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Max Cards and tickets

Young girl in a wheelchair smiling and looking at a tropical bird

Essex Short Breaks offer days out at national attractions through a Max card and to local attractions through our Tickets. 

Max Cards

The Max Card is the UK’s leading discount card for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Families can use their Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission to over 1.100 attractions. 

Every child or young person registered with Essex Short Breaks is able to access a Max Card through their Short Breaks account and the card can be used until the young person is 25 years old.

The card is the property of the registered child or young person. To use the discount, the child must be present.

You will need your cards at the venue to use the discount. Venues have the right to ask for your proof of identity when you use the card.


You can enjoy free days out at some of the most popular attractions in Essex with our Short Break Tickets.

A Short Break Ticket admits one child or young person (up to the day before their 19th birthday) with a disability and an accompanying adult free of charge to one of the attractions below. New season tickets will open in April 2024.

You can use tickets anytime during the year except some special events like those at Christmas. Extra family members not covered by the tickets will have to buy regular tickets from the attraction.

Tickets will be posted with a letter that you’ll need to bring with you. The letter confirms the expiry date and any information about special events. It will also tell you if visual stories or apps are available.

When you apply for tickets please list them in order of preference. Each child may receive one ticket per year. 

You have to be registered with short breaks to apply for tickets, and will be able to apply for tickets through your Short Breaks Digital Account

Remember to check the attraction’s website for details on accessibility and also any special events like the annual sensory day at Colchester Zoo.

Max Cards and Tickets are available through your Short Breaks Digital Account

Tickets may take up to 4 weeks to be delivered.

You need to be registered with Short Breaks to access Max Cards and Tickets