The upcoming October half term runs from the 26th to the 30th and it can be tricky to fill those five days (plus the weekend) with things for the little ones to do. Luckily, there are lots of special events taking place across the country. We’ve picked out some of the best places to visit and things to do during your children’s week off.
Visit Harewood House, Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year. It’s home to three National Parks and three areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so there’s plenty for the kids to explore. We recommend Harewood House in Leeds, as the grounds look absolutely stunning at this time of year. Whether it’s raining or the sun is beaming, there are both indoor and outdoor activities the children can participate in, so you’ll never be stuck for things to do.
Inside the house, the little ones can try their hand at biscuit decorating in the Pastry Room and look on in awe at the seasonal food displays Below Stairs. Outside, they can take part in the Scarecrow Trails, play in the massive adventure playground and meet the various animals at the house, including flamingos, parrots and penguins!
Explore the New Forest, Hampshire
The trees have already started to turn gold, orange and red, but soon the leaves will be gone for the winter. To make the most of this spectacle, take your kids to the New Forest. They can collect pretty leaves, pinecones and feathers to create some woodland crafts later. You could also take them Geocaching – they might find some treasure hidden away under all those leaves and fallen branches.
During your walk you’ll probably bump into some New Forest ponies too – there are 3,000 that roam freely around the area. Remember to tell your kids they can look but not touch, and they certainly shouldn’t feed the ponies any of their snacks.
Go on a spooky Halloween tour at Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire
Image: Mike Searl via Wikimedia Commons
Every kid loves Halloween; what’s better than free sweets and dressing up? If you want to do something a bit different to trick-or-treating this year, we suggest going on one of the Halloween tours at Old Wardour Castle. During the trip you’ll go back in time to hear scary ghost stories and meet some of the spirits that refuse to leave their old home behind.
Of course, the tour can get a little frightening at times, so it is not suitable for under-fives. The children’s tour takes place at 6:15pm on October 30 and 31 and costs £16.00 per adult and £7.50 per child. English Heritage members receive a discount, so if you are one, be sure to dig out that card!
Brew a ghoulish potion at the Eden Project, Cornwall
If you want to take your kids on an adventure this half term, but would prefer to stay inside, the Eden Project is running a fantastic Halloween event. It revolves around a quest to create a special potion that will keep you all protected from the spooky spectres that so often appear at this time of year.
During the journey, you’ll also meet some owls, and the little ones can get their faces painted. If your kids are dying to go to a Halloween disco, the Eden Project is hosting one on the night of the 31st. Tickets to the Little Monsters’ Ball are £7 each and you’ll get to sample tasty treats, take part in themed activities and, of course, dance the night away. Time to teach everyone the Monster Mash!
Planning to go away for half term?
Whilst you can probably visit many of these attractions just for the day, a longer trip will make the half term break even more exciting and special. A quaint cottage in Yorkshire is bound to go down a treat, as is a converted barn in Wiltshire.
Wherever you choose to go away for half term, we have a huge selection of family-friendly properties you can stay in, and we promise that none of them are haunted!
Don't forget we are also offering 10% off any half term get-aways! Book your holiday with a start date on or before 31st October 2015 and use the code HALFTERM10 to enjoy your discount.