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26 Brilliant things to do this half term

School's (nearly) out and it's Halloween - a double whammy that calls for Muddy's un-putdownable half-term guide. Want to know how to keep them happy? Whether you're herding toddlers or teens we've got something guaranteed to keep them busy.

There’s oodles of ways to keep the kids entertained this half term, from werewolf walks and PYO pumpkins to baking classes, theatre and wildlife walks. We’ve cherry-picked the best things to do, read on for our curated guide to half term hijinks.

PYO PUMPKINS

The Cotswold Farm Park is the place to go for pumpkins galore for ghoulish carvings and pie-making. Open between Sat 3 Oct and Sat 31 Oct (and throughout half term), head down to PYO this Halloween. Entry to the Park gives you one pumpkin per token. Make sure to book ahead. Explore the pumpkin trail and choose a spooky face paint design before grabbing yourself a plump pumpkin to take home for crafts and pies. Or head to Cattle Country Park in Berkeley to pick a giant pumpkin from 9 October, as well as take part in freaky face painting, pumpkin carving, and decorating. Over in Worcs? Head for Bells’s Farm PYO.

GET SPOOKED OUT

Is it scary? Um, yeah! Frightmare at Over Farm in Gloucester looks set to be a scare-a-minute jamboree this year with spine-tingling sets and (spoiler alert) more than the odd pop-up creature. It’s on from 9 – 31 October. There’ll be drinks and snacks to calm your nerves and a large, ventilated barn plays host to a bar, food outlets and live music. Tickets start at £35, book early for one of the best Halloween events in the south west. Teens will love this one. OR if you’ve got littlies (or are a bit chicken) do Over Farms Spookyard! instead …

Spookyard!

It’s jam-packed with Halloween activities that the whole family will love. Get ready to hop aboard the tractor-trailer, bounce on the jumping pillows, laugh out loud at fascinating shows, say hello to the animals, win a treat when you’ve found all the scarecrows, and more. PLUS WIN!! …. We’re GIVING AWAY a FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 to this brilliant event! Just click here to win.

Head to the Spooky Spectacular at West Midland Safari Park from 22 – 31 October in Bewdley, Worcs. It will be brimming with Halloween decorations with illuminated, themed scarecrows and hundreds of pumpkins. This year, meet new pumpkin scarecrow ‘Patch’, and see his live Pumpkin Party stage show. Spooky explorers can also take part in the ‘Perils of the Pumpkin Patch’ Scratchcard Trail, to find the magical, missing pumpkins! Follow the clues to spell out the secret password and earn a Spooky sticker prize. Plus enter the Photo Competition where you could win a family Annual Pass. Excellent for all ages.

MAKE SPOOKY ART

Let them loose with the arts and crafts somewhere you won’t have to wipe the paint off the ceiling at Spooky Charcoal Houses and Mod Roc Pumpkin Sculptures at the New Brewery Arts, Cirencester. Book onto the Charcoal Spooky Houses session, on Tues 27 October from 1.30pm to 4pm, cost £40 and suitable for ages 5+. Or, on 29 October spend the morning creating Halloween pumpkins from Mod Roc – the stuff they wrap your arm in when you break it! When it dries their pumpkin will last for ages, and super original for Halloween night. Costs £40 for ages 5+.

The Corinium Museum has a spooky pumpkin trail and a mini mosaics workshop going on throughout October and half term. Little artists can create their own colourful, Halloween mosaics with kid-safe glass tiles at the mini mosaics workshop; or, catch a screening of Dream Horse which is on at the cinema at Corinium Museum. Teens aren’t forgotten, they can discover Haunted Cirencester, with a spooky tour by the Museum’s Emma Stuart, a brilliant tour full of ghost stories, urban legends, and ghostly happenings associated with the historic buildings across Cirencester. Mini Mosaics Children’s Workshop is ages 8+ on 26 October, from 10.30am to 12pm. Tickets cost £18. Haunted Cirencester tour is on 20 October at 7pm lasts approximately one hour and for ages 16+. Tickets cost £8.50.

LEARN SOME HAUNTED HISTORY

Berkeley Castle in Glos is a great visit and never more so than at Halloween with all those creepy castle goings on. This year, Living History are returning to the Castle from 25 – 31 October with some spooky shenanigans to entertain you. There’s lots to keep your little horrors happy with terrible tales, gruesome gags and scary stories. Meet Beastly Bad Queen Bess, Henry VIII’s wives and Wee Jobbie the Gaoler will be looking out for new residents in the dungeon! Fun, entertaining and sneakily educational. Family tickets are £39.

Or head to Sudeley Castle between 25 – 31 October to see hair-raising characters tell enthralling tales about Victorian life, with gruesome games and quizzes, spooky stories and a haunted hunt in Sudeley’s mysterious dungeon (then refuel at the Castle Kitchen Pantry or Terrace Café). Book in here.

GET ON A GHOST TRAIN

Are you brave enough to climb aboard the Ghost Train? Arrive early at Kidderminster Station for the Ghost Train Experience from 28 October to 30 October. This one is for the whole family, there’ll be no escape but there will be face-painting and a spooky disco, before you make your way along the dark platform to find your seats. But beware, things that go bump in the night are not just outside the windows. There will be Halloween goodie bags for brave kiddos! Cost is £70 for a compartment of four.

BAKE SOME SPOOKY TREATS

Halloween Treats workshop, Cotswold Baking Workshop, 24, 27, 30, 31 October

No tricks here — only treats! Book in for a Halloween version of the Marvellous Macarons class with a spooky and creative spin on filling and decoration, cost £50. Or how about an afternoon of creative spooky-themed baking including pumpkin spiced latte macarons decorated for Halloween, churros with chocolate dipping sauce, and chocolate bark studded with Halloween sweets. The class is three hours long and contains all the equipment you need for £75.

Family Halloween Cookery session, 28 October, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Gloucestershire

Join the team at Harts Barn Cookery School for a fun day of cooking. This class is suitable beginners and they’ll learn how to make a two course feast. Once you have eaten your lunch in the Apple Barn, you will then start the afternoon baking and decorating cupcakes to take home with you – all with a wickedly Halloween twist. The class costs £45 and lasts from 10am till 3pm.

Pumpkin Carving, Bennets Willow Barn, near Malvern, 25 October

You’re never too old to carve a pumpkin. Come along and carve a pumpkin at this great craft venue from 10am to 4:30pm. Costs is just £7.50 per pumpkin. Price includes a pumpkin, utensils and an LED candle to take home. Book tickets in advance to use at any point during the day, or turn up on the day.

SEE A SHOW

Tweedy’s Lost Property, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 27 – 30 October

If you need some guaranteed giggles this half term book tickets for the comedy and slapstick legend that is Tweedy the Clown. In this brilliantly laugh-a-minute show watch as Tweedy gives into pressure to get a ‘real job. A one man, family show, that will have all of you in stitches. Tickets from just £14.

David Copperfield, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, until 30 October

show

Take them to see this terrific theatrical roller-coaster of a show at the award-winning Barn Theatre. This Dickens classic is a rite-of-passage story of a young man full of hope, learning about life from an eccentric cast of characters on his journey into adulthood. This new dramatisation by Simon Reade (Private Peaceful) is a family-friendly must-see.

LEARN A NEW SKILL

Come out of half term with a whole new skill at this brilliant workshop for budding young wildlife photographers (aged 8 or above) at Slimbridge Wildlife Centre. Tickets for an adult and a child cost just £32, and together you’ll learn how to get great shots of wildlife followed by a practical session outside. This event is suitable for all skill levels and beginners, plus there will be plenty of time for 1-2-1 tuition. Takes place on 27 October between 10am and 1pm. Book your place here.

DAYS OUT WITH ANIMALS

Little ones will also love a trip to Atwell Farm Park in Beoley, Worcs. A fully working farm which holds regular talks and handling sessions, there’s a special Halloween Spooktacular going on from 23 – 31 October. Pick your own pumpkin then get stuck into pumpkin carving, a Ghastly Ghost Hunt and rewards for dressing up. Book online, the tickets include general entrance to this fun farm.

Or how about a countryside walk with a kid-friendly llama or alpaca?

alpacas

A 1 and a half hour session at Tibbiwell Alpacas in Painswick costs from as little as £20. You can meet and greet them at the farm and take one for a walk around the village with owners Sandie and Shaun. Pick your fave from the bunch for the experience, will it be Dumbledore, Pablo, Apollo or Salvador?

Or head to the hills and woodland with your trusty (llama) stead at Briery Hill Llamas in Newent. They have a whopping 26 llamas to choose from – all gentle and calm animals that are sociable and happy to walk at a gentle pace through the woodlands and fields.

GO ICE-SKATING

IceQuest, Malvern Ice Rink, Malvern, throughout October

A good one for all ages. Don some skates and take to the rink in Malvern, throughout half term there are special sessions on with children and novice skaters very welcome, the ice is kept softer and snowy, to make a slower speed for skating for all the family and medium sharp Roza skates are available to hire. Little wobbly ones can use handy seal-shaped walkers to make their way around.

GO FOR A NATURE WANDER

For lungfuls of fresh air head to the magical Forest of Dean & Wye Valley. It’s a perfect way to beat boredom whilst exploring one of Britain’s largest forests, as well as miles of picturesque riverside tracks and panoramic viewpoints overlooking as many as seven different counties. Kids will love the zip wires, sculpture trails and biking routes. There are eight new temporary sculptures which celebrate forest wildlife, flora, and fauna on its sculpture trail at Beechenhurst. Open until 31 October the ‘Forest to Forest’ trail is designed to uplift visitors after the hardship of the pandemic and help reconnect with nature. Plus, it’s only 1km in length, making it easy on little feet.

Keep your eyes peeled for special events coming up at Westonbirt Arboretum this half term. But kids will love this place, with the beautiful backdrop of Westonbirt’s national tree collections they can run around like crazy loons take along a warming picnic with flasks of hot chocolate to enjoy whilst they play hide and seek and leap in the piles of crunchy leaves.

Prepare yourself for major mother / father brownie points for this one. The new Battlesports Glos Kid’s Outdoor Laser Tag and Paintballing in Newnham is spot on to burn off energy. Basically a winning combo of real life video games and lots of fresh air.

Players are issued with a cap, team bib, and camo face paint and get the choice of a laser guns, from a small pistol to a large machine gun. Ammo is unlimited too. The best bit? The big kids (aka adults) are allowed to join in too and purchase smoke grenades to add an extra surprise to the game. Can this get any better? Click here to book. From £10 per person for a one hour session.

Got a head for heights? Then take them to Go Ape Treetop Challenge at the Wyre Forest in Worcs.

Ascend to the highest canopies (if you dare, or just wave at them from the ground) and have a go on the obstacle course and fast zip wires.  Set in one of Britain’s largest remaining ancient forests, with its enormous Douglas fir trees  – they don’t call the Wyre the Valley of the Giants for nothing. Perfect for thrill seekers and fearless mini-bouncers.

RAIN STOPPING PLAY? TRY THIS …

A good tip for if it’s bucketing down, is to head to the super fun Mr Mulligan’s Crazy Golf in Cheltenham, to play one of two 18 hole courses (£29 per game). There is no age limit and kids will love whacking balls into lurking dinosaurs and wide-eyed whales in this Lost World paradise.

FURTHER AFIELD

Brick or Treat at Legoland, 14 – 31 October, Windsor

Lego-lovers should hightail it to this brilliant annual event at Legoland. The newest attraction is the Haunted Lighthouse Halloween Show at Heartlake City, with spooky songs and dancing. Have fun finding Monster Rockers hidden Halloween Surprises, as well as the Haunted House Monster Party Ride with Lord Vampyre. Download the Legoland app to help solve the clues, and get a goody bag from Lord Vampyre’s Butler, which includes a mini Lego pumpkin to build at home. Guests can also walk through the Enchanted Forest as well as greet Lego characters including werewolves, mummies and vampires. Tickets cost £39.

Virtual Introduction to Illusion Make-up, The Egg, Bath, 20 October

Great for teens, this quirky workshop at the innovative Egg theatre will teach them all about the world of professional stage makeup – and it’s perfect for ace-ing that Halloween look! Join a professional make-up artist Alana Ashley to cover the basic skills and techniques in special effects, illusion, and creative face and body art. The workshops will be delivered via The Egg Assembly platform and you will need a free Zoom account. All materials will be delivered directly and safely to your door. Please provide your address at the time of booking, as well as any allergies. For ages 13+.

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