It doesn’t seem five minutes since the kids returned to school at the start of September and now here we are on countdown to October half-term, or Halloween half-term as my son has taken to calling it.
If you’re looking for some fun ways to keep the family occupied. Here’s my top picks for some spooky days out in the Midlands.
Do it for the Insta, and do it to get a smashing pumpkin (see what I did there). Some photos of your littles in a wheelbarrow, possibly a ride in a tractor, and maybe some on-site entertainment? Sounds good to me! Historically we have visited Essington Farm, near Wolverhampton, but they have recently started charging for tickets to access their pick your own fields which is a tad off-putting. Last year we visited Stanley’s Farm, near Kidderminster and had a fantastic experience. We wandered the fields searching for the perfect pumpkin. There were plenty of photo opportunities with pumpkins made to look like scarecrows lounging in wheelbarrows and whole spooky pumpkin family scenes. I hear Fruits of the Forest will be hosting some fabulously spooksome natural craft activities at Stanley’s on selected dates this year too. The event at Apley Farm in Telford also looks great and features a spooky story telling and the option to carve your pumpkin on-site but, again, tickets are required.
Do a pumpkin walk
We’ve been meaning to take in one of the legendary Pumpkin Walks at Bodenham Arboretum, near Kidderminster, for a few years now and this year we finally have tickets. Opt for the day-time walk, spot the hidden pumpkins and unscramble the letters to find the secret word, or go for the torchlit evening event for a more atmospheric saunter around the beautiful grounds. The evening event even includes toasting marshmallows on the bonfire, a spooky story and a craft activity.
If torchlit spooky walks are your thing also check out the Scary Fairy Trail at Churchfields in Droitwich where you can uncover the mystery word in the dark mysterious woods. Children receive a glowstick and a packet of sweets. Do pack a torch though as it sounds seriously dark in those woods. Don’t forget to sample the delicious ice cream whilst you’re there too.
Head to a theme park
Most major theme parks celebrate Halloween with some kind of festival. Although not in the Midlands, Legoland’s Brick or Treat event deserves a mention . With new 4D shows and a new Halloween Harbour show they are touting the event as the ultimate family Halloween party. Drayton Manor also offer a family-friendly fiendish Halloween experience with heaps of pumpkin photo opportunities and lots of cute Halloween happenings throughout the park. Of course, the mighty Alton Towers hosts Scarefest. I’ve not been brave enough to venture there just yet! Maybe when the kids are a bit older.
Halloween for toddlers?
Little one’s needn’t miss out on the spooky celebrations. The Bridge House in Stourbridge offers a host of fantastic Halloween parties catered to toddlers. Definitely more cute than creepy. They even offer a celebration for babies!
Do your own thing
From apple bobbing, face painting, or hosting your kids friends for a mini Halloween party (we did this last year and it was so much fun) there are loads of ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t mean knocking on strangers doors or spending a fortune. I’ve previously written about Halloween party games and appropriately festive themed food in this post where we celebrated Halloween in Lockdown. You can also make your own spooky Halloween decorations as we did here and here. Don’t forget to catch some Halloween films as well.. Spookley the Sqaure Pumpkin is great for tiny tots and older kids will love the original Ghostbusters from the 80s – just be prepared to wince at all the references that passed you by when you were a kid that you now understand, and pray that your kid doesn’t notice them too. Children’s films in the 80s were frankly a bit weird.
Bored of Halloween?
My son is quite right when he terms the October break the Halloween half-term, everything around this time of year does seem to have a frightful theme. If you’re not a fan of things that go bump in the night why not head to your local park or forest and do a nature walk, looking for leaves and bugs – maybe take some bark rubbings.
Whatever you get up to this half term – HAVE FUN!
Where’s your favourite spooky place to visit?