‘Tis the season to pick pumpkins, seek out spooky events and huddle around the bonfire (not too close, mind). October is a brilliant time to visit York with kids, with a wide variety of activities going on, from pumpkin festivals to pumpkin picking and even the odd event NOT involving large orange root vegetables! Here’s our pick of the best things coming up in and around York this October half term – do keep an eye on this guide as we’re updating it all the time. And make sure you subscribe to our newsletter, too, so you never miss a thing.
Piglets Pumpkin Festival 2021
Head down to the farm for the ever-popular pumpkin festival where you can pick your own pumpkin from the patch (one per child with every full paying adult) which you can carve on site. There’ll also be a mysterious maze to explore and The Magic Hatter will be performing some spooktacular fun. Whizz down the new piggy plunge zip wire and meet the animals while you’re there too.
Pre-booking required. Every weekend in October and every day from 23rd to 31st October 2021 – Visit the Piglets website
Pumpkin picking at The Balloon Tree
Move over strawberries, it’s the pumpkins’ turn! The Balloon Tree has a huge selection of pumpkins that you can pick straight from the field. Not in the mood to pick your own? Let them do the work and buy one from the well-stocked farm shop instead! Why not combine it with a trip to the cafe and a play in the play area?
Pumpkin carving at Bedern Hall
Enjoy a family pumpkin carving workshop in the suitably spooky surrounds of Bedern Hall in York this October half term. Specially lit for the event, the hall is an atmospheric space for the workshop led by Kathrine Armstrong Bisson of Fleuradamo. There’ll be soup and hot dogs and parkin for all, mulled cider for grown-ups and local apple juice for the kids (included in the price). As dusks gathers, light your lantern and head out through the candlelit courtyard.
Bedern Hall, York – Thursday October 28th 2021, 3pm to 6pm – £15 1 adult +1 child, £6 extra child, £8 extra adult – Visit the Bedern Hall website for info
The Little York Ghost Hunt
Enjoy a family pumpkin carving workshop in the Little York Ghost Hunt is back for 2021! Once again, 100 numbered little ghosts from York Ghost Merchants will be hidden on ledges and in crevices along certain streets in York city centre between 6pm and 8pm from Monday 25th to Thursday 28th October 2021. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you can take it home.
Pumpkin Patch at Yorkshire Lavender
If you’re looking for a pretty place to pick a pumpkin around York this autumn, why not head to Yorkshire Lavender? As well as the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own small pumpkin, there’s a children’s play area, craft table, face painting and access to the gardens. Parking is free and there’ll be food and drink available to buy on site.
23rd to 30th October 2021, 10am to 5pm – Yorkshire Lavender, Terrington, York YO60 6PB – £4 per person, under 2s free
Indie York Magical Trail
After the success of last year’s trail, the Indie York Magical Trail is back for 2021! Pick up a trail map and see how many clues you can solve while exploring York’s many independent businesses at the same time.
Runs across York throughout October half term 2021 – Keep an eye on the Indie York Facebook page for details
Halloween lantern walk and storytelling at Northwood Trail
Northwood Trail is hosting guided lantern walks with strange tales through the twilight fairy woods at dusk. Bring a torch or lantern, mbrace the change of seasons and soak up the atmosphere on this lovely autumnal walk with a difference.
23rd to 31st October 2021 – Northwood Trail, York YO41 1AP – Visit the Northwood Trail website
The Halloween Adventure at Stockeld Park
Head across to Stockeld Park to experience surprises in the Enchanted Forest, meet some witches and pick your own pumpkin from the patch.
23rd to 31st October 2021 – Visit the Stockeld Park website for more details and to pre-book
The Witching Hour at Mother Shipton’s
It’s the Witching Hour, and deep in the spooky forest where a world-famous Prophetess was said to have been born during a terrifying thunderstorm, the spirits are flying high. You may hear the cackle of old souls wandering the ancient woodland or feel a shiver down your spine as you step into the Haunted Halloween Village. Suitable for all ages, watch out for witches, ghosts, and creepy skeletons around every corner! There’s frightful fun to be had with photo opportunities and fancy dress competitions.
24th to 31st October 2021 – Visit mothershiptons.co.uk
Autumn carnival at Harlow Carr
This beautiful RHS garden just outside Harrogate is a lovely place to see the seasons change. Head along at October half term to enjoy colourful activities with an autumn carnival theme, from learning about the science of autumn to going on an adventure with the Garden Detectives to family-friendly yoga and mindfulness sessions. 23rd to 31st October 2021 – rhs.org.uk
Halloween Wizard School Adventure
Join A Very Magical Adventure at York’s School of Magic. Dark forces are at work and you’re needed to save the day! Journey around York’s winding streets, meet the magical professor, encounter ghostly characters, learn spells and hunt magical creatures. Dressing up encouraged! Run by professional actors, it’s bound to be spell-binding.
24th to 31st October 2021 – Visit averymagicaladventure.co.uk
Bolton Abbey Pumpkin Trail
The Bolton Abbey Pumpkin Trail is returning for 2021! Keep an eye out for more details, coming soon.
23rd to 31st October 2021 – Visit the Bolton Abbey website for more info