As families prepare to go back to school, it can be sad saying goodbye to the long and happy days of the summer holidays. Beat back-to-school blues by planning some frightfully fun family days out in October half term, with UK’s best Halloween days out!
1/9 LEGOLAND’s “Brick or treat” days, Windsor
Get into the Halloween mood with this spook-tacular event from LEGOLAND Windsor. Guests can take in the imaginatively decorated park with creepy creations such as plump pumpkins and barmy bats made entirely from LEGO bricks. Pose for memorable photos with LEGO characters, meet Frankie the friendly monster and his evil sidekick Lord Vampyre and get lost in the mystical Enchanted Forest. Little ones can enjoy building their very own LEGO or DUPLO pumpkins to pop in the patch and join in with a giant LEGO mosaic creation. Other activities include arts and crafts, themed trails and puppet shows. Get dressed up in your best Halloween outfits and come to enjoy the Ninjago themed fireworks on the weekends!
Where: LEGOLAND, Windsor
When: 14-30 October
Price: Entry is included in the resort entry price from £45pp
Find out more and book Brick or treat days
2/9 Halloween magic school, Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh
Harry Potter fans everywhere will love this kids’ magic school that conjures up memories of Hogwarts and teaches children how to create and perform their own magic tricks. In conjunction with the International Magic Festival, pupils need no prior magic experience and can come dressed as their favourite witch, wizard or magician or simply turn up and have some fun. This workshop is for children aged 7-11.
Where: Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh
When: 16 October
Price: £10 per pupil
Find out more and book Halloween magic school at Usherall
©National Trust Images/John Millar
3/9 Ghosts and Gourds weekend; Rowallane Garden; County Down
Enjoy an outdoors event at Rowallane Garden with its Ghosts and Gourds weekend. Explore the gardens, decorated to look especially bewitching, and take a look around the ghost trail if you dare. Little ones can carve out their own pumpkins into ghoulish heads and get their own faces painted as vampires, witches and zombies.
Where: Rowallane Garden, County Down
When: 21 October
Price: Entry and car parking are free for National Trust members or pay £16 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children). Pumpkin carving and ghost trails are at an additional cost
Find out more and book at National Trust
4/9 Howl ’o’ ween, Chessington World of Adventures, Chessington
Featuring their scariest ride to date, the Chessington World of Adventures Howl ’o’ ween event is not one for the faint of heart. The Creepy Caves have a three-bat rating for fear factor and are so scary that guests require one of the park’s Secret Agents to guide them around… with no guarantee that they’ll make it out again! The Curse of the Lost Tomb is a good way to warm up to the caves, with actors and skeletons creating an eerie vibe.
Tiny tots can wander through the Trick or Treat forest, with plenty of sweet treats and fun tricks with a friendly one-bat scare rating. Join beloved characters from Julia Donaldson’s books for a spooky storytime with ‘the witch with a very tall hat’, with re-tellings of kids’ favourite, Room on the Broom.
Where: Chessington World of Adventures, Chessington
When: 20-31 October
Price: Entry is included in theme park entry price, from £28pp.
Find out more and book Howl ’o’ ween at Chessington World of Adventures
5/9 Pumpkin Fest, Cambridge
The award-winning Cambridge Sustainable Food Community are running their ever-popular Pumpkin Fest, with free events around the city to celebrate the delicious symbol of Halloween. Last year’s event included a pop-up farmers’ market; crafts such as leaf art, biscuit decorating and face painting and a four-course pumpkin themed meal. Other attractions include a live jazz band; a kids’ ‘pumpkin picnic’ with face painting, a pumpkin cake decorating workshop and family cooking classes.
Where: Various locations in Cambridge
When: 21-30 October
Price: The festival is free!
Find out more about Pumpkin Fest at Cambridge Sustainable Food
Belfast City Council
6/9 Belfast’s Halloween ‘monster mash’ & fireworks display
Known as Belfast’s biggest and best Halloween celebration, the monster mash and fireworks display is great fun for adults and children of all ages. A cast of thousands will entertain guests throughout the day with weird and wacky performances- look out for fire displays, jugglers, street theatre and more. Kids can join in with arts and crafts workshops and get their adrenaline pumping on fairground rides before tucking into hot food and sweet Halloween treats. In the evening watch the sky light up with a tremendous fireworks display that is sure to make your Halloween break one to remember!
Where: The Slipways, Belfast
When: 29 October
Price: Entry to the festival is free!
Find out more about Belfast’s Halloween ‘monster mash’
7/9 Twin Lakes Family ‘Scream’ Park, Leicestershire
Parents and children can don their scariest fancy dress and head to Twin Lakes ‘Scream’ Park for a day full of thrills and chills. Over 20,000 FREE pumpkins are harvested for children to carve or paint and a host of creepy critters such as snakes and bugs are around for kids to interact with. It’s no surprise that Twin Lakes was voted the UK’s #1 family day out, with Halloween workshops such as magic wand making and broomstick flying lessons. Little ones can toddle around Marty monster’s straw bale maze or join in the family Halloween treasure hunt. Attractions for older children include taking on quests from the resident jester or braving the haunted knight’s castle.
When: Throughout October
Price: Children’s tickets are available from £7.99 and adults’ from £16.99.
Find out more and book at Twin Lakes Park
Almond Valley Heritage Trust
8/9 Spooky Saturday Halloween party, Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Edinburgh
The riverside woodland location of the Almond Valley Heritage Centre is as sweet as its name- that is, until Spooky Happenings come to the valley. Look out for mysterious creatures emerging from the shadows (grab a trail sheet to see if you can find them all!), solve magical mysteries and get stuck into some spook-tacular arts and crafts such as monster building and scary mask making. There are traditional Halloween festivities to enjoy such as apple bobbing and when the sun goes down there’s music and monster dancing with spooky glowing lanterns!
Where: Almond Valley Heritage Centre, West Lothian
When: 28 October
Price: £7.50 for adults and £5.50 for children
Find out more and book at Almond Valley
9/9 Hobble’ween at Hobbledown, Surrey, October half term
Visit unusual creatures such as blue-tongued skinks, bearded dragons, giant millipedes and hissing cockroaches at Hobbledown’s Halloween event. Throughout half term children can enjoy activities such as Professor Topperpot’s Teepee Theatre and a daily fancy dress parade, so don’t forget your spookiest masks and pointiest witches’ hats! After some frightful fun make the most of the indoor play bar, bounce around on the jumping pillows, get lost in the ‘field of confusion’ and go ape on the aerial walkway course.
Where: Epsom, Surrey
When: October half term
Price: Standard admission fees of £13.50 for adults and £14.50 for children.