There are many fun things to do with your kids this October half-term.
As always, many are linked to Halloween events (Halloween falls at the end of the October half-term break this year.
Here is a selection of events that we have been posted by our readers and local community groups. Halloween themed events are listed first and below sports and activities.
Halloween Themed Events
3 to 8 years Half Term Camp – Halloween Inspired!
Witches and Wizards Week, Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, South Woodham Ferrers, CM3 5WP
- October 25-31, daily
- Tickets: £9.99 online discount, £11.50 on the day, free for under 2s and annual pass holders
- A family fun daytime event with Story Telling, Pumpkin Carving, and Free spooky Craft activities, plus all the fun of the farm.
Hallowe’en Half Term Festival, Old MacDonalds Farm, Weald Road, Brentwood CM14 5AY
- Saturday October 25 – Sunday November 2, 10am-5pm
- Tickets: £13.50 for 2-15 years, £14.50 for adults, free for under 2s
- Halloween fun at the farm with Creepy Creative Activities, pumpkin carving, spooky rides and ghost stories. Free entry for one child in fancy dress on October 31st per paying adult. Discounted booking online.
H’owl’oween – South Woodham Ferrers
- 25th-31st October
- Tropical Wings, Wickford Road, CM3 5QZ
- Tel: 01245 425394
- Get up close to the ‘Creepy Critters’ and ‘Beastly Bugs’ or carve a pumpkin.
Great Hallowe’en Pumpkin Hunt, Beth Chatto Gardens. Elmstead Market, Colchester CO7 7DB
- Saturday October 25 to Sunday November 2, 9am- 4pm
- Tickets: Under 14s free, £6.95 adults
- A Halloween pumpkin hunt. Grab a map from the Nursery shop and find the hidden pumpkins within the Gardens. Collect all the stamps on your way round and then take your map to the Tea Room for a tasty Halloween treat.
Spooky Secret Island, Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey EN9 1JX
- Sunday October 26 – Sunday November 2, 10am-5pm
- Tickets: £9.50 adults, £8.50 3-15 years, £9.50 concessions, free under 3s
- Dr Gore takes to the Mad Lab for a gruesome series of experiments. Professor Nitrate’s evil twin Dr Gore will be hosting science shows and cooking up some horribly horrific experiments in his crazy Mad-Lab.
Halloween Crafts at Stanford Le Hope
- Date: Tue 28th Oct 14 — until — Fri 31st Oct 14
Location: Walton Hall Road, Linford, Stanford Le Hope, Stanford Le Hope, Essex, SS17 0RH
- Halloween Crafts for all children to do Tues – Fri of half term £7.50 entry including crafts and entrance to our playbarn and outside areas. Crafts include Pumpkin carving, Ghosts and Frankin Cups
- Call Victoria Forrest on 01375 644558
- Web: http://www.waltonhallfarm.co.uk
Little Frankenstein, Lempen Puppet Theatre Company, Creative Arts Live, Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3LL
- Monday October 27, 11.30am & 1.30pm
- Tickets: £5, aged 5+
- Puppeteer Frank Stein has had enough with his badly made puppets. They stop him from achieving his great potential as a performer. Taking inspiration from his most infamous ancestor, the scientist Dr Frankenstein, and with the help of the audience he creates a new real live puppet that is destined to change his life forever! A gentle horror for little horrors!
Frightening Fairy Tales and Spooky Stories, Audley End House and Gardens, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF
- Monday October 27 – Friday October 31 2014, 11am – 4pm
- Tickets: £9.20 for 5-15 years, £15.40 for adults, £13.90 for concessions
- Chilling storytellers delve into the fables of the Brothers Grimm and reveal the terrifying truth behind the bedtime fairytales you’ve grown to love. Show off your spook-tacular costumes and frighten the fearless staff.
Pumpkin Fest, Barleylands Craft Village, Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD
- Monday October 27 2014 to Friday October 31, 10am-5pm on Monday 27 – Wednesday 29, 10am to 4.30pm on Thursday 30 – Friday 31 October.
- Tickets: £10 for adults, £9 for 2-15 years and over 60s, under 2s free
- Join in a spooky half term PumpkinFest. Every child gets a free pumpkin, plus there’s pumpkin carving, a pumpkin trail, biscuit decorating, new ‘Dead Pin Bowling’ and slithery snakes and creepy crawlies galore.
Go Live! Creatures of the Dark, Colchester Natural History Museum, Hinxton, Colchester CO1 1DN
- Wednesday October 29, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm
- Tickets: £3 for 3 years and over, under 3s free
- Learn about bats, creepy crawlies and things that go bump. Here’s a chance to meet some of these creatures, including a giant fruit bat, big spiders, a scorpion and a barn owl.
Spooky Fun, Cressing Temple, Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD
- Wednesday October 29 to Friday, October 31, 11am – 3pm
- Tickets: Over 2s £7.95
- Find mysterious monsters in the walled garden or join the ghost trail. Ghostly arts and crafts will keep children busy, while storytelling, a magical magician, pumpkin throwing, and a creepy insect marquee will all set the scene for this spooktastic seasonal fun. Wear fancy dress as there will be a costume competition each day.
Fright Fantastic, Adventure Island, Southend SS1 1EE
- Saturday October 25 – Saturday November 1, 11am-8pm
- Tickets: £11-£21 (three band types available)
- Family friendly fun with The Trick or Treat Door, Black Screams, Over the Hill, Horror Hunts, and more.
Shriek Week, Colchester Zoo, Stanway, Colchester CO3 0SL
- Saturday October 25 2014 – Sunday November 2, 9:30am-4:30pm
- Tickets: £20.99 adults, £14.99 3-14 years, £18.99 Over 60s, 10% discount online booking
- This spine-chilling event is back and is planned to be better than ever with spook-tacular events suitable for all ages. Listen to tales from the crypt, have fun on the pumpkin train trail or come face to face with ghostly ghouls in the Haunted Mansion.
The Cursed, Wat Tyler Country Park, Essex
- Friday 24, Saturday 25, Wednesday 29, Thursday 30, Friday October 31, Saturday, November 1, 6.30pm-10:30pm every 15 minutes. For those age 12 and over.
- Tickets: £16.95
- The Cursed sad souls every October to haunt visitors! Around one hour of walking terrifying mazes, screaming in panic rooms and encountering scare makers as you pass through to the other side.
The Haunted House, Wat Tyler Country Park, Essex
- Thursday, October 30 and Friday October, 10am-2pm
- For children 4-11 years
- Tickets: £3 per child
- Take a walk through Essex’s haunted house, only for the most heroic children and bravest parents.
Fright Night, Hylands House, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ
- Thursday October 30, 4-6pm, 7-9pm
- Tickets: £10 adults, £7 children, under 3s free, all £10 on the door if available
- Designed for families the event includes a spooky trail, walkabout entertainment, a bespoke 3D projection show on the front of the house and a spectacular firework finale.
Spooky Bat Hunt, Thorndon Country Park, Brentwood CM13 3RZ
- Saturday October 25 – Sunday, November 2, 10.30am-2.30pm
- Tickets: £3 per trail guide
- Pick up a trail guide from the Pavilion Cafe and lead yourselves around the woods. Enjoy the spooky batty fun. Suitable for families. No need to book.
Sports and Activities
Bikeability Level 2 (3-day)
Kids Cupcakes and Cookie Decorating Courses + Halloween
Arsenal Soccer Schools : HARLOW
- Date: Mon 27th Oct 14 — until — Wed 29th Oct 14
- Location: Passmores Academy, Traceys Road, Harlow, CM18 6JH
- 10am – 3pm each day from just £17.50 a day.
- Each day there will be a skill theme focusing the children’s mind on set skills and techniques based around an Arsenal theme.
- Web: http://www.playthearsenalway.com
Arsenal Soccer Schools Hadeligh October Camp
- Date: Mon 27th Oct 14 — until — Wed 29th Oct 14
- Location: Westwood Academy, Beresford Close, Hadleigh, SS7 2SU
- Call Sam Rawlings on 01442938475
- 10am – 3pm each day from just £17.50 a day.
Come Rain or Shine Play Cafe
- We are open from 10 – 2pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of half term
- Location: Longmeads House, Writtle, Redwood Drive, Writtle, Essex, CM1 3LY
- Come along to our family play cafe in the grounds of Longmeads House in Writtle. We will have the mud kitchen, sensory kitchen, water activities, building and digging activities both inside and out.
- Web: http://www.naturalfoundations.co.uk
Fit For Sport Activity Camps at Basildon Sporting Village
- Mon 27th Oct — Fri 31st Oct
- Welcome to the Fit For Sport AllStars Activity Camps! Run, jump, throw and kick your way through the October Half Term
- Call: 0845 456 3233 / Web: http://www.fitforsport.co.uk
Football Holiday Camp – Voted Number 1 in the UK
- Camps in Basildon, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Dagenham and Upminster
- £25 per day
- UK Football Camps maintain a unique ‘FA structured’ syllabus, emphasising the importance of fun and games in youth football today.
- Call Robin: 01277 375155 / text: 07977 135799
- email: email@example.com
Go Karts, Bubble Football, Nerf Gun Party, Bouncy Castles HOLIDAY CAMP
- Date: Mon 27th Oct 14 — until — Fri 31st Oct 14
- Location: Recreation Centre, Writtle College, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 3RR
- Premier Sport are running a children’s holiday camp during the october half term 27th-31st.
- Activities Include- Bubble Football, Go Karts, Nerf Gun Party, Bouncy Castles, Halloween Party and Multi-sports!
- Contact: Sophie Roberts on 0753 8882 880
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: http://www.chewits.premiersport.org
Mad Science October Half Term
- Dates: Mon 27th Oct 14 — until — Fri 31st Oct 14
- You can join us for just one day or more, the choice is yours, just make sure you join us….
Our Days are suitable for 4 – 11 year olds, and all run from 10:00 – 15:00
- Venues: Braintree, Brentwood, Colchester, Chelmsford, Gosfield and Romford
- Web: http://www.mad-science.co.uk/east/
- CALL TO CHECK PLACES: Plasma Penny on 01245 363 670
Super Cams Multi-Activity Course