There are plenty of FREE events happening in our borough this summer for kids, and lots going on to keep adults amused too. There's plenty for all to enjoy, proving that a fun time doesn't have to cost the earth!

Heres our pick of the best free events this summer (and beyond!):

Free Bandstand Concerts - Photo credit: Liam Winters

Selected Dates July - September

Colchester Castle Park's popular Bandstand Concerts return for the summer in 2022. Local and regional brass bands perform completely free concerts in Castle Park's Victorian bandstand on selected Saturdays & Sundays (and one Monday!) throughout the summer. No need to book, just turn up! 

The Colchester Morris Men return this summer after a 2 year hiatus. They've dusted down their costumes and are ready to bring you some very entertaining traditional dance. The majority of their performances take place in or around local pubs, so be prepared to buy a pint & enjoy the show!

21st July-22nd August

The Colchester Garden Festival will take place across Colchester town centre with a mixture of free and paid events, including workshops, public installations, podcast recordings and shows. Businesses in the town centre will be decorating their store fronts in line with the festival to brighten the town with floral and gardening displays.

The Singh Twins Exhibition at Firstsite

Sunday 24th July

Firstsite are hosting a fun and energetic free family day to celebrate the Singh Twins Slaves of Fashion exhibition. Enjoy arts and cultural activities & a yummy curry lunch to mark the start of the summer school holidays. Look out for Firstsite's other free events for families with young children over on their website.

Saturday 30th July

Colchester Roman Circus Centre will be hosting a free Archaeological Family Fun Day crammed with archaeology-related stalls and activities in conjunction with the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology. Get your hands dirty digging in the sand pit, handle some real Roman artefacts or pick up an activity trail and explore the Roman Circus. 

Selected Dates in August

Magical Animal Crafts is a free drop in activity at the Natural History Museum. Every Tuesday they will be getting creative, helping you to make your own magical animals. Inspired by Colchester Castle’s new exhibition Wicked Spirits? they'll be exploring which animals are considered superstitious and why.

Mersea Island

13th August

West Mersea Town Regatta takes place on Mersea Island to the south of the town centre, and has been running since 1838. This well established waterside celebration involves sailing events & watersports, stalls, entertainment & lots more! Bring along a bag of snacks or some pocket money to spend at the stalls.

Selected Dates August - September

Lunchtime recitals on the magnificent Moot Hall Organ in Colchester's Town Hall are free for the public to enjoy. This splendid instrument was restored with the aid of Heritage Lottery Funding and the Friends of the Moot Hall Organ. Listen whilst enjoying the ambiance of the elegant Town Hall surroundings. 

3rd September

Invasion Colchester returns to town for a tenth time! Come along to Colchester town centre and meet your heroes, including characters from Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, superhero movies, comic books, videogames and more. Get into costume & join in the fun - and bring along some pocket money, as donations are welcomed for Colchester Hospitals Charity and St Helena Hospice.

Saturday 3rd September

Colchester Eco-Festival is a free festival organised by local volunteers for our community to come together and discover new ways of doing things more sustainably. Come along and be inspired, learn, network and discover how you can create positive social environmental change by consuming products and services differently.

Saturday 10th September

Colchester Castle will be hosting its' annual open day, with no admission charge as part of Heritage Open Days 2022. It's your chance to visit Europe's largest Norman keep and discover over 2,000 years of treasures for free. Come along, learn more about Colchester’s rich heritage and bring the whole family. Look out for more venues opening their doors as a part of Heritage Open Days on our dedicated webpage:

On the same day, the Rice & Spice festival at Firstsite will be bringing together Colchester's communities celebrating their cultures and heritages. The event is built around the central theme of rice & spice and is underpinned by a commitment to diversity and equality. Expect food, dance, music, performances and the visual arts from all corners of the world.

Saturday 24th September

The Free Family Fun Festival returns to Colchester's Castle Park. Expect family friendly live music, sports, bouncy castles, games and food across lower Castle Park. Everyone is welcome and entry and activities are free for all the family, just bring along some pocket money for food, or pack up a picnic.

If you are running a free event in the borough of Colchester this summer, we welcome submissions to our online events listings: Submit Event - Visit Colchester

Which event are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below:




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    thanks for info
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    I enjoyed reading this article about free events in Colchester. It's great to see a comprehensive list of free activities and attractions that visitors and locals can enjoy without spending a fortune. Colchester truly has something for everyone, from historical sites and museums to beautiful parks and gardens. I appreciate how this article showcases the vibrant cultural scene and community spirit of Colchester. It's fantastic to know that there are so many opportunities to explore and engage with the city's rich heritage and artistic offerings, all without breaking the bank. For those looking for additional financial resources and tips, I recommend checking out site. They provide valuable information on managing finances, budgeting, and finding appropriate financial services. It's a helpful resource that can complement the experience of enjoying the free events in Colchester. Thank you to the authors for compiling this list and highlighting the abundance of free activities in Colchester. It's a great way to encourage people to explore and appreciate the city's treasures while being mindful of their budgets. Keep up the good work!
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