I've had some fantastic feedback from the 101 Things to Do in Chelmsford This Summer with Children but I know that there are lots of you (me included!) with children under the age of 5. With normal classes and toddler groups not running through the school holidays and hordes of school age children invading all the normally quiet parks and soft-play centres it can be difficult to know how to cope with the long 6 weeks of summer and our children aren't even in school yet!
So to help you here is 'Chelmsford Summer Holiday Activities for the Under 5's'! Not all of these activities are exclusievely for the under 5's and it goes without saying that wherever you go it will be busy. But allow extra time, take a picnic to avoid queues at food outlets (and a rug to avoid frustration at the lack of picnic tables!) and just enjoy the sun. September will be here before you know it...
1. Natural Foundations are running a play cafe on various days over the summer. Natural play including games for all ages to play in the beautiful gardens with water play, mud kitchen, storytelling, along with lots of fun! (See our review of their regular sessions here).
2. Jester's Holiday Club in Bicnarce. Children from ages 3 and above are welcome and I've heard excellent reports.
3. Inflatable Fun at Hylands House 3rd-6th August. Under 3's will be given discounted entry.
4. Thorndon Country Park with Gruffalo Trail. If it is busy there is plenty of space here to get away from the crowds.
5. Promenade Park in Maldon. Avoid the pirate ship play area and head to the play area to the left of the sand-pit. This area is just for the under 5's. The sand pit is great but remember to take your own bucket and spade! The splash here is also fantastic and they do limit numbers so it's a great way to cool down on a really hot day.
6. Frinton Beach. With no amusements and pier this tends to be a quieter beach than nearby Walton and Clacton.
7. Oaklands Park has it's own dedicated under 5's area so is an excellent choice for a sunny day.
8. The Essex Libraries Summer Reading Challenge is something that all age groups can take part in. My 20 month old already has her first sticker!
9. Kids and Koffee is a soft play centre aimed at ages 8 and under.
10. Pickles Playhouse is a little further afield but worth a visit as it for ages 5 and under only.
11. Lathcoats Farm is great place to while away an hour or two. With animals to visit and a newly built natural play area, your under 5's will be entertained while you enjoy a coffee (and a piece of cake) from the Beeshed Cafe.
12. Play in the Park Held at various parks in Chelmsford on various dates, some welcome under 5's as well as older children; check the website for full details. Free!
13. Wild Wednesdays at Danbury Country Park. Free outdoor fun and games for all ages.
14. Tropical Wings is a great place to visit with the under 5's. Small enough to see it all in one day but big enough to have a wide variety of animals and birds. Also one of the cheaper 'day out' places in Chelmsford.
15. Chelmsford City Council Activity Courses. Some of these courses are available from ages 1 and up. Art and crafts, gymnastics and swimming are among them and they are run at 4 different centres across Chelmsford.
Please do leave a comment below if you know of anything else going on that I've missed out.
Enjoy the summer and I'll be writing a post for the beginning of September with a round up of pre-school classes and groups. If you have something you would like to include do let me know!