Things to do in Essex, April 2022

Summertime Live

Summertime Live - Credit: Summertime Live

Holly Louise Eells rounds up the best events and things to do in Essex this April, from Easter activities to gigs and festivals...

Audley End Miniature Railway

Audley End Miniature Railway - Credit: Audley End Miniature Railway

1. Easter Spectacular at Audley End Miniature Railway, Saffron Walden

Audley End Miniature Railway in Saffron Walden reopens this month with its Easter spectacular. From April 2-18 it will be hosting a variety of fun activities. The adventure will begin on its miniature train, which will ride deep into the enchanted woods to visit the Easter Bunny and his furry friends. On your route through the magical woods, your next stop will be The Easter Trail.

Here, you can wander through various pathways to spot springtime animals, nests and eggs! However, the fun doesn’t end there - kids can visit the play area and nature corner, whilst parents tuck into delicious refreshments.  

Date: April 2-18

Time: First entry 9.20am; last entry 3.20pm

Tickets: £17.50 and £8.50 for children under 92cm

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Address: Audley End Road, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JB

Website: audley-end-railway.co.uk 



2. The Only Meet Is Essex Festival, Orsett

The Only Meet Is Essex festival is back with an array of Volkswagen cars, campers, buggies and wacky custom builds to admire. There will also be music, refreshments, independent stalls and a brand-new children’s territory.  

Date: April 29- May 2 

Time: Friday 10am-Monday 12pm

Tickets: From £25

Address: The Orsett Showground, Orsett RM16 3JU 

Website: vw-tomie.co.uk



3. Easter events at Essex Wildlife Trust, Essex-wide 

Looking to entertain the children during this Easter? The Essex Wildlife Trust is hosting a variety of events across its sites, including invasive species archery in Ingrebourne, Fingringhoe Wick’s den building and fires, pond dipping in Abberton, and a wildlife wanders walk in Belfairs. 

Date: April 1-30 

Website: essexwt.org.uk/events  


The Wizard of Oz by KD Theatre

The Wizard of Oz by KD Theatre - Credit: J Heron Portal Works

4. Easter Pantomime, Harlow

A pantomime show at Easter? Join leading creative venue and KD Theatre Productions for its classic family-friendly pantomime, The Wizard of Oz. This spectacular show is jam-packed with jokes, larger-than-life characters, dance routines and flamboyant scenery.

From April 1- 5, join Dorothy as she embarks on an adventure over the rainbow where she makes new friends: the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the cowardly Lion. But will Dorothy find her way home with the Wicked Witch of the West watching her every move?  


Date: April 1-5

Time: 11am, 2.30pm &7pm across the various dates

Tickets: From £12

Address: Harlow Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Harlow CM20 1LS

Website: harlowplayhouse.co.uk



5.Sylvia Paul Textile Art Exhibition, Maldon

A painter and textile artist for more than 40 years, Sylvia Paul is showcasing her beautiful textile art in Maldon, where she attended Plume Academy school in the 1970s.

Her innovative artworks are either hand or machine stitched, and created with remnants from the Sudbury silk factories or kimono silk. 

Date: April 14-May 3  

Time: Tuesday to Saturday 11am-4pm

Tickets: Free

Address: Maeldune Heritage Centre, Maldon, CM9 4PZ 

Website: maelduneheritagecentre.co.uk 

Altea McNish

Altea McNish - Credit: Mark El-khatib

6. Althea McNish: Colour is Mine Exhibition, Walthamstow

As part of the BBC Art That Made Us Festival for Spring 2022, The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is hosting the Althea McNish: Colour is Mine exhibition. From April 2 this insightful exhibition will celebrate one of the UK’s most innovative textile artists and the first designer of Caribbean descent to achieve international recognition. 

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1924, Althea moved to the UK in 1950 and attained a postgraduate textiles degree at the Royal College of Art. Her painterly designs incorporated natural botanical forms from Britain and the Caribbean, challenging the mid-century British textile design. 


Date: April 2-September 11

Time: Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm

Tickets: Free entry, donation encouraged

Address: Lloyd Park, Forest Road Walthamstow, E17 4PP

Website: wmgallery.org.uk 



7. 90s Dance Party, Southend-on-Sea 

Adults, there is Easter fun for you too! Southend is hosting many of your favourite 90s acts, including The Vengaboys, S Club and 911. There’s also a 90s dance arena and much more. Bring on the nostalgia! 

Date: April 15

Time: 2pm-11.30pm 

Tickets: From £16.75

Address: Garon Park, Eastern Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 4FA 

Website: visitsouthend.co.uk



8. Railway Easter Egg Hunt, Epping

Easter wouldn’t be complete without an Easter egg hunt, and this is the longest hunt in Essex!

Jump on board the Easter Express event for lots of excitement, including face painting and visits from the Easter bunny. Booking is advised. 

Date: April 15-18 

Time: 10am-4.30pm

Tickets: £18/£10/£47 adult/child/family

Address: Epping Ongar Railway, CM5 9BN 

Website: eorailway.co.uk 

Summertime Live

Summertime Live - Credit: Summertime Live

9. Summertime Live, Basildon

Who says you have to go abroad to enjoy the Ibiza festival experience? Summertime Live is hosting its mammoth musical event on April 29 at Gloucester Park in Basildon. It aims to capture the classic Ibiza ambience with its live 32-piece orchestra, which will play some of the biggest dance anthems of the last 30 years. 

Expect a variety of DJs, fashion and make-up stalls, an abundance of bars and street food vendors and much more. For those who have missed live music, this is a great opportunity to dance the night away! This event is strictly over 18s. 


Date: April 29

Tickets: From £38.50

Address: Gloucester Park, Basildon

Website: summertimelive.co.uk 


10. The Elves & The Shoemaker Show, Coggeshall

This well-loved tale has been recreated by the Theatre of Widdershins. Performed in the 18th century Coach House, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy the beautifully crafted set and puppets, delightful music, a kaleidoscope of miniature shoes and a comic mouse!


Date: April 17

Time: 1pm

Tickets:  £10-£12

Address: The Coach House, Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall CO6 1TG 

Website: markshall.org.uk