October Half Term

Looking for great days out and activities in York to keep your kids occupied this October half term? Look no further - we've got it covered!


Illuminations, thrills and chills at Whitby Abbey this October half term

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It’s hard to think of a more fitting place to celebrate Halloween than the gothic surroundings of Whitby Abbey, the inspiration for Dracula author Bram Stoker. The abbey itself will be bathed in light, which promises to be a stunning sight.  Costumed characters will introduce the darker side of the past with tales of grave-robbing and witch trials. You can even watch a live performance of Dracula! What could be more Halloween – or more Whitby – than that? Why not combine it with a trip down to the beach, a wander around the cobbled lanes or some fish and

Book now for Haunted Hall at Barley Hall this Halloween!

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Barley Hall’s ever-popular Haunted Hall is back this Halloween, and they need you to solve some ghostly mysteries. Former residents who lived and worked at the Hall over 500 years ago have been seen skulking round the rooms and passageways, causing all sorts of mischief and mayhem.  Who are they and what are they up to?! This is the perfect Halloween event for the kids, with thrills and chills but no nightmares! It’s suitable for 5 to 12 year olds and admission includes a gift bag for each child. Tours start every 30 minutes and you need to book ahead to

Free pumpkins for every child at Piglets this October half term

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The Piglets Pumpkin Festival is a real autumnal treat, with loads of great things for kids to do. Take on the mysterious maize maze challenge, enjoy trick-or-treat tales or take a ride to the pumpkin patch to pick your pumpkin (there are 10,000 to choose from!) and then carve it. Award-winning magician the Magic Hatter will be there too, in his wizard alter-ego – don’t miss his spellbinding shows during half term. Help him hatch a dragon egg, float a phoenix feather, mix magical potion ingredients and much more. That’s all on top of the usual adventure farm fun, including

Little Diggers Halloween

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Two to five year olds will love this Halloween special event at DIG’s Little Diggers session, with Halloween themed crafts and activities. Fancy dress encouraged! DIG, An Archaeological Adventure, St Saviourgate, York – Saturday 29th October – £3.50 per child Visit the DIG website

Kaboom Firework Party 2016 at Castle Howard

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This year, Kaboom takes place on Saturday 29th October and there’s a movie theme to proceedings. Before the fireworks, enjoy an outdoor screening of Monsters Inc (take blankets and grab a spot on the lawn in front of the Great Lake). After the display, they’ll be showing the classic Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Minster FM will be there too, building up to the world class firework display, choreographed to a bespoke sci-fi theme. There’ll also be a Sparkler Park for little ones to enjoy their sparklers safely, street food, fire jugglers, costumed characters, fairground rides and lots more. Kaboom,

Wizard and witch training at Castle Howard

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From 22nd to 30th October, budding witches and wizards are invited to Castle Howard to brush up on broom making, polish up on potions and put their trick or treating to the test or embark on the daily creepy critter trail. Broom Making: 22, 24, 26 & 28 October This is the class that all the young witches and wizards look forward to. The Professor reveals the secrets of supernatural flight as you construct and fly your own Supersonic Sweeper! Potion Lessons: 23, 25 & 27 October Cauldrons at the ready! The Potions Professor reveals some of the recipes from

Superstitious tales and spooky stories at York Castle Museum

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Enjoy Halloween themed stories and activities throughout the day at York Castle Museum this October half term, from poems and stories suitable for the very young to chilling tales for older children. You can also discover the superstitions behind some of the objects in the museum’s collection and make a witch ball to take home! Activities free; just drop in. Museum admission applies (YMT Card holders and under 16s free). York Castle Museum – Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th October 2016 – 11am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm PS You can find more October half term ideas here PPS

Pumpkins galore at York Maze’s Halloween By Day

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There’s a lovely atmosphere at York Maze’s daytime Halloween experience. Embark on a haunted maze treasure hunt, just one of over 20 attractions, rides and shows. Children even get a free pumpkin that they can carve on-site. A giant pumpkin competition will be held on Saturday 22nd October, with entries on display until 30th October. York Maze, Elvington Lane, York YO19 5LT – 22nd October to 30th October 2016 – 10am to 5pm – yorkmazehalloween.co.uk

Have a half term Halloween adventure at Stockeld Park

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There’s loads to do at Stockeld Park this October half term (which, at this rate, will be here before we know it). Take a trip by Nordic ski through the Enchanted Forest, get lost in the magical maze, skate on the ice rink and warm up with a hot chocolate afterwards. There’ll be special events too, like Wizard Mal’s Magic Show (extra charge; book in advance) and Reptile Rangers with their creepy creatures (no extra charge). Stockeld Park’s closer to York than you think – it takes us about 25 minutes from home – and we’ve always enjoyed our days

Illuminating York is back this October half term!

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The nights are drawing in, but we’re not gloomy about it because it means some of the best events in York’s calendar are coming up fast, kicking off with Illuminating York. This fabulous festival of light takes place during October half term (Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th October, 6pm to 10pm) and sees the city lit up as never before. Take a wander through town to see what you can discover or book tickets for the exciting new event at York Minster (there are great value family tickets and there’s also an early bird discount if you’re fast). Don’t miss

Halloween at York’s SHOCK-olate Story

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Have a shocking time at York’s Chocolate Story this October half term. There’ll be spook-tacular shock-olate tasting sessions where visitors can test their nerve by taking part in the tastiest trick or treat challenge ever. Test your luck by spinning the wheel of fortune to receive a deliciously tasty treat or revolting rotten trick chocolate. Never visited before? You can read our review of York’s Chocolate Story here. Top tips: Book online to secure your chosen time slot. York residents receive 1/3 off the door admission price on presentation of proof of residence on Sundays. York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square,

Animals of the Night at Harlow Carr Gardens this October half term

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Nocturnal creatures are the order of the day at Harlow Carr Gardens near Harrogate this October half term, from bats and badgers to hedgehogs and owls. See pygmy hedgehogs up close, enjoy a wildlife trail or book a place on the holiday club and make your own pumpkin seed hedgehog. Enjoy a hot drink from the Bettys kiosk too. Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB – 22nd to 30th October – 9.30am to 6pm Visit the Harlow Carr website

Halloween at Barley Hall: Now booking!

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There’s something strange going on at Barley Hall this Halloween. Residents who lived and worked at the Hall over 500 years ago have been seen skulking round the rooms and passageways, causing all sorts of mischief and mayhem, and you can help solve some ghostly mysteries at this great Barley Hall event. It’s the perfect Halloween event for little ones who like to be spooked but don’t want nightmares (it’s recommended for 5 to 12 year olds). Admission is £5 per person and includes hot chocolate for all and a gift bag for each child. Tours start every 30 minutes,

Free pumpkins for kids at Piglets Pumpkin Festival

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What’s Halloween without a pumpkin to carve? At the Piglets Pumpkin Festival you can have a day of fun and go home with a carved pumpkin too. Take your pick from the 10,000 pumpkins in the epic pumpkin patch, carve it there (so you don’t have to deal with the mess – hooray!), enter the Creepy Cottage, listen to spooky stories and enjoy magic shows from great magicians – including The Magic Hatter – on selected dates (every day over half term). That’s as well as the usual Piglets active, outdoor fun. You can read our review of last year’s

Spooky half term fun at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens

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October half-term promises a week of Hallowe’en fun at Beningbrough Hall,  with spooky trails, storytelling and fancy dress or a chance to take in the autumn air and enjoy one of Beningbrough’s many trails. If you pass by the ancient horse chestnut tree you might even be rewarded with a glossy conker or two for a conker tournament when you get home. It’s what autumns are made for and a great chance to tick off some of the autumnal ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ play list. Don’t miss the adventure playground and den-building area; we lost hours

Haunted happenings at Nunnington Hall

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The ghosts have been stirring and the something strange is afoot at Nunnington Hall this Hallowe’en. Peculiar noises and creaking floorboards have been heard throughout the house, but are you brave enough to follow the terrifying trail to discover what’s been going on? Head to Nunnington Hall and embark on a ghoulish ghost tour through the house where the gruesome guides are dying to meet you. On Sunday 30th October, dress in your spookiest outfit to scare the judges at the Hex Factor parade. Nunnington, near York, North Yorkshire, YO62 5UY – Tuesday 25th to Sunday 30th October – 11am

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