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WELCOME TO MUM'S GUIDE TO ROMFORD!

From bumps to teens, we have it covered!  This is your one-stop site for everything you need to know about living in Romford with children including children's activities, things to do and other local services such as health, education and party providers & supplies

Whether you have lived in Romford for years or are new to the area, this website will help connect you with great activities for you and your children, help you to discover what's going on in your area and hopefully help to keep the kids busy and entertained.

Get in touch if you would like to list your business in our directory, add your event to the what's on guide or enquire about advertising.

Maa Eyecare
Under 5 Drop Ins

What's On This Week


1st November 2020-11-01 2021-02-28 - 28th February
Any park or woodland, Anywhere!


1st December 2020-12-01 2020-12-24 - 24th December
Van Hage Garden Centre, Great Amwell


3rd December 2020-12-03 2020-12-24 - 24th December
Audley End Miniature Railway, Saffron Walden


3rd December 2020-12-03 2021-01-03 - 3rd January
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey


3rd December 2020-12-03 2021-01-10 - 10th January
INTU Lakeside, Lakeside Shopping Centre


4th December 2020-12-04 2020-12-06 - 6th December
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey


5th December 2020-12-05 2020-12-06 - 6th December
Jurassic Ark Reptiles, Leigh on Sea


5th December 2020-12-05 2020-12-06 - 6th December
Romford Shopping Hall, Romford


5th December 2020-12-05 2020-12-24 - 24th December
Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne


5th December 2020-12-05 2021-01-03 - 3rd January
Aldenham Country Park, Elstree


5th December 2020-12-05 2020-12-06 - 6th December
Willow's Activity Farm, London Colney


6th December 2020-12-06 2020-12-06
High Street, Billericay


9th December 2020-12-09 2020-12-24 - 24th December
Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford


9th December 2020-12-09 2020-12-13 - 13th December
Brookside Theatre, Romford


10th December 2020-12-10 2021-01-03 - 3rd January
Silverstone, Northamptonshire


10th December 2020-12-10 2020-12-24 - 24th December
The House, Tendring


11th December 2020-12-11 2020-12-13 - 13th December
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey


11th December 2020-12-11 2021-01-03 - 3rd January
Queens Theatre, Hornchurch


12th December 2020-12-12 2020-12-13 - 13th December
Romford Shopping Hall, Romford


12th December 2020-12-12 2020-12-12
Promenade Park, Malden


12th December 2020-12-12 2020-12-12
Promenade Park, Malden

More events

If you are running a local event for families or children you can add the details to our site for free.

BLOG

The Magic of Christmas at Home

Christmas is on its way and here we are stuck in the middle of Lockdown 2.0!  Back in March when all this first began, I naively thought that by now things would be back to the normal we all knew. However, here we are!  Lots of the usual Christmassy events that we are used to seeing and getting involved in have been cancelled this year. Even if lockdown ends and restrictions are more relaxed, some of us may still be feeling anxious about the thought of going out and mixing with big groups of people. 
In light of that, we got together with Mum’s guide to Hertford and came up with some ideas that will definitely help make celebrating Christmas at home with the kids that little bit less stressful.

Read more

Feature

There is nothing like the smell of a real Christmas tree in the house! Yes, they take a little more effort than an artificial tree but it can be worth it! I have been doing some research online and I have come up with this list of local businesses where you can choose your real tree this Christmas. 

For details on recycling your tree after the festive season, click here.

The information here is correct at the time of publication. Please do check with businesses before setting off. 

Gidea Park Christmas Trees - 626 Upper Brentwood Road (Gallows Corner Shops)
Freshly cut Nordmann Fir trees 5ft - 8th. Open from 28th November. Free local delivery.
More details here

Hornchurch Christmas Trees 
High quality, non-drop, Nordmann Firs from a farm in Wales and are cut to order to help with sustainability. The trees are £50 for a 5-6ft Nordmann Fir with local collection from RM12. Available from 24th November.
Click here to order

Discount DIY & Hardware Supplies - 49 Butts Green Road, Emerson Park, Hornchurch RM11 2JS
First class trees at great prices, full range of sizes available, open 7 days a week with free local delivery.

Deliver Me Christmas
Christmas delivered to your door. Trees are sustainably grown and a recycling service is offered in January. For every tree sold £1 of the profits to Crisis Homeless Charity. Free delivery to Havering & Brentwood areas.
Click here to order

Garden Living - Lower Bedfords Road, Romford RM1 4DQ
From 4ft (£20 to 8ft (£50) Nordmann Fir non drop trees. Free delivery with a spend of £20 on Christmas products.
More details

Greenhouse Water Gardens - 87 Chase Cross Road, Collier Row RM5 3RP
Trees from £25 to £50 all delivered locally free of charge - they also offer a free collection service after Christmas!
More details here

Upminster Garden Centre - Nags Head Lane, Upminster RM14 1TS
Fresh cut trees arriving from 20th November. 
More info

Plant Perfections - Hunts Hill Farm, Aveley Road, Upminster RM14 2TG
Any tree, any size will be £30. Trees also available at Flower Perfections.
More info

Bloom & Veg - Central Farm, Aveley Road, Upminster RM14 2TW
More details to follow
More info

Fenland Nurseries - Ockenden Road, Upminster RM14 3PP
Open daily 10-5,  all stock is outside where you can have a look and choose your tree. Stocking potted/rooted Christmas trees up to 6ft and cut Christmas trees up to 12ft tall. Free local delivery on all tree purchases.
More info

Foxes Farm - Hall Lane, Upminster RM14 1UA
Open Saturdays and Sundays 9-5, Tuesday - Friday 10.30-5 (closed Mondays). 
More details

Calcott Hall Farm - Ongar Road, Brentwood CM15 9HS
The tree barn opens on Friday the 27th November. There are procedures in place to keep people safe during their visit. 
More info

EsseXmas Trees - The Rabbits car park, Stapleford Road, Stapleford Abbots, Romford RM4 1RP
Real Nordmann Fir Christmas Trees, all sizes available, available from 20th November for collection or local delivery. Reserve your tree and have it delivered!
More info

Hurley's Christmas Tree Farm - Woodham Road, Battlesbridge SS11 7QL
Open daily from 28th November although weekends are pre booked slots only to allow for social distancing. These are free.
To book your weekend slot click here

Thurrock Garden Centre - South Road, South Ockenden RM15 6DU
Real Christmas trees, both cut and pot grown. Stocking Fraser Fir. Nordmann Fir and Norway Spruce.
More info

Christmas Tree Village - Marsh Farm Rd, South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford CM3 5WP
Nordmann Fir Christmas Trees can be reserve your tree today, deliveries starting from 20th November
To order click here

 

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

There are also several opportunities to recycle your tree once Christmas is over. 

  • Saturday 4th January - take your tree to Gidea Park Sports Ground, Main Road, Romford between 10am and 2pm.
  • Take your tree to Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre.
  • If you have a green garden waste bin, cut your tree in half and put it in the bin making sure the lid will close completely.
  • Saint Francis Hospice will be running their annual recycling service where you can book a collection in on the weekend of 9th & 10th January if you live in RM1 - RM5, RM7, RM11 - RM14. 

Community

The Autumn & Winter Scavenger Hunt

This Autumn is already throwing challenges our way by giving us another lockdown. We have lots of amazing parks and woodland on our doorstep here in Havering. Why not print off our scavenger hunt and go exploring or save the image on your phone and use it from there.

For ideas on parks and woodland to visit, click here.

 

Christmas

Updated 4th December 2020

Santa, Father Christmas, St Nicholas - whatever he is known as in your house, the little ones all love him!  There are lots of options still available this year where you can see Santa. We are updating this page regularly as new information is available. As you may expect, due to the Covid situation, there are changes to a lot of events that you may have become familiar with over the years. Take some time to check details before you make a booking to ensure that the event is suitable for you and your family.

Please note all details are correct at time of publication. Due to Covid restrictions events are subject to change. Please do check individual websites for further information on how the events will run. You can access these websites by clicking the 'More details' tab under each event.

Where To See Santa 2020

Meet Santa at Paradise Wildlife Park
Paradise Wildlife Park: weekends from 5th December, daily from 18th - 24th December
Santa will be arriving at Paradise in a new grotto at our Safari Stage where your little ones can join him safely for an unforgettable meet and greet as well as a fabulous photo opportunity. Moreover, this is a completely free of charge event so make sure to get a space in the queue early to not miss out! 
More details

A Christmas Journey - Fully Booked!
Old MacDonalds Farm 
This is a little different to other Christmas events. See the farm as you have never seen it before! With brand new attractions, our very own 'build a bag' & a unique Christmas Circus it really is going to be a spectacular festive season. Santa will also be conducting walkabouts every day at intervals. He will be popping up at various attractions and tending to the reindeer too!
More details

Breakfast with Santa
The Old Plough House Upminster: 5th December
Children will enjoy a hearty breakfast whilst decorating a gingerbread man before receiving a small gift from Santa, don’t forget to bring your cameras for a photo with Santa.
More details

Breakfast with Santa
Channels Estate, Chelmsford CM3 3PT
Channels is excited to welcome Santa back for a wonderful family event your whole family won’t want to miss. Included in your price is breakfast or supper (tea and coffee/apple or orange juice included), individual Christmas box of fun for the children, a table gift from Santa along with a visit from him to your table, biscuits to decorate for the children and an exciting atmosphere sure to bring smiles this Christmas.
More details

Socially Distanced Christmas Event
The Party Kingdom, Smithfields Nursery, Woodham Road, Battlesbridge, SS11 7QW
Book now for our Socially Distanced Christmas Experience, seeing all your favourite Party Kingdom Christmas characters, in a safe environment.
More details

Santa HQ
Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock 
Up to 2 adults and 4 children in each booking can visit Santa at his head Quarters. Tickets are £6 per child, and adults go free! The grotto can be found in the shopping centre in the Central Atrium on level 1.
More details

Santa at The Pier
Southend Pier: every weekend in December, 21st - 24th December **limited dates available now**
Book your little one’s ticket for a magical experience like none other. Children and one accompanying adult will be whisked down to the end of the Pier where you will meet Santa and his merry band of helpers in the Royal Pavilion.
More details

Santa's Grotto at Van Hage - Fully Booked
Van Hage Garden Centre, Amwell: 5th - 24th December 
You can visit Santa in his great grotto at our Amwell garden centre over the Christmas period. Children will be enchanted by a traditional Christmas Grotto, meeting Santa, receiving a gift and having a photo opportunity with the big man himself!
More details

Santa Spectacular 2020  **CANCELLED**
Click here for details of their new event - Bear-y Merry Christmas (Santa is not at this event)

Willows Activity Farm: 23rd November - 24th December
The Santa Spectacular programme is a full day out of festive family fun and the child ticket price includes all the activities and shows plus a visit to Santa and being able to choose a gift from his Toy Shop, making a toy bear in the Create-a-Character workshop and biscuit decorating. Under 2’s can go free but paying under 2’s visit Santa, do the Create-a-Cuddle workshop and biscuit decorating.
More details

Christmas at The Sealife Centre
Sealife Centre, Eastern Esplanade, Southend on Sea SS1 2ER
Santa Claus is returning to Sealife Adventure for another year from 10am between 3rd – 24th December 2020! Visit the jolly man in red and all of his Christmas Elves in his very own Grotto for only £7.50 per child, with one free adult! He’ll even give all good girls and boys a special sweet treat to thank you for coming to see him!
More details

Christmas Special 2020 - Fully Booked!
Audley End Miniature Railway: 3rd December  - 24th December
Enjoy the most magical Christmas Experience with your family at the Audley End Miniature Railway. Take our Santa Express deep into the woods of the Audley End Estate where you will arrive at Father Christmas’s Winter Wonderland! You will meet the big man himself, along with his VERY cheeky Elves, receive a special gift and also watch a crazy Christmas Dance!
More details

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner with Santa
Romford Shopping Hall: every weekend from 5th December and all of Christmas week.
This year the real Santa will be back in his usual spot although things will be a little different to previous years. This year, to assist with social distancing and to ensure Santa is as safe as possible, it will be an event that requires pre booking. 
More details

Santa's Grotto at The Mercury Mall
Mercury Mall, Romford:  3rd December - 6th January 2021
Visitors will be able to chat with Santa, then pose for photographs that will be photoshopped to appear as if the visit is much like the usual visit. Until December 2nd however feel free to take selfie’s in front of the grotto, and Santa will be waiting upon lockdown end. One final piece of news on Santa, if you cannot get to visit before Christmas, Santa will be staying until the 6th January to cover the period that falls under the Orthodox Christmas calendar.
More details

Polar Express Train Ride  **CANCELLED**
Mid Norfolk Railway: various dates still available in November & December.
As you and your family take in the festive decorations at THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride station, you can almost hear the faint sound of sleigh bells in the distance and the fun begins...
More details

Santa's Grotto 2020 - Fully Booked!
White Elm Garden Centre, Danbury, Chelmsford CM3 4LR
Each Child ticket entitles a child to walk through Santa’s Magical Grotto, meet and chat to Santa in his lounge and receive a gift from Santa. Children will also have some Grotto games to complete for a sweet treat.
More details

Believe at Bluewater
Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent: from 3rd December until 24th December
Meet Santa’s Christmas Spirit Elves and join them while they magically capture your festive hopes and dreams, and send their ‘believe jars’ into a sparkling frenzy!
More details

The Father Christmas Experience at Barleylands
Barleylands Farm: every weekend from 5th December and all of Christmas week.
Start your journey with one of Father Christmas’ elves who will guide you to our Christmas barn, here you will meet Mrs. Claus who has a festive story for all to enjoy. There will be so much to see and do...
More details

The Father Christmas Experience
Marsh Farm: 5th December - 24th December
With even more festive magic! This two and a half hour fully immersive experience is a real treat for the whole family. There are SEN sessions available too!
More details


Santa Specials 2020 - Fully Booked!
Epping Ongar Railway: 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th - 24th December
Bring the family to see Santa on his special train with the fantastically festive Epping Ongar Railway Santa Specials! Tickets are being sold by 'compartment' for either 6 or 8 people. On sale now!
More details

Breakfast with Father Christmas
Orsett Hall: 5th, 6th, 12th, 19th, 20th, 22nd & 23rd
A truly magical breakfast experience. Children will enjoy two activities with the Christmas Elves before receiving a visit and a special gift from Father Christmas. Entertainment provided by party entertainers.
More details

Afternoon Tea with Father Christmas
Orsett Hall: 5th, 6th, 12th, 19th, 20th, 22nd & 23rd
A magical afternoon tea with a festive twist. Children will enjoy two activities with the Christmas Elves before receiving a visit and a special gift from Father Christmas. Entertainment provided by party entertainers.
More details

We will be adding to this list as information is available to us. 

News & Notices

Letters to Santa

Royal Mail are helping Santa out again this year by delivering the children's letters to him and they will also be delivering replies back to the children! To ensure Santa has time to reply in time, letters need to reach him by 11th December.

Send your letter with your name and address written clearly to:

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa's Grotto,
Reindeerland,
XM4 5HQ

Replies are not personalised.

 


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