We love Halloween in our household. It’s a great opportunity to roll your sleeves up and get creative with the kids. Here are some of our favourite things to do and places to go during the spooky season.
Things to do
Halloween this year coincides with half term – what better reason to stock up on some spooky activities to keep the kids entertained. Here are 10 of our favourites – we’ve given each a difficulty rating so you can go for the ones you’ve got the energy for 😉
Pumpkin carving – what’s not to love. Check out some of our favourite pumpkin inspiration here. Difficulty/effort rating: easy
Slippery Slime – spooky science. Try this slime recipe from The Imagination Tree. So easy to do and the kids love it! (Watch out it may take a few attempts to get perfect so have extra ingredients to hand). Difficulty/effort rating: easy
Jelly Worms: Pretty simple (albeit time consuming) jelly worms will keep your kids happy for hours. This recipe from Hartleys is a great guide. Difficulty/effort rating: medium
Apple bobbing – another classic show stopper. A bucket filled with water and apples to be picked up with your teeth?! It’s hard to find a child who can resit this messy madness. Difficulty/effort rating: easy
Halloween Shadow Puppets – so easy to do, all you need is black paper, bamboo sticks/ straws and adhesive tape. Simply draw the outline of bats, witches, cats etc onto the black paper, cut out and stick to your straw with adhesive tape. Shine a light and you’re good to go. If you’re not that artistic (me!) check out our pinterest board for some Halloween printables. Difficulty/effort rating: medium
Spooky Scavenger Hunt – a great excuse to get active and get outside. We’ve put our favourite halloween scavenger list on our pinterest board if you’re looking for inspiration. Difficulty/effort rating: medium
Halloween touch and feel – this used to be my favourite halloween activity when I was little. So squashy and slimy. The idea for the game is to put your hand through a hole in the sheet and guess what each of the spooky halloween items is behind. All you need is an old sheet, some bowls and some appropriatly spooky foods : Eyeballs: peeled grapes in some olive oil; maggots: rice in a bit of water; goblin ears: dried apricots; worms: cooked spaghetti; witches fingers: green beans; hand: rubber glove filled with flour. Let the kids stick their hands through the holes and guess what they’re touching. You’re guaranteed a great reaction! Difficulty/effort rating: medium
Paper Mache Halloween masks: This is such a fun (and messy) activity. Something that all the family can enjoy. 1) blow up a balloon to the size of your childs head 2) tear up strips of newspaper to c2″x1″ strips 3) make up adhesive with flour and water – you want it thick but runny 4) dip the strips in the flour mix and lay them on half of the balloon 5) keep layering (about 10-15 layers is best) 5) leave the balloon to dry over night, pop the balloon and cut out eyeholes. Decorate as you wish! Difficulty/effort rating: medium
Get baking: Wow, I don’t even know where to start on this one as it deserves dedicated post of it’s own. In any case, check out our pinterest board for some creepy treat inspiration. We also love these halloween ideas from Waitrose .
Places to Go
If you’re looking for some outside adventures, here are 10 of our top picks this Shocktober.
Crockford bridge farm New Haw Road, Addlestone, Nr. Weybridge, Surrey KT15 2BU; http://www.crockfordbridgefarm.co.uk . Their Spooky Speciality: Pumpkin patches and theatrical shows. On Saturday 21 October Snow White comes to the Wonder Woods for an immersive theatrical experience and during Half Term, the Pumpkin Patch comes alive with all manner of fun activities : Apple bobbing, face painting, pumpkin carving, food pop ups and play area with zip wire. (suitable for ages 4yrs- 11yrs)
Wandsworth Flip Out trampoline Park Bendon Valley, Earlsfield, London, SW18 4LZ; https://www.flipout.co.uk/locations/london-wandsworth/events/ Their spooky specialities: Creepy crawlies and Dr Frankenstein 26 – 29 October. Trampoline jump session + Halloween experience including exciting Halloween activities, meeting Dr. Frankenstein and the creepy crawlies to learn about bad animal habits! (suitable for ages 5yrs- 10yrs)
London zoo’s Boo at the Zoo 21-31 October; ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle Regent’s Park London, NW1 4RY; https://www.zsl.org Their spooky specialities: Enrol little devils in the Zoo’s Ghoul School, where they can dress up as their favourite Halloween character, learn how to ‘cast a spell’ and even try their hand at mummy-wrapping, before showing off their devilish disco moves at the Pumpkin Party. Creative critters can head to the Bat Cave to make mysterious masks or carve out creepy pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch. (suitable for ages 3-10 years)
Wisely Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB; https://www.rhs.org.uk 25, 26, 27 October Their spooky specialities: Pumpkin carving times: 10.30am, 11.15am, noon, 1.30pm, 2.15pm & 3pm. Prices: £4 per child (includes pumpkin, tools and templates) Booking: Advance booking essential. Ticket does not include garden entry. (suitable for ages 6+ years)
Gail’s bakery https://gailsbread.co.uk Their spooky specialities: Gails will be running Halloween baking classes for children in select bakeries. Thursday 26 October : Pimlico (02079320734) and Highgate (+44(0)20 8340 1807) bakeries. If you would like to join call the bakery direct. Classes start at 4pm.
Willows activity farm Coursers Road,London Colney,St Albans,Hertfordshire, AL4 0PF; http://www.willowsactivityfarm.com. Their Spooky Speciality: Pumpkin picking carving workshops. Pick your free pumpkin from Willows Pumpkin Patch between 21st-29th October. Every child can harvest their own pumpkin to take home or carve in the Carving Cavern during Pumpkin Festival. The Pumpkin-tastic programme includes pumpkin carving and arts and crafts, Pumpkin Olympics and both the Pumpkin Show and Magic-Ween Show with Samtastic. (suitable for ages 4yrs- 8yrs)
Garsons Farm Esher Winterdown Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8L; https://www.garsons.co.uk Their spooky specialities: Pumpkin carving competitions and pick your own. Note of warning – Garsons does become really busy so be prepared to pumpkin pick with the rest of West London! (suitable for ages preschool – 10yrs)
Science museum: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk Their spooky specialities: Little Lab of Horrors. A Frighteningly fun Halloween science show, explore some of our spookiest objects, help dust them off and investigate some scary science. Saturday 21 October – Sunday 29 October 2017. TIME: 11.30, 12.45, 14.15 and 15.30. DURATION: 30 minutes. LOCATION: Level 0, The Theatre .(suitable for ages 7+ years)
Ham house Ham St, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7RS; https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk Their spooky specialities: Spooky storytelling will be held throughout the week of ghostly tales of Ham House. Learn about the ghost dog, or find out if the Duchess was a witch herself? Ask at reception for availability on the day of your visit, stories will be told at 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30pm on select days. (Stories are suitable for children under 10 years)
Electric Cinema Portabello 191 Portobello Road, Notting Hill London W11 2ED; https://www.electriccinema.co.uk Their spooky specialities: The Scariest costume competition, Mummy Madness games, the Haunted House orchestra all followed by the Addams Family (PG). Book ahead, 28 October, 9.30am