It may feel as if the children have only just gone back to school but already it’s time for half term. So, if you’re in need of some ideas to amuse them and save your own sanity, read on…
This time of year may be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but it’s also the time for ghostly goings-on when things go bump in the night and you can’t help bumping into a pumpkin or two!
There’s a whole week full of pumpkins at Secretts at Hurst Farm, Milford from October 22nd to 29th. Pop along and pick your own to take home. They’re priced by the diameter so bear that in mind when tempted to go for the biggest. Pick up an activity sheet and join in a scavenger hunt. If the fleshy orange squash is to your taste, then tuck into the pumpkin menu of soup, curry or a slice of spicy pumpkin cake.
In the lead up to Halloween, RHS Wisley invites you to delve into the world of deadly plants and bugs. With fun family activities from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th. Follow the trail around the garden to explore how everything from cacti to centipedes defend themselves and their habitats. Meet all kinds of bugs and get stuck in with craft and planting workshops. Design a deadly bug or start growing your own carnivorous plant at a workshop and find out more about the wicked plants and wildlife who make Wisley their home.
Magic and mischief abound on The Watercress Line this Halloween with spooky fun galore to keep the kids entertained. Travel on the Wizard Express steam train, walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps over the railway footbridge and explore the Harry Potter style coaches in the siding at Alresford. Get up close to hairy, scary creatures, take part in a broom making demo and much more. As well as unlimited train travel between stations. And why not dress up as a spooky character for the chance to win a prize?
There’s a week of spooky make and take craft activities at the Rural Life Centre, Farnham from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th. With the popular pumpkin carving on Saturday and Sunday. Pre-booking essential for this.
If you’ve ever accused your children of being air heads let them revel in this at Brooklands Museum this October half term, at their Air Heads extravaganza where you’ll find all manner of activities to keep them entertained. Join in the Build a Paper Aircraft Family Workshop and watch it fly. Pedal planes will run from the paddock for under 5s. Become a detective and solve clues, decode messages and search for hidden objects to claim a prize.
Fairy Doors will be in the Painshill landscape from Saturday 22nd until November 13th. Discover the secret series of doors hidden around the woodlands and lake. As you wander the route you will see the best spots for autumn colour. Enjoy some stunning trees, collect autumn leaves and celebrate the season. Keep your eyes open for the fairies!
A new after dark trail awaits visitors to Polesden Lacey from October 20th to November 6th with IGNITE. Visitors can enjoy a walk through the gardens at night guided by flickering flames and glowing tunnels of trees, with magical illuminated installations along the way. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, the Edwardian gardens of the estate are the perfect setting for this exceptional after-dark experience.
An autumn stroll through the ancient woodlands and parkland at Hatchlands Park is a joy at this time year. The beech woodland creates a delightful haze of gold and yellow and the native wild service tree, with its vibrant red leaves glows against the sky. There are various way-marked routes to follow and if you need a little help to get around, book an all-terrain Tramper personal mobility vehicle.
There’s a weird, wacky, and wicked Halloween trail to follow at Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming. From Saturday 22nd to Monday 31st where you can uncover the spookier side of trees on a haunted trail around the arboretum. Did you know fungi is closer to an animal than a plant? There’s a tree that smells like candyfloss? Or that some trees can grow fingers? Discover all this and more…
Take part in an autumn colour hunt throughout the month at The Vyne. Search for reds, golden yellows and rusty browns hidden in the grounds using the autumn colour hunt key. Intrigue and curious conundrums are part of the Halloween riddle trail from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th when little ones can also hunt for witches, wizards, cats and toads exploring the gardens with the aid of trail sheets. A chocolate treat awaits at the end.
Spot the pumpkins hidden across the Pleasure Garden and have fun strolling through crunchy leaves at Petworth from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th. Search out seasonal colours and different leaf shapes at Petworth that are marked on the colour catcher chart. Collect what you find, then help create deer shaped wild art installations by attaching your leafy collections to the animal models.
Gin lovers listen up! Did you know there’s an award-winning distillery in the beautiful village of Ripley? Distillers Of Surrey are a family run business on the picturesque Papercourt Lake, Polesden Lane. If you’re yet to discover this hidden treasure, check out their opening times at www.distillersofsurrey.com or book one of their popular distillery tours where you’ll be welcomed with a G&T and enjoy an interesting tour. Younger ones aren’t forgotten with spooky Halloween craft to enjoy on Saturday 29th.