Top local listings for December events in Essex that are perfect for babies, toddlers, big kids and families!

Discover what’s on near you, including children’s activities, workshops, shows, open days and fun things to do.

You can add to our list of December events in Essex by visiting our Add Event page.

We also have listings for Santa Grottos, Pantos, Christmas markets, and Christmas lights switch on events in Essex.

December Events in Essex

Events: 1 December –  7 December 2018

Christmas at Barleylands – SELLING FAST
1 Dec 2018 – 24 Dec 2018, 10.00am-4.00pm
Barleylands Farm, Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD
Meet Father Christmas and his elves as he takes time out of his busy schedule to meet you and your little ones. The friendly elves will greet you on arrival, ready for your visit with Father Christmas himself!
www.barleylands.co.uk

Kiddi Caru Winter Wonderland
Sat 1 Dec 2018, 10.30am-1.00pm
Fox Burrows Lane, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3SS
Santa and his little elves have been working hard all year to create a magical Christmas Winter Wonderland at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Writtle, Essex on Saturday 1st December from 10.30am – 1pm. Bring the whole family for free to enjoy some seasonal fun to get you into the Christmas spirit! Any kind donations on the day will be gratefully received for Home Start’s Snowflake Appeal which supports families across the UK. RSVP via their website and your little one will receive a free gift on the day. Don’t forget to ask about the special offers they are running at the event!
www.kiddicaru.com/events

Children’s Craft Session at Kelvedon Library
Sat 1 December 2018, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Aylett’s Foundation School, Maldon Road, Kelvedon CO5 9BA
Free, themed activity / craft for children to complete, with help available and an example to work to. Activity sheets for children to complete on the other Saturdays in the month.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Children’s Craft at Essex Police Museum
Sat 1 December 2018, 10.00am – 3.30pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Make your own reindeer food and paper plate wreath!
www.essex.police.uk

Christmas Elves’ Workshop at Pitsea Library
Sat 1 December 2018, 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Community Centre, Off Maydells, Pitsea SS13 3DU
Meet Mother Christmas and write your letter to Father Christmas. Then join the elves workshop to make Christmas cards, reindeer food and Festive decorations. Suitable for children of all ages.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Christmas Crafts at Colchester Library
Sat 1 Dec 2018, 2.30pm – 4.00pm
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Make your own pop up Christmas card and paper Christmas wreath. Help us to decorate the library for Christmas with a wintery display and by decorating baubles!
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
Sat 1 & Sun 2 December 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm (Saturday 7.30pm)
Maldon Road, Colchester
See Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, enjoy a Christmas tale and lots more, including this year’s staff pantomime – Snow White, performed by the Colchester Zoo team!
www.colchester-zoo.com

Christmas Crafts at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sat 1 Dec & Sun 2 Dec 2018, 12.00pm-4.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
Join us for some festive creativity – a choice of crafts with something to suit all ages. Must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No need to book in advance just drop in on the day. For 0 – 13 years.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 per child

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch – SELLING FAST
Sat 1 Dec to Sun 23 Dec 2018, various times
Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT
It’s Christmas time. Leave your shoes and slippers by the fireplace and settle down to hear one child’s story about the night they met a certain twinkly-eyed, round-bellied chap.
www.queens-theatre.co.uk
Cost: £7.50 weekdays | £10 weekends (+ 65p QNew Transformation Fee)

Nature Tots at Langdon Visitor Centre
Weds 5 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
A fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for preschoolers. Suitable for 18 months up (under 18 months free when accompanying an older sibling) Booking essential
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 per child, £4.00 additional siblings

Nature Tots at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Thurs 6 December 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 3SH
Our Pre-school aged club for under 5’s at Belfairs.  Come and join us for our weekly Squirrel Squad. An under 5’s pre-school club based around nature, wildlife and the seasons. We will be doing arts, crafts and games; having stories and music, and of course some outdoor time in the woodlands! BOOKING REQUIRED. 01702 477467.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 per child, £4.00 additional siblings

Chesnut Roasting at Rainham Hall
Thurs 6 Dec 2018, 4.00pm-5.00pm
Rainham Hall, The Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN
Join us after school with your little ones as we roast chestnuts around the fire in the courtyard at Rainham Hall on Thursday 6 December and Thursday 13 December, 4-5pm. We will also be playing some festive games. Those taking part should please bring gloves and warm clothes as the events will take place outside. Mulled wine and hot chocolate will be available to purchase in the Stables Café.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rainham-hall/whats-on
Cost: Tickets are £2 per child and are available to purchase on the day.

Nature Tots at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Fri 7 Dec 2018, 9.30am-11.30am
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Downham, CM11 1WT
Come and join the Hanningfield Nature Tots. Weekly pre-school group for the under 5’s on alternate Tuesdays and Fridays. Includes wildlife activities on the nature reserve, crafts and games in the centre. Booking essential. Phone 01268 711001
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 per child, £4 per sibling, babes in arms free.

Kiddi Caru Winter Wonderland
Fri 7 Dec 2018, 5.00pm-7.00pm
Maria Court Hythe Quay, Colchester CO2 8JB
Santa and his little elves have been working hard all year to create a magical Christmas Winter Wonderland at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Colchester, Essex on Friday 7th December from 5.00pm-7.00pm. Bring the whole family for free to enjoy some seasonal fun to get you into the Christmas spirit! Any kind donations on the day will be gratefully received for Home Start’s Snowflake Appeal which supports families across the UK. RSVP via their website and your little one will receive a free gift on the day. Don’t forget to ask about the special offers they are running at the event!
www.kiddicaru.com/events

 

Events: 8 December – 14 December 2018

Children’s Craft at Essex Police Museum
Sat 8 Dec 2018, 10.00am – 3.30pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Make your own reindeer food and paper plate wreath!
www.essex.police.uk

Children’s Craft Session at Manningtree Library
Sat 8 Dec 2018, 10.30am – 11.45am
High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1AD
Join us to make a selection of fun Christmas crafts, take part in a festive trail and listen to jolly seasonal stories. Suitable for children between 4 to 9 years-of-age. Limited spaces so please book your place with Manningtree Library on 0345 603 7628.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
Sat 8 & Sun 9 Dec 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm (Saturday 7.30pm)
Maldon Road, Colchester
See Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, enjoy a Christmas tale and lots more, including this year’s staff pantomime – Snow White, performed by the Colchester Zoo team!
www.colchester-zoo.com

Christmas Crafts at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sat 8 Dec & Sun 9 Dec 2018, 12.00pm-4.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
Join us for some festive creativity – a choice of crafts with something to suit all ages. Must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No need to book in advance just drop in on the day. For 0 – 13 years.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 per child

Day Out With Thomas and Santa at East Anglian Railway Museum
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DS
Sun 9 Dec 2018, trains run 10.30am – 4.30pm
Visit a Festive Day Out With Thomas at the East Anglian Railway Museum in the run-up to Christmas – an event the whole family can enjoy. Take a train ride with Thomas and his friends, Daisy, Percy and Toad will all be here.
www.earm.co.uk
Cost: £14.00 adult; £10.00 child (2-15); £44.00 family; Under 2’s free; Gifts from Santa for additional charge of £5 per child and must be pre-booked.

Nature Tots at Langdon Visitor Centre
Weds 12 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
A fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for preschoolers. Suitable for 18 months up (under 18 months free when accompanying an older sibling) Booking essential
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 per child, £4.00 additional siblings

Nature Tots at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Thurs 13 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 3SH
Our Pre-school aged club for under 5’s at Belfairs.  Come and join us for our weekly Squirrel Squad. An under 5’s pre-school club based around nature, wildlife and the seasons. We will be doing arts, crafts and games; having stories and music, and of course some outdoor time in the woodlands! BOOKING REQUIRED. 01702 477467.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 per child, £4.00 additional siblings

Chesnut Roasting at Rainham Hall
Thurs 13 Dec 2018, 4.00pm-5.00pm
Rainham Hall, The Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN
Join us after school with your little ones as we roast chestnuts around the fire in the courtyard at Rainham Hall on Thursday 6 December and Thursday 13 December, 4-5pm. We will also be playing some festive games. Those taking part should please bring gloves and warm clothes as the events will take place outside. Mulled wine and hot chocolate will be available to purchase in the Stables Café.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rainham-hall/whats-on
Cost: Tickets are £2 per child and are available to purchase on the day.

Santa in Love at Chelmsford’s Cramphorn Theatre
Thurs 13 – Sat 15 December 2018, 11.30am & 1.30pm on Thurs & Fri, 2.30pm & 4.30pm Sat
Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JG
Join Santa and his friends in this fun-filled family musical complete with games, giggles and all your favourite Christmas songs. Recommended age: 2-5 years.
www.chelmsford.gov.uk
Cost: £9, £11 for premium seats

The Great Christmas Sleigh Ride at Harlow Playhouse
Playhouse Square, Harlow, CM20 1LS
Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec 2018, 10.30am, 1.15pm & 3.30pm
The Great Christmas Sleigh Ride is a brand new, fun-filled, sing-a-long, interactive festive show for 2-6 year olds, their families, pre-schools and nurseries.
playhouseharlow.ticketsolve.com

 

Events: 15 December – 21 December 2018

The Great Christmas Sleigh Ride at Harlow Playhouse
Playhouse Square, Harlow, CM20 1LS
Sat 15 Dec – Mon 24 Dec 2018, 10.30am, 1.15pm & 3.30pm
The Great Christmas Sleigh Ride is a brand new, fun-filled, sing-a-long, interactive festive show for 2-6 year olds, their families, pre-schools and nurseries.
playhouseharlow.ticketsolve.com

Kiddi Caru Winter Wonderland
Sat 15 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.30pm
10 Victoria Court, New Street, Chelmsford CM1 1GP
Santa and his little elves have been working hard all year to create a magical Christmas Winter Wonderland at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Chelmsford, Essex on Friday 15th December from 10.00am-12.30pm. Bring the whole family for free to enjoy some seasonal fun to get you into the Christmas spirit! Any kind donations on the day will be gratefully received for Home Start’s Snowflake Appeal which supports families across the UK. RSVP via their website and your little one will receive a free gift on the day. Don’t forget to ask about the special offers they are running at the event!
www.kiddicaru.com/events

Santa’s Christmas Party at Braintree Arts Centre
Notley Road, Braintree, CM7 1WY
Sat 15 December 2018, 10.30am & 1.00pm
Help get Santa’s Christmas Party back on track in an adventure full of fun, festive songs and party games. Then meet Santa at his home in the North Pole, where every child will receive a special present from him, after the most Christmassy Christmas show ever – HO-HO-HO! Particularly suitable for 2 – 7 years
www.braintreeartstheatre.com
Cost: £9.75 Adults, £8.25 Under 16’s, Family Ticket £32

Santa in Love at Chelmsford’s Cramphorn Theatre
Sat 15 December 2018, 2.30pm & 4.30pm
Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JG
Join Santa and his friends in this fun filled family musical complete with games, giggles and all your favourite Christmas songs. Recommended age: 2-5 years.
www.chelmsford.gov.uk
Cost: £9, £11 for premium seats

Children’s Craft at Essex Police Museum
Sat 15 December 2018, 10.00am – 3.30pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Make your own reindeer food and paper plate wreath!
www.essex.police.uk

Christmas Stories at Colchester Library
Sat 15 Dec 2018, 11.00am – 11.30pm
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Join us in the library for some festive Christmas stories! For under 5 year olds.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Day Out With Thomas and Santa at East Anglian Railway Museum
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DS
Sat 15 & Sun 16 Dec 2018, trains run 10.30am – 4.30pm
Visit a Festive Day Out With Thomas at the East Anglian Railway Museum in the run-up to Christmas – an event the whole family can enjoy. Take a train ride with Thomas and his friends, Daisy, Percy and Toad will all be here.
www.earm.co.uk
Cost: £14.00 adult; £10.00 child (2-15); £44.00 family; Under 2’s free; Gifts from Santa for additional charge of £5 per child and must be pre-booked.

Christmas Crafts at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sat 15 Dec & Sun 16 Dec 2018, 12.00pm-4.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
Join us for some festive creativity – a choice of crafts with something to suit all ages. Must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No need to book in advance just drop in on the day. For 0 – 13 years.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 per child

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
Sat 15 – Mon 24 December 2018, 9.30am-4.30pm (7.30pm on 15th, 22nd and 23rd)
Maldon Road, Colchester
See Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, enjoy a Christmas tale and lots more, including this year’s staff pantomime – Snow White, performed by the Colchester Zoo team!
www.colchester-zoo.com

An Enchanted Christmas Celebration at Colchester Town Hall
Sun 16 Dec 2018, 1.00pm-3.00pm (12.30pm Red Carpet Arrival)
High St, Colchester, CO1
Join The Frost Queen and her sister The Snowflake Princess at Colchester’s magnificent Town Hall! Celebrate the Christmas season with a magical afternoon tea! Sing along to some of your favourite festive songs, share a warm hug with the sisters and hear about traditions from other kingdoms. Enchanted Parties are not affiliated in any way with the Walt Disney Company and/or branches of the Walt Disney Company. Any  resemblance our characters bear is purely coincidental as our Princesses are based on traditional fairy tales.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £10 child (2-12), adult £15, table of 12 £150, under 2s free when sitting on a lap or in a pushchair.

Christmas Craft at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Mon 17 Dec 2018, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Drop in anytime between 10am and 2pm and make some simple festive crafts to take home. Any age welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. No need to book just arrive!
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £2 per child.

Baby and Toddler Christmas Rhyme Time at Colchester Library
Mon 17 Dec 2018, 10.15am-10.45am & 11.15am-11.45am
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Join in with our Christmas rhymes and stories. Festive outfits welcome.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Nature Tots at Langdon Visitor Centre
Weds 19 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
A fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for pre schoolers. Suitable for 18 months up (under 18 months free when accompanying an older sibling) Booking essential
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 per child, £4.00 additional siblings

Baby and Toddler Christmas Rhyme Time at Colchester Library
Weds 19 Dec 2018, 10.15am-10.45am & 11.15am-11.45am
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Join in with our Christmas rhymes and stories. Festive outfits welcome.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Woodland Wreath Making at Highwoods Country Park
Thurs 20 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Visitor Centre, Turner Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JR
Join us in the woods for a morning of fun, making winter wreaths from natural materials found in the woodland.
Suitable for ages 4+.
www.colchester.gov.uk/countrypark
Cost: £4.30 per child

Christmas Craft at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Fri 21 Dec 2018, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Drop in anytime between 10am and 2pm and make some simple festive crafts to take home. Any age welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. No need to book just arrive!
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £2 per child.

Christmas Crafts at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Fri 21 Dec 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Downham, CM11 1WT
Enjoy a morning of Christmas crafts using materials you collect from the nature reserve. Activities will take place both inside the centre and out on the reserve, so don’t forget your coat and wellies! This event is for 4-8 year olds, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 per child, advanced booking essential

Wind In The Willows Family Christmas Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Fri 21 Dec 2018, 10.00am-3.00pm
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Downham, CM11 1WT
Mr Toad has lost all the Christmas presents he bought for his friends in the woods! Help him track down his gifts in time for Christmas Day.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: Trail guide £2 per child. Drop in, no need to book.

Kiddi Caru Winter Wonderland
Fri 21 Dec 2018, 4.00pm-6.00pm
Kiln Ln, Harlow CM17 9LW
Santa and his little elves have been working hard all year to create a magical Christmas Winter Wonderland at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Harlow on Friday 21st December from 4pm – 6pm. Bring the whole family for free to enjoy some seasonal fun to get you into the Christmas spirit! Any kind donations on the day will be gratefully received for Home Start’s Snowflake Appeal which supports families across the UK. RSVP via their website and your little one will receive a free gift on the day.Don’t forget to ask about the special offers they are running at the event!
www.kiddicaru.com/events

 

Events: 22 December – 31 December 2018

Children’s Craft at Essex Police Museum
Sat 22 Dec 2018, 10.00am – 3.30pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Make your own reindeer food and paper plate wreath!
www.essex.police.uk

Wind In The Willows Family Christmas Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sat 22 Dec 2018, 10.00am-3.50pm
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Downham, CM11 1WT
Mr Toad has lost all the Christmas presents he bought for his friends in the woods! Help him track down his gifts in time for Christmas Day.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: Trail guide £2 per child. Drop in, no need to book.

Daddy Cool Christmas Special at Colchester Library
Sat 22 Dec 2018, 11.15am – 11.45pm
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Free your child’s imagination with songs and stories, give their early communication skills a boost and have fun together! This session will be packed with singing Festive songs and Christmas-themed stories to get you in the seasonal mood for dads and their babies or toddlers. Festive outfits welcome.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Day Out With Thomas and Santa at East Anglian Railway Museum
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DS
Sat 22 & Sun 23 Dec 2018, trains run 10.30am – 4.30pm
Visit a Festive Day Out With Thomas at the East Anglian Railway Museum in the run-up to Christmas – an event the whole family can enjoy. Take a train ride with Thomas and his friends, Daisy, Percy and Toad will all be here.
www.earm.co.uk
Cost: £14.00 adult; £10.00 child (2-15); £44.00 family; Under 2’s free; Gifts from Santa for additional charge of £5 per child and must be pre-booked.

Christmas Crafts at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sat 22 Dec & Sun 23 Dec 2018, 12.00pm-4.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
Join us for some festive creativity – a choice of crafts with something to suit all ages. Must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No need to book in advance just drop in on the day. For 0 – 13 years.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 per child

Make a Robin at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sat 29 Dec & Sun 30 Dec 2018, 12.00pm-4.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon SS16 6EB
Get outside for a walk, collect a few leaves and then join us to make a robin redbreast using a mixture of natural, recycled and craft materials. Drop in activity, no need to book but places may be limited at busy times.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 per child