ad Vincula, which lies at the heart of the historic town of Coggeshall.

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Forest Green Rovers

Sat 26 Aug 2017

League 2 Fixture 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.

Colchester United

Colchester United
Colchester United were the English Football League's family club of the year in 2015, and continue to offer great value and memorable experience for all ages.

Children under 11 are able to attend games for free, and sit in the family-friendly East Stand. The club are also happy to welcome first-timers with messages in the programme and on the big screen, as well as offering packages for Birthdays and opportunities to be a club mascot.

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