With the excitement of the first couple of school weeks done and dusted, and summer a sweet, distant memory, you just know that the kids will already be counting down the days until October Half Term! And who can blame them? It’s all set to be an exciting one this year, coinciding perfectly with the very best Halloween events going on around the country and at Britain’s best theme parks. Here’s your run-down of the best ways to get away with the family this Half Term…
The Making of Harry Potter
A brand new permanent exhibition at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, the Dark Arts section is set to be opened just in time for Halloween. Not only will you have the chance to see the headquarters of Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, as well as costumes and great props from all the films, but there’s also some extra Dark Arts activities for October Half Term. There’ll be wand combat lessons and a chance to walk down a scarily dark Diagon Alley patrolled by Death Eaters, and during this time the Halloween Feast will be on display in Hogwarts’ Great Hall too.
A great getaway for the whole family – from the littlest thrill-seekers to the teenage adventure-lovers – Alton Towers has a lot going on this Half Term. Open until late, the rides are great fun to ride when it’s dark, and the superb live shows are also a big draw during a special fortnight of events. Hear the Scary Tales that will make your nightmares come true, or see the Trick-or-Treat show live on stage. Special attractions Terror of Towers and The Sanctuary are both deliciously spine-tingling and only for the brave! Meet the park’s resident monsters Skelvin, Franklyn, Patch and Phil too, the perfect photo opportunity for your littlest ghouls.
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort’s incredibly popular Brick or Treat event returns for another year this Half Term. Get the little monsters all dressed up for the special fancy dress contest and the park’s Monster Ball, before heading through the eerie Forest of 5000 Pumpkins, where they’re a chance to create your own LEGO pumpkin. For younger children there’s a special puppet show and great colouring activities, and they can join the whole family in watching the spectacular fireworks shows scheduled over the Half Term period too. With over fifty permanent rides in the park, LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is easily one of the best family-friendly theme parks to visit at any time of the year!
During Half Term this year Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights will return for a 13th year. Taking over the movie studios section of the park, lose yourself in the horrifying mazes themed around iconic scary movies such as The Blair Witch Project, The Cabin in The Woods and SAW. In Studio 13 you become the star of the horror movie, pursued by the Deranged Director. Open until 10pm, it’s a great chance to experience the park’s great rides by night – the perfect choice with those for older kids, Thorpe Park is another great Half Term destination.
Halloween is a fantastic time to visit Warwick Castle; the castle stays open until 9pm with the Haunted Castle offering ghost hunts. Perfect for the younger kids too, they’ll have the chance to learn spells and dress up as their favourite witches in the Princess Tower, and walk the Haunted Hallows to visit a spider’s lair, a spooky swamp and even a graveyard. A new attraction – Blackout! – is also worth seeing, running from 5pm onwards; a pursuit of the spirits in the dark, dank depths of the castle – are you brave enough to join the Paranormal Investigation team to track them down?
Always a treat, Cadbury World gets a spooky makeover each Halloween; this year sees the return of the hilarious show The Scream Factor – a special live show presented by Dermot O’Scary and featuring judges Simon Howl and Larry Walsh. A funny – and sometime frightening – show for the kids, it’s just another great reason to visit Cadbury World this October. Be sure to visit the World’s Biggest Cadbury Store onsite too for lots of Halloween goodies, one of many attractions at the place where chocolate comes to life!
An extra-special treat this October Half Term, consider a Eurostar Break to Disneyland Paris and let the kids experience the magic of Disney; the build up to Halloween is always a good time to visit, and this year Maleficent and her fellow villains will be making a special appearance to cast a spooky spell over the park. The Halloween Festival goes on throughout the month of October and will simply add to the ever-present joy and fun to be had at Disneyland – expect parades, great rides and spectacular fireworks, all for the price of one ticket! With our great Kids Go Free deals too, Disneyland Paris is the perfect short break destination for the whole family!
Are you off on a Half Term Break this October? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!