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

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

25 Great ideas for things to do with kids in Essex over the half term

Keeping the kids entertained during half term can be exhausting and that’s just coming up with ideas on what to do!  There are so many different activities available in Essex and they don’t always have to cost the earth.  A picnic in one of the many parks can be a great way to spend the day (English weather permitting!).  I have put together a list of 25 things to do with kids in Essex all of which we have visited and enjoyed.

Things to do with kids in Essex

Adventure Island

Southend-on-Sea
Always a great day out, especially for thrill seekers.  It has rides for all ages so great for the whole family.  It is free to enter and you buy tickets to use the rides.  This is great if you have family members that do not want to use the rides as they won’t have to pay anything to come along.  It is cheaper to buy your wristbands before you arrive.  Always a successful day out with the kids.

Adventure Island, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Southend Pier

Southend-on-Sea
The world’s longest pleasure pier with a train that can take you to the end and back if you don’t fancy walking the 1.34 miles.  There is a café and a lifeboat museum at the end of the pier.  Pair this with a bit of time on the beach or spend some pennies on the arcade machines and you are on to a winner!

Southend Pier, the longest pleasure pier, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Southchurch Park

Southchurch, Southend-on-Sea
This is a large park with a good play area for the children.  There is a café onsite as well as a model boating lake.  Great to bring a long your model boats or just sit and watch all the other boats racing around the lake.

Shoebury East Beach

Shoeburyness
This is a long sand and pebble beach backed with a large grass area so perfect for picnics without getting sand in your sandwiches!  There are also facilities for BBQ’s and it is home to the Essex kitesurfing club.  Parking is nearby and there is a children’s play area.

Hockley Woods

Hockley
This is a great place for woodland walks with lots of different routes to explore.  There is a great children’s play area which my kids love!  It has lots of equipment to play on as well as a sand pit so bring your buckets and spades.  Its great for picnics and there is a small woods inside the park that my kids love to explore and play in.

Wat Tyler Country Park

Pitsea
There are plenty of country walks, a miniature railway and a great children’s play area.  There is a café onsite or lots of picnic benches to sit and have your own food.  It is also home to an RSPB centre so great if your little ones like bird watching (my son included).

Great Notley Country Park

Braintree
This is a great country park with lots for the children to do.  There is plenty of space to run around, play football or maybe a game of cricket (whatever takes your fancy).  There are lots of different play areas for the kids to explore as you walk round the park.  There is a café near to the car park if you need a bite to eat.  It is also home to Sky Ropes, with high rope adventure courses for all ages (2 years up).  I think this park is great if you need to entertain teenagers or little ones.

Great Notley Country Park, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Weald Country Park

South Weald, Brentwood
This lovely country park is great for wildlife.  There are plenty of deer which children can feed with food bought from the park shop or you are welcome to bring your own vegetable cuttings.  You will also spot plenty of ducks and other birds.  It is home to the Stickman play trail (from the Julia Donaldson story Stick Man) so lots for the children to explore.

Thorndon Country Park

Brentwood
This is another lovely country park with woodlands to explore and lots of open space so room to fly a kite.  It is home to the Gruffalo Trail (another Julia Donaldson story) with self guided tour maps available for 50p.  The trail takes about 45 minutes and gives children the opportunity to explore the woodland.

Thames Chase Forest Centre

Upminster
This is a great place for walks if you have a buggy as it has a flat path running all the way round so a good option when other places are too muddy.  There are play areas for children along the route and a nice café for snacks or lunch at the start.

Hyde Hall

Rettendon Common, Chelmsford
This Royal Horticultural Society garden is a lovely day out.  It is such a pretty place to wonder round and enjoy being outdoors.  In the school holidays they often have trials for the children to follow and there is a nice shaded play area.  There is a café and restaurant onsite both serving tasty locally sourced food.  I enjoyed this place so much that I became an RHS member!

Rainham Marshes

Rainham
We first visited this RSPB site as my son become interested in bird watching.  It is a lovely, peaceful place to visit.  There are a couple of walks you can do around the marshes as well as bird watching huts and children play areas.  They sometimes have activities for children to join in with during the half term.  We have done pond dipping and bug catching which they both thoroughly enjoyed.

Rainham Marshes, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Rainham Marshes, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Hanningfield Reservoir

Billericay
There are some really good nature trails to follow and lots of different wildlife to look out for on route.  A guide is available at the visitor centre.  The visitor centre is a great place to sit and have a hot drink and take in the views.  There is also a Wind in the Willows trail for children to follow with five wooden sculptures to find.

Hanningfield Reservoir, 25 fun things to do with kids in Essex, things to do in Essex

Maldon Promenade

Maldon
There is a lot to keep the children entertained at this promenade.  There is a huge play area and a splash park (tickets required).  There are lots of refreshment kiosks and plenty of space for picnics.  There are also a number of beach huts by the play area which can be hired for the day.  These make a great base for a day at the park and gives you a bit of shelter if needed.

West Mersea

Mersea Island
This is great for crabbing from the jetty.  Its such a fun and cost effective activity which children absolutely love.  Its also nice to walk along the beach and look at all the colourful beach huts.  You can also get some tasty, fresh seafood from the Oyster sheds.  For more information check out my other post – A very British bank holiday – West Mersea Essex

West Mersea, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

West Mersea, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Burnham Ferry

Essex Marina, Wallasea Island and Burnham-on-Crouch
For something a bit different you can get a small boat across from Wallasea Island to Burnham-on-Crouch.  The Burnham ferry runs 6 days a week and takes 10 minutes to make the crossing but a nice adventure for the kids.  Burnham-on-crouch has lots of nice restaurants and pubs and a lovely riverside walk as well as a good children’s play area and the chance to go crabbing.   It makes for a nice, fun day out.

Marsh Farm

South Woodham Ferrers
This is a lot more than a farm and has lots to keep children entertained.  There are many different play areas, bouncy pillows, entertainment shows and a maze to name just a few.  My children love a trip to Marsh Farm and you can easily spend a full day here.  During school holidays there are always lots of extra activities and its great to visit at Easter, Halloween and Christmas.  Its worth pre purchasing tickets online before you visit to receive a discount.

Marsh Farm, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Tropical Wings Zoo

South Woodham Ferrers
This is a small Zoo but there are still lots of different animals to see including lemurs and wallabies.  There is a nice children’s play area and an indoor softplay area.  The tropical house is great to walk through and get close to lots of free flying butterflies.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester
This is a fantastic zoo with lots of things to do.  You can easily spend a whole day seeing the many different animals, watching them being fed, playing in the play areas and having a ride on the train.  Check out my other post for more details – Colchester Zoo – A Great day out with the kids

Colchester Zoo, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Boydells Dairy Farm

Wethersfield
This is a great small working farm where you get given a guided tour and really get hands on with the animals.  You can have a go at milking a cow and feeding hens as well as handling lots of other animals.  Its a great way for kids to see a real working farm.  Check the website for opening times as it normally only allows visitors in the afternoon.

Boydalls Farm, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford
This is a lovely small museum with lots of different exhibitions for children to explore.  It has lots of information on the history of Chelmsford from the Ice Age until the present day.   It is set in a park with a good children’s play area.  Its a good option for those rainy days when you need to be inside and admission is free which is great!

Chelmsford Museum, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Combined Military Services Museum

Maldon
This is probably more for children who are into playing armies and sword fights (like my son).  The museum is crammed full with displays of military equipment old and new.  It even has tanks outside the front of the museum.  Again its another great option for entertaining the children for a few hours on rainy days.

The Secret Nuclear Bunker

Kelvedon Hatch, Brentwood
This large, deep cold war bunker is very educational for children.  You use personal headsets to take a self guided tour.  There are adult and child tours available and several films to watch on route.  Children can also have a go at dressing up in authentic military uniforms and gas masks.

The Clay Cottage

Rayleigh
I had to include this as its one of my daughters favourite places. It has recently relocated to a larger space and is great for children that enjoy arts and crafts.  They have a large number of ceramics that you can choose from and paint.  They run lots of workshops during half term (check out their website for details).

Audley End Miniature Railway

Saffron Waldon
Take a ride on the miniature train and try to spot the many teddy bears that are hiding during the journey round.  Then take a stroll through the enchanted fairy and elf walk and find the tiny fairies and elf’s that are hiding in wooden tree houses.  The kids enjoyed their day here as it was something different. You can bring a picnic and use the picnic benches next to the play area or hot and cold food is available from the signal box café.

Audley End Miniture Railway, 25 things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

These are just 25 of the many great things to do with kids in Essex.  I have tried to choose the places that we as a family love to visit, giving options for different budgets and weather conditions.

Would love to hear from you if you have any other places that should be added to the list.

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25 brilliant ideas for things to do with kids in Essex in the half term, things to do in Essex

Colchester Zoo, a great day out with the kids, things to do with kids in Essex

Colchester Zoo – A Great day out with the kids

You can’t beat a day at the zoo with the kids, they are always so fascinated by seeing the animals.  If you are ever in the Colchester area then you should definitely pay Colchester zoo a visit for a great day out with the kids.  We live quite local so have been a few times and last year my son Zach got bought a gift of adopting one of the Lions at the zoo so we have been to see his name on a plaque by the lion enclosure.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, brilliant zoo and day out in Essex

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, day out in Essex

Arriving

You can easily spend a whole day at Colchester Zoo so I would arrive early (check opening times as they do change depending on the time of year).  This will also get you closer to the entrance when parking as the car park is huge.  I don’t think the admission fees are cheap so worth checking for any discount vouchers before you arrive. It is slightly cheaper to book online before hand (like most things these days) but this has to be done at least 24 hours before.  Once you have your tickets get them scanned and you are in.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

Things to do

Its always useful to pick up a map to help you find your way around and it also gives all the times for the animal encounters.  There are 260 different species to see and which order you do it in is up to you.  If there is a particular animal encounter you want to see then I would plan your route so you are there at that time.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

Feeding the giraffes is a great activity to do but it does get busy so arrive a bit early to get a spot.  It normally happens three times throughout the day.  We made sure we were at the lion enclosure in time to see Zach’s lion Bailey being fed.  Watching these huge magnificent animals feed is also something I would recommend.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

The train ride is also a must.  The Lost Madagascar Express train takes you to the Lemur walkthrough.  It runs quite frequently throughout the day and you get to see a few different animals on the journey.

If you are visiting during the school holidays they may have extra activities going on.  We went near Halloween and they had some fun activities to do such as wand and spell making.  They also had a scary path to walk through but the scarecrows jumping out from the bushes was a bit too much for my daughter Amelia! 🙂

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

There are a couple of parks for the children to let off some steam and also an indoor soft play area if you want some cover for a while.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

Colchester Zoo, a great day out with the kids in Essex

Colchester Zoo, a great day out with the kids in Essex

Facilities

They have all the usual facilities such as baby changing/feeding, plenty of toilets dotted about and first aid.

There are a number of areas with picnic tables, some being undercover.  We usually try to take a picnic with us especially if its nice weather.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

On those days when its just too cold to eat outside (and lets face it we get quite a few in the UK) then there are a couple of restaurants to have some lunch and lots of eateries with undercover seating.  In the past we have eaten at The Patisserie which is a table service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.  It has a nice selection of sandwiches on the menu as well as some tasty cakes.

Colchester Zoo a great day out with the kids, great zoo, days out in Essex

Leaving

When its time to say goodbye to the animals and head home beware you will Exit Through the Gift Shop!

Hope you enjoy your day out with the kids at Colchester Zoo.  If you have been and have anything to add would love to hear in the comments below.

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Colchester Zoo, a great day out with the kids in Essex, things to do with kids in Essex