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.
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
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
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
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
4. Halloween at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
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.
5. Blair Drummond Safari Park, Scotland
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
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
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
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
9. Kielder Cycle Trail, Northumberland
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
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
11. Candle-Making at The Candle Alchemist, Anglesey
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
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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