February Half Term Essex 2024

February Half Term 2024: Family Things to do in Essex

Looking for family-friendly activities to enjoy during the February half term in Essex? Wondering how to make this year’s break unforgettable for the whole family?

Date: 19th February 2024 till 23rd February 2024

What if I told you there’s a way to embark on exciting adventures that will leave lasting memories for everyone? Activities that engage young minds spark curiosity and bring smiles to young and old alike.

Curious to know more about the¬†best places¬†to go? Following up on my fun things to do in Essex for Christmas, let’s go through some of the most thrilling and unforgettable family experiences in Essex this half term of February.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover exciting and unforgettable family activities in Essex during the February half term.
  • Create lasting memories and engage the whole family with hands-on adventures.
  • Explore¬†historical sites, enjoy farm adventures, and immerse yourself in nature.
  • Take advantage of great value tickets and special offers for family fun.
  • Find the best things to suit every member of the family and make this half term genuinely unforgettable.
Clacton on Sea, UK in the summertime

Why Choose Things to do in Essex

Having transitioned just over a year ago from the bustling streets of London to the enchanting landscapes of Essex, our family’s journey has been nothing short of transformative. 

If you’re considering why Essex should be your go-to destination for the February half term, or at any time, let me share some insights from our personal experience.

Fresh Air Away from the Hustle

Essex offers a refreshing escape from the constant buzz of London. Its vast open spaces, picturesque countryside, and tranquil beaches make it a haven to breathe deeply and unwind. 

Whether a leisurely walk in Lower Lodge Farm Colne Nature Reserve or a serene afternoon by the Frinton on Sea seafront, Essex provides a natural antidote to the city’s relentless pace.

Historical Gems

Our move has unveiled a treasure trove of historical sites, each narrating a unique story. From the majestic Colchester Castle and the Roman theatrics at Audley End House to the medieval grandeur of Hedingham Castle, Essex is a living history book to explore. 

These excursions are not just educational; they are time capsules that transport you to a different era, making history a vivid and tangible experience for the entire family.

Activities for Every Interest and Age

Essex does exceptionally well catering to diverse interests and age groups, and having three children in different age groups (11 years old, six years old and one year old, is very important for us as a family to find things to do together. 

There’s something for everyone, whether adventure parks for the little ones, wildlife encounters for nature enthusiasts, or artisanal workshops for the creative souls. 

Each visit unfolds a new layer of Essex, ensuring that your family’s experiences are as varied and vibrant as the county’s.

Community Vibes in a Scenic Setting

Moving from the rush of London, the sense of community in Essex was a heartwarming surprise. The local markets buzzing with fresh fruit and vegetables, the community events brimming with friendly faces, and the supportive neighbourhood networks all contribute to a quality of life that’s hard to quantify but deeply felt. 

This community spirit, set against the scenic backdrops of quaint villages and modern towns, makes Essex a place to visit and belong.

Proximity to London with a World of Its Own

Lastly, Essex offers the best of both worlds. Its proximity to London means you’re always close to the metropolitan vibe if you miss it. 

Yet, Essex stands out with its identity‚ÄĒa blend of serene landscapes, rich heritage, spectacular views and a forward-looking spirit. It’s a world of its own, offering peace, discovery, and adventure at your own pace.

In Essex, every activity, every path, and every local encounter enriches our family’s tapestry of experiences. It’s about the places we visit and the memories we weave together. 

As we continue to explore the range of activities and the depth of heritage Essex offers, it’s clear that our move here was not just a change of address but a journey to a more fulfilling way of life.

History Makers at Audley End House and Gardens February Half Term

Half Term History Makers at Audley End House and Gardens

Travel back in time and immerse your family in history at¬†Audley End in¬†Saffron Walden¬†for their History Makers event. If you’re looking for¬†fun things to do, this¬†exciting event allows families to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of history and archaeology. From¬†historical hijinks¬†to hands-on shenanigans, there’s something for everyone. If you were wondering, the¬†Audley End Miniature Railway¬†is back at the end of March 2024, and I can’t wait.

Explore the Roman Period

Step back in time and uncover the secrets of the Roman period for a fun day with the History Makers Special events. With the help of resident archaeologists, we’ll delve into ancient finds and discover what life was like during this fascinating era. Get up close and personal with artefacts that have withstood the test of time, providing valuable insights into the past.

Engage in Historical Hijinks

Join in on the historical hijinks and let your imagination run wild in a great way. Dress up as characters from the past and embark on exciting adventures throughout the grounds of Audley End. From exploring hidden chambers to deciphering ancient codes, there’s no limit to the fun and excitement.

Hands-On Shenanigans

Get hands-on with history as you participate in a range of interactive activities. Try your hand at traditional crafts such as pottery-making or woodworking, or learn the art of Roman cooking by preparing authentic dishes using ancient recipes. These hands-on experiences allow you to connect with the past uniquely and memorably.

Sat 10 – Sun 18 Feb 202410 am – 4 pmAudley End House and GardensFamilies
English Heritage membersFree
Child, 5-17 years£12.50
Family (2 Adults)£52.50
Family (1 Adult)£32.50
Marsh Farm Family Frolic

Family Frolic at Marsh Farm Adventure Park

Looking for a fun-filled family adventure this February half term? Look no further than Marsh Farm Adventure Park! Join this February Half Term Family Frolic and create magical memories that will last a lifetime.

At¬†Marsh Farm Adventure Park, they believe that¬†family fun¬†shouldn’t cost a fortune, especially during the¬†cost of living crisis. That’s why their Frolic event offers a wallet-friendly solution to entertain the whole family.

During the Family Frolic, you and your loved ones can get up close and personal with their friendly llamas, playful goats, adorable rabbits, and more. Take a leisurely stroll through their beautiful farm, explore their interactive exhibits, and experience the joy of connecting with nature.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! It has many activities to keep the little ones entertained, from exciting play areas to thrilling rides. Let their imaginations run wild as they explore our outdoor playgrounds or take a spin on our exciting attractions.

So why wait? Head to Marsh Farm Adventure Park for the February Half Term Family Frolic and embark on an unforgettable family adventure.

Members Go Free – You no longer need to pre-book and turn up.

CategoryAge GroupPre-Book PriceOn the Day Price
General2 years and above£7.99£9.99
Toddler6 months to under 2£3.00£3.99
Disabled CarersCarers (Discounted)*£7.99£9.99
Under 6 MonthsThe little totsFREEFREE

*Disabled Carers receive a £5 discount off the admission price.

Colchester Zoo Elephant

Zooper Heroes at Colchester Zoo

Transform your half-term school holidays into an epic adventure with Zooper Heroes at Colchester Zoo. This superhero-themed week is packed with special activities, animal encounters, and plenty of fun, offering a unique twist to the traditional zoo visit.

Dates: 17th February ‚Äď 25th February 2024

Passholders: This event is a FREE entry for Zoo Passholders. Turn up on the day and bring your valid zoo pass to gain entry into the zoo for free admission. 
Paying Visitors: Recommend that all non-pass holders book their tickets online in advance to receive the best price on admission.

Sat 17th11:00 amRed PandaRiver’s Edge
2:15 pmHumboldt PenguinInca Trail
11:15 amAmur LeopardUssuri Falls
Sun 18th2:45 pmPygmy HippoKingdom of the Wild
12:30pmAmur TigerTiger Taiga
2:45pmMeerkatsSuricata Sands
Mon 19th11:15 amKomodo DragonsDragons of Komodo
2:30 pmAfrican ElephantElephant Kingdom
10:15 amAfrican PaddockKingdom of the Wild
Tue 20th11:00 amRed PandaRiver’s Edge
2:15 pmHumboldt PenguinInca Trail
11:15 amAmur LeopardUssuri Falls
Wed 21st2:45 pmKomodo DragonsDragons of Komodo
12:30pmAmur TigerTiger Taiga
11:15 amMeerkatsSuricata Sands
Thu 22nd1:45 pmPygmy HippoHippo Cove
2:30 pmAfrican ElephantElephant Kingdom
10:15 amAfrican PaddockKingdom of the Wild
Fri 23rd11:15 amRed Panda11:00 am
2:15 pmKomodo DragonsDragons of Komodo
2:15pmAmur LeopardUssuri Falls
Sat 24th2:45 pmHumboldt PenguinInca Trail
12:30pmAmur TigerTiger Taiga
11:15 amMeerkatsSuricata Sands
Sun 25th1:45 pmPygmy HippoHippo Cove
2:30 pmAfrican ElephantElephant Kingdom
2:30pmAfrican PaddockKingdom of the Wild
Epping Ongar Railway Paw Patrol

Kids for a Quid Epping Ongar Railway

Step onboard a journey through time with the Kids for a Quid offer at Epping Ongar Railway. Experience the magic of heritage steam trainsvintage London bus rides, and the charm of yesteryears, all for the incredible value of just one ticket!

Prepare for an adventure that will transport you back to the golden age of railways. Explore the historic¬†Epping Ongar Railway, where you’ll have unlimited access to delightful steam and diesel trains, each with its unique story. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the nostalgic engine chug as you embark on a scenic journey through the picturesque Essex countryside with spectacular views.

But that’s not all! Your ticket also grants you access to the¬†vintage London bus¬†services, adding excitement to your day. Hop on board these charming buses and be whisked away on a journey that captures the essence of London’s iconic transportation history. It’s a double dose of heritage experiences, all bundled into one¬†incredible value ticket!

You could try a local short walk from both North Weald and Ongar stations, stop off and have a picnic in a. great spot in a local picnic area. Your ticket is valid all day, so why not break your journey and explore the historic town of Ongar, or take a stroll through the ancient woodland and return on a later train?

Heritage Steam TrainsUnlimited rides on beautifully restored steam trains
Heritage Diesel TrainsExperience the power and charm of diesel locomotives
Vintage London Bus RidesHop on board classic London buses and travel in style
Lamb at Barleylands Farm February Half Term

Half Term Lambing Week Barleylands Farm Park

Experience the joy of new life at Barleylands Farm Park during Half Term Lambing Week. It’s an opportunity to introduce your little ones to the wonders of farm life, where they can meet, feed, and learn about the adorable baby lambs in a safe and nurturing environment. Meet adorable newborn lambs and their proud mothers, and enjoy various family activities in a beautiful, great place.

The Village at Barleylands is a vibrant hub where you can explore artisan craft studios and boutiques, enjoy delightful dining options, including Tiptree Tea Room and Magic Mushroom Restaurant and indulge in luxury treatments. Tiptree menu, which has a wide range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, cooked lunches, ice cream and tempting cakes  from the Tiptree Patisserie

The venue also offers a range of engaging workshops, activities, and specialist services. Toddlers have their own designated soft play area with their own mini slide and pint-size frame so they can play safely. 

Free entry and free parking make it a perfect destination for unique shopping and leisure experiences. The village could be a great free day out.

Animal Feed£1.00
Adult Entry Online£8.50
Child Entry (Age 2-15) Online£8.50
Under 2 Entry Till£1.50
Family Ticket (4 people)¬£30.00
Family Day Out Essex National Park

Face Painting at Hyde Hall:

Let your child’s creativity shine with face painting at Hyde Hall. With skilled artists ready to transform your little ones into their favourite characters, animals, or designs, it’s a beautiful way to add a splash of colour and excitement to your family’s visit

DateTimeMembersNon-membersOther Prices
Mon 19 Feb10.15 am ‚Äď 2.30 pmFREE Garden EntryNormal garden admission appliesFace painting: ¬£5 per person
Diesel Days at East Anglian Railway Museum February Half Term

Diesel Days at East Anglian Railway Museum

Ignite your child’s imagination with the sights, sounds, and smells of the Diesel Days at the¬†East Anglian Railway Museum. It’s a sensory experience that brings the golden age of rail travel to life, perfect for young train enthusiasts and families looking for a fantastic¬†train ride¬†and a unique day out.

‚ÄčA firm favourite with families, they‚Äôre an excellent opportunity to visit the Museum and have a ride in vintage wagons or carriages pulled by one of our restored Diesel Engines on our Class 101 DMU (which used to run on the Marks Tey to Sudbury line) or their famous Waggon and Maschinenbau Railbus.

Trains run all day long with no fixed timetable from around 10:30 to 15:00, and you can have as many rides as you like

Book in advance and save 5%. 

Children (4-15)£8.50
Under 4sFree
Beth Chatto's Winter Woodland Cooks & Creators February Half Term

Family Felt Picture Workshop The Beth Chatto Gardens

Dive into the¬†exciting felt-making world¬†at The Beth Chatto Gardens’ Family Felt Picture Workshop. This workshop is designed for adults and children to experience together, creating their felt pictures.

Tuesday 20th February 2024 (10.00 am – 3.30 pm)

The Workshop is suitable for children aged eight and above with a one-to-one accompanying adult. Book two places, one for yourself and one for your child. 
The total cost is £30, which includes felting materials for you both.

Winter Woodland Cooks & Creators! The Beth Chatto Gardens

Embrace the¬†great outdoors¬†at The Beth Chatto Gardens’ Winter Woodland Cooks & Creators event. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while learning¬†fire-lighting¬†techniques and unleashing your inner outdoor chef. You can kindle a flame and prepare delicious¬†snacks¬†over the crackling fire, creating a truly memorable and unique outdoor dining experience.

Thursday 22nd February 2024 (10.00 am – 12.00 pm)
Accompanied children £10. One adult free per child, additional adults £3

At Winter Woodland Cooks & Creators, you’ll have the opportunity to learn essential¬†fire lighting¬†techniques under the guidance of experienced instructors. Discover the art of building and maintaining a fire, gaining the skills to bring warmth and culinary delight to your¬†perfect place¬†for outdoor adventures.

Once the fire is roaring, it’s time to put your culinary skills to the test. From toasting marshmallows to grilling sausages, the possibilities for mouth-watering¬†snacks¬†are endless. Enjoy the smoky aromas and the camaraderie of fellow outdoor enthusiasts as you prepare and savour your delicious creations.

The Beth Chatto Gardens provide the perfect backdrop for this outdoor cooking experience. Nestled within stunning woodlands and captivating gardens, this tranquil setting enhances the connection with nature. Take a stroll, breathing in the fresh air and immersing yourself in the beauty surrounding you.

Museum of power Astria Model Village February Half Term

Spring into Springtime Museum of Power

Get ready for Half Term Havoc at the¬†Museum of Power. It is a week filled with exciting activities for the¬†whole family¬†to enjoy. From¬†stone painting¬†to¬†puppet making, there’s something for everyone.

It is also excellent for a rainy day – Considering we never know what the British weather will bring us.

Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th February 2024

Adult £8.00,
Concessions £7.00,
Children (5-15) £5.00,
Children under 5 £1

Stone PaintingCreate your own painted stone masterpiece.
Puppet MakingCraft your own puppet and bring it to life.
Springtime HuntEmbark on a scavenger hunt to uncover the secrets of spring.
Experiments and PuzzlesEngage in hands-on experiments and solve challenging puzzles.
Knight School Hedingham Castle February Half Term

Knight School Medieval Combat Hedingham Castle

Enroll in Knight School at¬†Hedingham Castle¬†and learn how to fight like a¬†medieval knight from a¬†medieval castle. Immerse yourself in the world of chivalry and bravery as you return to the days of castles and¬†duels¬†in this¬†unique experience. With the guidance of experienced instructors, you’ll master the art of combat using¬†padded weapons, honing your skills in the safe and exhilarating environment of knight training.

You’ll participate in thrilling duels and team battles throughout the program, putting your newly acquired skills to the test. Experience the adrenaline and excitement of medieval combat as you clash with opponents and strategize your way to victory.

Whether you dream of being a valiant knight or want to experience the thrill of battle, Knight School at Hedingham Castle is the perfect opportunity to live out your medieval fantasies.

What to Expect:

  • Hands-on training in the art of medieval combat
  • Instruction from skilled and knowledgeable instructors
  • Opportunities to engage in duels and team battles
  • Safe use of padded weapons for realistic but risk-free combat
  • A memorable and immersive experience in the historic setting of Hedingham Castle
Hedingham CastleFull day£75 per person
Sky Ropes Junior Great Notley Country Park

Sky Ropes Junior at Great Notley Country Park

Let your little adventurers reach new heights at Sky Ropes Junior. With safety harnessed courses explicitly designed for kids, they can navigate through exciting aerial challenges while soaking in the picturesque views of Great Notley Country Park.

Variety of Activities at Chelmsford City Sports

Dive into a world of aquatic adventures with scuba diving sessions, or paddle your way to fun with canoeing. If staying dry is more your style, unleash your creativity with arts and crafts or glide gracefully across the ice rink.

Chelmsford City Sports offers a diverse range of activities, ensuring that there’s something for every family member to enjoy. If your¬†young children¬†have any birthdays that fall within the school holiday, they also hold amazing¬†birthday parties

Air Hop Trampoline Park

Other Half Term Activities

In addition to the mentioned events, there are plenty of other exciting half-term activities throughout Essex. You’ll find plenty of exciting options with a wide variety of activities in different locations. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or adventure seeker, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy.

Here are some more half term activities to consider:

  • Explore the beautiful landscapes and walking trails at Epping Forest or Wivenhoe Woods Colne Local Nature Reserve.
  • Theme park¬†trip top Adventure Island¬†in Southend-on-Sea for thrilling rides and fun-filled attractions.
  • Discover the history of the Essex Coast at the Walton Maritime Museum.
  • Enjoy a day at an indoor play centre like Air Hop Formally Jump Street Trampoline Park in Colchester.

Make the most of your¬†February half term¬†by exploring the¬†variety of activities¬†and attractions that Essex has to offer. I’m planning the Easter Half Term and¬†summer holidays¬†in Essex articles for you. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, love outdoor adventures, nature lover, or enjoy hands-on experiences, there is something for everyone. From joining characters from the past at Audley End’s Half Term History Makers event to creating¬†magical memories¬†at Marsh Farm Adventure Park’s¬†February Half Term¬†Family Frolic, the opportunities for excitement and fun are endless.

So why wait? Plan your unforgettable adventure in Essex this February Half Term and create memories that will last a lifetime. Explore the rich history, embrace the beauty of nature, and embark on exciting family-friendly activities. Essex is ready to welcome you with open arms!

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