Half Term Activities to Keep the Kids so Busy You’ll Barely Notice They’re off School

Keeping children entertained is no easy task, especially when the summer half term comes around and they’re bursting to get out of the school grounds and go and have some fun in the sun.

Half term activities

With all that energy and excitement to control, you are probably already searching for a long list of activities to keep them busy. If you’re still looking for things to do this May half term, then we’ve got good news… There’s lots on in the North Essex area to keep the kids nice and busy. So busy, in fact, that you might forget they’re actually off school!

Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the best half-term activities for children in the local area. As an added bonus, you can enjoy a really great day out too! So, pack up a picnic, get out the sun cream, and enjoy the holidays!

Bunting on trees

Nayland Church Fete
Monday 28th of May

For the traditional British fete experience, Nayland Church is the perfect place to head this half term. This well-established fete will have a wonderful display of classic cars on show, stalls with everything from toys to gifts, and classic English fete games such as splat the rat, beat the goalie, china smash and coconut shy.

Throughout the afternoon there will be lots of sports on offer for children (and novelty adults ones too!) as well as the customary Tug of War competition. Music on the day will be supplied by The Victory Jazz Band, and you can tuck into refreshments like strawberries and cream, hot dogs, and tea and cake.

Flatford Nature Day
Tuesday 29th May

Kids will get the chance to go a little wild at this Nature Day at Flatford, one of Constable Country’s most lovely of hamlets. As part of the ticket, there will be the opportunity to go pond dipping, bug hunting and make some fun natural crafts at the RSPB Flatford Nature Reserve (an engaging park that’s a joy to walk around). Youngsters will be enthralled by the wildlife, and probably quite tuckered out after a day out exploring the land!

While you’re in the area there are also lots of activities to take part in, including a visit to the famous painter, John Constable’s exhibition, a walk around the historic Grade I listed Flatford Mill or a trip along the River Stour in one of the traditional rowing boats.

Children in hats playing

Arger Fen Nature Spotter’s Walk
Thursday 31st May

Forming part of this year’s Suffolk Walking Festival, this trail starts just down the road from SbN and will be fun for all the family.

Armed with a spotter’s book (which will be provided when you arrive), take the children on an exploration of the beautiful area that is Arger Fen. The little ones will love hunting for signs of the animals, birds, trees and flowers that call the area the Suffolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve their home. Plus, you could stop along the way and enjoy a picnic!

Kentwell Through the Ages
Saturday 26th May – Monday 28th May

Just a short car ride away is the gorgeous Tudor mansion of Kentwell Hall, and this half term they have a fantastic event planned.

Kentwell Through the Ages will take visitors on a trip through the ages, from the Neolithic times and beyond. Get ready to journey through time and see what the area was like in a myriad of different eras. Throughout the two day event, there will be a number of activities on offer for you and the kids to watch and try, from Neolithic crafting to 17th-century music and dancing, Edwardian tennis parties, and swing ball games in the 70s. Homemade lunches and teas will be served in the Stableyard Restaurant, or take along some food and eat at the picnic site at the Main Gates, where you’ll get incredible views of the house and grounds.

Colchester Zoo giraffes

Colchester Zoo
Saturday 26th of May – Sunday 3rd of June

Throughout May half term, Colchester Zoo is celebrating Love Your Zoo week, so there’s going to be lots for you to do!

There will be daily encounters with the big animals, activities in the indoor and outdoor areas, and the incredibly popular public feedings of the giraffes and elephants. Plus, this half term the zoo is also doing a historic trail. Take the kids around the park and follow the signs to see how things at the zoo have changed and evolved over the years.

Dragon Boat Festival, Ipswich
Saturday 2nd June

For kids who love the water, this dragon boat race down the River Orwell is just the ticket! The Dragon Boat Festival will be making a splash in Ipswich this June to raise money for local charity Fresh Start – new beginnings (FSNB). Teams and squads will compete against each other in a series of challenges to claim the title of champion.

The boat race isn’t all that is on though… The riverside will also be jam-packed with activities for the kids to take part in, from colouring competitions to face painting and a chance to sit in a proper dragon boat on dry land.

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