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12 covid-friendly activities to do in October half term

How to keep your kids entertained this October half term...

Charlotte Duck

This is a half-term like no other but, just because you need to stay safe and socially distanced, doesn't mean that this October can't be fun for the kids too. Don't forget it's Halloween too so why not try pumpkin picking, a scary performance or some spooky crafts? Just follow the safety measures, get out and enjoy yourself. 

When is October Half Term? 

Although the dates of October half-term in England and Wales vary from region to region, for 2020 it is likely to be Monday 19 October to Friday 23 October, or Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October. Check on your exact dates via the Government’s postcode checker.

SEE: 5 fun online activities to entertain the kids this half term

Fun covid-friendly ideas for October Half Term

There are loads of innovative and Covid-friendly events going on all over the country: from drive-thru cinema screenings and zoo safaris to seal boat trips and Shakespeare workshops.

1. Drive-Thru Cinema, Bristol

bristol-drive-in

This is no ordinary way to watch a movie. At a safe social distance and from the comfort of your own vehicle, you can enjoy your favourite 'scary' movie on the big screen this half term. For one week only, Filton Airfield in Bristol is hosting a drive-thru screening of Monsters Inc, Hotel Transylvania, Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as other Halloween hits. You can even munch your way through a gourmet burger, oven-baked pizza or tub of popcorn, all available on-site, as you watch them. 

To book tickets visit adventuredrivein.co.uk

WHEN: 27th -31st October

PRICE: £27.50 per car.

2. Pumpkin Picking, West Sussex

pumpkin-picking

With 20 acres of pumpkin patch and over 150,000 pumpkins to choose from, you shouldn't have too much trouble social distancing at Tullys Pumpkin Patch. There's plenty of picking to be had and the crop comes in all shapes and sizes, from quirky gourds and lumpy squashes to classic, shiny pumpkins. All tickets need to be pre-booked and, if you're quick, you could nab yourself a coveted slot on one of the PYO Pumpkin Nights and soak up the atmosphere as you pick pumpkins by moonlight. 

To book your visit go to pumpkinfarm.co.uk

WHEN: 16th-31st October

PRICE: From £2-£5.

3. A Midsummer Night's Dream Family Workshop, Shakespeare's Globe, London

shakespeares-globe

Budding thespians can enjoy stepping into the world of fairies, lovers and ancient Greeks as the Globe's famous actors use games and fun activities to teach little ones about Shakespeare’s most magical play. Family groups will be in socially-distanced 'bubbles' for the workshop and dressing up, while not compulsory, is strongly encouraged. Wands at the ready… 

To book your tickets visit shakespearesglobe.com

WHEN: From 17th-29th October

PRICE: £12.

4. Halloween at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

blenheim-palace

Blenheim Palace is celebrating all things spooky this half term with a host of pre-booked activities. Scare yourself silly with a blood-curdling ghost story, ride the terrible train through the Frightful Tunnel at the Pleasure Gardens, or watch performers tell creepy tales amongst Blenheim's orchards and trees on a spooky walk. For younger ones (or those who prefer something a little tamer), there’s also turnip carving and a mesmerizing Fire Show in the impressive surroundings of Great Court. 

To book your tickets visit blenheimpalace.com

WHEN: Various dates till 1st November

PRICE: From £18.50. 

READ: 5 tips for creating healthy meals – by a top child psychologist

5. Blair Drummond Safari Park, Scotland

safari-park

This 160-acre estate just outside Stirling has been adapted to make it Covid-safe. Within the confines of your own vehicle, you can come face to face with lions, camels, rhinos and antelope, not to mention cheeky monkeys in the famous macaque drive-thru. If you prefer to see animals on foot, there are giraffes, alpacas and horses to spot, plus, the World of Dinosaurs, a pre-historic forest with over 20 moving, life-sized dinosaurs to be terrified by. 

To book your visit go to blairdrummond.com

PRICE: £16.50 for adults, £13.50 for kids.

6. Ice skating at the Eden Project, Cornwall

ice-skating

The Eden Project's glittering ice rink returns this year, with a few little differences. This is one instance when social distancing rules actually make things better. With significantly reduced numbers you'll be able to enjoy yourself with more space on the ice. And afterwards (or before), you can take in everything else the Eden Project has to offer, including Halloweden, a spooky story trail around Eden’s famous biomes. 

To book your visit go to edenproject.com

WHEN: Booking available till 21st February

PRICE: £8 for adults, £6 for kids (plus admission to the Eden Project).

7. The Great Brick Safari, Paignton Zoo, Devon

paignton-zoo

As well as living and breathing creatures, spot Lego animals at Paignton Zoo this half term. Guests can follow a trail of 80 animals around the grounds, including a Lego lion, gorilla, elephant and much more. To make the safari Covid-friendly, a one-way system is in place and there are hand-sanitising points around the walk. 

To book your visit go to paigntonzoo.org.uk

WHEN: Till 3rd January 2021

PRICE: £20.45 for adults, £15.30 for kids (includes zoo admission).

8. Seal Boat Trips, Norfolk

seal-boat-trips

Norfolk's famous seal-spotting trips have reopened again, so you can now take a boat out to Blakeney Point to see the 500 or so Common and Grey Seals basking in the sunshine or splashing around in the sea. You'll need to wear a mask and bring your own hand sanitizer but it’s worth it to see these lovable creatures in their stunning natural habitat.

To book your visit go to beansboattrips.co.uk

WHEN: Daily till 31st October

PRICE: £13.

9. Kielder Cycle Trail, Northumberland

bicycle

Why not get the kids out and on their bikes this half term? The Forestry-Commission-owned Kielder Castle has a seven-mile cycle route that follows the former Border Counties railway line, making it flat and a relatively easy ride. Perfect for those just starting out cycling. 

For more information go to forestryengland.uk

10. Totally Gruesome, Manchester

totally-gruesome

Combine a kids' version of break-out rooms with The Crystal Maze and you’re some way to understanding what Totally Gruesome is. This socially distanced Halloween attraction at Ashton-Under-Lyme's Metro Cinema sees kids given five minutes in 10 different themed rooms to try and crack codes and solve puzzles. Themes include the Spiders Cave, Gruesome Dinosaurs and the Clown Graveyard. You'll get to meet the Wicked Witch and a team photo from the 'Mirror, Mirror on the Wall', but you can only book with people inside your bubble. 

For more information go to visitmanchester.com

WHEN: Till 1st November

PRICE: £7.

11. Candle-Making at The Candle Alchemist, Anglesey

the-candle-alchemist

The Candle Alchemist is running Halloween-themed candle-making workshops this half term. Younger children can safely use modelling wax for their creations, while older children might prefer to try their hand at something more complicated and attempt a traditional hand-dipped candle. If that's not enough to satisfy your crafty little ones, there's also pot painting, decoupage, bag decorating, bracelet making and felt decorations. And you can take it all home on the same day. 

To book your visit go to thecandlealchemist.co.uk

WHEN: 24th, 25th, 31st October

PRICE: From £5.

12. Night At The Aquarium, Exploris Aquarium, Northern Ireland

explorisni

See the underwater world from a different perspective with a night at Northern Ireland's only aquarium. You start off with a three-course meal overlooking the seal sanctuary, before having a guided tour from one of the aquarium’s experts. As well as thousands of fish from around the world, you’ll get to see the White Tip Reef Shark (who never comes out in the day), the rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the resident Nile Crocodile, Sobek. 

To book your visit go to explorisni.com

WHEN: Various dates till 30th October

PRICE: £20 for adults, £12.50 for kids.

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