October Half Term – Kids Activities

Half term halloween fun

Half term halloween funThere are many fun things to do with your kids this October half-term.

As always, many are linked to Halloween events, and while Halloween falls after the end of the October half-term break this year, there are loads of activities during the week

Here is a selection of events that we have been posted by our readers and local community groups. See official websites for more information – please do not ask in the comments for more details. Always book in advance to avoid disappointment. Want to add your event? Just contact us today!

Autumn and Halloween Themed Half Term Activities

Apple Day – Great Baddow, Chelmsford

Website: www.eapples.co.uk

Family fun including apple tasting, competitions, refreshments and lots of apple related things to do! 10am-4pm. Free. Tel: 01245 266691. Lathcoats Farm, Beehive Lane, CM2 8LX.

Apple Weekend – Upminster

Website: www.thameschase.org.uk

Apples, apple juice, honey, preserves, willow weaving, coppicing, wildlife skeletons, Morris dancing, children’s activities and treasure hunt. Free. 10am-4pm. Tel: 01708 642975. Thames Chase,

Arts in Nature – Harlow

Website: www.ecco.org.uk/parndon-wood

Use materials you find on the trail to create a masterpiece to take home! Plus go deep into the wood and move around the leaves and logs to create something amazing! Fun to be had by all the family.

Creepy Creatures – Hyde Hall, Chelmsford

Website: www.rhs.org.uk/hydehall

Enjoy half term fun on the theme of creepy creatures with weekday art and craft workshops and pumpkin carving. On Friday 27th October, there’s also scary themed face painting. Check website for more information.

Dr Gore’s Spooky Mad Lab! – Waltham Abbey

Website: www.royalgunpowdermills.com

A week full of ghoulish and ghastly activities – Dr Gore and team have some great creations up their sleeves which they want you to try! Discover all things green and gooey at the Slime Station!

Family Medieval Harvest Weekend – Witham

Website: www.visitparks.co.uk

Medieval themed family event, where you can meet Medieval re-enactors and learn about life in the past. 10am-4.30pm. Free entry. Cressing Temple, Witham Road, CM77 8PD.

Half Term Halloween Trail – Coggeshall

Website: www.markshall.org.uk

The Halloween trail is alive with beastly facts and gruesome details and takes in some of the spooky sights of Marks Hall. Collect your trail leaflet from the kiosk and when you finish. Check website for more information.

Halloween Crafts – Chelmsford

Website: www.essex.police.uk/museum

Sat 21st, Wed 25th & Sat 28th Oct. Come along and make your own spooky masks and trick or treat bags! Fancy dress is welcome! 10am- 4pm. £2 each. Essex Police Museum, HQ, Chelmsford.

Halloween Pumpkin Trail – Stansted Mountfitchet

Website: www.mountfitchetcastle.com

Follow the clues to find the pumpkins, collect their names to claim your prize. There will also be an interactive event where children can launch witches and ghosts from a medieval catapult at 12pm. Check website for more information.

Halloween Special – Saffron Walden

Website: www.audley-end-railway.co.uk

Experience a spoooooky Halloween train ride deep into the woods of the Audley End Estate to visit the witches at their Haunted House! Meet the witches themselves, receive a special treat and watch them perform!

Mischief & Mayhem – Waltham Abbey

Website: www.lvfarms.co.uk/events

Your favourite farmyard friends will be creating mischief and mayhem at Lee Valley Park Farms this October half term, make sure you join them for some spooky fun. Standard prices apply. Tel: 01992 892781.

October Half Term at Rainham Marshes

Website: www.rspb.org.uk/rainhammarshes

Drop in to Rainham Marshes this half term, to take part in some fabulous family activities! You can pick up an adventure trail sheet at the visitor centre, take part in self-guided activities, or on Tuesday-Thursday. Check website for more information.

Pirate Week – Hadleigh

Website: www.facebook.com/hadleighfarm

Come and celebrate pirate half term week. Treasure trail, craft activities and animal handling. Free entry for children dressed as pirates. 10am-5pm. Hadleigh Farm Rare Breed Centre, Castle Lane, Hadleigh.Check website for more information.

Pumpkin Patch Self Guide Trail – Brentwood

Website: www.visitparks.co.uk

Buy a trail pack for £3 from the visitor centre and then set off on a walk through the woods searching for pumpkin trail markers. Solve puzzles and work out clues as you fill in your Halloween trail. Check website for more information.

Shriek Week – Colchester

Website: www.colchester-zoo.com

Join in with the fantastic themed displays, attractions and activities taking place every day. Plus on Sat 21st, Tue 24th, Thu 26th, Sat 28th &- Tue 31st Oct its Fright Night Enjoy 12 hours of fun. Check website for more information.

Vampire Bat Hunt Self Guide Trail – Brentwood

Website: www.visitparks.co.uk

Buy your trail guidebook for £3 from the Pavilion Cafe, and then set off on a self-guided Halloween adventure through the park. Complete your trail booklet ready to collect a special well done gift too! Check website for more information.

Wizards & Witches – South Woodham Ferrers

Website: www.marshfarm.co.uk

A happy Halloween event will have your little monsters entertained all day! Visit the Pumpkin Patch to pick your free pumpkin to create your pumpkin masterpiece in the Carving Cavern. 10am-5pm. Check website for more information.

Apple Day – Witham

Website: www.visitparks.co.uk

Come along to this free to enter event and enjoy craft stalls, local food, apple and cider tasting, plus live music, dancing and activities. 11am-4pm. Free entry. Cressing Temple, Witham Road, CM77 8PD.

Science Discovery Day: Space and Beyond – Chelmsford

Website: www.chelmsford.gov.uk

Discover Space and Beyond with a hands-on day. A visiting Planetarium will transport you through space. You can also manoeuvre remote control ‘moon buggies’, wear an invisibility cloak! Check website for more information.

Spooktastic Family Trail – Hanningfield

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Can you solve the spooky clues and track down the creepy creatures of Hanningfield Nature Reserve? Trail sheets £2.50 per child. No need to book. 10am-3pm. £2 per trail guide. Tel: 01268 711001 or check website for more information.

Get in! City Camps – Chelmsford

Website: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/citycamps

Half day and full day City Camps throughout the school holidays for children between aged between 4 and 12. There are a range of indoor activities each day, with sessions tailored to different age groups. Check website for more information.

Gruesome Goings On – Saffron Walden

Website: www.english-heritage.org.uk/events

Ghastly gallows, horrific hangmen and terrifying torture – travel back in time and discover the painful punishments your history teacher’s too timid to tell you! 11am-4pm. Check website for more information and prices.

Halloween Spooktacular – Southend

Website: www.adventureisland.co.uk

A half term of spooky fun. Spooktacular activities include scare maze, trick or treat hut Halloween treasure hunt, themed entertainment and best dressed competition. Tel: 01702 443400. Adventure Island, Southend on Sea.

Holiday Club – Hockley

Website: www.belchamps.org.uk

Action packed day with 6 exciting activities to do, on every weekday of the school holidays. £15.60pp. Booking essential. Tel: 01702 562690. Belchamps Scout Centre, Hollyoak Lane, Hawkwell, SS5 4JD.

October Activities – Harlow

Website: www.harlowleisurezone.co.uk/kids

Leisurezone has a huge range of exciting activities for the kids to enjoy this October holiday. Including, multi activity days, roller skating camp, trampolining, spooky crafts and much more!

October Half Term at Colchester Leisure World

Website: www.colchesterleisureworld.co.uk

Leisure World has a variety of activities and sports sessions on offer over the half term. From craft activities to sports sessions and from fun in the pools to whole day activity sessions – there is something for everybody!

PumpkinFest – Billericay

Website: www.barleylands.co.uk

There’ll be lots of fiendish fun to enjoy including brand new laser ghostbusting which the whole family can enjoy, spooky pumpkin biscuit decorating and a chance to step inside the giant pumpkin… Check website for more information.

Spooky Fest – Basildon

Website: www.thecursed.co.uk/kids

Your ticket gives you access to the haunted house, toy shop and ‘carnevil’ where there will be live actors, special effects and confusing routes. Receive a treat bag at the end.

Bonkers About Conkers – Hanningfield

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Collecting, catapulting, crafting and planting conkers. An event celebrating seed gathering season. Conker trail and activities. 10am-12noon. £6 per child. Booking essential. Tel: 01268 711001. Hanningfield Reservoir.

Family Pumpkin Carving – Brentwood

Website: www.visitparks.co.uk

Locally grown pumpkins, carving tools, stencils and ideas are all provided for children to take part in this fun and memorable tradition. Meet at the visitor centre and join in a short walk to the pumpkin patch!

Halloween – Castle Hedingham

Website: www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk

Every day (except 27th Oct) there’s spooky things happening. The witches and friends have taken over, have a diesel ride with a skeleton crew and take part in spooky games and activities.

Halloween at the Witches Tower – Jaywick

Website: www.tendringdc.gov.uk

Come along to a Halloween gathering of ghouls and ghastly monsters and join in with the Halloween games. Be careful that the witches do not turn you into a pumpkin! 5pm-7pm. Free. Jaywick Martello Tower.

Halloween Pumpkin Party – nr Colchester

Website: www.layermarneytower.co.uk

Dress your best in spooky fancy dress and join in the pumpkin party. Apple games and pumpkin fun, scary tales up the tower, but not so frightening…this is more Halloween Lite. 1pm-4pm. Child £12, Check website for more information.

Harry Potter Day 2 – Braintree

Website: www.braintreemuseum.co.uk

Come and see live owls, drink butterbeer and check out the exhibition ‘School for Witchcraft & Wizardry’. 11am-1pm. Free with admission charge. Tel: 01376 328868. Braintree Museum.

Prehistoric Colchester

Website: www.cimuseums.org.uk

Ever wondered what was in Colchester before the Romans arrived? There will be craft activities and object handling, looking into Colchester’s ancient past. 10am -4pm. Free event after normal admission. Check website for more information.

Spook it Craft – Grays

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Make some spooky halloween crafts to take home and decorate your house. 10.30am-11.30am, 12.30pm- 1.30pm. £6 per child. Booking essential. Tel: 01375 484016. Chafford Gorges Visitor Centre, near Lakeside.

Awesome Autumn Adventure – Colchester

Website: www.visitcolchester.com

Autumn is the perfect time to take a closer look at trees. See how many different trees, seeds and leaves you can find on our tree trail and create a beautiful leaf mosaic. Suitable age 4+. 10am-12noon. Check website for more information.

Halloween Themed Fancy Dress Mini Own-A-Pony – Chelmsford

Website: www.chelmsfordequestriancentre.co.uk

Fancy dress competition, treasure hunt, riding and care. Be sure to wear suitable riding clothes under your fancy dress costume! Minimum age 5 years old. Booking essential. Tel: 01245 358116. Chelmsford. Check website for more information.

Natural Colchester

Website: www.cimuseums.org.uk

Meet members of Colchester’s Natural History Society and find out how you can get involved with local wildlife. Bring along your nature finds for identification, bones, teeth, plants and insects. Check website for more information.

Werewolves and Unicorns – Braintree

Website: www.braintreemuseum.co.uk

Make glow in the dark wands along with your own werewolf or unicorn. 11am-1pm. Free with admission charge. Booking essential. Tel: 01376 328868. Braintree Museum, Manor Street, CM7 3HW.

Wizardy Walk – Abberton

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

A morning of magical fun on the reserve for all the family. A walk around the nature reserve with a wonderful wizard to discover some magical creatures. 10.30am-12noon. £6 requested donation per person.

Woolly Mammoth Fun Days – Saffron Walden

Website: www.saffronwaldenmuseum.org

Learn about these enormous creatures that lived during the last Ice Age! 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm. Usual admission charges apply and children must bring an adult. Tel: 01799 510333. Saffron Walden Museum.

Young Adventurers – Hanningfield

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Activity day suitable for 8-12-year-olds who want to get adventurous outdoors. Enjoy making fires, building shelters and tracking animals. 10am-2pm. £10 per child. Booking essential. Tel: 01268 711001. Check website for more information.

Zombies at Mayhem – Abridge

Website: www.laser-mayhem.co.uk

This Halloween, Zombie Warfare comes to Laser Mayhem, battle across Mayhem’s post-apocalyptic wasteland with downed aircraft, battle-tanks and fortresses to help you on your adventure! For ages 7+ Check website for more information.

Zombies at Mayhem – Abridge

Website: www.laser-mayhem.co.uk

This Halloween, Zombie Warfare comes to Laser Mayhem, battle across Mayhem’s post-apocalyptic wasteland with downed aircraft, battle-tanks and fortresses to help you on your adventure! For ages 7+ Check website for more information.

Bats and Phoenixes – Braintree

Website: www.braintreemuseum.co.uk

Create your own hanging bat in a cave along with your own phoenix. 11am-1pm. Free with admission charge. Booking essential. Tel: 01376 328868. Braintree Museum, Manor Street, CM7 3HW. www.braintreemuseum.co.uk

Bird of Prey Evening – near Romford

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Get up close to some fluffy frights; owls and birds of prey from a local birds of prey academy. 6pm-8pm. Ages 7+. £7 per person. Booking essential. Tel: 01708 748646. Bedfords Park Visitor Centre.

Creature Feature! – Colchester

Website: www.bethchatto.co.uk

All about amazing wild creatures as they get ready for winter, with challenges, games and fantastic outdoor autumn art. 10.30am-2pm. Accompanied children £8, one adult per child free.

Halloween Lanterns – Colchester

Website: www.cimuseums.org.uk

Make your own creepy lantern to scare the trick or treaters. Sessions at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm. £3 per person. Booking essential. Tel: 01206 282941. Hollytrees Museum, High Street.

Museums at Night – Colchester

Website: www.cimuseums.org.uk

Visit Colchester Castle after hours and learn more about Colchester’s dark past. You will have the opportunity to go on tours of the Castle or enjoy the galleries at your own leisure. Booking required!

Scrapbook Safari – Chelmsford

Website: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/hylands

Discover the wildlife at Hylands. Following an exploration out on the park you will go inside for a craft and scrapbooking session. 10am-12pm. £5 per child (maximum 3 children per adult).

Spooky Fun – Witham

Website: www.visitparks.co.uk

An activity packed day, enjoy brand new interactive puppet shows, magical storytelling and complimentary creepy face painting. Plus explore the site with three themed trails and find ghosts, pumpkins and more!

Spooky Pony Rides – Chelmsford

Website: www.chelmsfordequestriancentre.co.uk

Come and meet the gorgeous ponies and ride around the fields of the farm. Suitable for children from the age of 3. From 2pm. Booking essential. Tel: 01245 358116. Chelmsford Equestrian Centre, Carlton Farm, Beehive Ln, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 8RL

Bewitched Bedfords – near Romford

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

A day of Halloween themed fun. Follow the trick or treat trail, take part in minibeast hunting and pumpkin carving and dress your best for the best costume competition. Ages 4+. 10am-4pm. £7

Fright Night – Colchester

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Come and brave a frightening walk around the nature reserve with all the ghosts and ghouls that lurk in the woodland. Refreshments available to purchase on the night. Birds of prey flying and storytelling

Halloween Fun Day – Grays

Website: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/Fire_Museum

Halloween crafts, museum exploration & more! 12noon – 4pm. £3 per child (2’s and under free) No need to book. Frightnight sessions at 6pm-8pm. Prepare to be scared! For everyone aged 11+

Museums at Night – Saffron Walden

Website: www.saffronwaldenmuseum.org

Bring your torch and follow the night-time trail. Usual admission charges apply and children must bring an adult. 6pm-8pm. Tel: 01799 510333. Saffron Walden Museum, Museum Street, CB10 1JL.

Nocturnal Nasties – Hanningfield

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Dress up in your Halloween costume and come and explore wildlife on the nature reserve and take part in art and crafts, bat detecting, mini-beast hunting and much more. This event is aimed at 4-8 year-olds.

Pixies and Trolls – Braintree

Website: www.braintreemuseum.co.uk

Design your own pixie fridge magnets and 3D troll. 11am-1pm. Free with admission charge. Booking essential. Tel: 01376 328868. Braintree Museum, Manor Street, CM7 3HW.

Pumpkin Carving – Chingford

Website: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/eppingforest

Come and create a spooktacular pumpkin. Refreshments available. Prizes for carvers who come in costume. £5 per person, includes pumpkin, t-light and use of carving tools. £2 per non-carver.

Spooky Nights – Billericay

Website: www.barleylands.co.uk

The two evenings will be packed full of thrills, spills and chills for tots to young teens. Spooktactular family friendly activities including huge fairground ghost train, haunted fairground house….

Autumn Traditions: Halloween – Southend

Website: www.southendmuseums.co.uk

Come into the old Hall and learn about the ancient British roots of our modern Halloween. Hear traditional spooky stories from Master Robert as he prepares for Hallowe’en and carves his pumpkins

Halloween at Blake House – nr Braintree

Website: www.blakehousecraftcentre.co.uk

Halloween at Blake House – – Braintree A weekend of spooktacular fun with pumpkin hunt, bouncy castle, competitions, side shows, barbecue and more! 11am-4pm. Tel: 01376 344123. Blake House Craft Centre,.

Halloween Face Painting – Braintree

Website: www.georgeyard.co.uk

A Halloween themed art zone along with free face painting under the bandstand! 10am -3pm. Free. Tel: 01376 550373. George Yard Shopping Centre, CM7 1RB.

Halloween Trail – Colchester

Website: www.visitcolchester.com

Follow the map around the park and try to solve the Halloween puzzle. If you are in fancy dress you will get a sweet treat at the end! 11am-3pm. Free. Tel: 01206 282920. Visitor Centre, Highwoods Country..

Halloween Trick or Treat Show – Bocking

Website: www.thebockingartstheatrecomplex.co.uk

A spooky party with Joe Banana. Plenty of music and magnificent magic, exciting games, loads of fun and plenty of giveaways. 11am – 12.30pm, 1.30pm – 3pm, 4pm – 5.30pm. Adult £5, child £1. See their website for more details.

Haunted Hanningfield

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Follow the spooky trail through the woods. Dare you go in? Halloween treat for the brave! What creepy creatures will you find on the bug hunting activity? Pumpkin carving in the Visitor Centre….

Haunting Halloween – Basildon

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Annual evening of thrills and chills in the woods – follow the self-guided trail but beware of things that go bump in the night! Finish with stories and marshmallows at the camp fire. 6pm-9pm. £7.  See their website for more details.

Pumpkin Day – near Chelmsford

Website: www.rhs.org.uk/hydehall

See the annual pumpkin display, and then have a go at carving a pumpkin yourself. You can even bring along your own pumpkin to be weighed by their expert grower, Matthew Oliver. 10am-4pm. Tel: 01245 400256, See their website for more details.

Skeleton Wood – Leigh-on-Sea

Website: www.essexwt.org.uk

Bring your funny bones to Skeleton Wood for this Halloween event! Silly skeleton crafts, trails, mischief and stories. Fancy dress encouraged! 4pm-6pm. Booking essential. £8 per child. See their website for more details.

Spooky Day out with Thomas – Colchester

Website: www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk.

Spooky Day Out With Thomas – nr Colchester Things get a little spooky with Thomas and his friends this Halloween, so come and join in with some ghoulish fun! Admission will include unlimited steam train rides. See their website for more details.

Steam & Scream – Ongar

Website: www.eorailway.co.uk

Sat 28th, Sun 29th & Tue 31st Oct. Dare you ride the Ghost train? Train, entertainment and spooky gift for the children included. Adults £13/ £15, children £10 / £12 which includes… See their website for more details.

Guy Fawkes Trail – Halstead

Website: www.halsteadtowncouncil.co.uk

Everyone is invited to make a Guy Fawkes to bring along to the Public Gardens between 9am & 10am. The Guys will be supervised until 3pm where members of the public are invited to wander around the gardens.

Halloween Spooky Science Day – near Maldon

Website: www.museumofpower.org.uk

Spooky science show with the mad professor, hands on experiments and crafts. 10am-4pm. Adult £6, child £3. Tel: 01621 843183. Museum of Power, Hatfield Road, Langford, CM9 6QA. www.museumofpower.org.uk

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