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Essex County Council

Essex Country Parks

Spooky family fun this Halloween

Join us at ‘Spooky Fun’ for family Halloween fun at Cressing Temple Barns. Pick your own pumpkin from Pete’s Pumpkin Patch to carve and take home and marvel at our contortionist and fire eater Johnny Strange.

Date: Monday 22 October to Friday 26 October
Time: 11am to 4pm
Price: £14

We also have Halloween drive-in movie nights and trails planned for our parks throughout Essex.

Christmas at Country Parks

‘Magical Grotto’ on 1 to 23 December; our award winning Christmas experience.

Date: Saturday 1 December to Sunday 23 December
Time: 10.00am to 4.30pm
Price: £24.95

Other events this autumn

With winter fast approaching, we are very excited with our fantastic events for all the family at Cressing Temple Barns:

  • Tudor Feast on 15 September: a Tudor banquet and entertainment.
  • Barn Dance on 13 October: heel-stomping and toe tapping dancing.
  • Apple Day on 14 October: a celebration of all things apple!

Please see our website for more information and how to book.


Play area at Belhus Country Park

An exciting music and performance themed play area has officially opened at Belhus Woods Country Park.

The new play equipment is designed especially for the park and visitors will see beautifully handmade and crafted features, although we suspect the children who visit will simply see the opportunity to play and let their imaginations run wild!

Red Squirrel Week – 24 to 30 September

If you visit Cudmore Grove, you may be really lucky and see one of the red squirrels that have been introduced to the island and make guest appearances in many of the resident’s gardens as well as the Country Park.


Volunteers play a vital role at Essex Country Parks, maintaining, managing and restoring valuable sites and habitats across the county as well as helping out in the offices and at events. You can volunteer in any of our country parks. Do as little or as much as you want – it’s all appreciated! Why not contact Country Parks for more information?

Forest School

We have lots of forest school options this term for all age groups:

Danbury Country Park
Mondays – Woodland Play for pre-schoolers
Thursdays – After School Club
Saturdays – Family Forest School for all the family

Thorndon Country Park
Fridays – Forest Friends for pre-schoolers

See our website for more details and how to book.


We’ve had a fantastic summer in Country Parks! To celebrate we are offering a Family Ticket for our very popular Spooky Fun Event at Cressing Temple Barns. To enter just tell us about the best thing you did in a Country Parks this summer on the Country Parks Facebook page and a winner will be drawn at random.

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