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Published: 01 December 2023

10 free things to do this winter

Looking to find fun things to do with the family? Well, you don’t need to spend money to have a good time. Discover ten free activities to do in and around Redbridge with your family this winter.

No. 1 Walk the Wanstead Park loop 

The Wanstead Park loop is 3.4km and takes you through the park’s river and ponds.

This is a popular area, so for those of you seeking some solace, it’s best to go at less typically busy times.

The AllTrails website shows the exact route, as well as reviews of the walk. You can also view other nearby walks on their website. 

The starting point of the walk is at the following address: 

52 Northumberland Avenue 
E12 5HA 

No. 2 Visit Hainault Forest Christmas Market

Visit Hainault Forest this Christmas season for a magical celebration at the Christmas Market. Stroll through the barn and be delighted by selection of small local business stalls.

If you’re feeling hungry, be sure to stop by at the cosy 1856 Cafe and warm up with a nice cup of tea or coffee, accompanied by delicious cakes, pastries and seasonal treats such as mulled wine and mince pies.

For those who love crafts, our craft units will be open for some christmas crafting fun! Christmas music will fill the air for a festive ambiance for all to enjoy this winter. Event will be held in Foxburrows Barn and surrounding café and craft courtyard.

Visit the Vision website for more information. For enquiries, email

No. 3 Visit Valentines Mansion 

Valentines Mansion was built in the seventeenth century for Elizabeth Tillostson, following the death of her husband, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The mansion and gardens were restored in 2009, and you can visit the garden (and the Mansion’s rooms) for free between 10.30am to 4pm on Mondays and Sundays.  

Find out more on the Valentines mansion website

No. 4 Learn about the local history 

Redbridge Museum is the best way to learn about this Essex borough, that was created in 1965 by the London Government Act 1863. 

The museum includes exhibits on the area’s rural past, examples of typical homes over the years, and home videos and newsreels from World War II up to the present.

There’s even more to see once you get inside and you’ll find lots to learn about Redbridge’s past, present, and future.

More information is provided on the Vision website. 

No. 5 Explore on wheels  

Whether you’ve got a bike, scooter, wheelchair or skateboard – you’ll explore further and faster on your wheels, and it’s also a fun way to exercise.

Feel the wind on your face and chase your shadow through the trees.

Find out more on the cycling pages.

No. 6 Visit our libraries

Redbridge libraries offer a haven for book enthusiasts, students in search of a peaceful study environment, or anyone seeking respite from the brisk autumn weather.

Our libraries offer an enormous array of books, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi.

Visit our libraries page to find out more

No. 7 Go swimming

The end of summer doesn't mean you have to stop swimming. By taking advantage of Redbridge's swimming pools, you can relieve stress, improve cardiovascular health, build muscle tone and have fun!

Find out more about the swimming pools in Redbridge.

No. 8 Rainy day, welly day

When it's pouring with rain, what could be better than throwing on your wellies and waterproofs and splashing around in the puddles?

You just need rain, some waterproof clothing, wellies and yourself.

If you're running around, you could jump in puddles, squelch in mud, splash through paths and bounce across pavements around the park.

No. 9 Visit Kenneth More Theatre

Kenneth More Theatre, with its rich history dating back to 1975, provides a gateway to the world of performing arts, whilst still offering affordable prices. This theatre is a hub for local creativity and expression - there is always something exciting going on here!

No. 10 Fly a kite

When there's a bit of wind in the air it's the perfect time to enjoy kite flying.

Flying a kite is probably one of those things you think about doing when you're on holiday. But you can fly a kite anywhere if there's a bit of wind and an open space.