Half Term Activities and Halloween Fun
Before I had children Halloween was just another normal day on the calendar and I wouldn’t have even known when half term was.
However now you can’t help but notice that the supermarket aisles are crammed with cheap sweets, Halloween themed plastic stuff and dressing up outfits that are usually only worn once (and generally itch like mad)! I’m impressed with anyone who makes a palatable pumpkin pie or soup – in our house a week later those pumpkins are going soft and mouldy as I keep forgetting to get rid them !
Don’t get me wrong I’m no party pooper – our kids love to dress up and we like to hold a little party, carve a pumpkin and go trick or treating – it’s like having an extra birthday. During half term we also try to head out and about and I pray for dry weather.
Over the years I’ve discovered that trying to keep children occupied on a budget over the week can be a challenge. All across the West Country major local attractions are offering Halloween themed activities and most families have their favourite. We are great National Trust fans and most well known places have a good range of themed activities. But there are also lots of smaller locally organised events.
Here’s a round up of what’s on over half term in the area ideal for locals and visitors, with links to their websites for more details where available. So if you are looking for half term events in Devon, Dorset or Somerset take a look. These events are the result of my searching, not personal recommendations. If you want me to add something in please tell me quick!
Halloween Events and Activities in Devon, Dorset and Somerset
Rats, Bats and Witch’s Hats at the The Town Mill – follow a spooky Hallowe’en trail to receive a treat. Creepy clues will be hidden all over the mill complex from Saturday 22nd October to Sunday 30th October.
You can try your hand at Beastly Baking in the mill on Wednesday 26th October 11am-4pm
You can also try Creepy Crafts, Gruesome Games and Horrible Hot Chocolate in the mill shop. Visit the Mill Macabre this half term….it’ll be Spooktacular!
Saturday 29th October 2:30-4:30pm there will be live music in the courtyard from Keith Smart.
Lyme Kids Club
A group for under 8 year olds. Thursday 27th October 10-2 £2 per child at Lyme Regis church hall. We will have a photographer taking photos for us to buy. Lyme Regis Kids Club facebook page. Note this is in a different venue for the day.
La Di Da
Kids sewing workshop Tuesday 25th 10-1 firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Making all sorts. La Di Da facebook page link
Lyme Slime Fun Run
Saturday 29th October. We are expecting hundreds of witches, ghosts and cats in the Lyme Slime 2K and Halloween festival on Lyme Regis seafront. If you are still wanting to join in and receive a medal at the finish line as well as discounted entry be quick as these options both finish on Friday 21st October. More info at www.wackynation.com/lymeslime
Also Pumpkin bowling and a couple of other games in the Jubilee pavilions on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 27th as part of the Lyme Slime Halloween Festival.
There’s lots to keep creative types busy at this ceramic and pottery studio over half term. As well as painting your own pottery you can have a go at decoupage, learning to knit and making a dream catcher. Link to the Whoopsadaisy facebook page and here’s a PDF poster of what’s on. Suitable for all ages
Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton
Halloween party and an evening of great activities at The Thelma Herbert Gallery on Saturday 29th 5-9pm including : Creating your own silhouette shadow puppet with artist Willem Montagne Handling live creepy creatures (spiders, lizards and snakes). Making a bat box for your garden. Scary face painting. Exploring the garden to find spooky treats.
There will be delicious wood-fired pizzas, crêpes, hot chocolate for little trick-or-treaters, DJ and a bar all on site too. Art activities till 8pm. Free admission and art activities. Pay bar and food. Part of the national Museums At Night festival during this October’s Half Term.
The Donkey Sanctuary nr Sidmouth
Halloween themed events on all over term either £3 or free. There’s pumpkin carving, face painting and a holiday Halloween hunt as well as donkey grooming sessions. More details at The Donkey Sanctuary web site.
Children’s kids “bake offs” for school holidays and birthdays. £12. 3pm to 5 pm. Why not get a group together and get the children baking. The kids bake and then take home their cakes. Min 8 children, max 11. Contact Cathryn at Icing Occasions for more details.
East Devon Riding Academy – Branscombe
Countryside Activity Day for boys and girls aged from 5-12. Tuesday 25th. It will run whatever the weather (indoor facilities if needed), with lots of fun activities planned on a 27 acre site in beautiful East Devon countryside. The day will include-
* Have a go at archery * Grooming and feeding the ponies * Nature trail treasure hunt * Countryside obstacle course games * Nature craft session And lots more! The day will run from 10am-3.30pm and costs £30. There is an option to have a shared horse riding lesson in a small group (max 3 riders) for an additional £12, saving £10 off our usual group lesson cost! Excellent sibling discounts available too. More details at East Devon Riding Academy web site.
Axe Valley Wildlife Park
Axe Valley Wildlife Park’s Willemeena Witch is back for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of half term by popular demand. A spooktacular day of fun for all ages. Meet Willemeena and her pets, complete the hold a scary creature challenge, free Halloween Quiz and more. Link to the website here
East Devon Countryside Team Events
Try the spooky Halloween trail Seaton Wetlands, starts this weekend! Come to the Discovery Hut (Sat and Sun) or the Lookout (Mon to Fri) between 10am to 4pm to pick up your Haunted Halloween Trail. Follow the clues around the wetlands to win a prize!
Also Cranbrook on Wednesday (2-4pm) and Seaton Wetlands on Thursday (10am-12noon) for Spooky Halloween Crafts! Make autumn leaf lanterns, spooky goblin faces and owls from seeds and nuts. More event details here
Yeovil Country Park
Dress up spookily for a Halloween Trail in the woods on Friday 28th October, 11am-2pm, £1 per child, under 3s free, alternative buggy route/short cut available.
For those of you of a nervous disposition ,why not come along to Halloween Story Catchers on Sunday 30th October .
Sessions start at 11am & 1pm, storytelling and fun sensory activities aimed at 2-6yr olds. Free sessions on the meadows by the Ninesprings Cafe.
No need to book on either of these sessions, just come along at the times listed above. More details at the South Somerset Countryside website
Ferne Animal Sanctuary – nr Chard
If you want to escape the usual Halloween style events then head along to the lovely Ferne Animal Sanctuary which is always extremely grateful for any support given. Saturday 22nd – Sunday 30th October
Hidden here, hidden there… lots of gnomes to find throughout the Sanctuary Gnome Trail during the October Half Term. Prizes for finding all of them…. and entry to the prize draw for spotting the gold gnome. Gnome themed arts and craft activities every afternoon during half tern between 1-3pm, no additional charge, normal entry fee only.
Ferne has an accessible trail throughout the Sanctuary, through the woodland with the lily and dragonfly ponds and past the play equipment area, finishing outside the café. Perfect for pushchairs and the like. There is also a new plaque rubbing trail at Ferne Animal Sanctuary
Have a great Halloween week everyone.
This list is by no means exhaustive so please look out for other local events to join in with. Why not also make the most of our lovely free outdoors and try one of my walks that I’ve featured, they range in length so you should find something to suit most families – here’s the link to them.