The Bumper Muddy Half-term Guide
Pumpkin Week at Secretts of Milford, Tues 25 – Sun 30 Oct
Pumpkin Week has become a regular event on Hurst Farm, and this year there will be pumpkin picking tractor rides, face painting, decorate-your-own pumpkin biscuits, and children’s activities. Entry is £1.
Secretts of Milford, Hurst Farm, Chapel Lane, Milford, GU8 5HU. Tel: 01483 5202500. secretts.co.uk
Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, Chertsey, Fri 21 – Mon 31 Oct
It’s my idea of hell, but kids 13+ will probably love Fright Nights at Thorpe Park, with a new live action horror maze called Platform 15, plus rides including the UK’s first winged rollercoaster, a 100ft ‘beyond vertical’ drop and Stealth, one of Europe’ fastest and tallest rollercoasters. It’s from 3pm-10pm. Tickets from £29.99 – £51.50.
Family Ghost Tours, at Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Mon 31 Oct – Jan 2017
Get spooked at on an 90 minute evening walking tour at Hampton Court Palace, hearing spine chilling stories of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activity. Tours are at 6.30pm-8pm. Tickets are £14 adults and £7 children (8-14 years), with a maximum of three children per adult. Wrap up warm, as the weather won’t be the only thing giving you the chills.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Tel: 0844 482 7777. hrp.org.uk
Half-term fun at Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village, Compton, Sat 22 – Sun 30 Oct
Various art-based events at Watts Gallery. The Big Draw is a drop-in drawing festival from 11am-4pm for kids aged 5+ with a theme this year of STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Kids will It’s free with adult admission. Make! Halloween Prints, is another drop-in event, where kids can make a prints inspired by Halloween or autumn using the printing press. It’s from 11am-4m, and is free with adult admission. Or, if you want to get out into the woods, Make! Spiders is one where kids will forage for fir cones them make a furry woodland spider. Again it’s drop-in from 11am-4pm, and free with admission. Mini Make! Art Adventure, is a messy craft adventure including games, stories, songs and craft making for kids aged 2-5. It’s on Tues 25 Oct between 11am-3pm and costs £4 including materials. Bookings can be made in advance or on the day. And finally, on Fri 28 Oct, is Watts at Dusk, The Uncanny. It’s a late-night opening of the gallery (until 9pm), and all events are free with the cost of admission. Come dressed for Halloween, and take part in the Woodland Costume Parade (prizes for the best dressed!!), listen to ghost stories in the woodlands, and have your face painted, or just listen to the live music. Food and drink will be available.
Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village, Down Lane, Compton, GU3 1DQ. Tel: 01483 810235. wattsgallery.org.uk
Willa’s School of Witchcraft, at Godstone Farm, Godstone, Sat 22 – Sun 30 Oct
There is more spooky fun and magical merriment than you can shake your wand at, as Willa the Witch opens her first ever School of Witchcraft at Godstone Farm. But to get into Willa’s School of Witchcraft, you must first make your way through the Wicked Woodland Walk, and pass a test set by the newest resident, the Woodland Troll. There will also be pumpkin carving, face painting and a fireworks display, plus tractor rides, den building, the indoor playbarn and more than 500 animals to see.
Godstone Farm, Tilburstow Hill Rd, Godstone RH9 8LX. Tel: 01883 742546. godstonefarm.co.uk
Wizards and Witches Week, at Bocketts Farm, Fetcham, Mon 22 – Sun 30 Oct
Lots going on at Bocketts Farm, including daily magic shows by the farm’s Wizard Magician, Creepy Crafts at which you’ll make witches and wizards hat and spooky badges. There’s also a Spooky Quiz Trail in which each child receives a treat, plus snakes, spiders, lizards, tortoises, frogs and more in the Reptile Roadshow sessions! (on everyday except Sat 29 Oct). There are also hundreds of homegrown pumpkins for sale, so knives at the ready – and carve!
Bocketts Farm, Young Street, Fetcham, nr Leatherhead, KT22 9BS. Tel: 01372 363764. bockettsfarm.co.uk
Wild Halloween Camp, at Painshill, Cobham, Mon 24 Oct – Fri 28 Oct
Have a wild time this Halloween with den building, woodland craft, campfires, treasurer hunts and spooky adventures. There’s something different each day, although Wed 26 Oct is already fully booked. Children must be 8-13 years. It’s from 9am-4pm and the cost is £40 a day, or £170 for five days. Advance booking is a must.
Painshill, Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1JE. Tel: 01932 868113. painshill.co.uk
Half-term activities, at Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Sat 22 – Sun 30 Oct
Download the free ‘Time Explorers’ app to your mobile device and try the new digital missions where you’ll meet characters from history facing a tricky situation. Solve their problem by tackling a series of challenges that will take you all over the palace to find the right answers.
A Garden Adventure
Pick up a map and unlock the secrets of the royal gardens by answering quiz questions and through I-spy. It’s from 11am-3.30pm, and the cost is included in the palace entry fee.
Find out about the smellier side of Henry VIII’s Tudor Palace. The Tudor court is recruiting for the dirty jobs needed to make the palace run cleanly. Could you pull out rotten teeth, or diagnose the King’s illnesses? Have you got what it takes to be a gong scourer or a laundress. The day is designed to entertain and inform the whole family. It’s from 11.30am-3.30pm, and the cost is included in the palace entry fee.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Tel: 0844 482 7777. hrp.org.uk
TransportFest, at London Bus Museum, Brookands Museum, Woking, Sun 23 Oct
TransportFest returns with bus displays including rarely-seen early buses and displays of taxis, emergency vehicles and military vehicles. There will be heritage bus trips, horse bus rides, a market, plus live music and children’s attractions.
Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Webridge, KT13 0QN. Tel 01932 857 381. brooklandsmuseum.com
October Spooky Spectacular Fun, at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Mon 24 – Fri 28 Oct
Plenty going on at Denbies Vineyard this half-term. There are craft activities each day from 11am-3pm, in association with the Raindbow Trust Children’s Charity. The cost is from £1.50. On Mon 24 and Thurs 27 Oct, there are spooky train rides and storytelling. It’s aimed at kids aged 3-11. Each child gets a spooky chocolate treat. This is an outdoor activity that takes about an hour, so warm clothing is recommended. The cost is £7.50 child, £3 adult (which includes a hot drink). On Wed 26 Oct, the Hobgoblin Children’s Theatre will show the Spookiest Fairy Tale Ever Told, aimed at children 3-11 years. It’s an hour-long performance, and the cost is £7.50 per child, with accompanying adults free. Shows at 11am and 2pm.
Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking, RH5 6AA. Tel: 01306 876616. denbies.co.uk
Halloween Activity Week, at Birdworld, Farnham, Mon 24 – Fri 28 Oct
Head to Birdworld for haunting time and ‘magic’ up a little something for the spooky season. Walk through the creepy corridors of the Halloween Grotto to see a spectacle of spooks and a coven of very wicked witches. No booking is required, and entry is included in the park entry fee.
Birdworld, Holt Pound, Farnham, GU10 4LD. Tel: 01420 22838. birdworld.co.uk
Teddy Bears Picnic, at Farnham Maltings, Sat 29 Oct
London Contemporary Theatre present A Teddy Bear’s Picnic, with live music and puppetry. Take your favourite teddy bear along, and see if you can help solve the mystery of the missing invitation. Tickets are £7, and the show is in the Tindle Studio, starting at 2.30pm.
Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, GU9 7QR. Tel: 01252 745444. farnhammaltings.com
Animals of the Night: October half-term, at RHS Wisley, Mon 22 – Sun 30 Oct
It’s Wild About Gardens Week at RHS Wisley, and there’s plenty going on each day to entertain the kids – most of it themed around bats. There’s also pumpkin carving, make your own… sessions, sow and grow workshops and storytelling. The pumpkin carving must be booked in advance. The cost is £4, and that includes a pumpkin, tools and template. Children must be 6+ and have an adult in tow. Sessions ore on Wed 26, Thurs 27 and Fri 28 at 10.30am, 11.15am, noon, 1.30pm, 2.15pm and 3pm. Book here.
Wisley RHS Gardens, Woking, GU23 6QB. Tel: 0845 260 9000. rhs.org.uk
Comics Week, at The Lightbox, Woking, Tues 25 – Fri 28 Oct
As always in the half-term holidays, The Lightbox has plenty going on, this time with a theme of comics, thanks to the current family-friendly exhibition The Story of British Comics So Far: Cor! By Gum! Zarjaz! (open until 31 Dec). From Tuesday, drop-in to one of the free workshops or book a spot on the paid arts and crafts activities. The week will culminate in a superhero-themed Family Fun Afternoon on Friday, from 1pm-4pm. Face-painters will be on hand to transform children into their favourite superhero and there’s a free drop-in craft workshop ‘Comic Bubbles’. On Tuesday, Over The Hedge is screening at 11am. Booking is required, and the cost is £6 adult, £4 children. Click here for a full list of workshops and events.
The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking GU21 4AA. Tel: 01483 737800. thelightbox.org.uk
FROM THE NATIONAL TRUST
You can always count on the National Trust to come up trumps when it comes to entertaining the kids during half-term breaks, and this one is no different.
Claremont Landscape Garden has plenty going on, including the Halloween Half-term Trail, a spooky trail available daily throughout the week from the kiosk. There are also Halloween Craft Workshops: Broomstick Making (Mon 24), Mummy Oct) Lanterns (Tues 25) and Halloween Craft (Wed 26 and Thurs 27), plus Storytelling with Emma the Friendly Witch (Mon 24, Tues 26 & Fri 28); a Halloween Spooky Walk and Punch and Judy Show (Mon 31); and Pumpkin Carving (Fri 28).
Claremont Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9JG. Tel: 01372 467806. nationaltrust.org.uk
Ham House and Garden is all about the ghosts this Halloween, with Ghost Tours and Family Ghost Tours, plus Half-term Halloween Fun, that includes a ghostly garden trail, and themed arts and crafts activities.
Polesden Lacey is offering something wicked this Halloween with a Scary Shakespeare Halloween Trail. It’s on every day from Sat 22 until Sat 30 Oct, from 10am-5pm. Cost is £3 per trail.
Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, near Dorking, RH5 6BD. nationaltrust.org.uk
At Winkworth Arboretum you can explore the hidden and mysterious corners of the property in the Happy Halloween Trail. It’s on every day from Sat 22 – Sat 30 Oct, from 10am-4pm. Kids in Halloween costume get free entry to the Arboretum and dogs are welcome. The trail costs 50p per trail.
Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Rd, Godalming, GU8 4AD. nationaltrust.org.uk
Hatchlands Park has a Spooky Halloween Trail along woodland paths and ending in the adventure area that’s being looked after by a wizard!! It’s from Mon 24 – Fri 28 Oct, from 11am-4pm. Cost is 2 per child.
Hatchlands Park, East Wing Hatchlands, East Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RT. Tel: 01483 222482. nationaltrust.org.uk
Leith Hill Place has activities on Mon 24 and Fri 28 Oct, from 11.30am-4.30pm. Follow the trail of the spiders and bats, then brave the cobwebs in the cellar to hear the eerie tale of a former resident. Storyteling is at 12noon, 1.30pm and 3pm. Kids in costume are free, and the event is free, but normal admission applies. Dogs are welcome, if they’re on a lead.
Leith Hill Place, Leith Hill Lane , Leith Hill, nr Dorking, RH5 6LY. Tel: 01306 711685. nationaltrust.org.uk
Shalford Mill’s friendly witch making a flying visit to the mill on Wed 26 Oct from 11am-4pm. There will be craft activities, and spooky stories (noon, 2pm and 3pm). Kids can come dressed up. The cost is £1.
Shalford Mill, Shalford, near Guildford, Surrey, GU4 8BS. Tel: 01483 561389. nationaltrust.org.uk
The River Wey and Dapdune Wharf is basing crafts and activities around the them of fire at the Half-term Fire! Fire! Fun. (it’s 350 years this year since the Great Fire destroyed a large part of London and gave the newly-opened Dapdune Wharf a boost by increasing the demand for timber for rebuilding the city). It’s on from Mon 24 – Sun 30 and the cost is £2.50 for children’s activities.
Dapdune Wharf, Wharf Road, Guildford, GU1 4RR. Tel: 01483 455056. nationaltrust.org.uk
AND FURTHER AFIELD
Grimm’s Terrifying Halloween, at Groombridge Place, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 22 Oct – Sun 30 Oct
Head to Groombridge Place for a completely creepy Halloween event inspired by fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers. An assortment of activities will be available for the whole family including ghostly boat rides, champagne bar, fire pits, street food and a beer tent. This sounds like the perfect event to round up the troops (children and adults) for a frightfully fun time. It’s on from 10am-6pm. Tickets: adults £14.95, children £10.95, family £45.
Groombridge Place, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9QG. Tel: 01892 861444. groombridgeplace.com
Nightmare Emporium, at Bluewater, Greenhithe, Sat 22 Oct – Mon 31 Oct
Are you brave enough to enter the Nightmare Emporium for the ultimate interactive horror experience that’ll truly scare your socks off? Try to find your escape route through the dark labyrinth of rooms and corridors while being stalked by some of your most feared nightmares that have come to life. Do you hate clowns? Well there’s a special surprise for you at the end. WARNING! This event is definitely not for the faint hearted! It’s on at 7.30. Over 12s only. Tickets: £20.
Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST, Tel: 01322 475475. bluewater.co.uk
Shocktober Fest, Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill, Crawley, various dates 1-30 Oct
Here’s one for teens if you’ve the stomach to take them. Shocktober has eight haunted attractions, live music and food and it’s a real scream – literally. The basic ticket £10 Street Pass (£12 on the gate) gives you admission to the Scream Park and includes access to the street theatre shows, live music stages, Halloween store and the three food courts. The more expensive tickets include fast track entry to the attractions, which include The Cellar Haunted House, Horrorwood Haunted Hayride and The Creepy Cottage. Shocktober is rated 12A, but under 15s must be accompanied by an adult at all times. It costs £10-£65 depending on date (Halloween being most expensive). Many people enter into the, err, spirit with fancy dress.
Brick or Treat, at Legoland, Windsor, Mon 17 to Sun 30 Oct
Kick things off by taking your little monsters to Legoland and get into the Halloween spirit with the annual Brick or Treat event (geddit?) with fun Halloween-themed spooktacular activities, plus over 55 rides, live shows and attractions from Mon 17 to Sun 30 Oct, plus fireworks spectaculars on 15, 22, 23, 28 and 29 Oct.
Legoland, Winkfield Rd, Windsor SL4 4AY. Tel: legoland.co.uk
Steve Backshall’s Wild World, The Hawth, Crawley
Last year he was appearing in Strictly, now the TV presenter, children’s author and daredevil is back well within his comfort zone – that is handling snakes and the like. His Wild World, show traces some of his most exciting expeditions – from the jungle to the tundra – and includes a Q & A session at the end. There’ll also be a chance to buy his new children’s book Shark Seas. Tickets cost £21 (discounts: £16.50) at the Hawth.
Fire! Fire! Museum of London, until 17 April 2017
This interactive Great Fire of London exhibition brings history lessons to life. Step into Pudding Lane and see what conditions were like for ordinary Londoners in the 17th century. Walk into the bakery where the fire started and see how the flames spread across the city. Play archaeologist and identify real objects melted by the flames. Hear personal stories of the people affected by the disaster. There’s even a restored 17th century fire engine on display. Tickets cost from £8 for adults if booked in advance, £4 for 5-16s.
PLUS… you can bring two kids to The View from the Shard for free with each fee-paying adult, or how about taking them to fly down the world’s longest and tallest slide at the Olympic Park? Don’t forget to check out the The British Museum (awesome mummies), the V&A Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum or for something slightly less educational, head to the Board Game Fun at the Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green (Mon 24 – Sun 30 Oct), where kids can become a piece in a giant board game, make their own games and even do a board game collage workshop.