Hurray for the school summer holidays. Families across Essex are basking in the excitement of long weeks spending quality time together, free from constant clock watching and homework.
…. errr ….
Well perhaps not all!
Never fear, help is at hand. We’ve scoured Essex for ideas from families, activity providers and councils to share some of the best active things to do during the holidays. From free ways to engage little minds for an hour or afternoon, to activity camps and ideas for your holidays.
- Make a Bubble Snake. If you’ve not seen this yet, it’s brilliant.
- Go on a bug hunt. Get a magnifying glass and a matchbox (or equivalent) and see what you can find.
- Go seed bombing.
- Add movement to your summer reading challenge. Lots of libraries in Essex are running the summer reading challenge. Why not add an activity challenge to it by adding a walk to and from the library for every book read?
- All learn something new. Kids learn best by example. Seeing mums, dads and carers learning new sports or skills with them can help them understanding constant learning and resilience.
- Jump like Mr Incredible. Disney have created some cute little 10 minute workout challenges you could incorporate into an obstacle course.
- Do a multi-sports day. Check in to one of many multi-sports days happening across the county. They’re budget friendly plus you could use the free time to go for a workout in peace and get some jobs done at home.
- Play in the Park. Or for a completely FREE activity, check out some of the Play in the Park activities happening in your area.
- Go Plogging. With gloves, a bag and maybe a picker upper you can turn a walk into a nature loving activity.
- Take part in a Summer Fun Spectacular. What’s one of those? Check out what’s happening in Uttlesford. In Great Dunmow or Saffron Walden. We’re talking inflatables and a jam packed schedule of activities for everyone.
- Hit the beach. Whether it’s creating sand castles, sand sculptures, burying each other in the sand or crabbing, Essex beaches have so much to offer. Our favourites are Frinton, West Mersea or East beach Southend.
- Become an Xplorer. Braintree and Bocking have some fantastic Xplorer events set up to make the most of local parks. Become a Wildlife Explorer.
- Hit the park. If you’ve got a few hours in the morning or afternoon, why not take scooters or bikes to the local park. Pack a few snacks or take a ball and kick back with the kids. You’ll all feel refreshed afterwards.
- Go batty. Why not make a walk a bit more exciting and sneak in a late night with a bat walk? Lea Valley Park has one on 17th August where experts can tell you all about bats.
- Tidy up. Turn a tidy session into more strenuous activity by walking bags up to your local recycling centre or charity shop. You could add an extra challenge by popping the recycling bags at the bottom of the stairs so you have to walk up and down every time you want to pop something into the bag; or maybe do 10 squats whilst you decide if you really want to keep an item!
- Go for a picnic. From making food to finding the perfect picnic spot, who doesn’t love a picnic. All screen free.
- Try a new activity like bouldering or rock climbing. The Bouldering Park at Fairlop Waters is great fun, or Harlow Leisure Zone and Basildon Sporting Village both have climbing centres.
- Jump! On rainy days, why not head to an indoor trampolining centre like Jump Evolution at Romford or Jump Street in Chelmsford and Colchester.
- Explore a new park. Why not head a little further afield and try out someone else’s park? We love King George’s Playing Fields at Brentwood, Hylands Park and Maldon Promenade Park.
- Explore Epping Forest.
- Find the Gruffalo. Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood has some brilliant trails for kids. Find the Gruffalo and friends or Stick Man. There’s plenty of space for a picnic. There are also plenty of trails for running if that’s more your thing.
- Do a parkrun. Now you’re a bit less ‘on the clock’ why not try out a parkrun. Organised events like these are often much quieter during the holidays.
- Head to the Redbridge Cycle centre, or try Hadleigh Park or Braintree for BMX’ing. There are lots of organised holiday sessions for little ones or you can use the mountain bike tracks.
- Go swimming. In the sea. In a pool or perhaps if your little one hasn’t learned yet, book them into a crash course.
- Plant stuff. It’s not too late to plant forget-me-nots or nurture herbs. Why not grow your own salad and encourage your children to try new foods.
- Make sure you pack some training kit for your holidays. If there’s a kids’ club, pop on your kit and get out for a run as soon as you’ve dropped them off. The smug feeling afterwards will be well worth it.
- Head to the Olympic Park. If you’ve not been before it’s well worth the trip. There’s a free splash park and playgrounds; there are events on in the Aquatics Centre and across the park throughout the holidays. It’s a great place for a picnic too, just take some cash for an ice lolly.
- Play dodgeball with water bombs.
- Join your kids in the sprinkler. We love using a bucket and ball as target practice, if you miss you have to run through the sprinkler .
- Join a Fitforsport Activity Camp. or for slightly older children there are Essex Outdoors activity days. day_activity_days.php
And finally … after all that sit down and enjoy a well earned, ice cold drink!
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