Family days out in Essex

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A county of numerous parks, seaside resorts and over 350 miles of English coastline, Essex has more than enough exciting activities to keep the whole family entertained

From an array of amusement parks and wildlife experiences to historic attractions, including both indoor and outdoor activities for all ages, Essex has a wide variety of things to do with kids.

And if you’re looking to save up to 57% on family activities across the UK, as a Boundless member you can make use of Kids Pass for discounts, deals and savings on all kinds of days out. Click here to find out more.

Colchester Zoo

Save up to 17% with Kids Pass

Colchester zoo

Spread across 60 acres of beautifully landscaped parks and lakes, Colchester Zoo is home to over 180 species of animals. Featuring a variety of habitats, from the humid landscape of the Komodo Dragon to an entire African plain, which is home to white rhino, giraffes, ostriches, zebras, and Greater Kudu; this day out is not one the budding zoologist in your life will want to miss. Colchester Zoo also features a variety of amazing covered spaces, so even on the wettest of days, you can keep warm and dry. Visit the Rajang's Forest to see if you can hang out for as long as an orangutan or feed the stunning rainbow lorikeets in the Australian Rainbows tropical walkthrough aviary. 

Adventure Island, Southend

Free admission

adventure island southend

Located on Southend’s famous seafront Adventure Island has earned the distinction of the UK's number one free admission theme park. They've also been ranked the fourth friendliest theme park in the world, so why wouldn't you want to pay a visit? The Park boasts over 40 exciting rides to choose from, including the swinging and spinning Axis for thrill seekers or The Big Wheel for those who want to take in the expansive views of the seafront. Adventure Island truly has something for everyone. If you're not a fan of the adrenaline-pumping coasters, there are lots of more calm activities in the neighbouring Adventure Inside, which includes an arcade, tiny rides, and a soft play area for children.

Lakeside Karting Thurrock

Save £25 with Kids Pass

lakeside karting thurrock

Comprising 10 challenging corners, three full-throttle straights and two eye-watering hairpin turns set across 900 metres of track, Lakeside Karting in Thurrock is one of the UK’s fastest and most demanding go-kart courses. Get behind the wheel of either a twin-engined Prokart, designed for experienced drivers and reaching speeds of up to 60 mph, or for the younger members of your party, have a go at the Junior Circuit. A great introduction to Motorsport this track is 100 metres in length and has been carefully designed to be smooth and flowing, ideal for first time drivers.

Sealife Adventure

£12 entry, free for children under 90cm

sealife adventure

There's much more to discover at Sealife Adventure than your average aquarium. Whether you want to explore each of the five ocean zones and immerse yourself in the wonders of life underwater, or uncover the mind-boggling secrets of our jungles and deserts, there’s something here to keep all ages entertained. You'll meet famous marine creatures including rays, sharks, piranhas and even otters, and discover amazing land-loving species, such as lively monkeys, curious meerkats, and massive African spurred tortoises. And remember, as part of your Boundless membership, you can enjoy discounted entry at a variety of aquariums around the UK when you book through Kids Pass, click here to find out more.

Mountfitchet Castle

£16 entry for adults and £12.50 entry for children

Mountfitchet castle

Visit this award-winning medieval castle and historic village to step back in time to 1066 Norman England. Meet and hand feed the tame animals that roam freely across the 10 acre site and go in and out of the various reconstructed medieval houses. From the smell of the log fires blazing, to the model scenes in each room you’ll experience the aura of an ancient bygone lifestyle, each set to the sound of long lost conversations. And as if the castle wasn’t enough, during your visit you can also see the world-famous House on the Hill Museum, located inside the Castle complex.  This unique attraction offers visitors the chance to see a remarkable collection of over 70,000 toys from from the nineteenth century through to the 1980s plus excellent World War 1 and 2 memorabilia displays, including a Home Front/Blitz display and a Rock 'n' Roll show.

Southend Pier and Railway

£1 Entry (additional fees for railway)

southend pier

No tour of Essex would be complete without paying a visit to the world’s longest pleasure pier at Southend. Stretching a whopping 1.33 miles, this Victorian engineering marvel must be seen to be believed. And if you aren’t keen on walking the full length of this leviathan, why not take a trip on the narrow gauge railway that travels almost the entire length of the pier. Trains leave half-hourly and take around 10 minutes to reach the end of the pier.

Do more with Boundless

Boundless members get a free 12-month membership with Kids Pass. A Kids Pass membership provides up to 57% off days out, attractions and more.

Get free entry to top attractions, great savings on high-street brands and discounts at restaurants. Plus, dozens of other deals on holidays, experiences and more! To find out more, visit

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