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 2017

Ice Rink at intu Lakeside
11 Nov 2017 – 1 Jan 2018
intu Lakeside, Christmas Village, Car Park 3 (Near House of Fraser), West Thurrock Way,West Thurrock, Grays
Grab your skates, grab your mates and wrap up warm as our magical ice rink opens its doors for another year. It’s sure to be the coolest day out you’ll have this Christmas. Prices start at £8 for kids 4+ and £10 for adults and group discounts available. Please note that children under 8 must be accompanied by an over 16.
intu.co.uk/lakeside

Christmas at Barleylands – SOLD OUT
1 Dec 2017 – 24 Dec 2017, 10.00am-4.00pm
Barleylands Farm, Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD
Tickets to see Santa are now sold out, but the visits to the farm park and other attractions are still welcome.
www.barleylands.co.uk

Children’s Craft Session at Kelvedon Library
Sat 2 December 2017, 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

Christmas Special at South Woodham Ferrers Library
Sat 2 December 2017, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Trinity Square, South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford CM3 5JU
Join the library for a morning full of festive stories followed by a bumper craft session including making snowmen, Santa keys, magic reindeer food and salt dough decorations. They will also be fun library trails with code breakers.Write a letter to Santa and receive a reply from the North Pole! Giant Advent calendar displaying superb art work. This is a free event suitable for children and families. Come dressed in your festive wear.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Santa’s Post Box at Essex Police Museum
Sat 2 December 2017, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Bring your letter to Santa and post it in our post box. Come back the week after to collect your reply free of charge!
www.essex.police.uk

Christmas Elves’ Workshop at Pitsea Library
Sat 2 December 2017, 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Community Centre, Off Maydells, Pitsea SS13 3DU
Christmas arts and crafts and write a letter to Father Christmas. All ages welcome.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Christmas Storytime at Pitsea Library
Sat 2 December 2017, 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Community Centre, Off Maydells, Pitsea SS13 3DU
Festive stories in the Winter Wonderland Christmas Cupboard. Book a time slot by calling Essex Libraries on 0345 603 7628
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Children’s Christmas Craft Making at Bedfords Park
Sat 2 December 2017, 1.30pm – 4.00pm
Bedfords Park Visitor Centre, Romford, Essex, RM4 1QH
Need to create and send some Christmas cards for your classmates, friends or family? Get them created early ready to send in December. All craft materials provided (subject to availability. No booking necessary.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £2 per child

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
Sat 2 & Sun 3 December 2017, 9.30am-4.30pm
Maldon Road, Colchester
Add a spark of magic to your festivities this Christmas! Meet Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables throughout the day, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, listen to tales from one of Santa’s elves and enjoy tasty treats from the Elves’ Kitchen! PLUS don’t miss out on the magical Santa Experience (£7) which is sure to get everyone in the festive spirit!
www.colchester-zoo.com

Christmas Craft at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sat 2 & Sun 3 December 2017, 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! Craft will take approx. 1 hour so please bear this in mind when planning your day.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £4 per child.

Christmas Crafts at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sat 2 Dec & Sun 3 Dec 2017, 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 (max 2 crafts.)

Reindeer Craft at Ingrebourne Visitor Centre
Sun 3 December 2017, 10.00am – 3.00pm
New Windmill Hall, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster
Go along and make some “Reindeer Crafts” Booking essential.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 donation in advance.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Rainham Hall
Weds 6 Dec to Fri 8 Dec 2017
Rainham Hall, The Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. A magical Queen’s Theatre show for 3 – 7 year olds and their families performed at a new venue, in the historic Hayloft at the charming National Trust property Rainham Hall.
www.queens-theatre.co.uk

Related Content: Where to go Ice Skating in Essex this Christmas

essex ice skating

Christmas Stories at Colchester Library
Thurs 7 Dec 2017, 10.00am – 11.00pm
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Join us for Christmassy stories and crafts! For under 5 year olds.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Sensory Stay and Play at Colchester Library
Thurs 7 Dec 2017, 10.00am – 11.30pm
Colchester Central Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JB
Come and join us for some sensory play fun with soft play shapes.This free unstructured session is open to all under 5’s and will be held in the children’s library.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Christmas Fayre at Ormiston Park Academy
Thursday 7 December 2017, 4.30pm – 7.30pm
Ormiston Park Academy, South Ockendon, Essex
Magical Christmas Fayre with loads of stalls indoors and outdoors, plus games and refreshments.
www.ormistonpark.org.uk

Events: 8 December – 14 December 2017

Santa’s Post Box at Essex Police Museum
Sat 9 December 2017, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Bring your letter to Santa and post it in our post box. Come back the week after to collect your reply free of charge!
www.essex.police.uk

Christmas Carols at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sat 9 December 2017, 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Get ready for the excitement of Christmas with a choir of former members of the famous chapel choirs of Cambridge University!Join in with your old favourite Christmas carols and enjoy a performance of some beautiful sacred music over a glass of mulled wine and delicious homemade mince pies. For all ages.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £5 per person.

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
Sat 9 & Sun 10 December 2017, 9.30am-4.30pm
Maldon Road, Colchester
Add a spark of magic to your festivities this Christmas! Meet Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables throughout the day, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, listen to tales from one of Santa’s elves and enjoy tasty treats from the Elves’ Kitchen! PLUS don’t miss out on the magical Santa Experience (£7) which is sure to get everyone in the festive spirit!
www.colchester-zoo.com

Christmas Tree Decoration Making at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Sat 9 & Sun 10 December 2017, 10.00am-12.30pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 3SH
It’s Tree Dressing weekend so make something lovely and personal for your tree.Choose your favourite papier mache shape…Colour, paint, decorate in whatever style you like…Then adorn with glitter and sparkles for that festive look. Suitable for all ages.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £2 per decoration.

Day Out With Thomas and Santa at East Anglian Railway Museum
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DS
Sat 9 & Sun 10 December 2017, 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. Admission will include unlimited rides on at least four character trains. Thomas, Daisy, Toby and Henrietta and the Troublesome Trucks with Toad will all be there.
www.earm.co.uk
Cost: £13.00 adult; £9.00 child (2-15); 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 9 Dec & Sun 10 Dec 2017, 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 (max 2 crafts.)

Reindeer Craft at Ingrebourne Visitor Centre
Sun 10 December 2017, 10.00am – 3.00pm
New Windmill Hall, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster
Go along and make some “Reindeer Crafts” Booking essential.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £3 donation in advance.

Funday Sunday at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Sun 10 December 2017, 2.00pm-4.00pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 3SH
This family session is a chance to have some woodland fun with your children. A range of activities, crafts, trails and games for all the family and all with a wildlife theme.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 donation per child. Booking essential – call 01702 477467.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Rainham Hall
Tues 12 Dec to Fri 15 Dec 2017
Rainham Hall, The Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. A magical Queen’s Theatre show for 3 – 7 year olds and their families performed at a new venue, in the historic Hayloft at the charming National Trust property Rainham Hall.
www.queens-theatre.co.uk

Events: 15 December – 21 December 2017

Santa’s Polka Dot Pirate at Harlow Playhouse
Playhouse Square, Harlow, CM20 1LS
Fri 15 Dec – Sunday 24 December 2017, 10.30am, 1.15pm & 3.30pm
From the creators of Santa’s Dizzy Day and Santa’s Rusty Robot comes a brand new festive show for 2-6 years olds – Santa’s Polka Dot Pirate. The show is a fun packed festive experience for children aged 2-6 which will make them laugh, encourage them to get involved and sing their favourite songs as well as meeting Santa and receiving a gift from him.
playhouseharlow.ticketsolve.com

Meet Santa at Essex Police Museum
Sat 16 December 2017, 10.00am – 3.30pm
Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DN
Meet Santa and make a christmas craft for just £3! There’s no need to book.
www.essex.police.uk

Winter Wonderland at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sat 16 & Sun 17 December 2017, 10.00am – 3.00pm
Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Come and meet Santa in his magical grotto and receive a present, enjoy a festive nature trail, take your own photos in Santa’s sleigh and make some Christmas crafts to take home. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £10 per child.

Day Out With Thomas and Santa at East Anglian Railway Museum
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DS
Sat 16 & Sun 17 December 2017, 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. Admission will include unlimited rides on at least four character trains. Thomas, Daisy, Toby and Henrietta and the Troublesome Trucks with Toad will all be there.
www.earm.co.uk
Cost: £13.00 adult; £9.00 child (2-15); 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 16 Dec & Sun 17 Dec 2017, 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 (max 2 crafts.)

Santa in Love at Chelmford’s Cramphorn Theatre
Sat 16 to Mon 18 December 2017
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

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
Sat 16 to Sun 24 December 2017, 9.30am-4.30pm
Maldon Road, Colchester
Add a spark of magic to your festivities this Christmas! Meet Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables throughout the day, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, listen to tales from one of Santa’s elves and enjoy tasty treats from the Elves’ Kitchen! PLUS don’t miss out on the magical Santa Experience (£7) which is sure to get everyone in the festive spirit!
www.colchester-zoo.com

Baby and Toddler Christmas Rhyme Time at Colchester Library
Mon 18 Dec 2017, 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

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Rainham Hall
Tues 19 Dec to Weds 20 Dec 2017
Rainham Hall, The Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. A magical Queen’s Theatre show for 3 – 7 year olds and their families performed at a new venue, in the historic Hayloft at the charming National Trust property Rainham Hall.
www.queens-theatre.co.uk

Baby and Toddler Christmas Rhyme Time at Colchester Library
Weds 20 Dec 2017, 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

Winter Woodland Crafts at Highwoods Country Park
Thurs 21 Dec 2017, 10.00am-12.00pm
Visitor Centre, Turner Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JR
Join us in the woods for a morning of fun, making winter decorations from natural materails found in the woodland.
Suitable for ages 4+.
www.colchester.gov.uk/countrypark
Cost: £4.30 per child

Baby and Toddler Christmas Rhyme Time at Kelvedon Library
Thurs 21 December 2017, 2.00pm – 2.30pm
Aylett’s Foundation School, Maldon Road, Kelvedon CO5 9BA
Special Christmas Rhymetime with festive stories and rhymes. Refreshments provided.
libraries.essex.gov.uk

Events: 22 December – 25 December 2017

Christmas Crafts at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Fri 22 December 2017, 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.

Winter Wonderland at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Fri 22 & Sat 23 December 2017, 10.00am – 3.00pm
Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Come and meet Santa in his magical grotto and receive a present, enjoy a festive nature trail, take your own photos in Santa’s sleigh and make some Christmas crafts to take home. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £10 per child.

Wind In The Willows Family Christmas Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sat 23 December 2017, 10.00am-2.00pm
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.

Santa’s Christmas Wish at Braintree Arts Centre
Notley Road, Braintree, CM7 1WY
Sat 23 December 2017, 10.30am & 1.00pm
Join a fun, festive, musical adventure to give Santa the very best Christmas, then meet him at his home in the North Pole! There every child will receive a special present from Father Christmas in our popular meet, greet and treat, after the most Christmassy Christmas show ever!
www.braintreeartstheatre.com
Cost: £9.50 Adult, £8 child up to 16, £31 Family 2 Adults, 2 Children

Day Out With Thomas and Santa at East Anglian Railway Museum
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, CO6 2DS
Sat 23 December 2017, 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. Admission will include unlimited rides on at least four character trains. Thomas, Daisy, Toby and Henrietta and the Troublesome Trucks with Toad will all be there.
www.earm.co.uk
Cost: £13.00 adult; £9.00 child (2-15); Under 2’s free; Gifts from Santa for additional charge of £5 per child and must be pre-booked.

Daddy Cool Christmas Rhyme Time at Colchester Library
Sat 23 Dec 2017, 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

Christmas Craft Evening at Bedfords Park
Sun 24 December 2017, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Bedfords Park Visitor Centre, Romford, Essex, RM4 1QH
Enjoy a day of festive fun to create Christmassy Crafts at Bedfords Park Visitor Centre. Drop by the centre for a hot chocolate, slice of cake and last minute shopping !No booking necessary. Materials subject to availability. Suitable for families.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: Donation dependent on craft.

Wind In The Willows Family Christmas Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sun 24 December 2017, 10.00am – 2.00pm
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.

Events: 26 December – 31 December 2017