Essex Mums Newsletter November 2014
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Bonfire Night  *  Essex Mums Shop  *  Christmas Shopping Guide  *  Festive Fun  *  Meet Father Christmas  *  Events  *  Product Reviews  *  New on the Shopping Guide  *  Craft Ideas  *  New Classes and Groups   *   Competitions
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Hi everyone, hope all the kids and babies have had a lovely half-term and enjoyed Halloween. Come and enter our Halloween Fancy Dress competition if your kids dressed up (you can see my 'orrible lot on the right hand side! This month the newsletter will be focussing on Bonfire Night events across the county and a few festive ideas as I know a lot of you are already making Christmassy plans!

Please feel free to use the buttons below to add your own event, business etc:
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!
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Essex Baby Show highlights for 2014 include:
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  • Beautiful Baby Photo Competition
  • Massive Prize Draw
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Bonfire Night
As long as the weather holds out, most families across the county will be off to some sort of Bonfire celebration this weekend or next, so here is a list of fireworks nights near you.

I'm sure there are some I haven't discovered so if you know of one that isn't listed here, please email me the details on and I'll get it added or just add your event here. Likewise, check the Fireworks page for any updates. 
1st: Barking & East London Round Table Charity Fireworks Display
Barking Park
Gates open at 5.30pm, display at 8pm. There will be live entertainment from 6pm, featuring Britain’s Got Talent finalist Molly Rainford plus Sam Knight and Jazz Blaack

8th: Crowlands Golf Club Firework Display
Crowlands Golf Club
Fully undercover firework display in Romford, near Dagenham at Crowlands Heath Golf Centre Saturday 8th November 2014. Tickets only. 
1st: Basildon Fireworks Spectacular
Basildon Sports & Social Club Gardiners Way Basildon Essex
This is a firework display raising money for St Luke's Hospice. Tickets are £5 each however Under 5's GO FREE! There will be bouncy castles, climbing wall, candy van, candy floss, burger vans, bar

1st & 2nd: Toddler Twilight Fireworks
Barleylands Farm Park
There'll be an earlier display time at 6pm and plenty of snap, crackle and pop but no scary big bangs! Our Toddler Twilight Fireworks will be a special evening of colourful quieter fireworks and a roaring bonfire (lit at 5pm)in the Barleylands Farm Park especially for our younger visitors. A lovely family friendly atmosphere with no tears from the little ones! We'll also have fairground rides (at an extra charge), and visitors will be able to visit our farmyard friends and play in the playbarns.

1st: Wickford Rotary Club's Firework Display
Wickford Memorial Park
Gates open at 6pm, bonfire lit at 6.30pm, fireworks at 7pm. 

5th: Basildon Round Table Fireworks
Holy Cross Recreation Ground
Refreshments, DJ etc. over £10,000 worth of fireworks and ALL FOR CHARITY!

8th: Billericay Round Table's Charity Fireworks Event
Lake Meadows
By far the biggest fireworks display in the area, the event is eagerly awaited by many across Essex and beyond, with literally thousands of enquiries for tickets and information coming through the website. In 2012, we posted online tickets out to NINE counties! The event is held in the grounds of Lake Meadows Park, Billericay, which provides a magnificent backdrop over the lake for the grand display.
1st: Fireworks Night with Barbecue 
The Bell at Panfield
£12 Available now or on the gate 

5th: Grand Fireworks Display
Braintree Rugby Club
This event has a roadshow, fun fair, barbecue, outside bar, hot beverages, and once again the award winning and much travelled Funky Voices Community Choir singing.

7th: Fireworks at Notleys Golf Club
Notleys Golf Club
Bonfire, fireworks, hot food, licensed bar, disco until late.

8th: Family Fireworks
Riverhall Oaks Golf Club
Our yearly family firework display and BBQ. Come along and enjoy the display, watch from under cover (so if it rains you'll be dry)

8th: Firework Display
Kelvedon St Mary's School
Doors open 5.45pm, fireworks start 7.00pm

8th: Great Bardfield Annual Firework Display
Great Bardfield Recreation Ground
Annual Firework display with £2K of fireworks being let off. Hot food/ licensed bar and local DJ

8th: Richard De Clare Primary SchoolAnnual Firework Spectacular
Halstead Town FC
Gates open at 5.30 for 6.30 start. Refreshments available. £5 for adults, £3 for children, under four free. Come and have a great family fun filled evening!

8th: Witham Round Table Charity Firework Display
Witham Rugby Club
Bonfire 6.30pm. Fireworks 7.30pm Fair. Refreshments. Bar. Stage
5th: Fireworks Night at The Brentwood Centre
The Brentwood Centre
The best fireworks in Brentwood return for another explosive evening. Our famous fireworks night returns with a funfair, children’s display and full display.

7th: Fireworks Display
Holly Trees Primary School 
15-minute professional fireworks display from Fireworks Crazy. Food - Drinks - Live Music - Glow Toys - Guy Fawkes Competition. Join us for a fun filled community fireworks evening for the entire family. Advance tickets: Â£5 per adult, £2 per child, Under 2's FREE. Door tickets: £6 per adult, £3 per child. Under 2's FREE

8th: Ingrave Johnstone School Fireworks Display
Button Common
BBQ/ tea tent / novelties and tuck. Gates open at 5pm, bonfire lit at 6pm, firework display at 6.30 pm
1st: Firework Fiesta 2014
Waterside Farm Showground
Gates open 6pm

5th: St Katherine's C of E Primary School Firework Display 
St Katherine's C of E Primary School
A family friendly event with a Professional Firework Display, Wednesday 5th November. BBQ, Glow Toys and Refreshments available. 

7th: Hadleigh Infant and Nursery School Fireworks
Hadleigh Infant and Nursery School
Gates open 5.30pm
2nd: Family Fireworks Display
Marsh Farm
An evening of fun for the whole family: Marsh Farm animals, free kids' rides, food, live music and lots more.

5th: Bonfire and Fireworks Display
The Warren Country Club 
The Annual Warren Bonfire and Fireworks Display will happen as usual on Wednesday 5th November. Adults will be charged just £3 to enter whilst children under the age of 12 will be free.

5th: Friends of Rettendon School Firework Display
Lazybones Car Boot Sale Site
Gates open at 5.45pm and there will be plenty going on for the children to enjoy before hand and this year we will have more hot food/drink stalls. 

7th: Fireworks Spectacular to Music
Chelmer Valley High School
A night to remember -join us! Advance tickets are available from the school, local shops and B Ellis on 01245 468717. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Limited parking available, bar-b-que, bar, refreshments, and side stalls

8th: Chelmsford Fireworks
Admirals Park
For 40 years Round Table has run the only fireworks event in Chelmsford where ALL profits go to local charities. Enhanced fireworks display along to music and lights. New family orientated Food market with a choice of Chicken Shack, Hog Roast, Salad Bar along with the traditional choices 
Fully licensed and serviced bar refreshment serving mulled wine, hot toddies, beers and wine along with hot refreshments.

8th: Danbury Fireworks
Danbury Outdoors
Beer Tent - Fun Fair - Giant Bonfire - Food Outlets - Live Stage Entertainment
5th: King Coel's Kittens Fireworks Spectacular 
Castle Park
For 2014, King Coel's Kittens fantastic annual firework display returns to Castle Park for what is set to be another amazing spectacular.

7th: Old Heath Primary Fireworks Display 
Old Heath Primary School
Fireworks Display, BBQ, sparklers area (sparklers must be bought at venue) and more. Gates open at 6 pm, fireworks at 7.30 pm. Entrance to display via Abbott's Road.

8th: Colchester Heathlands School Firework Display
Colchester Heathlands C of E Primtary School
Fund raising for the school. Fireworks, barbecue and hot drinks, real ale, music. Gates open 5.30pm, Bonfire 6pm 

8th: Fireworks Display
St Peter’s School
Gates open 6.00pm, Fireworks at 6.45pm. Barbeque and hot drinks available. 

8th: The Hare and Hounds Firework Display
The Hare and Hounds
Rides for children on the green. Stall selling sparklers and glow in the dark bracelets. BBQ. Drinks stall. Face painting and glitter tattoos - courtesy of Roos face painting (6-9pm). It's going to be a fun night for all the family!!! 
1st: Abridge Firework Display & Bonfire Night
Abridge Village Hall
Grand Firework Display, Kids Guy Competition, Funfair, Food Stalls & Licensed Bar. Car Parking available. Gates open at 5pm, Grand Firework Display at 7.30pm.

1st: St. John’s Firework Display
St. John the Baptist Church
Bonfire and Firework Display. Doors open 18.00hrs. Bonfire 18.45hrs. Firework Display 19.00hrs. BBQ and other refreshments available throughout. Tickets on the door, in advance from St. John Parish Office 

7th: Ongar Fireworks Spectacular
Chipping Ongar Primary School
Stalls, rides, hot food & drink, mulled wine and a beer tent. Organised by Ongar Round Table, raising money for local charities.

8th & 9th: Guy Fawkes Festival & Fireworks
Royal Gunpowder Mills
Where better to see fireworks go off with a bang than at a Gunpowder Factory. The spectacular event features the gunpowder plot story with re-enactors from the period, engaging craft activities and the hugely popular ‘Ghost of Guy Fawkes’ children’s play all culminating in a fabulous 15 minute fireworks display.
2nd: Bonfire and Fireworks Night 2014
Harlow Town Park
The night’s celebrations will begin from 5.30pm with a funfair and the Heart 101.7 music roadshow hosted by breakfast show presenters Martin and Su.The Chair of Harlow Council Councillor Ian Beckett will light the bonfire at 6.45pm. A 20-minute fireworks display will start at 7.15pm. 
1st: Fireworks Evening
St. James Church
Our Annual Firework Display. Refreshments are also available in the Hall.

7th: Nelmes Primary School Firework Display
Nelmes Primary School
Bigger & Better Fireworks Display at Nelmes Primary School. Refreshments & rides available come join us, its a great family event.Last year we SOLD OUT so to avoid disappointment get your tickets in advance. 

8th: St Mary’s Catholic Primary school Fireworks night 
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
Gates open at 6.30. Display will start at around 7.15.

8th: Upminster Junior and Infant School Firework Night
Upminster Junior and Infant School
1st - 2nd: Fireworks Weekend
The Othona Community
A dazzling display of fireworks is the centrepiece of this popular weekend when our huge Essex sky becomes a riot of light and colour. Music, festive food and a bonfire on the beach add to the excitement.

8th: Guy Fawkes Night and Bonfire Celebrations
Promenade Park
Maldon's Rotary Club spectacular fireworks display set to themed music against the backdrop of the river in the Promenade Park.
5th: Barkingside Fireworks Display
Barkingside Recreation Ground
Spend Bonfire Night at the Barkingside fireworks display and watch the skies above Ilford and Barkingside lit up in a loud and colourful pyrotechnics show.

Harriet Ellis Training and Recruitment Group are currently looking for Trainee Dental Nurses to take up positions in the Essex Area. In order to fill a position in a Dental Practice you will need to enrol onto the National Diploma in Dental Nursing Course. You could become a fully qualified Dental Nurse in just one year! 

Harriet Ellis is one of the biggest providers of the National Diploma in Dental Nursing and offers this course across the UK, with a pass rate of 96%!

No experience is necessary to take part in this opportunity to work either full/part time and whilst studying just one evening a week!

Please call 01708776050 to speak to a training consultant.

1st: Fireworks Display & Bonfire
Belchamps Scout Activity Centre
This display is open to the whole community. This firework display has been running for the last 30 years and is the biggest and best in the area. There will be entertainment, inflatables, refreshments, games, stalls, food stands, the best display in the area and a huge bonfire.

8th: The Rayleigh Lions Firework Spectacular
King Georges Playing Field
Childrens rides, food stalls. Gates open 5:30 pm, performance by Funky Voices Choir 6:45pm, display starts at 7:30pm 
1st & 8th:  Seafront Firework Spectacular
Adventure Island
Part of the Big Saturday Night Out

1st: Heycroft Fireworks Spectacular
Heycroft Primary School
Bonfire and fairground rides

5th: Hamstel Schools Family Firework Evening
Hamstel Primary School
Gates open 5pm, Display at 6:30pm 

7th: Blenheim Community Fireworks
Blenheim Primary School
Includes refreshments and entertainment

8th: The Big Beach Bang
East Beach
The Fireworks Spectacular will see thousands of pounds worth of fireworks launched into the night sky. We have a great DJ and a thrilling Fun Fair plus much more.
1st & 2nd: Free Guy Fawkes Firework Display
Clacton Pier
Looking for a FREE Fireworks display in Essex? Then remember, remember to experience our FABULOUS and FREE fireworks extravaganza on Clacton Pier. Enjoy a host of awesome activities and some explosive entertainment - noon and late evening, including: live music, our ever popular radio roadshow, fun competitions and prizes.

1st: Hamford Primary Academy Firework Display 
Hamford Primary Academy
Professional display, rides, hot & cold drinks, BBQ, soup, candy floss, toffee apples and so much more! 
2nd & 5th: Bonfire and Fireworks Display
Orsett Showground 
Bonfire and Fireworks Display with Fun Fair

5th: Roof Top Fireworks
Thameside Nature Park
Come along and watch the neighbourhoods fireworks displays from our rooftop viewing deck. Enjoy the thrills,, whizzes and bangs from a perfect view point.
1st: Saffron Walden FREE Fireworks Display
Saffron Walden Common
Gates Open 6:00pm, Display 7:00pm

7th: Felsted Primary School Fireworks Display
Felsted Primary School
Traditional fireworks night with jacket potatoes, barbecue and drink and a merry-go round too.
Gates open at 5.30pm and the display starts at 7.30pm

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Essex Mums Shop

New goodies added to the Essex Mums Shop this month and still more to come! It's a fantastic place to buy lovely goodies from small businesses in Essex and beyond, and features all sorts of things you won't find on the High Street. Great if you want to get some early Christmas shopping in for the whole family. If you are interested in selling some of your own products through the shop, please get in touch -
Christmas Shopping Guide
If you need more ideas than you can find in the shop, our Christmas Shopping Guide is now full of lovely gift ideas for the whole family: make sure you take a look at the Alternative Shopping Guide and the Product Guide for some ideas for unique and unusual presents for the whole family, and check out some the lovely shops that are listed there. Many are small businesses run by parents just like us, so not only are you buying a lovely gift, you're also helping small often local businesses stay alive! Yay! If you have your own shop and would like to be featured, please get in touch - listings start at just a pound!

Festive Fun
It might be a little early to be getting Christmassy, but as the month progresses I know many of you will be starting to think a bit more about it, so would like to devote a bit of newsletter space to all the fantastic festive fun there is to be had. If you're thinking of planning things to do nice and early, take a look at our Festive Fun page, which has listings for all sorts of Christmassy events:

It's not too early to get your children booked in to see the big man in red. Whether you want to meet him at a local bazaar or go all out for a winter wonderland, you'll find it listed here. You can find a few below but keep checking our Meet Father Christmas page as more places announce when they will be visited by the one and only (ahem) Santa Claus this year.
Chadwell Heath Baptist Church
  • A Crafted Christmas Fair: Are you looking for gifts that are not on the high street? Handmade quality items created with love and care? Head over to A Crafted Christmas Fair which will be bursting with amazing handmade items. We will also have a delicious Caribbean menu and refreshments as well as a Santa's Grotto (£1 entry) for the children to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift.
Dagenham Trades Hall St Mary's Church 
  • Christmas Table Top Sale and Santa's Grotto: St Mary's yearly Christmas Event. With Christmas just round the corner come and do some christmas shopping while the children see Santa. Face painting, cake stall, sweet stall.
Altons Garden Centre
  • Santa at Altons: Come and visit Santa's enchanted winter wonderland, Once you enter the winter wonderland you will walk into a snowy land, you will see our Santa band playing and singing where Father Christmas awaits to see you in his magical grotto. Father Christmas will present each child with a lovely gift plus a seedling Christmas tree for you to plant in your garden and you can watch it grow for years to come.
Barleylands Farm Park
  • Barleylands Craft Village Festive Fair:  Looking for Christmas presents with a difference? Find unique handmade gifts for your friends and family at Barleylands Festive Fair Weekend. The sixty plus Craft Village studios will provide festive inspiration and gift ideas galore including unique personalised pieces.
  • Meet Father Christmas: Children will love meeting Father Christmas in his festive grotto and choosing their special gift from his toy shop. Plus they can make a fun snowman gift in our craft session. It's great value with a full day of fun in the Farm Park and all the magic of Father Christmas.
The Billericay School Langdon Country Park
  • Santa in the Woods: It's that magical time of year again. Meeting at Westley Heights, join the rangers and friends on a themed walk through the woods, ending at Santa's log cabin with presents for the kids.
The Wick Community Centre
  • Christmas Market: here will be a large range of stalls suitable for all and we are sure Father Christmas will make an appearance.
Baytree Garden Centre
  • Christmas VIP Intro Evening: A fantastic opportunity to be one of a limited number of exclusive guests at our Christmas VIP evening. As well as being one of the first to view our famous Winter Wonderland and Grotto, you can enjoy our award winning Christmas displays and get 10% off all decorations and lights.
  • Tea With Santa: A roast turkey dinner with potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Served with a drink of your choice on the night.  Festive music, crackers and fun with Santa and "Reinhard the Reindeer".Then it's off to Winter Wonderland for a crowd free walk and straight in to see Santa for a gift and real tree.
Colne Valley Railway
  • Steam with Santa: Santa travels on board our luxury Pullman train with a present for every child.
Cressing Temple
  • Father Christmas: A magical Christmas grotto for all the family to enjoy. Meet Father Christmas and his reindeer friends and see the elves at work as they magically prepare for Christmas.
DeVere Primary School
  • De Vere Primary School Christmas Fayre:  Our traditional Christmas Fayre is a great way to kick start your advent! With festive make & do, pocket money games, Christmas gifts, carol singing, mince pies, hot chocolate with all the trimmings and a FREE visit to Santa for every child, it's not to be missed! 
The Grove Shopping Centre
  • Cairngorn Reindeer with Father Christmas: Father Christmas  in his sleigh pulled by real life reindeer from the Cairngorns in Scotland. Following the parades see the reindeer in their stable within the mall.
  • Santa's Grotto:  See Father Christmas and receive a quality present.
White Court Primary School
  • Christmas Fair:  Huge event with Santas' Grotto, mulled wine, refreshments, fun school stalls, trade stalls and a craft room for children to make presents for the family!
Chicken and Frog
  • Visit the helpers' grotto:  Meet Santa's helpers in our beautiful grotto! There will be a small gift for every child who visits our grotto!
Weald Country Park
  • Santa’s Grotto: Meet Santa in his cosy indoor grotto. Whisper your Christmas wish list and get a present to take away. He might even have brought some of his furry friends! Our cafe will be open and serving festive drinks and food. This is a first come first serve event, with a queuing system.
Hadleigh Country Park
  • Santa’s Celebrations Trail: Santa’s preparing a party to thank his elves and helpers, but he’s so busy at Christmas that he needs your help if he’s to get everything ready in time. As you guide yourself through the woods, there are both characters and challenges to meet before you reach Santa’s grotto
Leisure Island Fun Park
  • Christmas Wonderland: Leisure Island Fun Park in Canvey Island is being transformed into a Christmas Wonderland. Meet Mother Christmas in her home, then off to make gingerbread men in the kitchen, and the toy factory to help the elves make some toys. From there its off to see Santa.
Richmond Hall
  • 5th Thundersley Scouts Christmas Craft and Gift Fair: Full of Festive Fun and Spirit , our Christmas Craft and Gift Fair with Santa's Grotto is a great place to buy many handcrafted, unusual and affordable Christmas gifts. Including added fun and games for the kids, and a Christmas craft table.
The Salvation Army
  • Craft Market: Stalls of hand-made items including toys, knits and sewed goods, photos and pictures, home and garden items and a Christmas stall and much more. Refreshments available. Live entertainment including our children's choir, brass band and timbrelists. A "make your own card" craft table for the children plus facepainting and Father Christmas.
Camelot Day Nursery
  • Let it Snow: Lots of fun for the families, all welcome, Mince pies and Mulled Wine, Reindeer pony rides, Santa’s Grotto, crafts, games and much more.
Chelmsford Miniature Railway Hylands House & Estate
  • Santa's Grotto: Grab a handful of magical elf dust with Timbo, Santa’s head elf from Santa’s workshop. As he tells you the story of ‘’The Night Before Christmas’‘ he will also train your children how to be an elf to help Santa, along with Christmas balloon modelling, lots of Christmas fun and prizes!
The Marconi Club
  • Christmas Fayre: Great family event to get you into the festive spirit, and supports local charity. By supporting this Christmas event you are making a difference by helping to raise funds in the fight against cancer. The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Christmas Fayre 2014 will have stalls selling gifts for friends, family and the home, festive treats, food and drink. Special visitors... Father Christmas and a very special snowman.
Marsh Farm
  • Winter Wonderland:  Come and visit the Winter Wonderland at Marsh Farm this Nov/Dec 2014 as elves, reindeer, toy-makers and of course the Big Man himself invite you for a magical experience, the whole family is sure to love. Visitors are welcome to stay all day and explore the farm outside of their scheduled experience times. ESSEX MUMS LOVE.... BEST CHRISTMAS EVENT 2013
RHS Hyde Hall
  • Children's Magic of Christmas: Join us for this fun glue & glitter workshop where you can make cards, angels and decorate biscuits. You can also write a letter to Father Christmas and give it to him at one of the storytelling sessions
Castle Park
  • Reindeer Dash: Don your reindeer antlers and red nose to take part in this festive fun 5km walk in Colchester Castle Park, with a chance to see Santa and some real donkeys!
Coggeshall Grange Barn
  • Medieval Christmas Market: Learn how Christmas was prepared for and celebrated in Medieval England, browse the market for that special gift and see Santa in his grotto.
Colchester Castle
  • Christmas Open Evening and Market: A chance to hear music and carols, meet Santa and enjoy the festive atmosphere. A market will take place around the outside of the castle where you can pick up some great gifts and munch on hot food and drink.
Colchester Zoo
  • Breakfast with Santa: Join us this Christmas for a truly magical experience with 'Breakfast with Santa'. Accompany the chief elf to wake up Santa in his house and help him get ready for his busy day ahead.
  • The Magic of Christmas:  Meet Santa himself in his Enchanted Christmas Grotto, meet Santa’s real, live reindeer at his stables, enjoy the staff mini-pantomime of ‘The Gingerbread Man’, rock with Rudolph to some favourite Christmas tunes and lots of other additional festive events!Indulge in tasty festive treats from the Elves' Kitchen and make Christmas crafts with the Elves in their busy workshop!
East Anglian Railway Museum The Institute Hall Poplar Nurseries
  • Breakfast with Santa: What better way to start the day than with a hearty festive breakfast and a story with Santa.
  • Christmas Charity Night: Bring the whole family along to our wonderful grotto. Plenty of stalls selling a variety of goodies.
  • Santa's Grotto:  You will be met by one of Santa's elves who will direct you into a breathtaking grotto where you will meet Santa
  • Supper with Santa: Give yourself the night off, have dinner cooked by a talented chef and eat with Santa!
Epping Ongar Railway
  • Santa Specials:  Santa is coming to the line to hear Christmas wishes on the trains and to give all the good girls and boys a present. Good Mums and Dads get a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine too. Special fares apply and advance booking is strongly recommended, with tickets soon to be available to purchase. Please click on the link above for further details and to book.
Lee Valley Park Farms
  • Farmtastic Santa:  Get in the festive mood and book your chance to see Santa in his grotto at the farms this Christmas! You will also get to meet our festive friends the reindeer and say hello to many of our other farmyard residents. This is all after enjoying a family trip to Santa's Grotto, with a special present for children to take home!
  • Santa's Christmas Party:  Come and join Santa for his annual Christmas party for the kids.  Santa will be holding a Breakfast/Brunch buffet and meeting children between 2-12 years old. Kids will get an opportunity to take part in Christmas cupcake decorating and walk away with a small gift. 
The View
  • Santa's Grotto: Book onto our magical Christmas weekend to meet Father Christmas.
Parndon Woods
  • Santa's Grotto: Come see Santa in his grotto and take part in the Christmas fun in partnership with Harlow Council

Play together whatever your age

Looking for somewhere fun to spend time with under fives? Den's Play Den is the place to come. Offering fun activities for all ages, including an under five time for parents/carers with children under five years of age, Tuesday and Thursday mornings 10.00am - 11.30am. During the session there is a dedicated song and rhyme time, soft play and messy play, refreshment time together, free play and fun.
First session free!
Church Hall United Reformed Church, Bradleigh Avenue, RM17 5DX
Phone: 07806739959

Ardleigh House
  • Winter Wonderland Spectacular: A huge Christmas event for the local community to enjoy a fun family day out. A santas grotto, live music, children's fairground rides, meet and greets with some of your favourite characters as well as lots of stalls and some yummy food. The perfect start to December to get everyone in the festive mood!
Chadwell Heath Baptist Church
  • A Crafted Christmas Fair:  Are you looking for gifts that are not on the high street? Handmade quality items created with love and care? Maybe you have a special occasion on the way or you want to treat yourself?  We will also have a delicious Caribbean menu and refreshments as well as a Santa's Grotto.
The Chafford School
  • Charity Christmas Gift Fair and Funday: Come and join us for a day of fun and shop for all your Christmas needs. Meet Santa in his grotto and tell him what you want for xmas! Or meet our Disney princess lookalikes in our photo booth!
  • Myplace Christmas Market:  Enjoy browsing through our many stalls, selling gifts, decorations, delicious treats and lots more enticing items. Make time to visit Santa's Grotto, take your little angel to play in our 0-5yrs Soft Play room, take part in a variety of fun and daring Games, challenge a friend on the Dance Mats and lots more....
North Romford Community Centre
  • Christmas Spectacular Fair! (Frozen theme!): Meet and greet Princess Elsa and have a photo with her by Pandora Images! Meet and Greet Santa in his very own grotto! Face painting, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, food, entertainment all available on the day!
Romford Shopping Hall
  • Santa's Grotto: Our Christmas Grotto will open on Thursday 13th November at 3.30. Santa will be there every Saturday and Sunday until 21st Dec and every day until 24th December. Proceeds will go to Bedrock Hospital Radio.
Burnham-on-Crouch Town Centre
  • Burnham on Crouch Festive Fayre: The Festive Fayre was set up to support local businesses. it is away of bringing shoppers to the town to do their Christmas shopping instead of heading off to the large shopping centres. We have street entertainment and a Festive Market with the street filled with stalls supporting local shops and artists. Santa visits and gives presents from the Clock Tower grotto, Brass Band plays Carols.
Mangapps Railway Museum
  • Santa Train Rides: Board a steam train bound for Santa Central at Mangapps Railway Museum in Burnham on crouch.
Museum of Power
  • Santa Special: Miniature steam train rides to see Father Christmas with a present for children included in the cost.
Chadwell Heath Baptist Church
  • A Crafted Christmas Fair: Are you looking for gifts that are not on the high street? Handmade quality items created with love and care? Head over to A Crafted Christmas Fair which will be bursting with amazing handmade items. We will also have a delicious Caribbean menu and refreshments as well as a Santa's Grotto (£1 entry) for the children to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift.
Edward Francis School 
  • Christmas Craft Family Fayre: There will be a variety of crafts for your younger and older children to enjoy and take home with them. Parent participation required!  Luckily, Santa has agreed to join us so come and pay his grotto a visit. In the main hall there will be lots of shopping vendors selling some great last minute presents not found on the high street for you all to purchase.
The Fun Factory
  • Christmas Party Weekend: Celebrate Christmas in style with an extra special Fun Factory weekend. For festive fun and season's cheer, the only place to be is here! With extra special appearances from Santa.
  • Peppa Pig Christmas Party: Come dressed in a costume to win prizes. Christmas music, free sweets, free face painting, free balloon modelling. With extra special appearances from Peppa and Santa.
Hockley Town Centre
  • Hockley Christmas Lights Switch On: Hockley Christmas Lights Switch-on Event with Christmas Market Stalls, Hog Roast, Mulled Wine, Charity Stalls, Various Food & Drink Stalls, Face Painting, Punch & Judy, Father Christmas, Stage Entertainment and Fireworks Display. Stage Entertainment to include various choirs and diverse dancing exhibitions. Local shops open.
Our Lady of Ransom School The View Garden Centre
  • Santa's Grotto: Laural our barn owl is helping Santa this Christmas. Come and meet them both and receive a lovely souvenier photo and gift
Adventure Island
  • Adventure Wonderland: Father Christmas and all his Elves are back for another festive treat for all you good boys and girls!
Chalkwell Park Methodist Centre
  • Christmas Bazaar: Come and join us at our Christmas Bazaar. A wide variety of stalls: gifts, crafts, plants, jewellery, home-made cakes, toiletry gift baskets, Christmas items, Christmas Activity packs for children, books, tombola, soft toy tombola & chocolate tombola, various games for children and raffle. Father Christmas will be there for Story Telling.
Funky Monkeys
  • Funky Monkeys Christmas Party!: We will be making Christmas tree decorations, gifts and Christmas cards, along with painting, gluing, festive play dough, making crackers, Christmas biscuit decorating, Christmas gift stockings, sensory fun, snowflakes, stars and angels, holly and 'mistletoes', snowmen and reindeer's, balloon ball pit, Christmas songs and dancing and a visit from FATHER CHRISTMAS and his elves!
Sealife Adventure
  • See Santa: Come and SEE SANTA at Sea-Life Adventure in his exciting Christmas Grotto!
Southend High Street
  • Christmas Spectacular & Lights: The celebrations get underway with the Southend Christmas Spectacular. There is a day full of entertainment on a specially constructed stage at Victoria Circus, including the award-winning Funky Voices Choir, Glitterball band and BGT Sweet Chix before the big Heart FM switch-on at 6pm
Southend Pier
  • Santa on the Pier: Come and visit Santa on the Pier in his winter wonderland. All children will receive a free gift and entry includes a free ride on the Pier train with an accompanying adult.

Thorpe Greenways School
  • Christmas Spectacular: Thorpe Greenways Christmas Spectacular. FREE ENTRY and open to everyone who wants to come along we'll be having an Ice Skating Rink, Christmas Craft Stalls, Special Santas Grotto.
Toddler Sense
  • Toddler Sense Christmas Party: Our fabulous Christmas parties include lots of festive cheer and activities, seasonal refreshments, a present from Father Christmas as well as face-painting, a photographer and so much more.
All Saints Church
  • Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival: A visit from St Nicholas (Sinterklaas), who will come in his horse and carriage bringing gifts, scores of lit and decorated christmas trees, gift shop. pantry, cakes and refreshments, hot chestnuts, mulled wine, quiz, music and carols.
Bradfield Community Centre
Clacton Pier Frinton Chapel Pre-School
  • Christmas Family Fayre: Come and get in the Christmas Spirit at our Family Fayre! Lots of fun stalls including Lucky Dip, Face painting, Biscuit decorating, Toy sale, Cake stall, Christmas craft, Guess the name of the Snowman!.....and Father Christmas has promised to visit with his Elf!

  • Thorpe Christmas Festival: Santa's Sleigh starts the event at 6pm and travels along The High Street (Frinton end) to Thorpe-le-Soken WI Hall (Colchester end) where he will be delighted (there is an entrance fee) to meet children in his Grotto. On his way through the village he will pass: Street entertainment, Dancers, Singers, Brass Band and a variety of Stalls.
Barnards Miniature Railway
  • Santa Specials: Father Christmas will again be visiting the BMR and handing out presents to good girls and boys. Good Mums and Dads get a free drink in the barn. Avanced booking is required.
Chafford Gorges
  • Winter Wonderland: Walk through our magical wonderland and meet Father Christmas, receive your gift, Christmas craft workshop, Sit in Santa’s Sleigh where you can take your own photos
intu Lakeside Thames Chase William Edwards School and Sports Centre
  • Move It Dance School Christmas Fayre: Father Christmas, arts and crafts for the children to make and do. Glitter tattoos, face painting, loombands, Tombolas . Lots of lovely stalls for your christmas shopping needs.
  • Christmas Parties: Join us for a fantastic Christmas Party. The elves are already hard at work to make sure your children have an amazing fun packed Christmas holiday.
Audley End House and Gardens
  • A Victorian Christmas: Help celebrate the festive season the Victorian way at Audley End. Step back in time to the 1800s and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Victorian Christmas. Meet the family as they prepare the house for Christmas, and step into the hustle and bustle of the kitchens as Mrs Crocombe and the Gamekeeper organise Christmas dinner. Craft your Christmas wish list and hand it over to Father Christmas in return for a yuletide treat!
Audley End Minature Railway Hatfield Forest
  • Father Christmas Trail: Follow the trail through the woods to find Father Christmas in his grotto.  Gather craft items along the trail that leads you to Father Christmas in his grotto. Make a festive picture in the classroom. Gift, craft activity, drink and a biscuit for each child included in the ticket price.
Market Street
  • Christmas Shopping and Craft Event:  An day of shopping and an evening of fun and shopping in Saffron Walden Town Centre. Seasonal Market (all day), Father Christmas, etc. Most shops stay open late. Christmas Gift Fair in the Town Hall, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.
Newport Village Hall
  • Footlights Christmas Fayre: A great fun family afternoon out - entertainment for the kids while you do your Christmas shopping. Including meet and greet with Elsa from Frozen, and winter workshop.

BoBo Baby Wear. Inspired, beautiful baby wear and gorgeous baby accessories at good value prices. Bows, flowers, bloomers and pettiskirts in fabulous fabrics and prints. 
For wonderfully versatile, stylish outfits for our very small friends who simply must have the very best..... For something a little bit different, look  what we have for you.....
Follow us on twitter @mybobobabywear &    
Lots going on this month! You can find full listings on the Things to Do section but click the area below to find out what's on near you. Oh, and remember to say you saw it on Essex Mums!
Product Reviews
Product reviews added this month! You can see a bit about each of our reviewers here, or can go straight to the reviews here.
Wizards & Witches Halloween Festival at Marsh Farm

You can always guarantee a good day out at Marsh Farm, but when they have a special event going on, it’s even better. My family are big fans of the place, my kids are always keen to visit the farm for the day because they know there is something for them all. 
Read Louise's full review

Diono Easy View Mirror

For the first few weeks of babies’ lives everything happens in a blur, but I am pretty sure that I stared at my baby 24/7, making sure she looked happy and healthy and not about to have an absolute melt down. 
Read Georgina's full review


Gumigem teething jewellery offers a range of accessories for parents and carers to wear that babies can safely and effectively use to chew on whilst they are teething
Read Helena's full review

Organix Finger Food Red Pepper Hearts

Sam (now two years and two months) was keen on the Organix crisps when he started eating finger foods, as a baby. His passion for them has clearly not completely dissipated. He recognised the branding on the Red Pepper Hearts immediately (slightly alarmingly!) and got pretty excited.
Read Clare's full review


Potty training has not been an easy journey for us and my youngest son.  He is now 42 months and we have decided to try potty training again.  When he first saw the LumiPotti, he was very impressed with it.
Read Jenny's full review

New on the Shopping Guide
Check out some of the gorgeous new shops added to theAlternative Shopping Guide this month:

Are you ready for Christmas? Tiny Posers Studio presents Christmas Mini sessions. It’s never too early to get ready to make Christmas cards and also it’s a great excuse to update your family photographs. Christmas is often a time of a year when people are  running out of ideas or struggling to find a perfect present for their loved ones. Tiny Posers Studios’ amazing Christmas Mini session will help you with a beautiful and unique gift that will be cherished forever! A family portrait or a beautifully framed image of grandchildren is always the best present for grandparents. A mini photography session is a wonderful way to capture some treasured memories and a great opportunity to get fantastic presents that are always deeply appreciated. Please click here to book your spot.

Craft Ideas
Our Craft Ideas section features arts and crafts for children of all ages. Just click on the image to find out how to make it! If you have any ideas, or would like to write a regular feature for this section, please get in touch!

New Classes and Groups

A selection of new information about classes and groups added this month.  Some are brand new to the site, some just have updates about new venues, details etc.Take a look at the Things to Do section for complete listings.

Parent and Toddler Groups 
Updated Children's Centres Timetables 
Groups for Older Children 

Everything else
As always, please send any events, feedback, ideas etc. to me at I love hearing how people use the site and ways I can improve it. The normal newsletter will be back next month - I hope you've enjoyed this overview of the website!

I hope you have a lovely month and that I'll get to see you at a meet-up soon.

Kind regards
Fantastic things to win! Enter one of our great competitions or get in touch if you would like to run something yourself. New competitions are always being added so make sure you check the competitions page for new giveaways, and get in touch if you'd like to run a giveaway yourself. 

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