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February half term fun around Chelmsford

Whats On This February Half Term 2024

Need inspiration for things to do with your family this February half term? With the holidays just around the corner, here is a list of wonderful events coming up in Chelmsford.

Chelmsford Book Week: a whole host of fun activities

Book worms unite! From 1923 February, Chelmsford For You will be celebrating books in creative ways with Chelmsford Book Week.

Throughout half term, books will be hiding at various locations around the city centre, just waiting to be found… 

It’s all to play for as once a book is found, it’s yours to keep! Each lucky book finder will also have the chance to win £100 worth of book vouchers for their school/pre-school.


The week's book related activities include:

  • A visit from Willy Wonka
  • A golden ticket giveaway at The Confectionery shop
  • Magical story-telling sessions
  • Arts and crafts fun with local artists
  • Fairy-tale face painting
  • A super fun book trail, complete with 50 books and five £100 book vouchers to be won!

Clues on where the books are hiding will be released via Chelmsford for You's social media pages every day, so keep your eyes peeled!

Enjoy a jam-packed Open Estate Day at Hylands

Hylands' next Open Estate Day is this Sunday 18 February, 10am–3pm: just in time for half term!

Visit the Drawing Room for engaging storytelling by Mike Dodsworth at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2pm. Take a trip over to The Library to discover interesting facts about weddings and royal visits with Hylands’ social history exhibition. And, in the Banqueting Room, you can create Valentines-themed paper crafts!

Hylands Open Estate Day

There will be an irresistible Vintage Afternoon Tea (with unlimited tea and coffee) in the Terrace Room from 2.30–4pm. Please book this in advance to avoid disappointment.

If you'd like a tour of Hylands House there are two to choose from: the first tour begins at 10am and the second at 1pm. To join, head to the welcome table, just inside the front doors of the house, where the friendly Hylands team will greet you.

Other activities include the Hylands History & Gardens multimedia tour; simply pick up a handset at The Stables Information Point and you're all set to explore the beautiful Pleasure Gardens in a brand-new way.

Food and crafts galore

Urban Food Fest is back at Hylands House, bringing together a tempting selection of street food and craft markets.

Or, if you fancy a sit down, why not relax at Hylands’ popular café, The Deli? Food is served between 8am and 3.30pm every day, and coffee and cake until 4pm. Whilst you eat and drink, you can also enjoy musical stylings from Hot Box Live!

We can't let you forget about Go Ape!

Swing, zip and climb through the half term week at Go Ape! Go Ape at Hylands offers three adrenaline-filled high ropes activities: Treetop Challenge, Treetop Adventure and Treetop Adventure Plus.

Every course is suitable for all ages. So, go on and challenge the whole family to have a go at the various high-speed ziplines, tricky tree-to-tree crossings, and exhilarating free-fall Tarzan Swing!

Sound like your thing? Book now via the official Go Ape website.

Join The Twitchers Museum Adventure to win prizes!

Visit Chelmsford Museum between 10 and 25 February, anytime from 10am–4pm, to take part in a special Twitchers Museum Adventure challenge. 

Join birdwatching detectives, The Twitchers to discover beautiful birds and other animals at the Museum. The Twitchers Museum Adventure is brought to you by Kids in Museums and Walkers Books, and is completely free!

You will be given an activity sheet to complete – your task is to find the birds and make a pledge to protect all wildlife!

The Twitchers Museum Adventure

If that wasn’t enough excitement, anyone who partakes will earn themselves a chance to win one of five bundles of the complete Twitchers series collection! Find out more about this unique competition via the official event page.

To fuel your adventure this half term, why not stop by The Hive café for a bite? The Hive offers an extensive menu, full of fresh, tasty and locally sourced food.

Discover your artistic side at Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford Museum is giving you the chance to show off your artistic skills with Art Week workshops!

Create your own scrap art book and experiment with different mediums: choose from watercolours, pastels, charcoal or pencils, all inspired by the local artwork on display at the museum's Open Art exhibition.

Feb Half Term Art

These free workshops are running from 19–23 February and are open to all ages. Session times each day are as follows: 10.30am–12pm and 1.30–3pm. You can find the temporary exhibition space in the Wells Suite, situated on the ground floor of the museum.

All workshops will be drop-in style and places are on a first come, first served basis.

Sporty fun this half term

Chelmsford City Sports is offering holiday camps and activities galore for 4–16 year olds over the half term week!

Running across Riverside Leisure Centre, South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre and Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre, activities include everything from ice skating to athletics, parkour to pool inflatables.

Chelmsford City Sports

15% sibling discount is available on selected courses and for families, there are family-only swim sessions at Riverside and South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre, plus family ice skating at Riverside's rink. 

Keen to know more? Watch the video below for what to expect.

Joyful entertainment at Chelmsford Theatre

Take part in a theatrical makeup masterclass

Join industry expert Taylor Phillips for a fascinating theatrical makeup masterclass at Chelmsford Theatre on Tuesday 20 February.

The masterclass will showcase how to create stunning makeup looks and give you the chance to have a go yourself! Then, learn how Taylor Phillips forged her path in the makeup industry with a Q&A.

Theatrical Makeup

There are two masterclasses currently on offer:

  • Junior masterclass for 711 year olds: 10am12pm
  • Senior masterclass for 1216 year olds: 1pm3pm

Interested in learning about theatrical makeup? Capacity is limited, so make sure you book your space now.

You’re invited to Peppa’s Cinema Party!

Celebrate Peppa Pigs’ 20th anniversary with a dedicated cinema screening at Chelmsford Theatre Studio on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 February (times vary).

Featuring the familiar voices of Katy Perry as Ms. Leopard and Orlando Bloom as Mr. Raccoon, sit back and laugh along to a fun-filled episode of the 3-part Wedding Party story.

Bring your favourite snacks and join Peppa and friends for an epic party! Book your seats before they go via the Chelmsford Theatre website.

Unleash your inner diva with Pop Princesses live

Pop Princesses is a brand-new children’s pop concert with a difference! Get ready for a musical spectacular on Thursday 22 February, starring four fabulous fairy tale princesses who just love to sing.

Pop Princesses

Featuring a soundtrack of pop hits from the likes of Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor and Miley Cyrus, plus all the best songs from well-known films and musicals.

Tickets are selling out fast, so make sure you grab them while you can!

Visit Chelmsford Indoor Market for a free bead-making workshop

Chelmsford Indoor Markets' very own Bertie's Beads is offering a free bead-making workshop on Friday 23 February! This fun-filled, crafty workshop is suitable for children of all ages.

Sessions run from 10am–12pm and 1–3pm in the seating area of north hall, behind the bike and flower stalls. Children are challenged to get creative and create pretty jewellery using the vast selection of colourful beads on offer.

Feel free to drop-in any time during either session. Please note: children need to be supervised at all times.

Activities for kids at Chelmsford Library

Chelmsford Library is offering plenty of low-cost and free activities for kids (age range varies depending on the workshop) from this Saturday (17 February) until the end of half term week.

See the current schedule below:

Saturday 17 and 24 Feb, 2pm: Block Builders Construction Club (free)

Sunday 18 and 25 Feb, 11am: Pens and Puzzles (free)

Monday 19 Feb, 2pm: Drama workshop (£5)

Tuesday 20 Feb, 1pm: Explore Learning maths workshop (free)

Wednesday 21 and Friday 23 Feb, 3pm: New parents' rhymetime (free)

Friday 24 Feb, 11.30am and 1.30pm: Magic Dave's Magical Mayhem (£3)

Please note: both Drama and Magic Dave's Magical Mayhem workshops must be booked in advance.

To find out about more upcoming events at Chelmsford Library, please visit here.

The fun doesn’t end with half term...

Have you heard the word on the street? Between 28 February and 10 April, Beat the Street is coming to Chelmsford and South Woodham Ferrers!

Beat the Street is a free programme all about getting active and having fun along the way. Challenge yourself to walk, run, cycle and/or scoot over the six-week course, and you may just find yourself winning some cool prizes!

Find out more about how to get involved with Beat the Street here. You can also watch this video for an insight on how to play.

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Lia Salacuri
Lia Salacuri

Lia writes about what’s on in Chelmsford.