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50 FREE and low cost things to do Easter Half Term

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Days out can be expensive, especially when you have 2 weeks to fill. So here's our handy guide of things to do in and around Southend this Easter half term that will hopefully save you a few pennies!

As well as the below, don't forget to check out our 'What's on' Calendar for lots of events. We have handpicked a few of the free events below but there are many more on our calendar and more being added regularly.

Remember that although the events or activities may be free, there may be parking costs to consider. For any activities in Southend, the monthly Southend Parking Permit at £10 per month could save you a huge amount of money on parking and you could even just sign up for a limited time if you think you may benefit. I would highly recommend taking a packed lunch for days out to really keep your costs down!

1. Muddy Church at Hadleigh Farm Estate - FREE - 30th March 2024 - An Easter story trail with a celebration and Easter eggs.

2. Children's sunflower planting at Scott's of Southend  - FREE - 1st, 2nd, 9th April - Plant experts will be teaching children how to grow beautiful sunflowers.

3. Easter Lego Fun at Rayleigh Vineyard Church - FREE - 25th March - Egg Challenge, build a bunny, crafts and more

4. Easter egg hunt at Cafe@ the square - 50p - 29th March - Easter egg hunt, face-painting, Tombola and refreshments

5. Easter Family fun day at Hockley Community Centre - £1 adults (kids free) - 30th March - A family fun day with arts and crafts, face painting, fun activities, wildlife talk, tombola, Easter stalls, games and more

6.  Easter event at Castle Point Transport Museum - FREE (Donations welcome) - 31st March - Lots of stalls, amazing historic vehicles, displays and GIANT easter egg hunt

7. The Lions Club of Leigh-On-Sea Easter Fayre - FREE ENTRY - 30th March - Easter family fun including homemade cakes, Easter 'egg'scape room, stall holders, children's activities. Escape room £4 children £2 adults

8. Family fun activities at Hadleigh Hub - FREE - 2nd-4th and 9th-11th April - Take part in Easter Pebble painting, making hot cross bunnies, jelly bead prayer bracelets, microgreens planting, family games and womble trail junk modelling. Follow the link for dates of each event.

9. Easter Woodland Crafts at Belfairs -12th April -  Fun woodland crafts. No booking required and a small charge per craft is requested.

10. Self-led egg trail at Belfairs - £3 - 29th - 31st March - This Easter weekend, follow the self-led trail through the green wood, answer the egg-cellent clues and claim an egg-citing prize!

11. Easter Eggstravaganza at Southchurch Hall GardensFREE - 31st March - Easter bonnet parade, scavenger egg hunt, arts and crafts, traditional games

12. Spring Community day at Eastwood Community Centre - 50p entry, Children free - 6th April - FREE spring treasure hunt, over 20 craft stalls, special visit by paw patrol character, performance by LODS, refreshments all day

13. Tudor Tales at Southchurch Hall - FREE - 7th & 14th April - Come along and join us for a fun packed hour of Tudor Tales and Medieval Melodies. Sit with us in our beautiful building and listen to fun stories read by our medieval mistress. There will also be a short musical element where everyone is free to join in if they wish. Bells, whistles and costumes strongly encouraged!

14. Tudor Tales at Prittlewell Priory - FREE - 3rd & 10th April Come along and join us for a fun packed hour of Tudor Tales and Medieval Melodies. Sit with us in our beautiful building and listen to fun stories read by our medieval mistress. There will also be a short musical element where everyone is free to join in if they wish. Bells, whistles and costumes strongly encouraged!

15. Spring family fun at The Hive - £2.50 child/£4.50 adult - Celebrate the beauty of spring with a fun-filled session at Steps Ahead. Wander the nature paths at your own pace taking part in activities that take your fancy.

16. Easter egg hunt at 213 - FREE - 30th March - Join in a free easter egg hunt!

17. Big up Southend Craft Market - FREE - 30th March - Big Up Southend is a monthly market, open mic and creative family event taking over the first floor landing of the Victoria Shopping Centre. We have some awesome traders lined up, and with the kids activities and open mic, there's something for the whole family

19. Teddy Bear Trail at Priory Park - £2.50 - 30th March - 14th April - Activity sheets can be picked up from Prittlewell Priory open Weds-Sun 11am-5pm. 

20. Walk Southend Pier - £2.50 adults, £1.50 children - Join in the Easter egg hunt for an additional £2.50 per child on 29th March - 1st April.

21. Easter Sunday at Hullbridge Community Centre - £5 - 31st March - Party with sid including bubble machine, balloon modelling and fun and games. Easter egg hunt, Pin the tail on the donkey, Raffle, See the Easter bunny and lots more!

22. Heroes and Villains at Festival Leisure - FREE - 31st March - Join us for some FREE family fun this Easter at our Heroes and Villains event here at Festival Leisure Park. Get a selfie with Batman, joke around with The Joker and MORE of your favourite characters. Including a free Easter egg hunt.

23. The Ironworks Easter Party - £5 - 1st April - Join The Ironworks for an Easter Monday filled with crafts, games, an egg hunt, face-paints, dancing, singing and SO MUCH MORE.

24. Crafty Wednesday at Thames Chase - £3 - 3rd & 10th April - During this session there will be 4 crafts to choose from on the day: Quilling, book mark making, spring crowns and butterfly wing creations

25. Southend Family centres have a timetable of FREE activities over the holidays. Siblings are welcome along to stay and play sessions. Click here for Week one and Week Two timetables.

26. Eco Easter Day at The Victoria Shopping Centre - FREE - 4th April - Offering a delightful blend of Easter celebrations and outdoor activities including Easter bonnet making, egg hunt, seed planting, fairy and dinosaur gardens, pebble art, time capsule creation and nature sketching.

27. Hadleigh Farm Rare Breeds Centre - Adults £5.50, Child 3-16 £4.50, Under 3's FREE. (Opening soon) Animal feed is available to purchase on arrival for 40p per bag or 3 bags for £1.00. With animals, a play area and sand pit, you can certainly get a few hours of entertainment at the most local farm. 

28. Visit a museum - FREE - Most museums are free or ask for a small donation. 

29. Feed the ducks at Southchurch Park - FREE - (Remember bread is harmful to ducks so you could always take along some oats or cereal or pay £1 to buy some food from the eco-friendly duck feeder that was installed last year)

30. Visit a local park from our Out and About Category- FREE - From parks, playgrounds, woods and nature reserves. Take your pick!

31. Go Swimming at one of Fusion Leisure Centres 

32. Spend the day at Shoebury Common Park and the beach - FREE - Our favourite park in Southend and perfectly situated close enough to the beach to get a change of scenery after lunch and grab an ice cream at Uncle Tom's on the way past. Great for all ages!

33. Canvey Miniature Railway - Just £1 for a single ride or 6 rides for £5.00. Babes in arms aree free. Reopening on March 24th, then open every Sunday throughout the season. 

34. Visit Two Tree Island Nature Reserve - FREE - Two Tree Island is an ideal location for bug spotting and bird watching! Grab the kids a cheap bug hunting kit or make them a scavenger hunt and see what they can find!

35. Ride the cliff lift - FREE - The shortest funicular railway, run by volunteers. Ok so this is a very short activity and isn't enough to fill the day but can be a good focus to get out of the house during the holidays when you're trying to find something different to do! Make sure you check opening times beforehand.

36. Take in the views on top of Rayleigh Windmill - FREE - The grade II listed buildings is open on selected days and you can explore the windmill, join in the virtual tour and climb to the top with free entry. 

37. Hockley Woods - FREE - Hockley Woods is always guaranteed to be a good day out. As well as the woods, you have the large play area and sand pits for before or after your walk!

38. Just Ride Southend - £2.50 donation per rider, carers and parents of children riding are free and welcome to ride. 

39. Visit Hadleigh Castle - FREE - A perfect spot for the kids to let off steam and have a picnic.

40. Hadleigh bike park - FREE - With bike tracks for all ages, play areas and walking trails, you can easily spend a full day at Hadleigh Park.

41. The Gruffalo Trail at Thorndon Country Park - FREE - A firm favourite and you can follow the sculpture trail for free or pay £1 for a map. Cafe and picnic areas available!

42. Make use of any annual membership you have at Adventure Island or Sealife Adventure .You can also use your membership and get 50% off to play crazy golf at Adventure Golf. If you don't have an annual pass, check out our article for where to find discounted tickets.

43. The Peter Rabbit trail at Langdon Hills Nature Reserve - FREE - You can complete the trail for free or grab a map for £1 from the Visitor Centre. There's woodland, meadows, lakes and a museum of Plotland Life. No play area unfortunately but a great cafe! 

44. The Stick Man Trail at Weald Country Park - FREE - With over 520 acres of woodland, lakes, hay and wildflower meadows, deer park, kid's play areas, open grassland as well as the Stickman Trail, Weald Park is a great place for a day out. 

45. Thames Chase - FREE - Follow the new Gruffalo Party Trail completely free, by following the markers. You can buy an activity bag for £3 to complete some activities or take your own paper and crayons for the rubbing activities. Read our review here. There's also various activities running at Thames Chase over half term for an additional cost including Easter Box Decorating and Craft Wednesdays

46. Hyland's Estate - FREE - Spend the day at Hyland's in their award winning castle themed adventure playground and with 574 acres of parkland, there's lots of space for walks/picnics and ball games.

47. Hanningfield Reservoir - FREE -  Go for a walk, feed the ducks and play in the play area near the car park. At the Discovery Nature Centre, there is a cafe on site or picnic areas. Follow the Wind in the Willows trail for free or you can purchase a map from the discovery centre.

48.Maldon Promenade - FREE - The Promenade has everything you could want for a day out whether or not you choose to spend any money. With an impressive play area, sand pits, crabbing pool, skateboard park and BMX track. You can also pay to visit Maldon Petting Zoo or the Adventure Golf. 

49.Stubbers Adventure Centre - For the admission entry fee of £3 adults and £4 children (FREE for under 5's), you get access to Adventure play areas with a young adventurers area and a bigger play area for the older ones, woodland discovery trail and sand play and paddle beach. All other activities have extra charges however you can certainly get away with not paying for activities with the amount of activities already included in the entry fee.

50. Lathcoat's Farm - £4.50 (£5 on the day) 23rd, 25th-30th March, 2nd-6th, 8th-13th April - Take part in the Easter trail, complete the activity sheet as you meet the challenges along the Easter trail, then head to the farm shop to collect your prize. PYO fruit or use the cafe or farm shop and customers get FREE entry to see the farm animals and ride on tractors. A really lovely morning or afternoon.


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