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Firstsite Colchester opens its doors from 20 July to enable Holiday Fun to return

15 Jul Firstsite Colchester opens its doors from 20 July to enable Holiday Fun to return

For the third year running, Colchester art gallery Firstsite is providing fun and free days out to North Essex children and their families where they can get creative, eat a healthy meal and enjoy physical activity through its hugely popular Holiday Fun programme.

This will be the first time the gallery has opened its doors since shutting on 18 March due to the coronavirus pandemic – this is the first step in Firstsite’s phased reopening plans. The date of reopening to the general public is expected to be announced shortly.
Starting from 20 July, and available every weekday, during the entire summer break (until 28 August 2020), children and their parents or care-givers can visit the gallery to take part in a variety of activities and receive a free nutritious lunch.

There will be free, socially-distanced opportunities for children to let off steam outside with Move, a series of movement-based activities, hosted by some of the coaching staff from Colchester United football club. Activities are most suitable for ages 4-11 but all ages are welcome.

Having worked up an appetite, the families can then tuck into a free nutritious hot meal in the gallery’s spacious and airy, Canteen.

“These free freshly-prepared lunches will be available to all families that feel they would benefit from them. Previously we have provided meals at no cost to families who qualify for free school meals, however due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are many families who although they don’t currently receive free school meals, will now be facing financial challenges, or experiencing severe social isolation or loneliness.” explains Firstsite Director, Sally Shaw.

She adds: “Over the past two years we have provided over 5,000 meals to families across Colchester and through this programme we have supported approximately 10% of the families living in poverty in the town. However, we anticipate a greater demand this school holiday due the coronavirus situation.”

“But this is why the Holiday Fun programme was instigated in the first place, to create the perfect day out for families during a school holiday. One that combines art, physical activity and nutritious food to help children stay happy, healthy and creative – fuelling bodies and imaginations in equal measure.”

At the end of each day, all the children taking part in Holiday Fun will receive a free creative activity to take home.

All the activities – indoors and outside – will follow Covid-19 security regulations and be carefully managed by Firstsite’s friendly and expert team to ensure everyone has a fun, comfortable and truly memorable day out.
Please note that, due to physical distancing guidelines, both Move and Canteen must be booked in advance either via Firstsite’s website at or by calling 01206 713 700.