The hardest thing about the summer holidays is usually finding things to do to keep the child busy. Obviously with COVID-19 happening it has been even harder but I thought I would compile a go to activity list for when we can go out freely again. The list is full of places from Hertfordshire and Essex and a few are slightly further afield but all within an hour of our house.
Parndon Wood Nature Reserve – Harlow, Essex (FREE)
Parndon Wood Nature Reserve, run by ECCO, is an area of ancient woodland home to a huge range of birds, small mammals, deer, flora and fungi. It is open Wednesday to Sunday.
You need to book a free ticket before visiting. See the ECCO website for more details
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary – Brentwood, Essex (£6 Per Adult, £5 Per Child)
The Animal Sanctuary sits on 53 acres of beautiful countryside in the heart of Brentwood, Essex. The sanctuary currently cares for over 500 sick, unwanted and mistreated animals. You can book slots via their website, it is best to check in advance as it gets very busy.
Wings Cafe – North Weald, Epping, Essex
A lot of people go to just watch the planes but obviously with it being a cafe they would prefer you to purchase their food when you visit. Please check regarding COVID rules as I haven’t been since it all changed. It is perfect for all plane lovers and young children.
Mulligans Crazy Golf – Stevenage, Herts
I love this crazy golf, it has two different routes and is perfect for all ages. It is inside so it might now require masks but it is worth checking. When I lasted visited it had a cafe too which did amazing alcoholic frozen slushies. It is best advised to book ahead of time due to the current restrictions in place. Two adults cost us less than £30 for two games and drinks. There are lots of places to eat around there too.
360 Play – Stevenage, Herts
I haven’t personally been in as not a soft play fan but I have heard really good things especially for younger children. It is in the same industrial estate as the crazy golf mentioned above. Please check the website for full pricing and any new rules.
Top Golf – Watford or Chigwell (Prebook is advisable)
I love Top Golf and out of the two locations I love Watford more but for no real reason to be honest. Both are now reopened after closure but I am unsure of mask rules. They do have golf clubs available for children so it is a good way to let them practise their swing without knocking someone out at crazy golf. I think it is good fun for all the family and can get competitive. Booking is always advised.
Epping Ongar Railway – Epping (Check Running Times)
Ethan has always loved the Epping Ongar Railway and I’m glad to see it has survived during this year. I would always check the website before going and I would advise pre-booking. I would imagine it is booking only but I’m not sure and I am guessing masks are more than likely required due to the small amount of space. It is a low cost form of fun for kids of all ages.
Cammas Hall – Hatfield Broad Oak (Prebook slots)
Cammas Hall makes it onto every list I make with local things to do and see as it is just a fab day out. It is currently bookable only slots for the pick your own fruit but for the maze you can purchase tickets on the day. This bank holiday weekend they also have a beer festival but I don’t know much about it but apparently it is an annual event.
Either way beer festival or not – I love it and we hope to go pumpkin picking there this year.