Things to do in Colchester with Kids

Colchester is a town full of child-friendly venues, and has a fantastic selection of children and family events running throughout the year. From pre-schoolers to teenagers there's always something to keep the children entertained (and plenty to do that adults can secretly enjoy as well) making it the perfect destination for a family day out - or even a longer stay.

With a zoo and a castle, you'll find plenty to spark a child's imagination. You can discover local beaches and wildlife parks, as well as a range of fantastic activities for wet weather days including a roller rink, trampoline park, and leisure pool.

Visit during the school holidays and you'll find a special programme of events put on by many of our best attractions, and there's always something available to do for free so a visit needn't break the bank.

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Child dressed as a Roman
Jump Street

Great Attractions For Kids

Just a selection of Colchester's child-friendly attractions...

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle Museum

Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Keep in Europe. Constructed on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius. The Castle Museum today reveals many fascinating layers of history to visitors.

Rollerworld Skating Rink

Rollerworld

Rollerworld is Europes finest Roller Rink, with a 50m x 25m solid maple floor, fantastic new sound and light show. Everyone can have a go at skating and if you don’t fancy that we have Quasar, laser gun fun in our specially made arena.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Discover and interesting 'hands-on' perspective on the local natural environment from the Ice Age right up to today. Explore the garden trail and stag beetle exhibition, free entry.

Cudmore Grove Country Park

Cudmore Grove Country Park

Cudmore Grove offers visitors a trip to the seaside with a difference at the eastern tip of Mersea Island. The park includes a sandy beach and open grassland, perfect for picnics and great views.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is home to 240 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes! They are proudly listed as the 11th best zoo around the world and in the top 2 zoos in the UK as part of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Attractions.

Castle Park and Gardens

Castle Park

Colchester's Castle Park provides a perfect setting for a huge range of events including shows, festivals and concerts.

Leisure World Colchester

Leisure Centre

Leisure World Colchester is one of East Anglia's largest sports, leisure, recreation and entertainment venues and offers year round fun for all the family. The leisure pool includes outside river rapids ride, water cannons and flumes.

Hollytrees Museum

Hollytrees Museum

An important part of Colchester's rich history with three centuries of fascinating toys, costume and decorative arts displayed in an attractive Georgian town house from 1718.

Gnome Magic

Gnome Magic

Gnome Magic is an unusual treat. Enjoy the delightful garden which blends into an amazing wood where the growing number of 500 gnomes and their friends live. Guaranteed to bring a little sunshine.

High Woods

High Woods Country Park

370 acres of woodland, grassland and wetland with path network, including circular walks and easy access trail. Visitor centre and interactive displays, rangers organise a range of activities throughout the year.

Leisure World Tiptree

Leisure World Tiptree

Leisure World Tiptree provides a range of facilities and activities that is both unique and extensive for all ages and abilities. It offers a fitness centre, sports halls, aerobic workout classes, 3 generation artificial pitch.

Jump Street Colchester

Jump Street Colchester

Jump Street trampoline parks offer jump sessions in Essex, suitable for both adults & children. Jump Street is based both in Colchester & in Chelmsford, also offering adult fitness classes, toddler sessions, special needs support sessions.

Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre

Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre

Stunning 200 acre nature reserve situated on the banks of the River Colne. Visitor centre includes gift shop, tearoom, toilets and baby changing facilities.

East Anglian Railway Museum

East Anglian Railway Museum

Celebrating the changing role of railways in the Eastern Counties since they arrived in the early 19th Century, through their glory days of the early 20th Century to the disappearances of the Beeching era.

Layer Marney Tower

Layer Marney Tower

Magnificent Tudor building with the tallest Gatehouse in Britain and 16th century Italianate terracotta. Climb the tower, visit the gardens, outbuildings dolls house, church and farm animals. Cafe and shop.

firstsite, photo: Richard Bryant, arcaidimages.com

Firstsite

A spectacular new venue for contemporary visual arts, Firstsite offers a changing programme of exhibitions by international artists, creative events and activities for the whole family, plus talks, films, workshops and more. Entry is free.

Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

Centre run by the Essex Wildlife Trust in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water, at a sight of international importance for winter wildfowl. Nature trails, bird hides, events & shop selling refreshments, gifts, optics & books.

Mighty Claws Adventure Golf

Mighty Claws Adventure Golf

Mighty Claws Adventure Golf : A Roman Ruckus offers 18-holes of ferociously good fun for all the family. Roarsome!

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.


Family & Kids Events in Colchester

Join in with the fun with children’s events in Colchester. You will discover 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. 

Visit 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.

Browse Kids Events in Colchester

Winter Crafts

Storytelling and Winter Crafts at Oxford House Sch

Wed 22 Jan 2020

Come along to our Storytelling and Winter Crafts Open Morning on Wednesday 22nd January 2020.

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Swindon Town

Tue 28 Jan 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Wacky World Colchester

Wacky World

Sat 8 - Sun 9 Feb 2020

Expect full-on fun & happy kids with our Total Wipeout Course, Extreme Hungry Hippos, Assault Courses, Gladiator Duels + much much more. For Kids and why not make a day of it & take on your bestie in our adult only sessions?

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Plymouth Argyle

Sat 8 Feb 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Teddy Bear's Concert

Teddy Bear's Concert

Sun 9 Feb 2020

Family Classical Concert at Colchester Arts Centre

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Grimsby Town

Tue 11 Feb 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Marks Hall's Snowdrop Grove

Children's Snowdrop Trail

Fri 14 - Sun 23 Feb 2020

Greet Spring this February half term by completing our fun and informative Snowdrop Trail.

Robin

Feathered Friends Trail

Mon 17 - Sun 23 Feb 2020

Look for the clues and have fun finding the answers to our Feathered Friends Trail

Planetarium

Planetarium at Colchester Castle

Tue 18 Feb 2020

Star Gazing fun at Colchester Castle

Den Building

Den Building

Tue 18 Feb 2020

Join us in our lovely woodland and build a den

Campfire cooking

Campfire Cooking

Tue 18 Feb 2020

Make lots of different treats over the fire!

Half-Term Diesel Days

Half-Term Diesel Days

Wed 19 Feb 2020

Half term fun at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Toasting Marshmallows

Forest School Drop Off Day

Wed 19 Feb 2020

A day of child led fun on the reserve.

Planetarium

Planetarium at Colchester Castle

Thu 20 Feb 2020

Star Gazing fun at Colchester Castle

The Noise Next Door

The Noise Next Door Family Show

Thu 20 Feb 2020

Family Comedy at Colchester Arts Centre

Millipede Joy

Minibeast on Land and Water

Thu 20 Feb 2020

Come along and see which minibeasts we can find in our woodland and pond

Bird box building

Nest Box Building

Thu 20 Feb 2020

This is the perfect time of year to build a nest box for your garden.

Bird box building

Nest Box Building

Fri 21 Feb 2020

This is the perfect time of year to build a nest box for your garden.

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Cheltenham Town

Sat 29 Feb 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Family Entertainment Essex Rebels Basketball

Family Entertainment Professional Basketball

Sat 29 Feb 2020

Family fun with basketball games, giveaways, competitions, DJ, kids activities and more! Watch the Essex Rebels Teams play in a fast-paced action-packed game of basketball right on your doorstep.

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.

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Wet Weather Ideas

Bad weather needn't put a dampener on your trip to Colchester. You'll find plenty to do under cover, sometime in the least likely of locations!

In the town centre, all the musuems and art galleries are child-friendly and within two minutes walk of each other. Most are also free entry. Perhaps you could catch a kids show at the Theatre or Arts centre too?

Colchester Zoo has a special 'duck under cover' route, keeping you dry and indoors (where many of the animals will be sheltering too)

Or if you've really been stuck indoors too long, burn off some energy at an indoor activity centre - take your pick from Leisure World, Rollerworld, Jump Street, or a Soft Play centre.

Great Venues in Bad Weather

Leisure World Colchester

Leisure World Colchester

Leisure World Colchester is one of East Anglia's largest sports, leisure, recreation and entertainment venues and offers year round fun for all the family. The leisure pool includes outside river rapids ride, water cannons and flumes.

Hollytrees Museum

Hollytrees Museum

An important part of Colchester's rich history with three centuries of fascinating toys, costume and decorative arts displayed in an attractive Georgian town house from 1718.

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle Museum

Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Keep in Europe. Constructed on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius. The Castle Museum today reveals many fascinating layers of history to visitors.

Mercury Theatre

Mercury Theatre

A highly respected regional theatre, home to the critically acclaimed Mercury Theatre Company, staging a broad mix of classic plays and new writing as well as working extensively within the local community.

firstsite, photo: Richard Bryant, arcaidimages.com

Firstsite

A spectacular new venue for contemporary visual arts, Firstsite offers a changing programme of exhibitions by international artists, creative events and activities for the whole family, plus talks, films, workshops and more. Entry is free.

Rollerworld Skating Rink

Rollerworld

Rollerworld is Europes finest Roller Rink, with a 50m x 25m solid maple floor, fantastic new sound and light show. Everyone can have a go at skating and if you don’t fancy that we have Quasar, laser gun fun in our specially made arena.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Discover and interesting 'hands-on' perspective on the local natural environment from the Ice Age right up to today. Explore the garden trail and stag beetle exhibition, free entry.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is home to 240 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes! They are proudly listed as the 11th best zoo around the world and in the top 2 zoos in the UK as part of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Attractions.

Go Bananas Tiny Town

Go Bananas

Go Bananas is one of the largest indoor adventure play centres in the South East of England with over 20 years of experience in entertaining children and Adults.

Jump Street Colchester

Jump Street Colchester

Jump Street trampoline parks offer jump sessions in Essex, suitable for both adults & children. Jump Street is based both in Colchester & in Chelmsford, also offering adult fitness classes, toddler sessions, special needs support sessions.

Colchester Arts Centre

Colchester Arts Centre

The home of live music, comedy, theatre, poetry, dance, children's shows, clubs, farmer's markets, gigs and more.

More Great Kids Activites

A Family Day Out in Colchester

Explore Colchester Museums

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