The leaves are starting to change colour, the weather’s cooling down, there’s October half-term just around the corner; autumn is officially here. We’ve rounded up fun things to do with kids in October to help inspire some family days out that you can enjoy whatever the weather may bring.
15. Good Grief Charlie Brown Exhibition, Somerset House, London
This autumn, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and co come to Somerset House in a cultural celebration of what is arguably the world’s most influential comic strip, Peanuts. There are original drawings by creator Charles M. Schulz, alongside works inspired by the Peanuts gang from some of today’s most exciting artists and designers. A precious opportunity to show your kids old-school cartoons.
When/Where: October 25 2018–March 3 2019
Price: £14, under-12s free
14. Autumn Family Trail, Ickworth, Suffolk
Autumn is a time for wonderful walks, especially around the colourful grounds at Ickworth. Follow the family trail along Geraldine’s Walk and learn all about the bats that make their home there. October is also the best month to find conkers – so don’t forget to keep an eye out for the shiny little jewels as you explore the grounds. Who will be the ultimate conker champion?
When: Until October 28
Price: Adult £15, child £7.50
13. Fun DMC Festival
Fun DMC is the best daytime family block party in town, with games, activities and hip-hop tunes. Whether you’re the proud parent of a Lil Wayne, a Missy Elliott or a whole crew of Beastie Boys and Wee Papa Girl Rappers, this is the jam for you and yours. Practise graffiti, dress up in super-fly outfits or just chill out.
When: October 13
Price: Adult £14.26, child £8.14
12. The Secret Life of Hedgehogs, Tredegar House, Newport
Head to Tredegar House this October half-term to meet the team from Hedgehog Rescue. They’ll be sharing all sorts of fascinating facts about these shy creatures, and how you can care for them in your own garden. You can also walk a mile in a hedgehog’s paw-prints as you follow a trail through the Orchard Garden.
When: October 27–November 4
Price: Adult £10.40, child £5.20
11. Sea Creatures Exhibition, Scotland, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland
This groundbreaking interactive Sea Creatures Tour exhibition lets your family explore the secrets of ocean life by viewing incredible cross-sections of creatures such as whales and great white sharks.
When: September 21–October 18, Edinburgh; October 27–November 28, Harrogate; December 8–January 2 2019, Belfast;
Price: family ticket £52
10. Halloween Magic School, Edinburgh
Head to the Edinburgh International Magic Festival at Lauriston Castle and make magic at a super spooky workshop for Halloween! Perform incredible magic and make new wizarding friends. No previous magic experience necessary – just bring your costume and your wand! Ages 7-11.
When: October 20
Price: £7 plus £1.14 booking fee
9. Brick or treat, Legoland, Windsor
Get in the mood for Halloween at this year’s Brick or Treat at Legoland Windsor, with spectacular 3D Lego themed fireworks and your favourite mini-figures brought to life – not to mention more than 55 rides, live shows and attractions.
When: October 18–November 1 & Fireworks: October 20, 21, 26, 27
Price: Online tickets from £47pp
8. Gravity Fields Festival, Grantham
Gravity Fields festival offers a packed programme of science, arts and heritage events in and around Grantham, celebrating Sir Isaac Newton’s links with the area. This year there’s a presentation from Professor Brian Cox, and the theme is ‘Voyages of Discovery’.
When: September 26-30
Price: Various prices, plus free ticketed events
7. Bath Children’s Literature Festival
The philosophy behind Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival is simple: entertain kids and encourage them to read. There are book readings, quizzes and games, and appearances from the likes of Lauren Child and David Walliams. Past line-up favourites have included Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Judith Kerr and Shirley Hughes.
When: September 28–October 7
Price: Ticket prices vary
6. V&A Museum, Dundee
September saw the opening of the highly anticipated V&A Dundee, the only V&A museum in the world outside London, featuring exhibits ranging from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s ‘lost’ Oak Tea Room to an evening dress by Scottish fashion designer Holly Fulton, all displayed to encourage visitors of any age to be curious about design.
Price: Free; paid tickets for certain events
5. Enjoy a hair-raising Halloween half-term with English Heritage
Have yourself a ghoul-y good time at a castle, abbey or stately home this October. English Heritage dares you to explore their historical sites after dark and watch a show, brew a potion, or carve a pumpkin. Plus, for one weekend only in October the famous Battle of Hastings re-enactment returns, pitting more than 600 warriors against each other in the ultimate clash.
4. Visit Bristol Old Vic
Following a multi-million-pound transformation, Bristol’s historic Old Vic theatre is refreshed and ready to welcome in theatre-lovers of all ages, whether brand new to the world of the stage or a veteran.
The plan has been to “[return] the theatre to its origins as a place for all and a new welcoming space where everyone can feel at home. The theatre will play a new role in bringing communities together, offering people a place to come together and socialise, as well as providing visitors with the chance to delve into its fascinating history through our new unique heritage experience.”
Price: Ticket prices vary
3. Wizard Week on the Isle of Wight steam train
Wickedly Wonderful fun is to be had during October half term on the Isle of Wight steam train. Not only can you enjoy a steam train ride, but can also look forward to magic shows, woodland walks and ‘Owl-o-ween’ at the Falconry Centre. Dress-up as wizards, witches and other spooky characters – there’s prizes each day for the best costumes – and enter the Halloween Treasure Hunt.
When/Where: October 24-28
Price: Adult from £11.50, child from £6
2. Have an out of this world space sleepover, Leicester Space Centre
This October, Leicester Space Centre are holding a number of family friendly activities, including celebrating 50 years since Apollo 7 and a super special World Space Week Family Sleepover. Spend the night in the galleries, have exclusive access to the Centre and take part in special lunar mission workshops and activities. There’s also an evening of activities called Space Lates where you can experience an evening beneath the stars without the sleepover.
When/Where: October 6
Price: Space Lates: £6, World Space Week Family Sleepover :Adult £40, child £30 (must be 6+)
1. Bach to Baby, London, South East England & Birmingham
Holding over 50 classical concerts every month across the UK, alongside special events and festivals throughout the season, Bach to Baby breaks down barriers and expectations of classical music, making it more accessible. Their aim is to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy classical music, “from newborns to great-grandparents”. Enjoy the music together in a relaxed environment.
When/Where: London, South East England & Birmingham
Price: Adult prices vary, children are free during October