The Great Big Art Exhibition – Take part in the largest exhibition ever staged!

While the doors to our art galleries and museums are shut, let’s use our front windows, balconies, gardens and roofs to celebrate the creativity and resolve of the nation, as we continue through the COVID crisis.

Download your pack here

Making your visit safe

We look forward to welcoming you back through our doors on 3 Dec! Have a question whilst we are closed? Take a look at our Frequently Asked questions

Although Essex has moved to the High Tier COVID alert level, you can still enjoy loads of fun, covid-safe things to do this winter at Firstsite! See what’s on

Please follow government guidelines and only visit in your household or support bubble.

Please scroll down to find out more about our new way of visiting, and what to expect when you arrive.

In response to feedback from our visitors and our team, along with the latest official advice, we have put a number of measures in place to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

We ask that you help everyone to enjoy their visit safely by following the guidance below. If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home.

Good To Go England logo

We meet the Good To Go Industry Standard. Find out more

Arriving at Firstsite

There is no need to book, however our team will be carefully monitoring the number of visitors in the building. At busier timers you may be asked to queue. Please ask a member of our team for a seat if you are unable to stand for prolonged periods.

As Essex is in the High Tier COVID alert level, please only visit with members of your household or support bubble.

All visitors are required to provide their contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace programme. Your name and telephone number will be held securely for 21 days, and will not be shared or used for marketing purposes.

Following the change in legislation, we can only welcome visitors in groups of up to 6 people, unless you are from the same household or support bubble. Please contact us before your visit if you are unsure about the size of your group.

We ask that all visitors to wear a face covering during their visit, if they are able to do so.

You will not need to wear a face covering when seated in our Café or in the Holiday Fun canteen, and children under the age of 11 won’t be required to wear one anywhere in the building.

At Firstsite we respect that not everyone is able to wear a face covering, and we are happy to support all our visitors during their visit.

We are unable to provide cloakroom facilities (for luggage and coats etc) at this time.

Shop & Welcome Desk

Perspex screens will be in place at the shop till and our Welcome desk to protect you and our team.

When entering the shop, please wear a mask in accordance with Government legislation. There will be hand sanitiser for you to use, and gloves will also be available if you wish to wear them. A one-way system will be in place, and members of our team will monitor how many people are in the shop at any one time.

Credit or debit card payments are preferred, using contactless payment where possible. If you do not have a contactless payment card, the card machine will be cleaned after use.

During your visit

‘Keep left’ pathways and upright signage  guide you through our one way system, and members of our team are there to guide you in our new way of visiting. We ask that you maintain a distance of 2 metres from other visitors, and observe any signage.

The number of visitors in our exhibitions are closely monitored by our team, so please be aware there may be waiting times at busy periods.

Exhibition spaces are cleaned daily, and hand sanitising stations are provided throughout the building.

Our toilets are cleaned and monitored throughout the day, with limited capacity at any one time to enable social distancing.


Our café has moved to the rear of the building so that we can maintain social distancing and provide safe table service to customers. Please follow the directional signage, or ask a member of staff to show you the way.

Upon arriving at the café you will be seated and provided with table service. Your server will be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment. Customers can enjoy our outdoor balcony seating area, or relax inside in our light and airy restaurant area surrounded by artwork which can be purchased in our shop.

Please only visit the cafe with people from your household or support bubble.

We are only able to accept card payments at this time. If you are unable to make a contactless payment, the card machine will be cleaned after the keypad is used.


Our cinema has new seating arrangements to help maintain social distancing.

Following the latest Government legislation, we ask that you wear a face covering whilst in the cinema, if you are able to do so.

When entering the cinema, we ask that you sanitise your hands, then follow a member of our team to your seats. A one way system will be in place to ensure your safety.

The cinema will be cleaned following each screening. We kindly ask that you please take your rubbish with you.

Holiday Fun

Please tap the button below to find out more about how we are providing both a safe and fun experience for families.

About Holiday Fun

Venue Hire

Bookings will be reviewed on a case by case basis, due to us limiting the number of people in the building.

Our hire spaces will be cleaned between each booking, and those attending the hire will be required to wear face masks.

If you have a question about your upcoming booking, please contact us by tapping the button below, or call 01206 713 700.


Ice Skating

Find out about our Skating Rink and what to expect if you are coming to skate at Firstsite

Find out more
Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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