Family Fun this Halloween
Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that Halloween has become bigger and bigger – you can’t move in supermarkets for witch costumes, plastic severed arms and bags of tooth-rotting sweets.
Given that Halloween is such a big thing for most kids these days, we decided to take a look at what spooky goings-on are taking place in the local area, as well as a few ideas for a Halloween party at home.
Ashridge – Haunted Ashridge trail and craft
21 October until 1 November, 10am-4pm
Get seriously spooked in the fresh air at Ashridge visitor centre, where they’re holding their annual spooky trail and Halloween crafts. Meet some of Ashridge’s former residents on the haunted trail before making a spooky craft at the visitor centre.
Cost: £3 per child.
Old Town Hemel – Halloween party
Sunday 27 October, 3.30pm-7.30pm
The annual Old Town Halloween party is the perfect place to take the kids for a fun afternoon out. It starts at 3.30pm and will include a baby rave for under-2s, fairground rides, craft and activity stalls for kids, face painting, balloon modelling, Friendly Pumpkin meet and greet, as well as a fancy dress competition. It will end with fireworks in Gadebridge Park from 7.30pm.
Cost: The event is free, although rides and stalls will be priced individually.
Willows Farm – Pumpkin Festival
19 October until 3 November
Willows Farm in London Colney are holding their annual Pumpkin Festival from 19 October until 3 November. For the entry price you can come along and pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, plus there will be arts and crafts,
magic shows and a fancy dress competition, as well as the usual visits from their special guest, Peter Rabbit.
Waddesdon Manor – Horrible Halloween
26 October until 3 November, 10am-3pm
Follow the Terrifying Trail through the gardens, try your hand at pumpkin carving and spooky crafts, and enjoy a spooky afternoon tea and fancy dress competition.
Cost: £11 for adults, £5.50 for children and a family of four is £27.50.
Whipsnade – Boo at The Zoo week
19 October until 31 October
As always, Whipsnade have something for the whole family with their Boo at The Zoo week.
Little ogres can head to Ghoul School, where they can create devilishly delicious treats for the Zoo’s animals to enjoy in the Wrap the Mummy activity, as well as making Creepy Crafts and Menacing Masks, before matching animals to their foul creations in the fun-filled game of Poo at the Zoo.
It wouldn’t be Halloween without carving petrifying pumpkins, before transforming into black cats, spiders and other creepy creatures with the help of the Zoo’s Fearsome Face Painters.
At the end of each day, spirited youngsters can boogie away their last drops of energy dancing at the Pumpkin Party, and then settle down for a monstrously good tale at Boo at the Zoo Storytime.
Natural History Museum, Tring
Delightful or Deadly: 22 – 24 & 29 -31 Oct
30-minute handling and craft workshops suitable for ages 5+. Tickets £2.
Museum by Torchlight: 2 Nov 17.00–20.00
Dress up, bring your torch and explore the museum when the lights go off. Spooktastic crafts and trails available. Suggested donation £2.
Halloween Party Games
Mini ghost pinatas
You will need: Cardboard loo rolls; white crepe paper streamers; googly eyes; double sided sticky tape or glue; scrapbook paper; string/twine; small toys and sweets.
Apply tape or glue around one end of the tube and then stick crepe paper around it and over the hole. Add sweets and toys in the other end, and then do the same to cover this end. Attach string and a named label for the children to pull, then wrap the rest of the tube in paper until it’s completely covered. Add googly eyes and, hey presto!
Mummy relay race
Quite simply, see which team can wrap their team member in loo roll the fastest!
Carve a pumpkin with a face – make sure it has a huge open mouth that goes right to the floor. Then add a length of felt from the mouth along a flat surface and get them to putt a golf ball into the open mouth.