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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Browse Family events in Colchester

Child dressed as a Roman
Jump Street

Great Attractions For Kids

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meerkat Mob at Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is home to 220 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes!

Firstsite

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Art Is Where The Home Is

Art Is Where The Home Is - Artist Activity Pack

Sat 4 Apr - Thu 4 Jun 2020

Downloadable Activity Pack to help you stay creative at home

Online Studio

Firstsite Online Studio

Sat 4 Apr - Thu 4 Jun 2020

Online Art Space

Museum From Home

Museum From Home

Sat 4 Apr - Sat 6 Jun 2020

Activities from the Colchester & Ipswich Museums Service to enjoy at home

Bambino Class

Easter Bambino ((BOUNCE)) *CLOSED*

Tue 7 Apr 2020

Taking place at The Orpen Memorial Hall, Lexden Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3BW. A 45 min fun filled session on mini trampolines suitable for ages 4-11. Younger siblings welcome to watch.

Day Out With Thomas

Days Out With Thomas *MUSEUM CLOSED*

Fri 10 - Mon 13 Apr 2020

Celebrate Thomas' 75th Birthday year at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Science Museum

The Science Museum Comes To Colchester *CANCELLED*

Fri 10 - Mon 13 Apr 2020

Science fun at Colcheser Castle

Colchester United Crest

Colchester United v Oldham Athletic *POSTPONED*

Mon 13 Apr 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Wind In The Willows

Wind In The Willows *CANCELLED*

Tue 14 - Fri 17 Apr 2020

A four-day workshop for young people aged 8 to 16.

Fantastic Fossils

Fantastic Fossils *CANCELLED*

Fri 17 Apr 2020

Drop in and meet the wonderful fossil experts from GeoSuffolk and find out more about the amazing fossils unearthed in this area.

Family Entertainment Essex Rebels Basketball

Family Entertainment Basketball *CLOSED*

Sun 19 Apr 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.

Colchester United Crest

Col United v Forest Green Rovers *POSTPONED*

Sat 25 Apr 2020

League 2 Football at the Weston Homes Community Stadium

Summer Steam

Summer Steam *MUSEUM CLOSED*

Fri 8 - Sun 10 May 2020

Let off some steam at the East Anglian Railway Museum

KIDS RUN THE RAILWAY!

Kids Run The Railway *MUSEUM CLOSED*

Sat 16 May 2020

Let off some steam at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Transport Extravaganza

Transport Extravaganza *MUSEUM CLOSED*

Sun 24 - Mon 25 May 2020

Classic Cars at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Illuminated Letters

Iluminated Letters *CANCELLED*

Mon 25 - Fri 29 May 2020

Art workshop at Colchester Castle

Knights and Dragons

Knights and Dragons *CANCELLED*

Mon 25 - Tue 26 May 2020

What Castle would be complete without a dragon in residence?

Mythical Beast

Mythical Beast Trail and Crafts *CANCELLED*

Mon 25 - Fri 29 May 2020

Follow our mythical beasts trail around the Castle

Half-Term Diesel Days

Half-Term Diesel Days *MUSEUM CLOSED*

Wed 27 May 2020

Half term fun at the East Anglian Railway Museum

KIDS RUN THE RAILWAY!

Kids Run The Railway *MUSEUM CLOSED*

Wed 27 May 2020

Let off some steam at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Juggling Jesters

Juggling Jesters *CANCELLED*

Wed 27 May 2020

Childrens craft and activity session at Hollytrees Museum

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

Firstsite

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meerkat Mob at Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is home to 220 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes!

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.

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.

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