Half Term SORTED
BOO! Here's your Halloween half-term guide, full of spooky festivities for you and the little monsters to enjoy!
Fear not, people, Muddy to the rescue with the lowdown on things to do, terrifyingly ghoulish or super-cute.
1/ Halloween at Crealy, near Exeter, Mon 22 – Wed 31st October
Of course Crealy is coming up trumps for Halloween! Mr Muddy has already taken the Mudlet to get involved in some frightful action and it’s a huge thumbs up from them both (little E was totally pooped). Obviously all the rides, from the Jolly Roger to the Junior Driving School and Maximus rollercoaster (a fave) were a hit; but Crealy has pulled out all the stops in a bid to ramp up the spook-factor. There’s the brand new Creaky Hotel to check in and check out of after a few freaky frights; the Scarecrow Scare Maze; and the cheeky Treehouse Trolls in the woods, where you solve riddles and puzzles to win prizes. Plus, the pair arrived home with a free pumpkin ready to carve (plus there’s a carving competition), so we’re well and truly set for the festivities. Highly recommended by a five year-old, but plenty to entertain kids up to teens. Go and let off some steam!
2/ ‘Fall for Donkeys’, half term family event, The Donkey Sanctuary, Ivybridge, Tues 23 Oct
Why wouldn’t you fall for the donkeys during this free family event? Led by the sanctuary’s very own adoption donkeys, Pooh and Eeyore, littlies will love seeing all the donkey care demo’s, plus getting stuck in to a whole bunch of family-friendly activities, from crafts, to learning about clicker training, grooming, dental care and enrichment.
10am – 3pm. FREE. Filham Park, Godwell Lane, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0LE
3/ Spooktacular Half-Term Tricks & Treats at The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct
Meanwhile, over at Donkey HQ in Sidmouth, you can have a scream with the Trick or Treat Trail, pumpkin carving and Bat Beacon. A perfect excuse to turf the whole family outdoors and enjoy the autumn.
9am – 5pm. Each trail costs £3 inc. a prize on completion and pumpkins cost £3 too. The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU. thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
4/ Family Fun Day, A Touch of the Wild, Grammarcombe Woods, nr Exeter, Sat 27 Oct
Wellies on! Come and have a fang-tastic time in the woods with the team. We hear there’ll be loads of spook-tacular games planned, including broomstick making, apple bobbing and scary face painting. Cook up a trick (not a treat) in the mud kitchen and make like a bat and hang around in the new woodland playground. A witches brew will be served round the campfire, along with marshmallow treats (included in ticket price). FYI, if you love this, then you may also want to consider booking your little monster (aged 8+) into their October Half Term Woodland Adventure Club (23 – 25 Oct between 9am – 5pm), for all the best forest school fun.
10am- 12pm. Tickets £6 for adults and kids over 18 months (babies free with older sibling). atouchofthewild.co.uk
5/ The Big Sheep Halloween Festival, nr Bideford, Sat 20 – Sun 28 October
A huge halloween festival down on the farm is planned this year, with fun by day and (even scarier) fun by night! Explore the haunted house and take a tour of the spooky farm on the haunted hayride. Carve a pumpkin and then try your hand at the witches flying school. Basically, the whole farm has been transformed into a spooky sight, from the normally placid swan pedalo’s, to the train (now a ghost train). THEN, as darkness falls, the brave ones can experience heart-pounding scares in the Field of Screams. You’re warned, nothing is as it seems and this one’s definitely not for the faint-hearted! Sounds fun, but I’m actually a little scared, too…
From 10am daily. Night-time fun is between 6-10pm. WARNING: Night time Halloween attractions feature scare actors, pyrotechnics, special effects and sound effects and are not recommended for young children or those of a nervous disposition. thebigsheep.co.uk
6/ Free Den Building and Kids’ Meals at Beyond Escapes, nr Totnes, throughout Half Term
What to do when your hands turn orange from all the pumpkin carving?! If you’re a parent, grandparent or guardian of a small person this half-term, take note – more civilised fun for everyone can be found at Beyond Escapes! The team are challenging families to swap tech for trees and spend quality time together with free-to-hire den making kits (we’ve played with these first-hand and love them!). With a kids-eat-for-free* treat at the BE Tempted restaurant, you can round off an adventurous day out without breaking the bank. Go try it out – you’ll love this place.
*one kids’ meal per adult meal. beyondescapes.co.uk
7/ Frank ‘n’ Stein’s Teddy, The Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Plymouth, until 31 October
Another gorgeous, innocent hour or so of escapism for families of tots, from this brilliant children’s theatre. Frank ‘n’ Stein discover their Teddy in need of repair. They try and make things right to put Teddy back together. Frank and Stein create mad scientific experiments in their bonkers laboratory; with whizzes, bangs, pops and many more visual and sensory delights, this one’s perfect for the under 5’s.
To book tickets please go to www.soapboxtheatre.org.uk
8/ Riverford Pumpkin Day, Wash Farm, Buckfastleigh, Sat 27 October
It’s Riverford’s legendary annual Pumpkin Day! Wellies on and down on the farm you go for this festival of autumnal cheer. Yes, you can expect all the usual pumpkin carving, face painting, entertainers, plus a creativity area. But there will also be a Farmer’s Market, and the chance to experience divine food from the Field Kitchen. This one’s a Muddy fave.
Tickets £4 (for kids a free pumpkin is included and under 3s are free). Bring cash, no card payments available. To book your tickets visit: eventbrite.co.uk
9/ Half-day Children’s Cake Baking course, Exeter Cookery School, Thurs 25 October
Have your small people jumped onto the Bake Off bandwagon yet? This course will be right up their street, then. It’s a fun hands-on cookery class, where kids get to learn key baking skills like how to make the perfect Vicky Sponge and chocolate brownies and, in the session for older kids, swiss rolls and doughnuts and, of course they’ll get to take home their achievements. Winning!
£39 pp, morning session is for 9-11 year-olds, afternoons are for 12-14 year-olds. exetercookeryschool.co.uk
10/ Half Term with the National Trust, October
Those lovely people at the National Trust never leave us stranded when it comes to holidays. There’ plenty happening across Devon to keep everyone entertained. Saltram House will unveil an Awesome Autumn Trail, along with dressing up in the house and spooky story-telling; the magical Lydford Gorge will have a trail where you can creep through the witches wood, trying to escape the clutches of creepy crawlies to claim a prize; and the tea rooms at Arlington Court will be transformed into a school of Witchcraft, Warlocks and Wizardry. There’ll be free creepy cookie for kids dressed up in halloween costume.