Halloween & half term sorted!
No need to fear, Muddy is here! We've got your little darlings' Halloween and half-term covered with 24 spookilicious days out in Devon.
1/Pumpkin Carving, The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth Weds 23 – Thurs 31 Oct
Have fun petting and cooing over the cute rescue donks, then they can pick and carve their own pumpkin to take home. £3 per pumpkin, the sanctuary itself is free to enter (so all the more to spend in the fab caf).
2/Crealy Halloween Spookfest, Clyst St Mary, near Exeter, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct
Boo! A spooky selection of activities, including the Creaky Haunted Hotel, and a whole range of other terrifying attractions. PLUS, a free pumpkin for every littl’un who dares enter.
3/Halloween Hocus Pocus, Milky Way Adventure Park, Bideford, Sat 19 – Thurs 31 Oct
School may be out but Milky Way have opened their school of magic and sorcery for wand-making lessons, potion cooking and spell casting, plus all the other slightly less creepy attractions the park has to offer.
4/Marine Monster Mysteries, Living Coasts, Torquay, Mon 21 – Thurs 31 Oct
Join the marine monster trail to discover the creatures of the deep, uncovering freaky facts and menacing myths before collecting a ghoulish prize once completed. Who knew sea creatures could be so terrifying?
5/Toddler Takeover: Monster’s Ball, The Big Sheep, Bideford, Mon 28 Oct – Fri 1 Nov
Dig out your black hats and spidery brooms, and bring your little witches and skeletons down to The Big Sheep for some spooktastic fun: carving pumpkins, making scary masks and spider hats – along with all the fun of usual rides.
6/Pumpkin Festival with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Darts Farm, Topsham, 2-4pm Wed 23 Oct
Outsource Halloween to Dart’s Farm: here the kids can pick the pumpkin, decorate it, hear a spooky tale from Spookley the Square Pumpkin and enjoy a wander round the farm. Worth every penny at £9.95, including a personal pumpkin for your littl’un to take home. And the farm shop and eateries at Dart’s are always good.
7/ Day of the Dead Trail, Cockington Court, Torquay, Sun 21 Oct – 3 Nov
The talented artists of Cockington Court have conjured a Day of the Dead trail decorated with painted skulls for the kids to discover. And no tricks, only treats for the best skull-spotters.
8/Pumpkin Day, Riverford, Wash Farm, Buckfastleigh, sat 26 Oct
It’s Riverford’s legendary annual Pumpkin Day – and their first ever plastic-free! 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.
9/It’s Hot, It’s Not, Reckless Sleepers, Dartington Hall Trust, Thurs 24 – Sun 27 Oct
Amuse the teenies (2-5 years old) with a trip to see It’s Hot It’s Not from Reckless Sleepers, a dialogue-free 45-minute piece of fun and games about the weather: why it can rain and shine at the same time, what happens in different hemispheres and why one person can be chilly, while another is hot and bothered (pass me the fan).
10/Disney on Ice, Westpoint Arena, Exeter, Weds 23 – Sun 27 Oct
Let the Disney nostalgia begin, as 50 Disney characters, from Anna to Olaf, Snow White to Cinderella, grace the ice. The perfect retelling of our favourite films and the most magical songs in celebration of its 100th anniversary.
11/Walter’s Imaginary Friends, The Soapbox Theatre, Plymouth, 11am & 1.30pm, Fri 12 – Sat 19 Oct
Stiltskin Theatre Company’s latest creation is for littlies into creepy crawlies. Walter loses his imaginary friend so ventures into the world of Imagination where he meets all sorts of cute bugs and beasties, who’re looking for friends too. Can Walter find his own friends and save the Creepy Crawlies before they’re lost forever?
12/Creative Digital Workshops, RAMM, Exeter, 10.15am-12.45pm, Sat 19 Oct
RAMM has teamed up with Daisi to create a series of digital creative workshops for 8-12 year-olds, each hosted by a different inspiring artist, using the museum’s objects as the inspiration for their masterpieces aka their animations and gifs.
13/Where’s Wally Big Museum Hunt, Torquay Museum, Sat 19 – Sat 26 Oct
Wally has a rubbish sense of direction as we know and this time he’s lost in Torquay Museum (it’s easy to do). It’s down to the kids to help locate him amongst the amazing artefacts, with over 500 fiendish spot-the-differences to find. That’ll keep them busy for ooh, a good few minutes.
14/Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, Mon 14 Oct – Sun 3 Nov
Look to the stars at the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Devon and over the border in Somerset, plus a mobile planetarium at Barnstaple and for the nesh: how about a cushy stargazing break at lovely Hunters Inn in the Heddon Valley?
15/Star gazing: Orionids Meteor Shower, Dartington Hall Estate, 9pm, Mon 21 Oct
Wrap up and turn up (with a blanket) to Foxhole car park for Dartington’s star-gazing, to catch a load of the Orionids Meteor Shower, and here’s your chance to add a few constellations to the ones you know (yep, Orion and er…). Telescopes, hot dog and hot chocolate provided.
A scary underground walk for the over 8’s at Kent’s Cavern: wander through the dimly-lit caves, where you never who is hiding round the corner. Not for scaredy-cats.
At Exeter’s Underground Passages – built in the 14th century to bring drinking water to the city – there are magic potions to be made and prizes to be won for the best. 4pm daily, Tues 22 – Weds 30 Oct.
17/Haven Banks, The Quay, Exeter, various times over half term
Haven Banks has 40 years of teaching kids on the water and is Ofsted-registered so you know they’ll be in good hands, whether on a day course or the full week of half term, learning to kayak, sail, rock-climbing or caving. Plus loads more outdoor pursuits to choose from – and hurray! – 8am starts available for time-pushed parents.
18/Halloween Disco, iBounce Exeter, Fri 26 Oct
Halloween making them jumpy? Get it out their system at the Halloween Disco – dressing up and bouncing obligatory with prizes for the best cozzie. For under-5s you’ll need to call to book on 01392 537333.
19/Apple Day, Clovelly, Bideford, Weds 23 Oct
Tis apple season! A time for cider, pie and apple bobbing (kids and adults alike) and Clovelly is giving us exactly what we want, once again, with their annual apple festival perfect for families with littlies who enjoy getting busy with crafts and games.
20/Half term with the National Trust
Dig out your membership card, the NT have pumpkin spotting, torchlit trails, woodland walks, conker-spotting and spooky story-telling. On Sat 26 Oct head to Lydford Gorge where they can make magical potions and stuff themselves with marhsmallows; on 22 Oct enter Knightshayes if you dare for chilling gothic stories from Mr Hyde, or Frankenstein. And for your mini Attenboroughs, Castle Drogo will take you on a bat trail, or you can go wildlife spotting along the Teign Gorge and there’s always the miniature Bunty House and garden for the littl’uns.
HEADING FURTHER AFIELD?
21/ Fancy a trip the Big Smoke? There’s the brilliant Science Museum‘s cool interactive gallery- Wonderlab, with over 50 exhibitions including hands-on, live experiments at the Chemistry Bar and daily shows. The Space and AI tech exhibitions are also worth seeing.
22/Join Longleat for a spine-chilling tour of Longleat House, Sat 26 Oct – Sun 3 Nov. There have been some other-worldly visitors rumoured to be walking the halls just waiting to be discovered. You’ll hear all about the ghostly residents and get the chance the wonder through the unseen cellars, eerie attics, and dark corridors.
23/Over in Muddy Cornwall’s patch at the Eden Project, they’re celebrating Halloweden (see what they did there?) with more creepy crawlies, potion making, pumpkin carving and more (19 Oct – 3 Nov). Pendennis Castle in Falmouth is hosting Ghost Tours around the castle and grounds with storyteller guides. There’ll be family friendly tours from 6 and 7pm, or a scarier adult-only offering starting from 8pm (25 – 26 Oct).
24/Slip, slide away on the UK’s largest covered real ice rink, with hot chocolate or mulled wine in the rink-side Lodge Bar. The 45 min sessions at Icescape@The Tropicana in Weston-super-Mare run on the hour 10am/11am – 8pm. Fri 25 Oct – Sun 5 Jan 2020.