Looking for Things to Do in Essex in May (2017)? Ideas for Days out with the Kids

family day out essex may 2017

I can’t quite believe it’s snowing outside as I write this. While I am currently in Scotland, and that alone could explain it, it’s the 25th April! Really there is snow!?!?!  For me, May always signals a time of the year where I start to think flip flops, spring and summer dresses and even more time outdoors.  But don’t worry, even if the weather isn’t quite up to scratch, I’ve another bumper issue for things to do in Essex this month.

With two bank holidays and half-term, its a bumper issue so grab that diary and a cuppa and dive in.  There are a massive 26 ideas for days out with the kids below!

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family day out essex may 2017


Day Out With the Kids This May (2017)


Monday 1 May – 10 am to 5 pm

Medieval Siege – Hedingham Castle

Siege! The living history camp comes to life at 10, when the gates open, and from that point there is something going on all day! Highlights include Trebuchet Display, Gunnery Display,Falconry and Jester shows, wonderful.  You’ll also be able to  learn the traditional dance of the Maypole, go on a treasure hunt, take a tour of the Castle and visit the craft and food stalls, or picnic by the lake. It’s a great day out for all the family!

More Infohttp://www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk/events/


Monday 1 May – 10 am to 2.30 pm

Ongar May Fayre – Budworth Hall, Chipping Ongar

Ongar in Bloom have organised a traditional small town May Fayre with homemade teas and cakes, plus lunches in the Victorian Budworth Hall in the middle of the High Street.

Bric-brac, raffle, local honey, children tattoos and more.

More Infohttp://ongarinbloom.com/


Saturday 6 May – see venue for details

A Decade of Change – The Forest School, Snaresbrook

Explorer and filmmaker, George McGavin, presenter of BBC TV’s Expedition series, will give a talk.  Leading wildlife experts will also host workshops in Epping Forest looking at everything from trees, bats and spiders to what’s going on in the pond. A British Naturalists’ Association event.

More Info – http://www.bna-naturalists.org/whats%20on.pdf


Sunday 7 May – various start times dependent on route (am)

Ride for Helen 2017 – The Crix, Hatfield Peverel

Ride for Helen is back for it’s fourth year.  Whether you are a serious cyclist or doing it just for fun, you can register as a team with family and friends too.  Four different distances of 6, 15, 35 or 65 miles all starting and ending at The Crix.

More Infohttp://www.rideforhelen.co.uk/index.html


Sunday 7 May – 10 am to 4 pm

All Breed Companion Dog Show and Spaniel Spectacular – Latchingdon Village Hall, Latchingdon

Companion Dog Show covering Pedigree, Handling, Spaniel Specials, Crossbreed & Novelty Classes.  There were also be Have-A-Go Activities including Flyball, Good Citizen Bronze Testing, Fastest Recall vs Temptation Alley.

More Infohttps://www.facebook.com/events/1164540863589348/


Sunday 7 May – 10.30 am to 5 pm

Peppa Pig at the Colne Valley Railway – Castle Hedingham

Peppa Pig is back again this year. She will be making appearances at intervals throughout the day.  Last admission at 3 pm.

Day includes unlimited rides on a steam and diesel trains, miniature and garden railways (weather permitting), travelling Post Office, museum and more!

More Infohttps://sales.webticketmanager.com/ColneValleyRailway


Sunday 7 May – 12 noon to 6 pm

Maldon Little Ship Club Open Day – Maldon

Experience the atmosphere of the club house facilities and find out about the social and sailing activities along with RYA Training programmes.   You will be able to go cruiser sailing for free and taster sessions will be available.

More Info – http://www.mlsc.org.uk/


Saturday 13 May – 11 am to 3 pm

Heritage Hunt – Silver End, nr Braintree

The Archive will be open as usual but we hope to run a Family Heritage Hunt also.  Please see website for details to be confirmed.

More Infohttp://www.silverendheritagesociety.co.uk/events


Saturday 13 May – 12 pm onwards

Open Day at Marconi Sailing Club – Steeple

Marconi Sailing Club is holding its annual open day again on Saturday 13th May. Come along and check out our wonderful facilities and try some of our on the water activities. A perfect chance to start to learn to sail.

Family fun and an evening BBQ too!

More Infohttp://www.marconi-sc.org.uk/2017-open-day/


Saturday 13 May and Sunday 14 May – 10 am to 5 pm

Re-Enactment: Tudor Festival – Ingatestone

Event details to be confirmed – see website for confirmation.

More Infohttp://www.ingatestonehall.com/events.php?article=933


Saturday 13 May – 10.30 am to 5 pm

Operating Day – Castle Hedingham

One or more Steam locomotives operating. This may also include Heritage Diesel Trains. 

More Infohttp://www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk/timetable.aspx#event10


Saturday 13 May and Sunday 14 May – 9 am to 5 pm

The Temple at War – Cressing Temple Barns, near Braintree/Witham

Two full days displaying the last 100 years of military history and vintage.  In its third year, Temple at War will be hosting living history groups, military vehilces, 1940s entertainment and the opportunity to browse a wide range of collectors, traders and vendor stalls.

More Info – http://www.templeatwar.co.uk/


Sunday 14 May – 10 am to 4 pm

Olde Tyme Rally:  Classic Car Show – Museum of Power, Maldon

Classic vehicle display, live band, stalls and fmaily entertainment.  Miniature steam train open along with “Marshall” the Lilleshall pumping engine will be run by STEAM and other oil / diesel engines will be running.

More Infohttp://www.museumofpower.org.uk/Events.html#OTR


Sunday 14 May – 12 noon to 4 pm

Mr Bowles Tulip Tea Party – Myddelton House Gardens, Hertfordshire

A party held in Myddelton House Gardens to celebrate the renowned gardener E A Bowles’ birthday, often coinciding with the flowering of the tulips, has been a tradition dating back well over a hundred years. Edward Augustus Bowles was one of Britain’s well known self-taught gardeners, artists and expert botanists. Join a day of live music, children’s entertainment, a Mad Hatter’s crafty hat-making table, pond dipping, games, woodcarving, tombola, bric-a-brac and more to mark this special day!

More Info – https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/whatson/mr-bowles-tulip-tea-party/


Friday 19 May – 6 pm to 8 pm

Museums at Night – Saffron Walden Museum

Explore the museum by torchlight and take part in our spooky trail, in our annual Museums at Night event!

Drop in any time between 6pm and 8pm. 

More Info – http://www.saffronwaldenmuseum.org/


Saturday 20 May – 10 am and 5 pm

Wildlife and Craft Fair – Essex Wildlife Trust, Stanford-le-Hope

A fun and educational day out for all the family, celebrating British wildlife and local crafts.  There will be craft stalls, conservation stalls, mobile petting farm and refreshments.

More Infohttp://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/05/20/wildlife-craft-fair


Saturday 21 May – 10 am and 5 pm

Essex Young Farmers Show – Boyton Hall, Roxwell

Eeeek one of my favourite shows!!! Yay. You really have to attend this one to understand how amazing it is (see below link for a more in depth review).

There’s something for all the family at this traditional agricultural show, including an equine area, game fair, livestock tent, fairground and food hall. Shop till you drop at a wide variety of trade stands, pop into the tea rooms for a slice of homemade cake, make friends with the hounds from the local hunt and enjoy a display at one of the four rings – there’s everything from lawn mower racing to tug of war.

More Infohttp://essexyoungfarmersshow.co.uk/


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Sunday 21 May – 10 am to 5 pm

A Vintage Affair! – Hedingham Castle

Now in its third year at Hedingham, A Vintage Affair returns! With a foot tapping Big Band playing live throughout the day, over 50 stalls of all descriptions, Lindy Hoppers, hair styling and a host of classic cars – a triumph of style and glamour, all set on the magical lawn in front of the Castle!

More Infohttp://www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk/event/vintage-affair/


Friday 26 May to 2nd June – Various timings

Get In! City Camp – Various locations in Chelmsford

Half day and full day City Camps throughout the school holidays for children between aged between 4 and 12.  There are a range of activities each day, with sessions tailored to different age groups.

More Infohttps://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/leisure-theatres-and-museums/leisure-centres/childrens-activities/getin/city-camps/


Saturday 27 May – 11 am to 4.30 pm

St Osyth N Gauge Model Railway Show – St Osyth Village Hall

Model Railway show with lots of layouts to enjoy. Snacks available and items to buy as well. Plenty to keep you busy for the entire show.

More Infohttp://stosythngaugeshow.co.uk/


Saturday 27 May and Sunday 28 May – 10 am to 5 pm

Brightlingsea Regatta, Boat Show and Fireworks Display – Brightlingsea Waterfront

Enjoy boat races, displays, rescue demonstrations, competitions and fun on the water. Browse a wide range of trade stands, boat equipment / services, arts / crafts, local clubs / societies and lots more. 

Don’t miss the fantastic fireworks display on Saturday night – great views all along the waterfront and beyond! 

More Infohttps://www.facebook.com/events/282456572173039/


Saturday 27 May and Sunday 28 May – from 8 am

Duxford Air Festival – Imperial War Museum Duxford

Experience the thrills in the sky above, and enjoy the fun on the showground below at the Spring Bank Holiday Duxford Air Festival.   From dynamic flying to aerobatics, live entertainment and festival food.

More Infohttp://www.iwm.org.uk/events/iwm-duxford/airshows/duxford-air-festival


Sunday 28 May and Monday 29 May – from 10 am

Jousting with the Knights of Royal England – Hedingham Castle

The real Medieval Tourney in the C16th may have lasted 3-4 days. The Knights of Royal England pick out the highlights, the action bits, the crashes, the spectacle of the wonderful horses at full gallop and all the excitement and drama of the original without losing any of its pomp and pageantry.

The day will also include live demonstrations of wood carving. With a chainsaw! There’s Face Painting, craft  stalls and great food with our regular caterers and of course the wenches at the Castle Bar will be cheerfully serving our finest ales and wine!

More Infohttp://www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk/event/jousting-with-the-knights-of-royal-england-fair-2/


Sunday 28 May – 10 am to 4 pm

Free 4 Kidz fun day – Museum of Power, Maldon

Children’s fun day with free entry and a free ride on the Miniature Railway.  Expect games, rides, bouncy castle, face painting and more.

More Infohttp://www.museumofpower.org.uk/Events.html#FREE


Sunday 28 May and Monday 29 May – ENTER

The Great British Pet and Country Show – Hylands Park, Chelmsford

Jam packed two days of arena displays, meeting animals, talks from experts and have-a-go activities.

More Infohttp://www.petandcountryshow.co.uk/index.htm


Tuesday 20 May to Saturday 3 June – ENTER

Hatters Wonderland: Madness at the Manor – Nevendon Manor Events, Essex

The last ever showing!  You are taken on an outdoor trail for approximately 1 hour through the beautiful grounds meeting many new characters along the way on search of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Be careful not to bump into the Queen of hearts as she may chop off your head. This is an exciting experience for all the family to enjoy telling the story of Alice and the characters she encounters, this event is sure to encapsulate the whole family with the interaction of the cast.

More Infohttps://nevendonmanor.co.uk/events/



Still Looking for Things to Do in Essex this May?

If you are still in need of some inspiration, why not have a look at our previous blog on 15 Free Family Days Out in Essex?  I’ve also pulled together a Pinterest board which may help with some indoor inspiration which you will find the blog too. Perfect for those days when the weather decides to spoil our fun.

Though it is the season to start thinking about booking up to attend the Best Kids Festivals in Essex and Best Country Shows in Essex (2017): A Dog-Friendly Family Day Out Otherwise you  may be disappointed nearer the time.

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