Brightening up a rainy winter day at Partyman World of Play

What do you do with the kids on a miserable rainy January day?  We found ourselves with a free afternoon last Saturday so once the kids had finished their football and dancing we headed over to Partyman World of Play at Braintree, Essex.  This meant getting inside away from the winter weather and letting the kids run off some steam (and wear them out for bedtime!).

Partyman World of Play

My kids love a soft play centre and are always really pleased when I say we are heading to Partyman World of Play.  They can be found in a number of locations including Basildon, Wembley and Oxford (click here for a full list).  We are within reach of a few of the centres but drove to Partyman World of Play in Braintree which is one we haven’t visited before.

It is located next to Freeport Braintree shopping centre and has free parking available right outside the playcentre.  We went on a Satrurday which is a popular time to visit so it was very busy when we first arrived.  The member of staff on the front desk was very helpful and found us a free table before we entered.

Partyman World of Play, Braintree, things to do in Essex, great day out

Time for the kids to explore

The kids kicked off their shoes and went straight off to explore the play area.  I grabbed a coffee and sat and read my book.  Zach and Amelia only returned when they needed a drink!  They both said how much they were enjoying themselves.  Zach had made friends and was playing football in the dedicated football area.  Amelia was enjoying climbing and exploring the many different zones and then coming down the large colourful slide.

Partyman World of Play, Braintree, things to do in Essex, great day out

The play area is large with plenty to keep children busy.  There is also a large play area dedicated to children under 4’s which is great for toddlers.

The food menu offers a variety of different options including breakfasts, sandwiches and pizza.  We opted for the Nachos covered in cheese and served with sour cream and salsa as a snack to keep us going until dinner.  It was well presented and tasty.  All types of coffee, a selection of teas and a number of soft drinks are available to buy.

Partyman World of Play, Braintree, things to do in Essex, great day out

It was very busy but there were staff trying to keep on top of clearing away rubbish from the tables.  The staff I encountered during our visit were all very friendly and keen to help.

A great location

The good thing about Partyman World of Play Braintree is you can also get a little retail therapy at Freeport Braintree shopping centre afterwards.  You will also find a Cadbury shop there which will help to bribe the kids so you can get a little more time shopping.  There are lots of restaurants to choose from to end your day with a family meal out.  For us the location ticked lots of boxes and kept us all happy.

Admission information

Partyman World of Play Braintree is open Monday to Sunday 10 am till 6.30 pm.  Prices start from £2 for under 1’s to £6.50 for 4 to 13 year olds.  A discount is available for pre booking online.  For up to date information and prices check out the website here.

Partyman World of Play, Braintree, things to do in Essex, great day out

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  Don’t forget to follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.  You may also be interested in some of my other blog posts –

*We received tickets into Partyman World of Play in exchange for an honest review.

Essex Christmas Markets 2017, festive fun in Essex, Essex Christmas markets to visit in December

Its starting to look a lot like Christmas – Essex Christmas Markets 2017

With Christmas fast approaching its time to start getting into the spirit of things.  A Christmas Market is definitely a lovely way to spend the day feeling festive enjoying a mulled wine, buying some gifts and watching the kids join in the Christmas fun.  We are lucky in Essex to have so many great Christmas markets.  Here are just a few Essex Christmas markets to try out in December.

Essex Christmas markets, festive fun in Essex, Essex Christmas markets to visit in December
Photo from pixabay.com

Essex Christmas Markets

German Christmas Market
Meadow Croft Garden Centre

Woodham Road, Battlesbridge, Wickford, SS11 7QU
Open daily until 24th December, Monday – Saturday 9am-5.30pm & Sunday 10am-5pm

This is a great one for foodies.  You can enjoy festive drinks as well as lots of mouth-watering German foods.  There are also over 20 stalls selling a variety of Christmassy gifts including candles, cuckoo clocks and woollen hats and gloves.

Christmas Winter Wonderland Weekend
Blake House Craft Centre

Blake End, near Braintree, Essex, CM77 6RA
2nd & 3rd December, 10am-5pm

There is lots of family festive fun going on at Blake House Craft Centre.  Activities include a free elf hunt around the craft centre shops, donkey petting, a bouncy castle and face painting.  Children can also visit Santa in his grotto for only £1 including a small gift.  Lots of Christmas shopping can be done in the craft shops while enjoying a mulled wine and something to eat from the BBQ.

Essex Christmas markets, festive fun in Essex, Essex Christmas markets to visit in December
Photo from pixabay.com

Crafts for Christmas Fair – The Guild of Essex Craftsmen
Hylands House and Grand Pavilion

Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ
2nd & 3rd December, 10am-4.30pm

This is a great market for picking up some lovely unique, hand crafted gifts.  There will be over 40 stalls selling a wide range of goods from local craftsmen.  Craft demonstrations will be taking place on both days and refreshments will be available from the Grand Pavilion.

Christmas Gift Fair
RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Creephedge Lane, Rettendon Common, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8ET
2nd & 3rd December, 10am-3pm (normal garden admission prices apply)

This is another great market for browsing a selection of locally handmade unique gifts.  There will be craft activities available for children and a free pop up planetarium where you can learn about the winter skies and see images of planets and stars.  The gardens here are beautiful so well worth taking a walk around.

Essex Christmas markets, festive fun in Essex, Essex Christmas markets to visit in December
Photo from pixabay.com

Colchester Christmas Market
Colchester

High Street, Colchester, Essex
3rd December, 9am-5pm

Lots of stalls will line Colchester High Street as well as children’s fairground rides and performances from a local theatre group.  Returning this year after a year off is the annual bun hurling from the town hall.  The Mayor will start off the tradition at 10.30am with help from Father Christmas and the Christmas Fairies.  If you catch one of the 20 lucky buns that are thrown into the crowd you can claim a bag of gold chocolate coins.

Victorian Christmas Fayre
Battlesbridge Antique Centre

5 Maltings Road, Battlesbridge, Essex, SS11 7RF
9th December, 10am-8pm & 10th December, 10am-6pm

Lots of old fashioned Christmas fun can be had at this Victorian Christmas Fayre.  There is lots going on over the weekend, including horse and cart rides, Santa’s grotto, children’s craft workshop, craft and food stalls and live music.  Think this will be a great one for the whole family.

Essex Christmas markets, festive fun in Essex, Essex Christmas markets to visit in December
Photo from pixabay.com

Burnham Festive Street Fayre
Burnham-on-Crouch

High Street, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, CM0 8
9th December, 2pm-6pm

There is lots of family fun to be had at this street fayre including bouncy castles, fairground rides, Christmas market stalls and songs from a choir.  There will be plenty of food and drink stands to refuel.  The big man in red himself will be passing through the High Street at 4pm giving sweets to all the children.

These Essex Christmas markets are a great way to have some festive fun this December.  Its great that there are so many events organised in the county.

Thank you for reading my post and I hope you have fun enjoying some of these great Essex Christmas markets.

Please follow me on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.

Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park our review, spooky day out at Marsh Farm, a great day out in Essex

Our Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park

Marsh Farm – Our review

When I plan our half term activities and ask Zach and Amelia what they would like to do, a trip to Marsh Farm is always on their list.  Its only a 20 minute drive away for us in South Woodham Ferrers, Essex and its somewhere that keeps both children entertained (and the moaning and arguing to a minimum!).  We were all keen to try out their Wizards & Witches Halloween week that was on during the October half term.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Let the fun begin …..

We arrived as it opened at 10 am, all ready to join in the Halloween fun dressed as a skeleton and witch.  Parking the car was easy and marshals were there to direct cars in the right direction.  We were greeted by an enthusiastic member of staff (who was jealous of Zach’s onesie) as we made of way to the entrance.  Once we had collected our wristbands and map we made our way into the farm to start our day.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

We hadn’t been there for more than 10 minutes and I was able to take photos of the kids with a wizard and two spooky witches.  We bought some animal feed as this is one of Amelia’s favourite things to do and headed further into the farm.  Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park is so much more than just a farm so the hardest part for my two is to decide which activity to do first.  The Maze won this time and off they went racing to the middle and back.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Halloween fun

There was a full programme of activities going on from broomstick training, spooky shows and magic shows to pony grooming, meet the ferrets and creepy crafts.  During the Wizards and Witches week every child also got to pick their own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.  It was great watching the kids walk through the pumpkin patch deciding which one of the hundreds of pumpkins they liked the best.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Plenty to do

There are lots of play areas throughout the farm so lots for the children to explore and plenty of opportunities to run around and let of steam.  As well as the parks there is a sand area, two bouncy pillows, mini tractors and den building (which is a favourite of Zach’s).

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Meeting the farm animals

Mustn’t forget to mention all the animals that the children can see, feed and interact with.  There are opportunities during the day to get up close to some of the animals and meet the staff that help to look after them.  One of my favourites is walking through the Aviary and seeing the really colourful birds feeding and flying close by.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Having a pit stop

There are plenty of benches available to enjoy your own picnic but we decided to eat in the Play Barn Restaurant.  A selection of hot and cold foods are available as well as children’s meals and snacks and cakes.  There was a bit of a wait for our food as the restaurant was very busy but it wasn’t a problem as it gave the children time to explore the soft play apparatus and me to enjoy my coffee!

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Great end to the day

To finish our fab day at Marsh Farm we played a game of crazy golf.  You can grab a club, a ball and a score card at the start and then make your way round the crazy course.  Its a great fun activity that the children can take part in at no extra cost to you.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

One of the things that really stands out for me about Marsh Farm is the friendly and helpful staff.  They are all keen to make sure you enjoy your day.  Its also great that once you pay your entrance fee all activities are included.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

We were lucky to have the weather on our side and had a lovely warm sunny autumn day.  We left with the beautiful sun setting over the farm.

The Wizards and Witches week was a great way to enjoy Halloween and the farm had really been transformed with lots of spooky activities for the kids to enjoy.  Their next special event will be The Father Christmas Experience which I’m sure will be a totally magical memorable day.  Tickets can be booked now via their website.

Spooky day out at Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Day out with the kids to Marsh Farm, great day out in Essex

Thank you for reading my post and don’t forget to follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

*We received tickets into the farm in exchange for an honest review.

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

A day at the Seaside – Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids

I take it for granted that we live less than 10 miles from the seaside (even though it is an estuary).  The kids always enjoy a day out to Southend Seafront and you can’t beat a bit of good old fashioned seaside fun.  We recently went with some friends and had a great day out.  There are plenty of things to do on a day out at Southend-on-Sea to keep the children busy.

Our day out at Southend-on-Sea

We started our day getting the train into Southend and walking through the High Street and down to the seafront and into Adventure Island.  They claim to be the UK’s number one free admission fun park.  You are free to wonder around the park and you only need to pay for tickets if you wish to go on the rides.  This is great if you are in a large group and have people that don’t want to use the rides.

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

We bought wrist bands for our children which allow them to ride on the attractions all day.  These are cheaper if pre purchased on line from their website (click here).

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

There are rides that should appeal to all ages including flying pigs for little ones to a loop the loop roller coaster for teenagers.  Quite a recent addition is an indoor area with a few small rides and a soft play area.  Great if it rains!

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

Lunch on the beach

The kids had fun for a couple of hours before we all made our way for lunch at Billy Hundreds Fish and Tapas Restaurant.  Its about a 20 minute walk to the restaurant but its along the seafront so the kids didn’t mind as they walked along the sea wall and on the beach.

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

The restaurant is in a great location right on the beach so it is lovely on a sunny summers day.  The children were able to play on the sand while we watched on from the restaurant.  Its only small so booking ahead is advisable.  They even provided sun hats for the kids to wear.

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

We ordered a selection of tapas and the children had spaghetti and meat balls.  The food is tasty and well presented and we all left with full tummies ready for some more fun at Adventure Island.

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

The fun continues …..

The children spent a few more hours having fun on the rides including sliding down the helter skelter and being whipped round on the American Whip.  Its great watching the kids faces as they come flying round the corner!  We added on unlimited use of the dodgems to their tickets (an extra £5) so they made use of these which they all loved, adults included!

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

 

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

You can easily spend the whole day in Adventure Island, especially on a nice sunny day but there are lots of other things to do at the seafront.  Some other things that the kids enjoy doing on a day out at Southend-on-Sea are –

  • Walking the longest pleasure pier in the world – You can walk or catch the train to the end of this 1.3 mile pier.
  • Playing on the slot machines – Bring lots of 2p coins and enjoy the Arcades.
  • Eating Fish and Chips – Fisherman’s Wharf serves up great cod, chips and mushy peas.
  • Having a Rossi’s Ice Cream – No trip to Southend is complete without trying a Rossi’s Ice Cream.
  • Playing on the beach – Build sandcastles and dip your toes in the water, there are also a few parks on the beach for the kids to enjoy.
  • Get wet in the water fountains – Bring their swimming stuff and watch them run through the water fountains.
  • Visit the Sea life Centre – This is great for younger children to get up close to lots of sea life.

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

We have had a fab summer holidays which have included a few trips to Southend-on-sea.  Back to school now to start a new year.  Thanks for reading my post.  Please check out some of my other pages –

Don’t forget to Pin for Later ….

A day at the Seaside, Our day out at Southend-on-Sea with the kids, ideas for things to do in Southend

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford, Days out in Essex, things to do with kids in Essex, days out UK

Days out in Essex – Review of Everyman Cinema Chelmsford

Inset day for us so needed something to entertain the kids.  I had heard about a new cinema that had opened in Bond Street in Chelmsford, Essex.  My son and I are big cinema and film fans but my daughter is definitely not!  I was hoping that trying this new cinema would make it a nice day out for her too.  I must admit it is the best cinema experience I have had.  We were lucky that it was very quiet as most other children were at school but its definitely worth a visit.  This is what we thought of Everyman Cinema Chelmsford. (Click here for their website).

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, great cinema, ideas for things to do with kids

Bar and Foyer area

When you enter the cinema you feel like you have walked into a trendy bar.  The décor is very modern, there are lots of tables, chairs and sofas and a large bar.  They offer a bar menu so you can order burgers, pizzas, snacks, hot and cold drinks and a selection of beers, wine and cocktails.  The food and drink can be served in the bar area or to your seat in the cinema!  They also have a children’s menu offering pizza, burger or chicken burger for £5.  We ordered two children’s pizzas, glasses of tap water and a flat white coffee and made our way to our seats.

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, ideas for days out with kids

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, ideas for days out with kids

Screens

We were all very pleasantly surprised when we entered the screen.  We were greeted by comfy sofas with cushions! Not your average cinema seats.  This put a smile on my daughters face who normally hates a trip to the cinema.

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, ideas for days out with kids

We had a two seater sofa next to a single chair.  While we got comfy and watched the adverts before the film started our pizzas and drinks were delivered to us.  The children’s pizzas were well presented on wooden boards and looked really nice.  Didn’t take them long to disappear so they must have tasted good!  The coffee was nice 🙂

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, ideas for days out with kids

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, ideas for days out with kids

Prices

The tickets are a few pounds more per person than your average cinema but like most things in life you get what you pay for.  We paid £11.30 for an adult and £9 for a child plus the booking fee, this does increase to £14 per adult for new films.  I think its a great option for a special treat but probably wouldn’t be the cinema you visit every time.  Its a great place to take the kids but it would also make a great choice for a date night or girls night out!

They have cinemas in different locations throughout the UK so its worth checking out whether there is one near you.

Thanks for checking out my post.  Would love to hear if you have visited an Everyman Cinema and what you thought, please comment below.

For more ideas on days out in Essex check out my other post – 25 Great ideas for things to do with kids in Essex

Don’t forget to Pin for later ……

Everyman Cinema Chelmsford Days out in Essex, ideas for days out with kids