The Christmas countdown officially begins on Sunday, November 28, which is the first day of Advent, and there are lots of events in the area that are perfect for a family day out.

With Covid restrictions more relaxed than they were last year, event organisers are looking to make up for lost time.

Here’s a round-up of Christmas events taking place in Epping and Harlow ahead of the big day.

Epping residents must be on Father Christmas’ good list because he is visiting the museum twice this year.

Families can have a go at Christmas craft and explore the ‘Game Plan’ exhibition while they wait to visit the grotto and receive a special gift from Santa on Saturday, December 4 and Tuesday, December 7.

As Christmas approaches, the club classics party nights will go ahead in Harlow on Thursday, December 3.

The event will take place in Harlow Town Football Club and attendees will receive a hot and cold buffet.

As part of Waltham Abbey Town Council’s Cavalcade of Light event, Epping Forest District Museum is holding a late opening event.

Join in for an evening of festive fun, refreshments, live entertainment, and a light display, before the town lights are switched on and the procession begins on Friday, November 26.

Harlow’s Christmas Wreath Making Workshop located at The Chequers Matching Green is back on Wednesday, December 8.

A glass of Prosecco will be offered on arrival followed by the workshop at 7pm.

Tickets are £45pp including all the supplies and are available to purchase online.

Epping adults are also invited to an evening of wreath making at the Waltham Abbey Community Centre on Thursday, December 2 or, alternatively, Thursday, December 16.

Tickets are on sale now for £21.50, including all materials.

Harlow U3A Choir will be performing a Christmas recital followed by a general sing-song.

Christmas nibbles and punch will be available at the Harlow Rugby Club on Sunday, December 12.