10 ideas to entertain your family
PUBLISHED: 11:38 13 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:38 13 August 2014
Essex Life brings you 10 great ideas to entertain your family this summer
Royal Gunpower Mills
Essex EN9 1JY
The Royal Gunpowder Mills caters for keen historians and children, as visitors to the mills will discover through the help of dedicated, authentically-dressed staff. All the way through the summer holidays, the mills will be showcasing the Arts and Science Festival, it is highly recommended to visit on Tuesdays, as mini mad professors will be encouraged to join in too.
West Cliff Theatre
Clacton on Sea
Essex CO15 1LE
With its rich history dating back to 1894 and just five minutes from the seafront, West Cliff theatre has a range of daily shows to suit every taste. Throughout the holidays the theatre will be hosting the Clacton Summer Variety Special and family-orientated shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week.
Mark’s Hall Gardens and Arboretum
Estate Office/ Mark’s Hall
Colchester CO6 1TG
Set in 200 acres of fine countryside, Mark’s Hall estate is rich with history with some stories dating back as far as the Norman Conquest. While formerly crumbling to ruin, the grounds and house are now renovated and open to the public. Explore the landscaped circular woodland walks, the divine gardens and the arboretum with its breathtaking mix of plants from temperate regions including Asia and the Southern Hemisphere. Children can dress up and join their favourite characters from Alice in Wonderland on August 27 for a delicious Mad Hatters Tea Party held outside the barn.
Redwings Ada Cole
Nazeing, Essex EN9 2DH
With more than 50 friendly rescue horses and ponies waiting to greet visitors, Redwings Centre is a must see for animal lovers. All of the residents are tame and love attention so it is ideal for smaller children to get up close and personal with the horses. Visitors are treated to walking tours and demonstrations as well as a gift shop and café.
High Street, Hinxton
Colchester CO1 1DN
Housed in an ancient church building, the Natural History Museum is a chance to get closer to nature and learn fascinating facts that you would never have known about Britain’s oldest town, Colchester. A recommended day to visit is Wednesday, August 6 for the Mighty Predators attraction where live animals meet the crowds along with presentations on their talents and abilities.
Colchester Castle Museum
Castle Park, Colchester CO1 1TJ
The largest Norfolk keep in Europe, the Castle Museum is worth a sightseeing tour for its historic stature alone. Taking you through a stunning 2,000 years of Britain’s most crucial points in history, the newly-refurbished museum has ancient artefacts and interactive experiences including excavating activities and trying on authentic costumes. Families are welcome to drop in throughout the summer to meet some real life ‘castle characters’.
Suffolk IP17 1SR
Snape Maltings features shops, eateries and activities ranging from wildlife walks along the River Alde to honey tasting. For those that want a unique shopping experience, Snape Maltings is well equipped with boutiques ranging from designer furniture to toys. Why not pop along on August 2 to sample fresh produce at the popular farmer’s market?
In aid of the Essex Air Ambulance
Team Kinetix, fabulous cars and the Essex Air Ambulance fundraising team will be coming to Southend on Saturday, August 16, bringing an exciting mix of acrobatic stunt displays.
Headline sponsors Essex Audi Group will be showcasing the stunning Audi Q7 and the prestige Audi R8 for the public to view while Team Kinetix, a unique and dynamic acrobatic group will be wowing the crowds with their spectacular stunt performances, including a spectacular jump over the Audi Q7. Come down to the Acrobatic Day in Victoria Circus on Southend High Street this August and help raise vital funds for this local charity.
Blake House Craft Centre
Blake End, Nr Braintree
Essex CM77 6RN
Situated in carefully preserved farm buildings, Blake house Craft Centre has a fine choice of art and craft shops which are perfect for gift shopping and there are also plenty of activities to amuse younger members of the family, including a crazy golf course and play area. Don’t miss the centre’s maize maze challenge, a 10-acre, peacock-inspired challenge (weather permitting).
Guild of Essex Craftsmen Show
Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road
Braintree CM77 8PD
The Guild of Essex Craftsmen formed 30 years ago with the aim of promoting local craft-making talent, with only a select few being granted membership to showcase their products at the group’s many shows. This August Bank Holiday Monday, the guild is exhibiting work by more than 100 members at a craft fair hosted in Cressing Temple Barns.
Dedham Arts and Crafts Museum
High Street, Dedham
Essex CO7 6AP
Set in a historic church building in Constable Country, Dedham Arts and Crafts exhibits beautifully designed products and materials to make your own pieces, ideal for an eclectic enthusiast or for casual shoppers wanting to start a new artistic hobby. Visitors can soak up the relaxed, bohemian atmosphere in the centre’s café which offers afternoon tea and picnic baskets.