Things to do in October half term

Sorry to break it to you, parents, but it’s reaching that point of the year when the schools close and you’re tasked with keeping the words ‘I’m bored!’ from your children’s lips for a whole seven days! That’s right, the October half-term is fast approaching and with it the need to find some seriously entertaining options to keep your kids contented.

Thankfully, the UK is a seasoned host when it comes to half-term entertainment, and there are a host of all-weather events taking place that are guaranteed to delight all-ages. To make things even easier for you parents, we’re compiling some of our favourites in this handy blog post.

If some of the following events seem a little far out of your way, fear not: we still have plenty of half-term holiday cottage availability – with some even better offers and discounts. Visit our website for more info.

Half term may be terrifying at the best of times but things are set to be extra specially chilling this year thanks to Halloween’s appearance slap bang in the middle. Still, an abundance of fictional horrors should ensure there’s more than enough to keep your little monsters entertained!

  • The Eden Project gets into the spirit – or at least the spirits get into the Eden Project – this Halloween with a host of horrific events running all week. There’s potion workshops, wand making classes, pumpkin carving, face painting, scary stories and perhaps the most terrifying event of all: a disco. But don’t worry, dads, it’s mainly for the little monsters.
  • Less scary, unless you suffer from equinophobia, is the family fun day at Ascot in Berkshire on Saturday, 3 November. There are races throughout the day with a selection of free rides on the Plaza Lawns until the last race finishes. Things end with a bang at 6pm with a firework spectacular.
  • Fear of horses may be one thing but if you answer ‘Sheffield’ to the question: ‘What is the scariest thing in the world?’ you’d be advised to avoid Fright Night 2012 in the city centre. This year’s event is set to attract 40,000 visitors and takes places on Sunday 28 October with a huge array of things to see, do and run from – including ‘an installation of Zombies and a New Orleans voodoo jazz performance’ amongst many others.
  • Over in another part of Yorkshire, the Illuminating York digital arts festival will once again allow you to see this most beautiful city in the whole new light – thanks to an array of projectors and some technological practices that we probably wouldn’t understand. Still, the end result is remarkable and takes place from Halloween until 3 November.
  • Pitlochry’s Enchanted Forest may be similar in concept to York’s festival, but it’s a truly unique seasonal attraction, combining music and light with an already stunning woodland setting. This year’s event is the tenth anniversary and tickets are already going fast – plus it only runs until 27 October so you have to be fast if you don’t want to miss it.
  • The magical Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean is the perfect place to entertain your terrors during Halloween half-term. If the withered trees and imposing scowles weren’t enough to terrify you then perhaps the Bat Hunts and themed Sculpture in the Woods events will have more luck. Both run from 24 October to Halloween.
  • With 16,000 trees from approximately 3,000 different specimens there are few better places to admire the advance of Autumn than Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire. A visit at half term week promises traffic light trees, dead men’s fingers and a trail around the Old Arboretum. Events run from Monday 29 October until Friday 2 November.
  • Suggesting your kids stay inside playing videogames may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of half-term activities, but the London Games Festival offers so much more than just the opportunity to play the latest games. There are educational workshops and a host of other events – including the MCM Comic Con.
  • It may have been going for 100 years but, we have to say, visiting Blackpool Illuminations never gets old. Half-term week is the last time the lights will be on on 2012. They also have an earlier switch on time of 5pm, which is great for parents with younger children.

We’re going to update this post throughout October, so if you know of some fantastic family friendly attractions taking place in the UK please leave a comment below.

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