The February half term may be a time for school aged children to cut loose, but that doesn’t mean under 5’s should have to take a back seat.

We know that finding activities suitable for smaller kids is difficult during the school holidays, so we’ve put together our selection of the best February half term events in Essex for babies, toddlers and younger children.

If you know of any more great February half term events in Essex, you can add the event here.

Events: Running throughout half-term

Half Term Dinosaur Fun, Great Baddow Library
Sat 10 Feb – Sat 17 Feb 2018, visit during normal opening hours
27 High Street, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 7HH
There will be fun activities for children of all ages. Enjoy Dinosaur Stories at Bookstart on Monday. Drop in during the week to try to solve the Dinosaur Trail and join in with fun Dinosaur crafts.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

February Half Term at RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Sat 10 – Sun 18 Feb 2018, 10.00am-4.00pm
Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8ET
Here’s an excuse to have some fun and get your hands dirty with a range of mud-themed activities, whatever the weather! There’s a wide range of activities included in the entrance fee, as well as special craft days.
www.rhs.org.uk/hydehall
Cost: Normal garden admission applies, plus £2 – £10 from some of the arts & craft activities

Mayhem in the Mad Lab at the Gunpowder Mills
Sat 10 Feb to Sun 18 Feb 2018, 10.00am – 5.00pm, last entry 3.00pm
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JY
Visit the Mills February Half Term as Professor Nitrate kicks off 2018 with Mayhem in the Mad Lab! Join us DAILY between February 10 to February 18 for awesome activities and super cool science. As well as these great activities there are interactive science shows with the Professor at 11.40, 1.40 and 3.40 where children and adults alike can learn about the science behind things that go whizz, bang and boom – not to be missed.
www.royalgunpowdermills.com
Cost: Adult £10.50, Child £8.50, Conc (over 60 or full-time student) £9.00, Family tickets from £24.75

 


Events: Saturday 10 Feb 2018

Kids for a Quid at Epping Ongar Railway
Sat 10, Sun 11, Wed 14, Sat 17 & Sun 18 Feb 2018, various times
Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BN
Kids can enjoy the fun of vintage railways for just £1 during the half-term holidays, thanks to a special promotion at Epping Ongar Railway. There are steam locomotives, vintage coaches and a fleet of old fashioned London Routemaster buses. Traditional signal boxes, old fashioned semaphore signals and uniformed staff all make it extra special. This is a great way to enjoy a steam railway at a reduced price.
www.eorailway.co.uk
Cost: Adults £14, Cons £13, children £1

Children’s Crafts, Writtle Library
Sat 10 Feb 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm
45 The Green, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3DT
Have some fun making a craft! Free drop-in session.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Daddy Cool, Chelmsford Library
Sat 10 Feb 2018, 11.00am-11.30am
County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford CM1 1QH
Held on the first Saturday of every month. Stories, songs and rhymes for dads and their babies or toddlers.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Morgan & West – More Magic for Kids at the Mercury Theatre
Sat 10 Feb 2018, 11.00am & 2.00pm
Balkerne Gate, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT
Time-travelling magicians Morgan & West return to the stage with a marvellous magic show full of crazy capers for the young, old, and everyone in-between! Expect the unexpected, believe the unbelievable, but do not dare miss the unmissable Morgan & West!
www.mercurytheatre.co.uk
Cost: £13.50 Adults / £9.00 Children

 


Events: Sunday 11 Feb 2018

Kids for a Quid at Epping Ongar Railway
Sat 10, Sun 11, Wed 14, Sat 17 & Sun 18 Feb 2018, various times
Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BN
Kids can enjoy the fun of vintage railways for just £1 during the half-term holidays, thanks to a special promotion at Epping Ongar Railway. There are steam locomotives, vintage coaches and a fleet of old fashioned London Routemaster buses. Traditional signal boxes, old fashioned semaphore signals and uniformed staff all make it extra special. This is a great way to enjoy a steam railway at a reduced price.
www.eorailway.co.uk
Cost: Adults £14, Cons £13, children £1

Valentine’s Themed Crafts Drop-In at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Sun 11 Feb 2018, 10.00am-3.00pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, SS94LR
This is a drop in crafts day to come and make a valentine gift for someone you love or make heart related crafts just for fun! Join our friendly team at the Belfairs Woodland Centre. Crafts for all ages. No need to book, children’s must be accompanied.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: Small charge for crafts

Brilliant Bug Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Sun 11 Feb 2018, 10.00am-4.00pm
Hawkswood Road, Downham, Billericay, Essex, CM11 1WT
Come and test your creepy crawly knowledge on our brilliant bugs nature trail. No need to book.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: Trail sheets £2 per child

Sunday Crafts at The Naze Education and Visitor Centre
Sun 11 Feb 2018, 11.00am-2.00pm
Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, CO14 8LE
Our simple drop in Sunday Crafts for families.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: Suggested donation £3

Snowdrop Sunday at Hedingham Castle
Sun 11 Feb 2018, 11.00am-4.00pm
Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ
The Castle’s winter gardens are possibly the most romantic in the East of England, with at least 13 varieties of snowdrops covering the steep slopes of the motte and bailey and setting off the trees and lakes in front of the Georgian Mansion House. The Cafe will be open for the sale of mulled wine and other refreshments, and there will be free guided tours of the Keep.
www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk
Cost: Adults £8.50, Under 18s £6, Over 65s £7.50, Family £25, Under 5s FREE

Valentine’s Day AFTERNOON TEA at the Museum of Power
Sun 11 Feb 2018, sittings at 2.00pm & 3.30pm
Hatfield Road, Langford, Maldon, Essex CM9 6QA
Miniature steam train CLOSED for rides. ‘Astaria’ model village OPEN. ‘Marshall’ the Lilleshall pumping engine will not be running and other oil / diesel engines will not be running. Prior booking required 10.00am to 3.30pm 01621 843183 ask for Tea Room. Out of hours call Clare tel: 07535 458504
www.museumofpower.org.uk
Cost: Adult £13.95; Children (5 to 15) £7.95 Children under 5 N/A

 

 


Events: Monday 12 Feb 2018

Holiday Wild Beach at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Mon 12 Feb 2018, 10.00am-12.30pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, SS94LR
Wrap up warm and come to find out by exploring the Seashore in all weathers. Lots of fun and fabulous things to make and take home. 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. BOOKING REQUIRED 01702 477467.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £8 per child, limited spaces

Hedgehog Club at Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
Mon 12 Feb 2018, 10.00am – 12.00pm
Hawkswood Road, Downham, Billericay, Essex, CM11 1WT
Your plane has crashed in the jungle. How will you survive? Build a den, test your navigation skills and get crafty with sticks. This event is for 4 – 8 year olds. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking Essential. Phone 01268 711001.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 per child

Wintery Warm Up at Abberton Reservoir
Mon 12 Feb 2018, 10.30am-12.00pm & 1.00pm-2.30pm
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Take on a wintery treasure hunt and enjoy cooking chocolate bread and marshmallows on the campfire. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre. 01206 738172.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 requested donation per child. Booking essential.

Half-Term Crafts at Wyevale Garden Centres – Braintree
Mon 12 Feb 2018, various times
Cressing Road, Braintree, CM77 8DH
Decorate a cosy bird box for your garden birds.
www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk
Cost: £2.50 per child

 


Events: Tuesday 13 Feb 2018

Minibeast Hunt at Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre
Tues 13 Feb 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm
Colchester, Essex, CO5 7DN
Lets see what minibeasts we can find in the woods! Then we will collect some natural materials for you to make your own minibeast with. Booking essential, please contact the centre on 01206 729678 to book a place
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 donation per child requested.

Garden Builders & Decorators! Garden Activity Day for Children at Beth Chatto Gardens
Tues 13 Feb 2018, 10.30am-2.00pm
Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7DB
Keep warm and help build a big minibeast hotel for the wild garden insects, construct some log piles and hang some tree feeders. Then create some cool clay creatures and paint a picture! Booking essential.
www.bethchatto.co.uk/events
Cost: Accompanied children £8. One adult per child free, additional adults £3

Brambly Hedge Story Time at Abberton Reservoir
Tues 13 Feb 2018, 10.30am-12.00pm & 1.00pm-2.30pm
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
A day of fun and adventures based around Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge stories. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre – 01206 738172
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 requested donation per child. Booking essential.

Half-Term Crafts at Wyevale Garden Centres – Braintree
Tue 13 Feb 2018, various times
Cressing Road, Braintree, CM77 8DH
Plant your own terrarium and give your plants a place to thrive.
www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk
Cost: £2.50 per child

 


Events: Wednesday 14 Feb 2018

Kids for a Quid at Epping Ongar Railway
Sat 10, Sun 11, Wed 14, Sat 17 & Sun 18 Feb 2018, various times
Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BN
Kids can enjoy the fun of vintage railways for just £1 during the half-term holidays, thanks to a special promotion at Epping Ongar Railway. There are steam locomotives, vintage coaches and a fleet of old fashioned London Routemaster buses. Traditional signal boxes, old fashioned semaphore signals and uniformed staff all make it extra special. This is a great way to enjoy a steam railway at a reduced price.
www.eorailway.co.uk
Cost: Adults £14, Cons £13, children £1

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Broomfield Library
Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10.00am-11.30am
180 Main Road, Broomfield, Chelmsford, CM1 7AH
Lots of fun caterpillar crafts, stories and songs. Suitable for all children up to age 7.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Valentine’s Cards Making at Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre
Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm
Colchester, Essex, CO5 7DN
After a walk to collect some natural materials, we will return to the classroom and make up to two cards for loved ones on Valentines Day. . Booking essential, please contact the centre on 01206 729678 to book a place
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 donation per child requested.

We are Going on a Bear Hunt, Writtle Library
Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10.30am-11.30am
45 The Green, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3DT
Bring a Teddy, and join us for songs, crafts and a Bear Hunt. Refreshments by MenCap.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Minibeast Quest Garden Activity Day for Children at Beth Chatto Gardens
Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10.30am-2.00pm
Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7DB
Spend the morning on a wild minibeast search party under water and over land, then design a fantastic dangly minibeast mobile to take home. Booking essential.
www.bethchatto.co.uk/events
Cost: Accompanied children £8. One adult per child free, additional adults £3

Wild Wednesday at Danbury Country Park
Wed 14 Feb 2018, 11.00am-2.00pm
Woodhill Road, Danbury, Essex, CM3 4AW
Most popular with kids ages 2 to 12, but all are welcome. Led by rangers, young ones can try making dens and mud pies, wading in the stream, splashing in puddles, kicking leaves, forest craft, finding fish… every day is different and there’s always something new to stimulate the imagination and build an appreciation for the outdoors.
www.visitparks.co.uk/events
Cost: FREE (except parking charge)

Half-Term Crafts at Wyevale Garden Centres – Braintree
Wed 14 Feb 2018, various times
Cressing Road, Braintree, CM77 8DH
Plant your own mini garden with giant flowers, bee hives and wild friends.
www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk
Cost: £2.50 per child

 


Events: Thursday 15 Feb 2018

Peter Rabbit Hoppy Half Term Puppet Show, Chelmsford Library
Thur 15 Feb 2018, 10.00am-11.00am
County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH
Peter rabbit inspired Hoppy half term party with Peter Rabbit and friends puppet show and make your own Peter or Lily Bobtail puppet.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Pirate Family Story Time, Coggeshall Library
Thur 15 Feb 2018, 10.00am-11.00am
The Friends’ Meeting House, Stoneham Street, Coggeshall, CO6 1UH
Family Story time on a Pirates theme; suitable for pre-school and primary age. Enjoy stories, activities and crafts on a pirates theme. Children are invited to dress up as a pirate for this event.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Family Forest Fun at Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre
Thurs 15 Feb 2018, 10.00am-12.00pm & 1.30pm-3.30pm
Colchester, Essex, CO5 7DN
Join the lovely woodland area to build a den, learn to whittle a stick and toast a marshmallow over the campfire. Booking essential, please contact the centre on 01206 729678 to book a place
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 donation per child requested.

Matchbox Miniatures at Hollytrees Museum
Thur 15 Feb 2018, 10.30am-4.00pm
Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UG
Inspired by our exhibition ‘Small Things’ come along and make your own marvellous miniatures from matchboxes. Learn about the magic of miniature with our curator and have your finished matchbox featured on our social media pages. Minimum age 5 years.
cimuseums.org.uk
Cost: £3 per person

Fun Thursday at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Thur 15 Feb 2018, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Eastwood Road North, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, SS94LR
Our wildlife themed afternoon’s, every Thursday in the holidays but a different creature each week. This time it will be bird related to tie in with the end of the Big Schools Birdwatch and National Nest Box week. BOOKING REQUIRED 01702 477467.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6 donation per child, limited spaces

Walk the Plank, Kelvedon Library
Thur 15 Feb 2018, 3.30pm-5.00pm
Aylett’s Foundation School, Maldon Road, Kelvedon, Essex CO5 9BA
Make a pirates treasure chest, go on a treasure hunt, make a pirates hook and a porthole. Pirate stories and jokes. Fancy dress welcome.
libraries.essex.gov.uk
Cost: FREE

Winter Bug Hunt at Abberton Reservoir
Thurs 15 Feb 2018, 10.30am-12.30pm
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Come for a ramble around the reserve and search for some winter bugs.  All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre – 01206 738172.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 requested donation per child. Booking essential.

Pond Dipping Afternoon at Abberton Reservoir
Thurs 15 Feb 2018, 1.00pm-2.30pm
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU
Come and explore the depths of our ponds. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre. 01206 738172.
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £6.00 requested donation per child. Booking essential.

Half-Term Crafts at Wyevale Garden Centres – Braintree
Thurs 15 Feb 2018, various times
Cressing Road, Braintree, CM77 8DH
Plant your own flower and decorate a pot and plant marker.
www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk
Cost: £2.50 per child

 


Events: Friday 16 Feb 2018

Family Wildlife Walk at Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre
Fri 16 Feb 2018, 1.30pm-3.30pm
Colchester, Essex, CO5 7DN
Join the ranger for a gentle-paced wander. Using binoculars and id guides, lets see what we can find and identify. Booking essential, please contact the centre on 01206 729678 to book a place
www.essexwt.org.uk
Cost: £5 per family requested.

Half-Term Crafts at Wyevale Garden Centres – Braintree
Fri 16 Feb 2018, various times
Cressing Road, Braintree, CM77 8DH
Create your own feeder platform to entice more birds into your garden.
www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk
Cost: £2.50 per child

 


Events: Saturday 17 Feb 2018

Kids for a Quid at Epping Ongar Railway
Sat 17 & Sun 18 Feb 2018, various times
Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BN
Kids can enjoy the fun of vintage railways for just £1 during the half-term holidays, thanks to a special promotion at Epping Ongar Railway. There are steam locomotives, vintage coaches and a fleet of old fashioned London Routemaster buses. Traditional signal boxes, old fashioned semaphore signals and uniformed staff all make it extra special. This is a great way to enjoy a steam railway at a reduced price.
www.eorailway.co.uk
Cost: Adults £14, Cons £13, children £1

Half a String: A Heart at Sea at Colchester Arts Centre – Relaxed Performance
Sat 17 Feb 2018, doors open 10.30am
Church Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1NF
Be enthralled by this epic musical folktale told on a miniature scale. Haunting live music tells the story of a boy who bottles up his heart and throws it into the sea. Original songwriting is set to stunning visuals that centre around a beautifully carved chest holding the secrets to the story. Most suitable for ages 7+.
www.colchesterartscentre.com
Cost: £4.95 per ticket

Half a String: A Heart at Sea at Colchester Arts Centre
Sat 17 Feb 2018, doors open 1.30pm
Church Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1NF
Be enthralled by this epic musical folktale told on a miniature scale. Haunting live music tells the story of a boy who bottles up his heart and throws it into the sea. Original songwriting is set to stunning visuals that centre around a beautifully carved chest holding the secrets to the story. Most suitable for ages 7+.
www.colchesterartscentre.com
Cost: £4.95 per ticket

 


Events: Sunday 18 Feb 2018

Kids for a Quid at Epping Ongar Railway
Sat 10, Sun 11, Wed 14, Sat 17 & Sun 18 Feb 2018, various times
Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BN
Kids can enjoy the fun of vintage railways for just £1 during the half-term holidays, thanks to a special promotion at Epping Ongar Railway. There are steam locomotives, vintage coaches and a fleet of old fashioned London Routemaster buses. Traditional signal boxes, old fashioned semaphore signals and uniformed staff all make it extra special. This is a great way to enjoy a steam railway at a reduced price.
www.eorailway.co.uk
Cost: Adults £14, Cons £13, children £1

Snowdrop Sunday at Hedingham Castle
Sun 18 Feb 2018, 11.00am-4.00pm
Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ
The Castle’s winter gardens are possibly the most romantic in the East of England, with at least 13 varieties of snowdrops covering the steep slopes of the motte and bailey and setting off the trees and lakes in front of the Georgian Mansion House. The Cafe will be open for the sale of mulled wine and other refreshments, and there will be free guided tours of the Keep.
www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk
Cost: Adults £8.50, Under 18s £6, Over 65s £7.50, Family £25, Under 5s FREE

Snowdrop Open Day at Easton Lodge
Sun 18 Feb 2018, 11.30am-4.00pm
Little Easton, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 2BB
Come and see the carpet of thousands of white flowers under the trees. Homemade refreshments, nature and craft activities for younger visitors (most of these are free of charge although there may be a small charge for some activities). Picnics welcome. Well behaved dogs on leads. For detail on specific open day attractions see the website.
www.eastonlodge.co.uk
Cost: Adult £4.50, Children under 16 FREE

 

If you know of any more great February half term events in Essex, you can add the event here.