Need something to do with the family? Fancy watching some live music or popping to an art gallery? We've gathered together a host of events going on this weekend in Essex.

1. War memorial exhibition

At 10am on Saturday, St Laurence's Church in Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend, will host the mayor and other dignitaries for the opening of a new exhibition commemorating the First World War.

2. Great Pier Swim

This exciting swim organised by Havens Hospice is back for its seventh year and remains as one of the most unique sea swims in the UK.

This iconic route will see you swim directly through the structure of the worlds longest pier.

This is a challenging 3.3k route from Chalkwell Beach to Jubilee Beach in Southend with views of the infamous Southend seafront on one side and the pretty Kent countryside over the water.

3. Gallery opening

Saturday also sees the official opening of the Beecroft Gallery at the old Southend Central Library in Victoria Avenue. 

4. Kirste memorial race 

The third running of the Kirste Memorial Race in memory of former Essex policewoman and Benfleet RC runner Kirste Snellgrove takes place on Sunday. 

From 10am, runners will arrive at Grove Wood Primary School in Rayleigh for the event. 

5. Southend Carnival Dog Show 

Pampered pooches and their owners are invited to Priory Park, Southend, from 11am on Sunday for the Southend Carnival dog show. 

6. Reece Hawley fundraiser

From 1.30pm on Sunday, the Quays pub on Basildon's Festival Leisure park will host a fundraising event for Reece Hawley. 

Reece, 21, of Clayhill Road, Basildon, has been appealing to the NHS to pay for life-extending treatment after it cut funding for a drug he needs.

7. Battlesbridge Classic Ford Show

Battlesbridge Classic Ford Show will be held on Sunday between 10am and 5pm at the Battlesbridge Antiques Centre.

For more details visit

8. Inflatable fun day 

Shoebury East Beach will have inflatables this Sunday from 11am until 4.30pm. Costs £6 for over three-year-olds and £3 for under threes. Weather permitting.

9. Sunday stroll 

Join one of our experts to discover the wonderful wildlife on Thurrock's Rainham marshes reserve. 

This is the perfect opportunity to improve your identification skills, meet like-minded people and walk off that Sunday lunch! 

You can explore this lovely nature reserve throughout the year, and get close to the amazing wildlife. There are a number of hides that give great views of wildlife, even without binoculars. 

The paths and boardwalks are good so you can explore throughput the year, visit our adventure play area, enjoy a nice cuppa and homemade cake in our cafe, or join one of our fabulous family activities or events. 

Don’t worry if you’ve not been here before – we can tell you about the reserve and where to walk, and families can borrow a wildlife challenge sheet.

And of course there’s the wildlife! Butterflies, dragonflies, bees, birds, water voles, marsh frogs and lots more!

Starting at 1pm is costs £5 adults and £2 children. 

10. Cat rehoming show

Parklands Nursing Home 21- 27 Thundersley Park Road, Benfleet will host a cat rehoming event on Sunday from 1.30pm until 4pm.

Please use the comments section to add your own event or you can schedule an event for any day in the future in our dedicated events section here