Half Term & Halloween Muddy Guide
BOO! 18 Spooky and fun happenings for kids of all ages this Halloween Half Term.
Autumn Treats & a Tricky Trail, The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Sat 14 – Tues 31 Oct
Wrap up and get yourself along to the Donkey Sanctuary where fun for all ages is being promised throughout half term. Expect pumpkin carving, a spooky halloween trail and trick or treats for little ones, as well as the chance to meet the stars of this Sidmouth site, the donkeys – cuteness!
Entry and parking free, activities £3. thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
Halloween Hocus Pocus at The Milky Way, Bideford, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
The Muddy Award-winning North Devon attraction is geared up for a distinctly spooky half-term this year. Families are invited to enrol in the school for witches and wizards (dress appropriately!), knock around on special spooky swamp dodgems, try their hands at wand making, spell writing and casting, as well as broomstick riding and potion making. And the best bit? It’s all included in the admission fee. I wish I was still a kid.
Halloween Fun at Becky Falls, Manaton, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Fancy celebrating halloween somewhere aesthetically pleasing? That’ll be Becky Falls, then. This iconic Dartmoor spot has been voted the most beautiful place in Devon and, this half term you can visit and get involved in some pumpkin carving, try out some special effects spooky scars and themed craft activities – spider noughts and crosses, anyone? Plus follow the trail for animal encounters of the scary kind, a woodland walk, where you can meet and touch snakes and lizards. Blimey, that’ll stop them in their tracks.
Halloween Fun by Day, Scary by Night Halloween Festival, The Big Sheep, Bideford, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
This one is billed as the south west’s biggest halloween festival. Happy and fun by day, scary and spooky by night. That means, haunted hayrides, an arachnophobia ride, halloween pantomime and a trip around the haunted house, as well as parades and face painting by day; but between 6 and 10pm each night the Big Sheep takes a turn for the scary, with a night-time lakeside train ride, witches flying school, and the night time spooky castle. Feeling brave?
Half Term Fun at Castle Drogo, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Less in-your-face Halloween fun at Castle Drogo and more general merriment this half term. It’s a great time to go and take the hibernation trail, where you’ll learn all about the animals that bed down for the winter and how to spot signs of them waking up come the spring. Plus, there will be Crafty Castle Capers over the weekend, including clay modelling, as well as a Meet the Builders day on Tues 24, where budding grafters can see demo’s of building techniques from days gone by.
Halloween Half Term Fun at the Gorge, Lydford Gorge, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Loads happening at this Dartmoor beauty spot, including a Halloween trail where you get to creep through the witch’s wood, uncovering scary myths and ghastly lengends; an evening torchlit walk, followed by toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate; and a spooky day, full of crafty activities, from creating your own wand, to joining a potions class to mix up a creepy concoction.
The Festival of Frights, Powderham Castle, Sun 22 – Tues 31 Oct
Serious fun to be had at Powderham this half-term. Little ones can enrol at the spooky school at the Old Riding School, where kids can enjoy face painting and glitter tattoos, pumpkin crafts and ghostly games, as well as a potion making show. And there’s a child-friendly ghost tour around the grounds, with creepy crawlies to look out for and a prize up for grabs. Plus, for grown-ups and older kids, have a gander at the films being screened during a scary movie marathon, at the weekend. And if that all sounds a bit tame then will you be brave enough to enter the House of Horrors at night, when the staff have shut up and gone home? I’m not.
Family Fun Day, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Mon 23 Oct
Feeling a bit Halloween’d out by now? I am, just writing about it. You might want to consider this free open day in Plymouth for all the family to come and explore the world of theatre. Budding thesp’s can take part in dance and drama workshops, activities with the Birmingham Royal Ballet (who are in town for a week of fab performances), face painting, a treasure hunt, a wardrobe challenge and live performances. Not a pumpkin in sight.
Half Term Activities at SeaSports South West, Teignmouth, from Mon 23 Oct
SeaSports Holiday Club is open for business in Teignmouth, with space still available on some great courses, including tasters in kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing. It beats yet another spooky trail and gives you a chance to rinse off those orange, pumpkin-stained fingers! Hop over to the website, or Facebook page to find out what’s available and give them a call.
Children’s Cookery Courses, Exeter Cookery School, Tues 24 Oct
Have you met Lucy and Jim yet? The owners of this amazing cookery school lay on some seriously good courses for cooks of all ages and abilities. This half-term you can enrol the budding bakers in the family on a half-day Children’s Cookery Course, where they’ll get to learn how to cook pizza and Swiss meringues, from baking bread dough from scratch, to piping sweet treats. There’s a morning and an afternoon session, so take your pick and enjoy the peace and quiet for five minutes somewhere with a coffee. Or glass of wine…
Suitable for ages 9-11. exetercookeryschool.co.uk
Fab Lab, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Thurs 26 – Sat 28 Oct
Give the ankle-biters a blast of techno fun at one, or all of these sessions (kids can be left unaccompanied, too, which means a quiet coffee and five minutes’ off). They can choose from t-shirt making, vinyl cutting and 2D and 3D design workshops, among plenty of other techy stuff. Sounds pretty cool!
Suitable for ages 8 – 12 years, £12 – £15, burtonartgallery.co.uk
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s First Steps, Fri 27 Oct
As well as their adult performance, this half term, the Birmingham Royal Ballet will be performing a version of Aladdin that’s been specially adapted for children aged 3-7. The hour-long interactive show will feature ballet excerpts from Aladdin, as well as scenes in which a storyteller introduces kids to the music and characters, sharing a bit of technical magic along the way. What a cute opportunity to show the tutu-wearing mudlets what ballet is all about.
Shockheaded Peter & Other Grisly Tales, Soapbox Theatre, Plymouth, Fri 27 – Tues 31 Oct
The Muddy award-winning Plymouth-based theatre company are at it again and in their element over Halloween weekend. This one’s for all those children brave enough to enter the haunted house to hear an adaptation of Hoffmann’s grisly, cautionary tale of why you should look after yourself, what will happen if you don’t stop sucking your thumb and why you should never play with matches.
For kids aged 6+, stiltskin.org.uk
Clovelly Apple Day, Sat 28 Oct
It’s that lovely time of year, apple season. For Clovelly’s second apple day, bring a bag of apples and have them pressed at the visitor centre; or bring the whole haul for pasteurisation and bottling. And then get stuck in to some traditional apple-themed games and crafts, from apple bobbing to stamping, plus a fun harvest with spooky stories. Good, old-fashioned fun.
Pumpkin Day at Riverford, nr Buckfastleigh, Sat 28 Oct
They reckon it’s the biggest celebration of pumpkins in Britain…and er, they might be right. Me and the Muddy clan took part in this brilliant day out last year and it was the best. Cosy up in the kitchen with hot drinks and treats, then mosey around the farm, before picking a pumpkin, perching on a hay bale and getting crafty with it. You might even win a Christmas hamper with your creation. Ooh, I said the ‘C’ word. Don’t forget your wellies!
Family Forest School, Killerton, Sun 29 Oct
Before the weather turns really rubbish, make the most of the fresh air and get yourself along to Killerton’s monthly family forest school. Learn forest skills as a family and try activities like den building, wild art and campfire cooking. Again, you’ll need wellies – getting to the site on The Clump is all part of the experience!
Family Fright Night, National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, Sun 29 Oct
Even the underwater world is getting in on the act. Plymouth’s ace Aquarium is having a spooky fright night, where you can expect pumpkin carving, cupcake decorating and trick or treat games around the aquarium, a slimy slime zone and a frightening fright night show. The Mudlet usually tears around this place in five minutes flat with me chasing behind; I wonder if this will stop her in her tracks? One can only hope…
From 5.30pm, national-aquarium.co.uk
Halloween Story Stomps, Stiltskin Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Plymouth, Mon 30 – Tues 31 Oct
These regular ‘Story Stomps’ at the Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Plymouth’s Devonport Parksound so brilliant and I really want to get us to one! Take part in a special spooky Halloween story stomp for pre-school kids, inspired by the environment. Come for an adventure in the park around the Soapbox and then back to the theatre for a craft session, followed by storytelling. Cuteness alert!
For under 5’s, 10.30am – 12pm, stiltskin.org.uk