Find details of May Bank Holiday events in Essex that are perfect for children and families. You’ll find lots of top things to do in the Essex area from fun days and country shows to lambing and sensory play.

May Bank Holiday Events in Essex for Families


Friday 28 April – Monday 1 May 2017

Wildlife Fun Day at Chelmsford Museum
Sat 29 April 2017, 10.00am-4.00pm
Oaklands Park, Moulsham St, Chelmsford CM2 9AQ
Our ever popular family day allows you to get up close to animals including boa constrictor, pythons, reptiles, spiders, toads, frogs and insects.     As well as the opportunity to handle some of the animals, the kids can take part in fossil rubbing and candle making (some additional charges).  Stands on the day include Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Chelmsford Beekeepers.
Cost: Children (up to 15 years) £3.00, Children (under 2) and Adults over 16 years FREE.  A £1.50 fee is applicable per transaction, except for cash and debit card payments made in person and by telephone.

May Craft Fair at RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Fri 28 April – Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-4.00pm
Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8ET
A 4 day craft fair run by Essex Craft and Design Shows, over the May spring bank holiday. There will be something for everyone. As well as over 40 exhibitors there will be demonstrations, music and food available. It is a great event to have a wander around and be inspired from the craft makers.
Cost: Normal garden admission

Children’s World May 2017 at Lower Castle Park, Colchester
Fri 28 April – Mon 1 May 2017, 12.00pm-5.30pm
Castle Park, High St, Colchester CO1 1UG
A great range of fun rides for children aged 2-10 years. Wristband pass gets you rides all day!
Cost: £7.00 per wristband

VE Weekend at the Gunpowder Mills
Sat 29 April to Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am – 5.00pm (last ticket 3pm)
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1JY
The amazing, popular VE Weekend returns to the Royal Gunpowder Mills this May Bank Holiday, from Saturday to Monday, with fantastic 1940s re-enactments, a fabulous array of music, signing, jiving and entertaining celebrations. VE Weekend is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in live history with a chance to get up close to soldiers and civilians visiting from the past, cumulating in a flyover. VE Weekend is not to be missed. Plus, fantastic activities for children! Make bunting, flags, and experience and learn about life on the Homefront – why do you think you need to make luggage labels?  Step into the 1940s photo booth for a snap – and much more!
Cost: Ticket from £8.50. Advance booking recommended.

Bubbletastic at Marsh Farm
Sat 29 April – Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-5.00pm
Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, CM3 5WP
Join Professor Bubble-pop this Bank Holiday weekend for some bubbletastic fun and games.
Once here visitors can also climb and slide in the soft play Barn, explore our enormous outdoor adventure play frame, meet the farm animals and catch a hilariously fun show in one of our theatres. Be sure to drag Mum and Dad on our awesome carousel and teacup rides too!
Cost: £10.99 online or £13.50 on the door. Under 2s go FREE

Animal Antics at Barleylands Farm Park
Sat 29 April – Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-5.00pm
Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2UD
Have you heard about our famous and colourful ‘woolly jumpers’ who compete in our ‘Lamb National’? Our crazy, brightly dyed sheep flock to the race course from this weekend, right through until September in dry weather. Join in the fun and cheer on your favourite! You might also catch our Hilly Billy Goat Races where the cheeky goats take on the steeplechase. You can also see ‘Rocky’, ‘Hot Wings’, ‘Nugget’ and ‘Drumsticks’ in the ‘Chicken Run’. You’d be mad to miss it!
Cost: Normal entry applies, under 2s go free

Essex Robin Hood Country Show
Sun 30 April 2017 and Mon 1 May 2017, 9.30am-5.00pm
Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9NN
The Robin Hood Country Show is a massive event held at the regions favourite venue. Featuring a vast selection of entertainment, shopping and displays for all the family to enjoy – we even have fun and games for your dog in the All About Dogs section.
Cost: Adults £14.00 (online £12.00), OAPs £13.50 (online £11.50), Children (under 16) £8.00 (online £6.50)

Medieval Siege at Hedingham Castle
Sun 30 April and Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-5.00pm
Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ
The Medieval Siege Society make a very welcome return to Hedingham with armed men, archers, siege engines, living history camps and bloodthirsty mayhem! In amongst the bustle you’ll be able to try your hand at archery, watch a fascinating and exhilarating falconry display from Coda, dance round a maypole and ride a donkey! The Jester will jest, and there’ll be music from Blondel, with craft stalls, real ale and food. The Keep will be open, with guided tours available, and there’s something going on all day!
Cost: £14 adults, Under 18s £10, Over 65s £12.50, Family £42

Weald Country & Craft Show & The Festival of Dogs
Sun 30 April and Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-5.00pm
Weald Country Park, Weald Road, South Weald, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5QS
Whether you be a Country Show fan, an avid foodie, a dog lover, want loads for the kiddies to do, love living history or simply want a fun filled day out, our shows are for you.  Support small producers and handmade with some wonderful shopping experiences.  Watch and admire our Rural Crafters demonstrating all day and making some pretty amazing things or why not enter your dog into our Dog Shows.  There is also something for every music lover out there.
Cost: Adults £7.00, Concessions £6.00, Children £2.50, Under 5s FREE

Operating Day at Colne Valley Railway
Sun 30 April and Mon 1 May 2017, 10.30am-5.00pm (last admission 3.30pm)
Colne Valley Railway, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DZ
One or more Steam locomotives operating. This may also include Heritage Diesel Trains.
Cost: Adults £10, Seniors £7.50, Child £5 or Family £27.50 (2 Adults & up to 2 Children), Dogs £2

Horses Through History at Audley End
Sun 30 Apr & Mon 1 May 2017, 10.30am-5.00pm
Off London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF
Meet merry monarch Charles II for a horse race with a difference, greet our Georgian hounds, and be in the audiencefor a lively Victorian gymkhana. Take in the sights and sounds of living history across the grounds as well as touring the Victorian stable yard with resident experts. With military skills from the Kings Lifeguards and dressage displays in the stable yard, the best of horsemanship will be on show this bank holiday weekend.
Cost: Adults £19.70, Concessions £17.60, Children £12.10, Family £51.50
ENGLISH HERITAGE MEMBERS: Adults: £2.20 / Concessions: £1.80 / Children: £1.60 / Family: £6.00

Holiday Wild Beach at Chalkwell Beach
Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-12.30pm
Chalkwell Railway Station, The Ridgeway, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, SS0
This is our seashore based wildlife morning. Explore the Seashore in all weathers. Lots of fun and fabulous things to make and take home. We will be outside so please dress appropriately. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet on Chalkwell Esplanade – between the ramp from Chalkwell Station and the end of the car parking area.
Cost: £8 per child. Booking essential, limited spaces

Ongar May Fayre
Mon 1 May 2017, 10.00am-2.30pm
Budworth Hall, High St, Chipping Ongar, Ongar CM5 9JG
All welcome! Homemade cakes, bric-a-brac, chocs and spices, plants, raffle, and more.

In the Night Garden Trail at RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Mon 1 May –  Fri 30 June 2017, 10.00am-5.00pm
Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8ET
With a trail leaflet and downloadable app, toddlers can go on a magical journey around the garden via activity points and imaginative play. Pick up a free trail at the garden entrance or download the Gamar app before you arrive to bring the Night Garden friends to life.
Cost: Normal garden admission