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October half term in and around York 2019: Our guide!

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Put away those passports and tear yourselves away from the travel websites: there’s no better time to explore York than October half term. Get your coats on, grab your little ghostbusters and enjoy some of the many activities on offer, from pumpkin festivals to spectacular light shows, spooky Halloween events and The Big Draw. Here’s our pick of the best.

There are unmissable activities coming at the National Railway Museum this half term, with the fiery return of Future Engineers and a face-to-face encounter with the original Rocket. Find wonder in the everyday and inspiration in the unexpected in this year’s Future Engineers, which runs throughout October half term. Highlights include: FORCES: FUTURE ENGINEERS Investigate
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
26th October to 3rd November 2019
Admission is free; small charge for some activities
England’s Fairy Sanctuary is celebrating halloween with the fairies with a lovely event aimed at little ones who will enjoy a gentle, seasonal (zombie-free) experience! Arrive at the Northwood kitchen and then be shown to the Autumn tent where you can indulge in a free glass of alcoholic or non-alcoholic punch. After a short storytelling
Northwood Trail, Buttercrambe Moor Woods, Buttercrambe, York, North Yorkshire, YO41 1AP
25th October to 3rd November 2019
£12.50 per person
The stairs creak, and shadows flicker in the candlelight as the wind howls and rattles the windows: the ghosts of York Mansion House are waking up, ready to cause havoc. For too long, the Lord Mayor has been bothered by these sinister happenings and now needs your help to put a stop to them for
York Mansion House, St Helen's Square, York
19th & 20th then 23rd to 31st October 2019
£6.50 per child (one adult free)
William’s Petrifying Pumpkin Adventure is full of spooky delights with a trick or treat puzzle to complete.  Then before pumpkin party time, children can pick their own pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch and create a pumpkin masterpiece at the carving station. With Pumpkin games, pumpkin photo booth and broomstick racing to enjoy, make sure you
William's Den Castle Farm, Wold Hill, North Cave HU15 2LS
21st to 31st October 2019
The Northern Lights light and sound spectacular was a huge hit at York Minster last year, and it’s back again for 2019. Even better, there’s a new bedtime-friendly early showing that’s designed with a younger audience in mind. Once again, Northern Lights will transform York Minster’s cavernous Nave with images and audio inspired by its
York Minster, Deangate, York, YO1 7HH
24th October to 31st October 2019
£6 - £8
As if there weren’t enough reasons to visit the Railway Museum (it’s great, it’s free and it has lots of hands-on activities for kids), here comes legendary Stephenson’s Rocket and a new exhibition, Brass, Steel and Fire. Meet the everyday people who were inspired by Rocket to create their own small-scale inventions at home. Discover
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
26 September 2019 – 13 April 2020
Free
alling all mini ghostbusters! The fantastic Great York Ghost Search is back for 2019 and it’s one of our favourite October half term activities in York. Why? Well, it’s great, free spooky fun for families. From 11th October to 1st November, discover the individually designed ghost lamps and mini ghosts hidden around the ancient streets
Visit York Information Centre, 1 Museum Street, York
27th October to 1st November 2019
Free
 Some of the earliest photographs of York date back to 1844. To accompany a new exhibition in York Museum Gardens, head to the Yorkshire Museum this half term to have a go at self-led activities. Recreate some of the first portraits taken in York as you dress up and become a leading Victorian visionary!
Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR
Saturday 26th October to Sunday 3rd November 2019
Drop into family-friendly activities based on York Art Gallery’s current exhibition, Making a Masterpiece: Bouts and Beyond. While you’re at the gallery, don’t miss the Coast to Coast exhibition. As well as some inspiring art that’ll bring back memories of your summer holidays, there are hands-on activities for kids too. Included in admission, no need
York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York
Saturday 26th October, Sunday 27th October and Saturday 2nd November 2019, 10.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm
Get ready for stacks of Halloween family fun at Piglets Adventure Farm’s Pumpkin Festival, back this October. Pick your own FREE homegrown pumpkin for every child and enjoy the NEW skeleton stilt walkers! There’s a 30 minute magic show from The Magic Hatter, the beach will be open and see if you dare to enter
Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Ln, Towthorpe, York YO32 9ST
Every weekend from 5th October and every day from 26th October to 3rd November 2019
Get creative as part of this year’s Big Draw. Drop-in and unleash your artistic side at the family-friendly Big Draw sessions. Use everyday objects from York Castle Museum’s collection to inspire your drawing – there’s plenty of them to choose from! Included in admission, no need to book.
Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY
26th October to 3rd November 2019, 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm
Illuminated Abbey is a real memory-maker of an event, and it’s back for 2019. See Whitby Abbey as you’ve never seen it before, bathed in colourful lights that will guarantee you some amazing photos! Explore the darker side of history and see the Dracula story brought to life through live performances, and keep your eye
Whitby Abbey, Whitby
25th October to 2nd November 2019
Across the dormant water of the Great Lake lies Castle Howard’s new adventure playground, Skelf Island and the naughty Skelves who live there are up to no good. Are you brave enough to join Corvus the Crow on his mischievous woodland adventure to find out the seasonal secrets of his hidden world? Enjoy a day
Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
26th October to 3rd November 2019
Experience the spookier side of Nunnington. Pick up your potion poem from the reception desk at the entrance and wander Halloween-themed rooms, past witches, skeleton cats and things that go bump in the night. Are you brave enough to search through the cobwebs and into all the darkest corners to find the spooky trail ingredients
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, North Yorkshire, York YO62 5UY
Saturday 26 October to Sunday 3 November 2019 - 10.30am – 5pm
Explore the spooky woodland and strange goings-on along Dalby Forest’s Halloween trail. What awaits in the Tunnel of Terror? Who lurks in the dark and what tales will they share? Meet a rogues’ gallery of despicable characters, listen to twisted storytellers, have a go at the zombie paintball target range, see live bats and have
Thursday 31 October 2019, Walks start at 5.30pm at 10 minute intervals until 8.00pm
£6 per person, pre-bookable
For the very first time in history, Forestry England has confirmed that an alien has crash landed in the forest. Lu-La, from the Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, in UK cinemas 18 October, is an impish and adorable alien with amazing powers. She has been stranded in the forest and needs to charge her communicator
Dalby Forest
From 18th October 2019
Enjoy some spooky adventures at Stockeld Park’s Halloween Adventure, from a walk through the Enchanted Forest (watch out for witches!) to ice skating, nordic skiing and more. Keep an eye out for ghouls in the maze, too. After dusk, don’t miss the Winter Illuminations in the forest. For older kids, book tickets for Stockeld Dark
Stockeld Park, Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN
26th October to 3rd November 2019
Grab a hard hat, join the guide at Treasurer’s House and visit the cellar that played host to ghostly Roman soldiers, marching along on the buried Roman road that lies beneath the house. Treasurer’s House ghost cellar tours are running from 11am-3.30pm on Saturday 26th to Thursday 31st October and cost £4 per person. You
Treasurer's House, Minster Yard, York YO1 7JL
26th to 31st October 2019
During half term, create magical outdoor autumn adventures with garden trails, walks and storytelling, bushcraft activities, broomstick making and leafy crafts. Here’s what’s on (Saturday 26 October to Sunday 3 November 2019 (closed Monday) Tree trail: There’s an autumnal nip in the air; wrap up warm and follow the spotter trail through the gardens on any of the days
Beningbrough, York, North Yorkshire, YO30 1DD
Saturday 26th October to Sunday 3rd November 2019 (closed Monday) - activities vary each day, and some have a small fee
Every Halloween, fearless visitors are invited to embark on an eerie hunt round the Hall’s atmospheric woodland where clues are hidden among spooky Halloween scenes, with fishing skeletons and much more that’s new for 2019. Once you’ve solved the puzzle, a treat awaits in the gift shop. After the thrill of the spooky woodland trail,
The Estate Office, Burton Agnes Hall, Burton Agnes, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 4NB
26th October to 3rd November 2019
The ever-popular Spooky Scarecrow Trail returns for 2019, taking visitors through the haunted woods of Lotherton. Spot the scarecrows as you tiptoe around the estate, just make sure you don’t wake them up! Look out for spooky spiders, ghoulish ghosts and wicked witches hidden all over the house and grounds of Lotherton. Visit ‘Skeletown’ to
Lotherton, Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB
26th October to 3rd November 2019
Visit Mother Shipton’s, England’s Oldest tourist attraction, for a good old-fashioned scare that’s suitable for all ages. Follow the haunted trail through the historic woodland to find monsters, ghosts and skeletons hiding around every corner. The attraction will be transformed into a ghoulish event for all the family.
Prophecy Lodge, Harrogate Rd, High Bridge, Knaresborough HG5 8DD
Saturday 26th October to Sunday 3rd November 2019, 10am to 4.30pm (last admission 3.30pm)
Head to The Deep in Hull this October half term and be amazed as they explore the myths and legends around one of the world’s most endangered species, the sawfish. Take part in the very special magical interactive presentation at 11am, 1pm and 3pm daily, complete the fun-filled activity trail as you make your way
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull
19th October to 3rd November 2019
Humble Bee Farm – ideally placed for trips to the Yorkshire coast – is a lovely place to stay, with Wigwam cabins, yurts, camping and luxury cottages. But even if you’re not lucky enough to be staying there, you can still enjoy their seasonal activities. Here’s what’s coming up this autumn. ERNIE AND ESMERELDA’S HALLOWE’EN
Humble Bee Farm, Flixton, Scarborough YO11 3UJ
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