December events in Essex

PUBLISHED: 08:39 03 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:27 20 February 2013

All the latest events for getting out and about in Essex this December

9 January



Maldon Town Hall, Market Hill, Maldon, CM9 4RL.

The Maldon Film Club works on a membership basis and is run by a committee that selects and screens shows from the best of recent release English and foreign language films. On this day you will see a drama creation, directed by Marco Bellochio, in Italian and French. (15)

Admission: 3 (non members)

01621 788233

13 January


Circus of Horrors

Queens Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1QT

Dr Haze rolls into town with his NEW vampire vaudeville spectacular, featuring bizarre dare-devil circus acts from all four corners of the world! 17 years after its conception at Glastonbury Festival the show has gone on to tour the world achieving cult status and dragging circus screaming and shouting into the 21st century and beyond!

Admission: 23 and concessions 19

01708 443333

17-18 January


Jackson Live in Concert

Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester, CO1 1PT

Jackson Live in concert sees long-time fan and hugely talented Ben recreate the Michael Jackson experience with his stunning rendition of all his favourite songs.

Admission: 10.50- 21

01206 573948

18 20 January

Horror-on-Sea Film Festival

Southend Pier, SS1 1EE

Local filmmaker Pat Higgins Amicus tribute Nazi Zombie Death Tales; is a weekend of horror you will not want to miss. From INBRED, Alex (Cradle of Fear/Pervirella) and Chandon are amongst many acts who will be making an appearance, will many more to be revealed.

Admission: Free

01702 618747

18 January


Gottlieb Wallisch- Piano

Stour Valley Arts and Music, Constable Hall East Bergholt, COL7 6TP

Born into a family of musicians, Gottlieb Wallisch is a talent that shouldnt be missed. Expect all the delights of Mozart, Piano Sonata in F major K 332"¨Schubert, Piano Sonata in A minor D 845"¨Schumann, Drei Fantasiestcke op 111"¨Beethoven and many more delights.

Admission: Adults 12.50, Children under 16 accompanied by adults are free and students are half price.

19 January

From 7.30pm

An evening with Davey Arthur & friends

The High Barn, 28 The Bardfield Centre, Great Bardfield, Essex CM7 4SL

Davey Arthur is famous for being one of Ireland's most successful, talented and influential working musicians with over 40 of his compositions being recorded and performed by some of the finest artists and bands ever to grace the world stage. Dont miss out on this rare opportunity.

Admission: 10.50

01371 811 291

21 January


Swan Lake

Southend Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex. SS0 7RA

Raymond Gubbay presents the greatest romantic ballet of all time. Its brought to life by Tchaikovskys haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendor of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all; exquisite ensemble pieces, memorable pas de deux and breath-taking solos.

Admission: 16.50-35

01702 351135

22 January


The Nutcracker

Southend Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex. SS0 7RA

Raymond Gubbay presents the most famous of fantasy ballets for all the family. As snowflakes fall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems; toy dolls spring to life, the Mouse King and his army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins

Admission: 16.50-35

01702 351135

24 January


Ken Colyer Legacy New Orleans Jazz Band

Electric Palace Cinema, King's Quay Street, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3ER

The Legacy Band plays the music that Ken Colyer sought out in 1952/3 on his historic trip to New Orleans. It was here, where jazz began, that Ken felt he would hear the ensemble playing of a Golden Age. Expect the attraction and artiste specializing in jazz and blues.

Admission: From 9

01255 553 333

25 January


Rock Around The Sixties with The New Honeycombs and The Foundations

The Towngate Theatre, St. Martin's Square, Basildon, Essex SS1

Four great musicians and vocalists, The New Honeycombs, recreating the silver sounds of the sixties, including the worldwide Number One 'Have I the Right' and Top 10 Success 'That's the Way'. As well as, The Foundations, whowere the first multi-racial group to have a UK Number One - 'Baby Now That I've Found You'.

Admission: 16

01268 465465

Throughout January


Colchester Market

Colchester Town Centre, Colchester CO1 2PG

Colchester's Charter Market has a long history having been established in 1189. Today the vibrant market can be found at the heart of Britain's oldest recorded town with stalls located throughout Culver Street West, Long Wyre Street and Culver Street East every Friday and Saturday. With fresh groceries, hot and cold snacks, clothes, home wares and much more, you'll find great value and choice when you visit Colchester Market.

Admission: Free

01206 282920

7 January


Plough Monday

Hythe Quay, Maldon. CM9 5HN

Join the black faced Molly dancers as they parade the white plough up the High Street to the Blue Boar Hotel. This annual tradition celebrates our agricultural heritage, when the local workers in disguise would extort money from the residents when work was scarce. If gifts were not forthcoming, your garden might be ploughed up!

Admission: Free

01621 840925

9 January


Medieval Archery

Coggeshall Grange Barn, Coggeshall, CO6 1RE

Learn the techniques of shooting a traditional medieval longbow and try your skills at Fletching! From ages 12+ booking is required for this once a week school of archery. The school will be held in the beautiful setting of Coggeshall Grange Barn, a fanstaic way to practice, amongst the scenery.

Admission: Prices vary (With discounts for booking more than one course)

01376 562226

12 January


Barleylands Farm, Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD

Enjoy a morning out wandering round and picking up delicious food for the weekend from the Farmers Market. This is a great opportunity for you to buy all of your fresh, local produce from farmers and growers. Some stalls stay open till 5pm and this event happens every second and last Saturday

Admission: Free

20 January


Dragon Wine and Cheese Tasting Event

Dragon Enterprise Centre, 28 Stephenson Road, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 5LY

Network and meet other local business owners whilst learning from wine experts Majestic Wine and take part in the fantastic short wine and cheese quiz! Impress your friends with your newly acquired wine and cheese knowledge, and you can even order your favourite wines at the end of the evening

Admission: 10

01702 511222

20 January


Bittern Roost Watch

Fishers Green Lane, Waltham Abbey EN92EF

A short guided walk followed by a roost watch in the Bittern Information Point, with hot drinks and biscuits, We may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an elusive Bittern coming into roost. We will start with a short-guided walk overlooking Seventy Acres Lake and the Old River Lee.

Admission: Free

08456 770 600.

23 January


Winter Lunch

Great Baddow Parish Hall, 19 Maldon Road, Chelmsford CM2 7DW

Come and join us for a three- course lunch: Soup, Ploughmans dessert and other refreshments. You will be helping us to raise funds for the parish hall and also meet new friends.

Admission: 5.70

01245 474500

From 24 January


Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy launches In Brentwood

Brentwood Hard Court Tennis Club, Childeritch Lane, CM13 3FD

The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy is a very special"¨place for children with big dreams. Our classes are taught by our specialist instructors who will gently"¨introduce your child to the world of dance and performance, through the fun, stories and music. Classes in ballet, tap, modern, street Dance, Acro and many more for all ages for competitions, exams and fun.

Admission: Prices vary


25 27 January

Winter Folk & Ale Festival

Southend Pier, SS1 1EE

The new cultural centre on Southend Pier becomes the venue for a weekend of Folk and winter ales. A Friday night Ceilidh with the Famous Potatoes sets the weekend off followed on Saturday afternoon with folk and acoustic music from 1pm. Saturday evening brings a performance of Jack Forbes Rolling Down the River show with other maritime folk. At the same time there will be a selection of Essex and other English ales available all a mile out to sea

Admission: Prices vary

01702 618747

27 January


Beginners photography course

The George Hotel, 116 High Street, Colchester CO1 1TD

Get the most out of your camera by coming on a fun one-day beginners photography course. "¨On this course you will learn;"¨The fastest way to access your camera's features"¨To get off Auto mode & use aperture priority mode."¨How to control what's in focus in your images and create attractive compositions"¨and many more skills. You'll get lots of hands on practice, exercises and detailed handouts to use later to perfect your skills.

Admission: 75

07783 272696

Until 5 January

Times Vary


Clifftown Theatre & Studios"¨Nelson Street, Southend on Sea"¨ SS11EF

Inspired by the much loved children's classic, our adventure begins in a magical junkyard watched over by a fairy who brings Professor Gepetto's hopes to life, creating for him an apprentice made out of recycled pots and tins. Join PinokeYo on his journey as he learns about his new world. But, as his group of friends grows, so inevitably, does his nose!

Admission: Prices Vary

01702 328335

Until 6 January

Times vary

Peter Pan Panto

The Towngate Theatre, St. Martin's Square, Basildon, SS14 1DL. 1DL

Join the boy who never grew up in this high flying adventure. This Christmas everyone can be a child as they take the second star to the right and fly far far away to Neverland with Peter Pan and his friends. JM Barrie's Peter Pan is undoubtedly one of the most famous and best-loved stories for children; an unforgettable magical fantasy that has been enjoyed by generations for over a hundred years.

Admission: Prices vary

01268 465465

Until 6 January

Times Vary

Jack and the Beanstalk

Harlow Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Harlow Essex, CM20 1LS

Starring Pui from CBEEBIES Show Me Show Me! Harlow Playhouses biggest pantomime to date! Join Jack, Jill, Billy and Dame Trot on a colossal adventure into the clouds, as they race to save their cow Daisy and friends

Admission: 8 and concessions 5

01279 431945

Until 6 January

Times Vary


Southend Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea SS0 7RA

Shane Richie returns to Cinderella for the most popular and most magical pantomime of them all returns to the stage of the Cliffs Pavilion this Christmas. The enchanting rags-to-riches tale of Cinderella will be transformed from page to stage in a production complete with an abundance of comedy, stunning sets, fabulous costumes and the magical pantomime moment when Cinderella swaps her rags for a ball gown and heads to the Ball!"¨

Admission: From 23.00- 33.00 ( Booking free applies)

01702 351135

Until 12 January

Times vary

Jack and the Beanstalk

Queens Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1QT

Boys and girls of all ages can join brave Jack on a thrilling adventure as he climbs the gigantic magic beanstalk to battle the dreaded Giant Thunderskull in his castle in the clouds. Will Jack save the day and win the treasure?

Admission: Tickets are 14 - 23, with discounts for groups and families

01708 443333

Until 31 January


Old MacDonald's Farm"¨Weald Road"¨Brentwood"¨Essex"¨CM14 5AY

Come down and enjoy a family fun packed day out, with lots of activities to choose from. Seeing the animals, carousel and train rides, Wacky Worm Roller Coaster, inflatables, trampolines, horses and pony rides and many more outdoor events.

Admission: 3.99 (must book online for this deal)

01277 375 177

Throughout January


Wildlife Explorers Club

RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve New Tank Hill Road, Purfleet, RM19 1SZ

Discover nature in a fun and exciting way withthe new Rainham & Purfleet Wildlife Explorers at Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve.Get the chance to experience nature and thereserve through activities, games, walks and much more.So if you're 8-12 years old, come down and join us.

Admission: Prices vary

01708 899840

9 and 23 January


Horse Clinic

Audley End House & Gardens, Saffron Walden, CB11 4JF

Join our Stables Manager, Rebecca Holland, at Audley End this winter for one of our dedicated horse clinics dealing with a variety of subjects. Participants will be able to work with one of our horses or bring their own for the day.

Admission: 70

01223 582700

18-19 January

Times vary

Robin Hood featuring Babes in the Wood

Maldon Town Hall CM9 4RL

Perfect day out with the family, with this perennial favourite mixed with an amateur twist, really needs to be seen all. Production by Paul Reakes directed by Vickie Cumbers, they offer more than a bundle of laughs.

Admission Adult 10, Concession 6, Balcony 10, Family 27

24-26 January

Times vary

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

The Centre, East Street, Tollesbury, Maldon, Essex. CM9 8QD

Everyone loves a pantomime and after Christmas will have the blues. So come and try this fun traditional show, run by Tollesbury Amateur Players, which will guarantee entertainment for the whole family.

Admission Adult 10, concession 8

07547 566811

Until 4 January


Watercolours and Oils

Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Billericay CM11 1WT

A fantastic art exhibition of Watercolours & Oils by local artist Doreen Higgs, will all be on display in the Visitor Centre. A chance to purchase an original painting in a picturesque setting!

Admission: Free

01268 711001

Until 4 January


Treasures of China

Colchester Castle, Castle Park C01 1TJ

This exciting exhibition will showcase 70 treasures from Nanjing Museum China; go on a journey across 8000 years of Chinese history. Exploring the rise of Imperial China from Stone Age tombs to the last Emperor. See all of the rest of the"¨castle and the best of 2000 years British history.

Admission: Adult 6.25, Child (5-15)/Concessions/Senior 4, Saver ticket 16.75, Under 5s free

01206 282939

Until 4 January


Candlelit Tours

Eastbury Manor House, Eastbury Square, Barking, Essex IG11 9SN

Explore the atmospheric historic rooms and walled garden either at your leisure or on a tour led by one of our knowledgeable Tudor-costumed guides. Enjoy refreshments in the Garden Tea Room and browse in our Old Buttery Gift Shop.

Admission: 8


Until 24 February

Times Vary

In Conversation with

The Gallery at Parndon Mill, Off Elizabeth Way, Harlow CM20 2HP

Come down to see a fantastic display of new paintings by Barry Andrews and complemented by ceramics from Nigel Earle.

Admission: Free

01279 426042

8 January


Eels: A fleeting Heybridge trade

Friends Meeting House, Butt Lane, Maldon CM9 7HD

Come down and enjoy another Winter Heritage talk with David Williams. David is currently the Chairman of Maldon District Council and will talk about one of the many aspects of local history in which he is interested in; the trade in live eels over the course of 40 years at Heybridge Basin.

Admission: Free

01621 854477

12 January


One hour sail from Maldon Quay

Hythe Quay, Maldon Essex CM9 5HN

Fancy something different after the festive season, come join us on a one hour sail from Maldon Quay, with a mug of hot chocolate, then a seated lunch once back at the Quay of bangers and mash the jam roly- poly.

Admission: Adults 28 Children 16

01621 857567

13 January


Wedding Fayre

Smeetham Hall LaneBulmer, Suffolk CO10 7EU

The 14th fabulous annual wedding fayre is always a treat at the start of the year, with some of the very best wedding suppliers available. Live music with talented pianist, samples to taste, make up demonstrations and real experts to share your ideas with. Free wedding magazine, goody bag, parking and refreshments.

Admission: 1.50, children free

01787 269030

18 January


The Hythe and its industries

Mersea Island Museum Trust, c/o 54 Upland Road, Colchester, C05 8DG

Come down and enjoy this interesting and illustrated talk by Patrick Denny. All part of the winter series of talks and donations are all in aid for the museum.

Admission: 5 for non-members or 3 for members including refreshments

01206 385191

19 January

From 2pm

Public Master Class with Gottlieb Wallisch

Swinburne Hall, Colchester, CO3 3LL

"¨Always fancied learning the piano, well now is your chance. The Piano Master Class for advanced students is organised jointly by Stour Valley Arts & Music and the Centre for Music and Performing Arts, Colchester Institute.Deadline for participants is 2 December.

Admission: 5

24 January


Collection Store Tour

Audley End House, Audley End, Saffron WaldenCB11 4JF

Become a member and enjoy a special chance to see some of the hidden treasures from the English Heritage collection not on display to the public, with Collections Curator Tom Boggis. Light refreshmentsof hot drinks and cake are included.

Admission: Member (20)

01799 522842

1-24 December

Times Vary

Santa Land

Marsh Farm Road, Chelmsford CM3 5WP

Come and visit our new reindeers and see Santa in his grotto. After taking a tractor and trailer ride to Santas Grotto, visitors will be greeted by the two new reindeer that have taken up residency at the Farm, before entering into the impressive grotto with atmospheric falling snow.In keeping with festive tradition, children can select a present from Santas Toy Shop, before re-entering the farm to enjoy Christmas craft activity and have access to the farm trail.

Admission: One adult goes free with a full-paying child (aged 2-15) Costs vary

01245 321552

1 December

2.30pm & 7.30pm

What the Dickens!

West Cliff Theatre, Tower Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 1LE.

Twas the night before advent, a stormy, dark night on the 200th celebration birth of Charles Dickens. Mr. Dickens is brought back to earth to relieve his life. He comes face to face with characters from his own novels

Admission: Adults 5, children 3

01255 474000

2 December


Iron Age Roundhouse Open Afternoon

Hadleigh Country Park, Chapel LaBenfleet SS7 2PP

Come and meet the Chieftain's family round the fire to learn how your ancestors lived 2000 years ago. Find out about the battle techniques of the ancient Britons and Romans, see their armor and weapons and learn to use a sling.

Admission: Free

01702 551072

3 December


David Essex

Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend, Essex, SS0 7RA

Legendary, singer, actor and composer, David Essex is back on the road in an eagerly awaited concert tour. He will take a candid journey through his amazing forty-year career in his over the moon stage concert tour. Performing all his classic hits from 19 Top 40 UK singles, Thatll be the day and Stardust.

Admission: From 26.50-30.50

01702 351135

7 December


Ruth Jenkins, Soprano and Matthew Fletcher-Piano

Constable Hall, Gandish Road, East Bergholt, CO7 6TP

Come join this young soprano who has made a brilliant start to her professional career, receiving much praise from the critics for Mozart roles at Garsington and the Royal Scottish Opera. Matthew Fletcher, another star for the evening, will also join her; so dont miss out on this rare event.

Admission: Adults 12.50, children under 16 are free and students half price

8-9 December


Cressing Unwrapped

Cressing Temple"¨Witham Road, Cressing, Braintree, CM77 8PD

A magical Christmas experience for all the family, meet Father Christmas and listen to his festive stories from his launch pad grotto, before selecting a present from the elfs toy shop.Activities will be running throughout the day for all the family to enjoy, including traditional fairground games, a gingerbread man trail and art and craft activities. Adults can enjoy mulled wine and everyone can sample some free chestnuts, while a traditional sweet shop will serve all the family favourites.

Admission: All adults go free! Children 10, includes a free gift

0845 603 7624

9 December

Santa Fun Run

Central Park, Chelmsford, Essex

Farleigh Hospice is delighted to invite you to join their Santa Fun Run. The 5km route is ideal for all ages and, with adults dressed in full Santa suits and children with their Santa hats (or their own special outfits if they prefer!), this fun run is absolutely guaranteed to get you in the festive mood whilst supporting your local hospice at the same time!

Admission: Adults 10 registration and children under 16 5

01245 457408

9 December


Christmas Walk

Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Billericay CM11 1WT

Join us for an approx 6-mile walk starting and finishing at Hanningfield Visitor Centre. We will be walking through lovely local countryside and returning to the centre for home made soup, a roll and mince pies.

Admission: 7

01268 711001

9 December


Forces Sweetheart at Christmas

Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1QT

Our three Sweethearts - Beryl, Carolyn and Jenny will recreate the magic of the 40s with favourites from Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, Marlene Dietrich, The Andrews Sisters and many more, all neatly packaged with some Christmas surprises. Many of the great Christmas songs were written during the 40s and early 50s, so get ready to sing along to all your Festive favourites as sung by the great artists of the era.

Admission: Adults 12.50

01708 443333

20-23 December


Farm-tastic Santa

Lee Valley Park Farms, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2EF

Get in the festive mood and book your two-hour session to celebrate Christmas at the farms. Visit Santa's Grotto and take home a special present. Meet our reindeers and check out the amazing husky dogs, have a sliding good time on the toboggan run and enjoy Christmas-themed arts and crafts.

Admission: First child 15, additional children 10, Adults Free.

08456 770600

28 December

From 8.30pm

Christmas Unplugged

High Barn, 28 Bardfield Centre, Great Bardfield CM7 4SL

Come join us for the perfect way to celebrate Christmas and the coming of the New Year. The incredible character and acoustics of the building offer a great ambiance to enjoy an evening full of entertainment.

Admission: 6.50

01371 811291

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