Spooktacular half term
*Thud. Your Half Term Halloween guide has landed. Just add fake blood, a witches brew (for you) and out you go.
If the only thing going bump in the night is the sound of you racing to the nearest 24-hr Tesco to find a kids Halloween costume at 11 o’clock at night, read on. I’m not going to lie, this is not my favourite time of year, but the Muddy monsters are mad for it. My sanity saver is letting someone else go to all the hubble bubble toil and trouble of organising something spooktacaular (while I tuck into their sweetie haul). Here are the best events in Berks… If I’ve missed any, just holler.
Brick or Treat, Legoland, Windsor, until Mon 30 Oct
I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 21, 22, 27 & 28 October. Don’t forget to read my tips on how to survive Legoland.
Brickies Halloween Workshops, various locations, Mon 23 – Thurs 26 Oct
If you’re kids(aged 5-11) love Lego, then sign em up for a 2-hour Halloween themed brick building workshop where they will dabble in the dark arts with Count Brickula. Pop along to the play centre in Wokingham, or workshops in Maidenhead, Windsor and Woodley.
Spooktacular Halloween fun, The Bel & The Dragon Cookham, Thurs 26 Oct
Pumpkin carving, face painting and spooky stories at The Bel & the Dragon Cookham, Reading and Windsor. Send your ankle biters along in costume, for a couple hours of ghoulish fun and then when you fly back on your broomstick why not try for lunch – kids eat for FREE during October half term. Woohoo!
Pumpkin Carving, Cobbs Farm Shop Hungerford, Mon 23 – Sun 29 Oct
Slime and seeds – pumpkin carving is a nightmare. Leave the mess to someone else and hop over to Cobbs Farm. Pick up a pumpkin (pay for it) and get creative in our carving tent this October Half Term. Entry is £3.50 per child and includes a complimentary Halloween treat and squash to keep those creative juices flowing!
Ghostbusters, Swan at Streatley, Thurs 26 Oct
Who doesn’t love a possessed Sigourney Weaver and a giant marshmallow man? The Swan at Streatley’s open-air cinema is back. Drinks on tap, wood-fired pizzas and I’d recommend a warm blanket. Who you gonna call? The ticket hotline’s a good start
Halloween Trail, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
If you go down to Cliveden woods you’re in for a spooky surprise. Gather up your mini monsters and let them terrorise the wildlife on a Holloween Trail at the Cliveden National Trust. Turn up anytime between 11am-2.30pm, between 21 and 29 October. Fancy dress is optional (but your kids will turn you to stone if they don’t).
Concertini: Spooky Music, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Wed 25 Oct
What makes horror movies so blinkin terrifying? The music. Perfect timing for the Wiltshire Piano Duo to join Concertini at Norden Farm to be playing a spooky concert – expect well known orchestral pieces for all ages. Tickets £8 norden.farm
Halloween Trail & Tea, The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor Fri 27 – Tues 31 Oct
I always think if you can kill two birds with one stone you’re winning at life. Head to Oakley Court in Wndsor and let the kids scare themselves silly on the ghostly trail. Bypass the smelling salts and opt for medicinal glass of fizz before you all tuck into a lush Halloween themed afternoon tea.
Halloween Quiz, Royal Oak Yattendon, Tues 31 Oct
Fright night fun for all the family with the added bonus of a cheeky glass or two for yourself. Pull together your trick or treat quiz team, dress up and test your Halloween knowledge with the kids. It beats knocking on doors. To book call 01635 201325 or email [email protected].
Hallo’welly’ween, Wellington Country Park Reading, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
A week of spooktacular fun for the kids at Wellington Country Park from 21 – 29 October – Storytime, monster’s mischief and magic shows, a creepy craft room, scary face painting, a haunted Halloween train ride, pumpkin carving and much more! Book em up.
Halloween, Bucklebury Farm Park
This October half term wave your magic wand to whisk you of to Bucklebury Farm Park for the great annual pumpkin hunt, hurry through the haunted house and get your fingers sticky with toffee apples and homemade popcorn!
Beale Park, Pangbourne, Mon 23 – Tues 31 Oct
Head to Beale Park like a bat out of her for its Halloween bat-themed Trail and prize draw. Just look for the clues that will be dotted around the Park. Or join the Build a Bat Box workshop own Wed 25 Oct – 10.30am – 12.30pm. All the deets are here.
MaidenDead Zombie Walk, The Bell Maidenhead, Sat 28 Oct
The annual fright night is almost here. Ditch trick or treating (it’s so 1980s) a, it’s all about the zombie walk. A chance to dress up, go crazy with the face paints, spill your guts (literally) and drag yourself from The Bell in Maidenhead to The Anchor for the Monster Mash After Party.
Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, Sun 1 Oct – Sun 12 Nov
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Thorpe Park Fright Nights, Fri 29 Sept – Tues 31 Oct
Wah-ha-haaaa! This is my idea of total hell, but if you or your kids like to be frightened to death, be my guest at Thorpe Park Fright Nights. They’re promising new horror experiences, live action attractions based on The Walking Dead, extreme live action horror mazes, Derren Brown’s Rise of the Demon ghost train and and all manner of other horrific stuff not suitable for middle-aged women called Hero over 40.
Horrible Hampton, Hampton Court, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Do you have the stomach to pull rotten teeth, scour the ‘gong’ from the toilets or investigate the ‘Royal Wee’? You’ll fit in just fine at the court of Henry VIII then. Plus The Magic Garden is open until Sun 29 Oct where kids can come face to face with mysterious mythical beasts, storm the battlements, besiege the towers and explore the secret grotto. Wimple optional.
Ghost Fest, Oxford Castle, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Oxford Castle goes totally OTT at Halloween and it’s usually great fun. This time round there are guided family tours, a Spooky Sunday party on Sun 29 Oct with pumpkin carving and fancy dress, or Spooky Tours for older kids (11+), with a character tour guide and a whole load of ghosts. oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk
Shrek’s Adventure, County Hall, London, ongoing
Tried this one yet? Billed as London’s newest tourist attraction (about 5 minutes from Waterloo tube), this family-friendly DreamWorks tour takes you on a 4D bus adventure with Shrek’s Donkey as guide. There are 10 live fairy-tale themed shows where kids can visit Shrek’s swamp, find their fortune in the crystal ball, and get lost in the Mirror maze. It’s for kids 6-12 primarily and lasts about 75 mins. Shrek’s Adventure London has been devised by the team behind the London Dungeon and it works in a similar way – dropped into various scenes, you have to solve clues, sing and activate your silly gene. Sounds fun.
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 , shreksadventure.com
The Haunted Castle, Warwick Castle, Sat Oct 21-Tues Oct 31
Fire jousting, dreadful dungeons, ghostly tales in Witches Tower, Horrible Histories maze and an Edinburgh Fringe sell-out – Seance. It’s no wonder The Haunted Castle will remain open until 9pm with so much going on! Enjoy eerie escapades throughout the day and as darkness falls over the ancient towers and ramparts, the scare factor rises. New for 2017 is live entertainment on Dead Centre Stage, Dolls House and Glen Neath and David Rosenberg’s Séance, fresh from rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – an intense 15-minute sonic performance for an audience of 20 that will test just how susceptible you are to a visit from the other side. Not one for the claustrophobic!