Christmas holiday round-up

Essex 2020 - A Year of Science and Creativity logo with added Christmas decorations

Looking for things to do and see during the festive break? There is plenty of activity from around the Essex 2020 programme and beyond.


Signals – Christmas Animation Workshop Dec 21st

Create a festive animation for friends and family using stop-motion techniques at this Signals seasonal special workshop for age 7+.

Build a set, mould characters out of clay, use toys, paper and card and any other Christmas props you have around the house to create an animation.

Learn more and BOOK HERE.

Coding for Girls Sundays and Tuesdays, weekly

Southend Tech, Essex Steamettes - Lights

Join Southend Tech and the Essex Steamettes for online activities for girls aged 9-19 who want to learn creative coding, digital art, engineering.

Sun 2-4pm – Learn Python, code drones, meet women in tech and more.
Tues 5-7pm – Simpler Scratch coding for the Chelmsford Light Parade.

Learn more and BOOK HERE.

Southend Tech and Essex Steamettes Winter Coding 2020

Winter Coding 2020 Dec 28th – Jan 1st

Join Southend Tech and the Essex Steamettes for a week of family coding sessions over the Christmas holidays. Sessions take place at 11am-12:30pm and will cover activities for a wide range of ages and abilities. Plus get involved in the Essex 2020 3 Words Challenge – Scratch coding style!

Check for the latest updates and BOOK HERE.


If you are based in tier 2 Colchester, Firstsite is still open and has many amazing events and activities over the festive break. There are exhibitions, film screenings and an ice-skating rink (17th-23rd Dec).

Check with the venue for the latest Covid safety updates and please don’t visit if your area is in tier 3 – Firstsite has an incredible offer of online resources and activities that you can partake in from home.


Competitions and challenges

Essex Coast Art Competition
This competition, launched by Visit Essex, invites you to submit your artistic interpretation of your favourite coastal place in Essex. It’s free to enter and the closing date is Jan 31st.

CSES IMAGINE! STEM Environmental Challenge
Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society (CSES) hopes to encourage the young people of Essex to become aware of the (mainly human) activities which result in pollution and IMAGINE! ways in which it can be reduced or eliminated. This Challenge is open to year 6 and 7 pupils and closes on March 26th.

The Green Shoots Writing Competition
The Essex Book Festival presents the Green Shoots Writing Competition, an eco-themed, short-story contest for young writers aged 18-28 to showcase their talent and get the opportunity to meet a literary agent. Submissions are open until March 31st.

Activities and resources

We have a growing number of resources – here are a small selection.

Snow White and the Naughty Elf
The last in a series of Travelling Natural History Museum online workshops for Essex 2020 had a festive theme. Watch a recording of the workshop and download instructions for a seasonal crafting activity.

Matipo STEAM On! Resources
Explore the natural world, outer space, food, transport and more through art and drama. A huge resource of 30 videos and accompanying worksheets from Colchester’s Matipo, made especially for Essex 2020.

Jack the Artist STEAM Video Resources
Videos featuring fantastic art and design project ideas with tips and instruction from multi-disciplinary artist and educator Jack Cornell.

Circus Science GCSE Science Resources
Innovative learning resource from Little Stars Circus, who demonstrate scientific concepts (in line with the national curriculum) using beautiful videos of circus and aerial arts. Each video contains an accompanying downloadable teaching and learning resource.


Photon Smasher
A unique gift for music, sound and science fans of any age. The Photon Smasher is a musical instrument, developed by Colchester’s CLIP, which allows you to listen to light! Discover a hidden world of music with this solar panel microphone and learn the physics of light and sound. This innovative instrument is a bargain at just £45.

Toddler STEAM Experiment Jars
An ideal gift for a toddler or parent looking for fun, educational activities. You can make your own or buy one and help raise money for Children In Need. Each jar contains instructions and the main ‘ingredients’ needed for five pre-school appropriate STEAM experiments.

We wish you a happy and safe festive break.