Find details of May Day Bank Holiday events in Essex that are perfect for young 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 outdoor play.

Essex May Day Bank Holiday Events


Saturday 5 May – Monday 7 May 2018

Bottle Feed Lambs at the Blue House Farm
Sat 5 & Sun 6 May 2018, 1.00pm – 2.00pm (Saturday) & 10.00am – 11.00am (Sunday)
Fambridge Road, North Fambridge, Essex CM3 6GU
Bottle feed the lambs at Blue House Farm. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Please call 01621 862960 to make a booking. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Cost: £5.00 per person suggested donation

VE Weekend at the Gunpowder Mills
Sat 5 – Mon 7 May 2018, 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. Professor Nitrate and Mad Lab team are also on hand with a great variety of family activities. VE Weekend is not to be missed.
Cost: Ticket from £8.50. Family tickets available. Advance booking recommended.

Wacky Races at Barleylands Farm Park
Sat 5 – Mon 7 May 2018, 10.00am – 5.00pm
Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2UD
Back by popular demand are the hilarious Wacky Races this May Bank Holiday weekend – so it’s on your marks, get set, go for this season’s Chicken Run, Hilly Billy Goat Race and Lamb National!From farm animals big and small to majestic birds of prey as well as the region’s largest collection of reptiles. There’s something for all the family – plus there will be a host of fantastic indoor activities and play areas so there’s lots to do even if the weather isn’t so good.
Cost: Normal entry applies, under 2s go free

Enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk Opening Weekend at Audley End Railway
Sat 5 – Mon 7 May 2018, 10.00am-5.00pm
Audley End Road, Audley End, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JB
Dive into the magical land of our Enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk as it opens for the first weekend of the 2018 season! Whirl through the path ways to find all of the many tiny Fairies and Elves living in their handmade wooden tree houses. Make your own Fairy or Elf Wand with one of our own Fairies or Elves. You can then use this to tick off your I Spy Booklet as you wander through the walk! Take one of our Trains into the woods to welcome back our Fairy and Elf Family and after all this fun, you can still venture into our Craft Tent to create your own Fairy or Elf Craft to take home with you!
Cost: From £11 adults and children aged 2-16; carers and under 2s FREE. Booking recommended.

Nature Tots at Langdon Visitor Centre
Sun 6 May 2018, 10.00am – 12.00pm
Lower Dunton Road, Basildon, Essex SS16 6EB
A fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for pre-school children. Suitable for 18 months up (under 18 months free when accompanying an older sibling). Booking essential.
Cost: £6.00 per child, £4.00 additional siblings

Open Day at Hylands House
Sun 6 May 2018, 10.00am-11.30pm
London Rd, Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8WQ
Hylands House opens its doors FREE OF CHARGE to reveal the secrets of its history. Each month the Friends of Hylands House will have an exhibition displayed in the library. This exhibition will be on ‘The Servants at Hylands’. Last entry into Hylands House at 3pm. Enjoy free guided tours of Hylands House led by the knowledgeable team or walk around at your leisure. Guided tours at 1100 & 1400. In addition, Hylands Farmers’ & Crafts Market and the artist studios and are open for you to browse and purchase unique gifts.
Cost: FREE

Kite Flying at Belfairs Woodland Centre
Sun 6 May 2018, 10.00am –3.00pm
Chalkwell Railway Station, The Ridgeway, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, SS0
A display of kite flying by East Anglia Kite Flyers. The chance to make your own kite under expert supervision. Spaces are bookable at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 13:00 & 14:00. Self-led trail through the beautiful ancient woodland. Local craft fair.
Cost: £5 per child.

Free 4 Kidz Community Day at the Museum of Power
Sun 6 May 2018, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Hatfield Road, Langford, Maldon, Essex CM9 6QA
Miniature steam train OPEN for rides. One free ride per child with entrance ticket (extra charge applies for further rides). ‘Astaria’ model village OPEN. ‘Marshall’ the Lilleshall pumping engine will be run by compressed air and other oil / diesel engines will be running.
Cost: Adult £5; Children under 15 FREE

May Day Bank Holiday Fun at the East Anglian Railway Museum
Sun 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, from 10.00am
Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, Essex, CO6 2DS
Join the fun over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. As well as steam train rides in beautiful 19th Century coaches, you can take a peek ‘behind the scenes’ into the Restoration Shed or you can have a go at driving a diesel locomotive under supervision for just £10! NEW for 2018, enjoy the inflatable assault course with bouncy castle and slides, meet the alpacas and other furry friends at the petting zoo for a small additional charge. Have a go on our famous Pump Trolley, featured on BBC East Children in Need broadcast last year.
Cost: Adult £10, child (4-15) £5.00, Under 4s FREE

Essex Robin Hood Country Show
Sun 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, 9.30am-5.00pm
Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9NN
The annual 2-day Robin Hood Country Show is the region’s largest family event, held on the event fields of the Brentwood Centre.  The Robin Hood Country Show is about your family having a great day out! Get them involved with a whole array of Have A Go activities from Archery to K9 Aqua Water Jumping, as well as arena events, children’s entertainment, animals, and shopping.
Cost: Adults £14.00 (online £12.00), OAPs £13.50 (online £11.50), Children (under 16) £8.00 (online £6.50), Under 5s go FREE

Medieval Siege at Hedingham Castle
Sun 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, 10.00am-5.00pm
Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ
The Medieval Siege Society returns to Hedingham with the most engrossing and authentic living history camp around, with live demonstrations of archery, siege engines, gunnery and serious fighting! You’ll be able to try your hand at archery and watch fascinating displays by Coda Falconry and their thrilling birds of prey. Maypole dancing and donkey rides! Jesters and Grave-Diggers! Food outlets and bar! The Keep will be open to explore, and packed with living historians, with guided tours available.
Cost: £14 adults, Under 18s £10, Over 65s £12.50, Family £42, Under 5s FREE – 10% discount when purchased online

Weald Country & Craft Show & Festival of Dogs
Sun 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, 10.00am-5.00pm
Weald Country Park, Weald Road, South Weald, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5QS
The Weald Park Country Show is set to be bigger and better this year with so many new and added attractions including Jonathan Marshall from Game of Thrones, Motorbike Stunts, Heavy Horses, Falconry, Rural Crafters, Celebrity Chef’s and Food Festival, Children’s Festival and so much more
Cost: Adults £8.50, Concessions £7.50, Children (5-13 years) £3.00, Under 5s FREE – discount when purchased online

Steam Operating Day at Colne Valley Railway
Sun 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, 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 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, 10.30am-5.00pm
Off London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF
Take a horse ride through history and enjoy a series of spectacular horse displays and activities, laid on to impress King Charles II for his royal visit to Audley End. Among the many activities there will also be a chance for the kids to saddle up in the Victorian Hobby Horse racing and take a step back in time at the Meet the Toymakers children’s activity. From the elegance of the side-saddle ladies to the military prowess of the Redcoats, the best of horsemanship will be on show this bank holiday weekend.
Cost: Adults £20.60, Concessions £18.50, Children £12.40, Family £53.60
ENGLISH HERITAGE MEMBERS: Adults: £2.50 / Concessions: £2.20 / Children: £1.50 / Family: £6.50

Bank Holiday Events at Layer Marney Tower
Sun 6 and Mon 7 May 2018, 11.00am – 5.00pm
Layer Marney Tower, Layer Marney, Nr. Colchester, Essex, C05 9US
Have a pleasant afternoon feeding the lambs then climb aboard the tractor for a ride round and learn something about Layer Marney Tower from the driver.
Cost: Adult £9, Child £5.00, Family £25

Wild Beach at Chalkwell Beach
Mon 7 May 2018, 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 – ring the Centre on 01702477467 to make your booking.