South Essex is full of fun things to do with your family during the school holidays. Whatever the weather, take a look at our top picks for the best things to do while the kids are off school. Buy your tickets online 3+ days in advance and get from London to Southend for £12.10 return. You can now buy digital tickets with our app making your journey quicker and easier.

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Adventure Island

Adventure Island

Typically, we find any excuse to visit Southend’s (and probably Essex’s?) best attraction, Adventure Island. The thrill of the rides and buzz in the air that comes with a theme park, all make for a thrilling family outing. There are also activity areas, crazy golf courses, a massive soft play, music, and performances too, so there’s something for everyone.

  • When? Adventure Island is open on weekends and every day during half-term. You can check opening hours here
  • How much? General ticket prices vary from £20 – £30. Get the best value for money by buying your wristband online before your trip.
  • How to get there? Take the c2c train to Southend Central, and then walk approximately 10 minutes towards Southend Piers

Immersive Gamebox

Immersive Gamebox Essex

Grab 2-6 of your favourite friends or family and discover this exciting virtual reality arcade and gaming experience at Immersive Gamebox in Lakeside Shopping Centre. Their exciting VR activities include everything from the family-friendly Paw Patrol to older groups in the Psychedelic Mansion. Get tickets here to embark on a thrilling sci-fi adventure or challenge yourself to a series of arcade games.

  • When? Immersive Gamebox closes 8pm Sunday – Thursday and 10pm Friday and Saturday. Opening times vary so be sure to check their site.
  • How much? Their prices are based on a per-person, per-experience basis.
  • How to get there? Take the c2c train to Chafford Hundred, which has a direct link to Lakeside.

Nickelodeon Adventure

Nickelodeon Adventure in Lakeside Shopping Centre, Essex, is a must-visit destination for families and Nickelodeon fans alike. This immersive indoor theme park offers a unique and entertaining experience, bringing beloved Nickelodeon characters and shows to life. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of attractions, from thrilling rides to interactive games and meet-and-greets with their favourite characters. Visit Spongebob Squarepants in the Bikini Bottom, Paw Patrol in Adventure Bay and many other iconic Nickelodeon personalities. With its fun-filled atmosphere, engaging activities, and nostalgia-inducing moments, Nickelodeon Adventure guarantees a memorable and worthwhile day out for everyone.

  • When? 10am – 3pm (10am – 6pm during the school holidays) Monday – Friday, then 10am to 6pm Saturday – Sunday.
  • How Much? Standard adult tickets start from £5.99 and a child ticket starts from £12.99. You can view the ticket price list and offers here.
  • How to get there? Like all Lakeside activities, take the direct c2c train to Chafford Hundred.

Belfairs Woods

Belfairs Woods school holiday activities

Any encouragement we can give to get the kids in the big outdoors is always welcome. Belfairs Nature Discovery Centre puts on a wide array of events for all ages to explore the ancient woodlands. Visit their website for their other latest activities and events.

  • How much does it cost? Event costs vary. Please see Belfairs website.
  • How do I get there? Take the c2c train to Leigh-on-Sea, from there it’s a 1.5 mile walk to the centre of Belfairs Woods.

Sealife Adventure Southend

Sealife Adventure Southend

Come along and observe some of the swimmers from the deep seas at Southend’s Sealife Adventure aquarium. This aquatic motley crew ranges from colourful fish, stingrays, penguins and even a shark or two. But it’s not just water breathers you can see, there are also meerkats and monkeys for you to meet too. So splash out on a fun-filled day for your curious kids.

  • When? Located on the Eastern Esplanade of Southend-on-Sea, Sealife Adventure is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • How much? Ticket prices vary depending on age and group size. Buy tickets on their website for an online discount.
  • How to get there? Take the c2c train to Southend Central and walk approximately 15 minutes towards the pier and along the esplanade.

Kids for £2

Make sure to get your Kids for £2 train tickets and take them out for less on weekdays over the holiday.

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