Loading Events

Upcoming Events

Find Events
  • This event has passed.
June 25, 2023 @ 10:55 am - 4:00 pm
  • Midsummer Madness

Midsummer Madness

Family Fun Day at Cressing Temple Barns


Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road
Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD

Midsummer Madness – Family Fun Day, Cressing Temple Barns

Pack your picnic and favourite teddy bear and make a beeline for what promises to be a magical day at Cressing Temple Barns. Storytelling, theatre, poetry, eco-crafts, comics, coding, and mud pies galore in our pop-up forest school, what’s not to like!

Free entry and parking – no booking required.

Some events and workshops do need to be booked, see below for more details.

Sunday 25 June, 11am – 4.00pm

Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Braintree, Cressing, Essex, CM77 8PD

Fountain at Cressing Temple Barns



Performances and Poetry in the Majestic Barn…


SOLD OUT – Ensonglopedia presents: The Puddle at the End of the World

Weird weather! Extraordinary extinctions! Freaky flooding! Water we going to do?! Jamie and her Nanna’s home has disappeared under rising sea levels – join them on an exhilarating adventure to rebuild their lives and stop climate change. Ensonglopedia’s brand new musical comedy is aimed at ages 6-12, and suitable for all.

Tickets: Free, booking essential

John Agard – When Creature Met Creature

Join legendary author and performance poet John Agard who will delight us with a selection of readings including his 2022 children’s book When Creature Met Creature. Sure to be warm, witty, generous, and flamboyant, it is not to be missed! In association with Renaissance One. Family friendly event, most suitable for children 4 years+.

Tickets: £5 per child, accompanying adult free, under 4’s free



Fantastic and FREE…

Drop-in, no booking required

Earthlings Tent:

Writing for Nature workshops with Earthlings author, Ray Star
Make a Giant Peter Rabbit Sculpture out of rubbish
Coding Workshops
…and more

Story Camp and Foraging Arts & Crafts with master of folk and fairy tales, fables, myths and legends, storyteller Shane Ibbs

Eco-writing with environmental writer and artist Wendy Constance

Mud Kitchen

Teddy Bears Picnic

Pop Up Storytelling Armchair, including storytelling by Rob Jelly, Sade Fadipe, Bernadette Rogers, Kate Trethewey and more

Flower-weaving, Storytelling and Fairy Door Trail in the Walled Garden with Glenys Newton and Lynn Excell

Pop-Up Library Book Tent and Storytelling


The Satellite Re-Wilding Workshop with Lily Hunter Green
FREE, drop-in

Viewing Google Earth satellite images of Essex, participants will then design their own healthy satellite landscape: including all of the essentials to attract wildlife and the creation of biodiverse and pollinator friendly ecosystems (water sources, woodlands/trees for shelter, wildflower strips around fields, healthy soil mounds for animals to inhabit etc).

The workshop will then involve the group collaborating on a large-scale 3D and textural satellite image: a ‘patchwork’ made out of redundant carpet tiles and other recycled found materials. The Satellite image of the local landscape created by the participants must be as biodiverse as possible. Using new Earth and Space technologies an image of the work will be taken from above using a drone.



Kindness Zone with Heads2minds
FREE, drop-in

Heads2minds are a local charity who offer mind-set coaching, mentoring, mental health/wellbeing training and a range of holistic therapies, including mindfulness, animal assisted therapy and creative art therapy.

They aim to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing and offer support to anyone experiencing mental health challenges. Their mission is to reduce the stigma around various mental health disorders by promoting a better understanding, helping create a world in which anyone experiencing mental health challenges feels safe, understood and respected.

Join Heads2minds in the Kindness Zone at our Midsummer Madness Family Fun Day at Cressing Temple Barns on Sunday 25th June, 11am-4pm. Free, drop-in activities will include:

Beads of Courage – friendship crystal bracelet-made with a twist
Magic intention jars
Positive affirmation spells
Discover how essential oils can boost your mood
How to Listen effectively .. Create your listening tool..



Heads2minds logo


Wonderful Workshops…

Midsummer Madness strip

Top Writing Tips – Sam Scott

Sam Scott, author of the spooky Sophie Spirit trilogy will be giving Top Writing Tips for how to design and develop a believable character, how to build a plot arc and the importance of using varied vocabulary. For ages 7-13.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free

Fun Stories From Far Away – Sade Fadipe

Have fun with Essex-based teacher and writer, Sade Fadipe, as she shares her book A Fun ABC – a story about Adanah who goes on an alphabetical adventure, visiting her grandfather in a far-away place. Told in claps, familiar rhymes and rhythms and with art & craft activities too, this is bound to be fun! For ages 4+.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free

The Importance of Oceans – Charlotte Sebag Montefiore

Deep down in the ocean blue, there are many surprises waiting for you! Solve some Riddles from the Sea with author Charlotte Sebag Montefiore. Then join in the fun family quiz! For ages 5-9.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free

How to Write a Super Story in 3 Easy Steps – Catherine Emmett

Award winning author Catherine Emmett will use her book, The Pet, to explore How to Write a Super Story in 3 Easy Steps, from a brilliant beginning, and a magnificent middle to an excellent ending. For ages 7-11.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free

Singing Like Larks Nature Workshop For Families – Andrew Millham

Join nature and folk history writer, Andrew Millham, to uncover the remarkable relationship between birds and traditional folk music in Singing Like Larks. Try your hand at some Forest School skills, connect with nature and go bug-hunting. For families, all ages welcome.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free

Create your own Climate Show with Ensonglopedia!

A creative workshop in telling stories about our planet through theatre, music and puppetry. For ages 7-12.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free

Comic Art Masterclass – Kev F Sutherland

Kev F Sutherland writes and draws for Beano, Doctor Who and Marvel comics, and makes graphic novels adapted from Shakespeare. Learn everything he knows, so you could leave school and steal his job! Take away your own comic + individual caricature. For ages 7+.

Tickets: £3 per child, accompanying adult free


Eco-Podcasting Workshop – Michelle Durant, Chelmsford Community Radio

We are in a climate emergency! Focusing on environmental themes, explore how to research and write content, undertake interviews and join them all together to make a big impact, with CCR broadcaster, Michelle Durant. For ages 14+.

Tickets: £3



All those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.


Photography and Filming

We will be filming and taking photographs at this event for promotional use, to post on our website and Social Media, and for documentation. If you do not want to be recorded please let us know at the Essex Book Festival Welcome Desk on arrival.



Midsummer Madness is kindly funded by the Essex County Council Arts and Cultural fund

The Essex County Council Arts and Cultural fund has been designed to help organisations and practitioners to deliver a broad and exciting range of work and activity to engage with and bring residents together.

The arts, cultural and creative projects supported by the Essex County Council Arts and Cultural Fund, will contribute to the Levelling UP Essex Strategy and play an integral part in enabling the objectives of Essex County Council’s wider objectives as set out in Everyone’s Essex.

#ArtsCulturalFund and #EssexArtsandCulture


Our climate-related activity, including our Hear My Voice project is funded by the Climate Action Challenge Fund.



Arts & Cultural Fund logo colour

Explore-Essex logo

Cressing Temple Barns

Chelmsford Community Radio logo

Manifesto For Essex logo

Essex County Council logo red (Climate Fund)


Cressing Temple Barns
Witham Road
Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD
+ Google Map


There are two disabled toilets on site. Level access to all areas apart from Stables, Bake House and Granary. A mobility scooter is available to loan if booked in advance.