From ghoulish ghost trails to spellbinding witches and wizards, there’s definitely something spooky in the air in Kent this October.
We’ve rounded up some of the most hair-raisingly fun things to see and do with the kids this Halloween, so pack your broomstick, stock up on fake blood and get into the not-so-scary spirit…
Betteshanger Country Park, Deal
Get yourself down to the stunning, specially-created Pumpkin Town this Halloween. Betteshanger Country Park in Deal is being transformed into a larger-than-life pumpkin patch where children can pick and carve their own jack-o'-lantern, meet ‘cute scary’ characters and take part in fun games. There will also be a wicked woodland walk where older children and teenagers can join an interactive and immersive experience and face out-of-this-world creatures - if they dare!
Halloween activities at Betteshanger Park take place from Saturday, October 15 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Brockhill Country Park, near Hythe
From creepy crawlies to spine-tingling storytelling, there is plenty to get stuck into at Brockhill Country Park. This beautiful outdoor space in Saltwood, near Hythe, is being taken over by exotic insects, and visitors will have the chance to face their fears and handle the animals themselves before entering this year’s Halloween Discovery Zone. Once inside, you can try your hand at pumpkin hoopla, create a spooky spider to take home, spot creatures on a mini safari and cook up your very own potions.
This Halloween, the woodland will also fall under a spell and all its traditional fairy tales have been turned into scary stories. Brave visitors can listen to these terrifying tales before creating their own magic wands and heading out on a quest across the park to help bring back the stories we know and love.
Halloween activities at Brockhill Country Park take place from Saturday, October 22 to Wednesday, 26 October. Book online here.
Join comic book characters Dennis the Menace, Gnasher and their Beano pals as you embark on a quest to battle mythical monsters hidden in the grounds of Dover Castle. Follow your ghoulish guide as they share stories of the scary goings on in the castle and help you solve clues to finish the trail, all the while hunting beastly creatures and dodging dragons.
Also, on Halloween itself, adults can return to the castle for a ghost tour of the grounds. The storytellers will take you on an after-dark journey through the ghosts, supernatural sightings and horrors of the castle’s history.
Halloween activities at Dover Castle take place from Saturday, October 22 to Monday, October 31. Book online here.
Fort Amherst, Chatham
One of the UK’s oldest scare nights is returning for its 39th year, and it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Halloween Horrors at Chatham’s Fort Amherst is a truly terrifying attraction, recommended for teens and adults, which includes horror scenes, special effects, live actors, scare mazes, intense escape rooms, thrilling rides and haunted houses. However, if you don’t think your child is quite old enough - or brave enough - to face the horror nights, or you’re not really up to it yourself, there is also a family-friendly event taking place during the day. The magical witch's trail gives younger guests a chance to cast spells. banish the curse and save Halloween, without any seriously scary surprises.
Halloween activities at Fort Amherst take place on select dates from Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 30. Family events start from Saturday, October 22. Book online here.
Groombridge Place, Tunbridge Wells
Who needs Hogwarts when you can train to be a witch or wizard right here in Kent? Groombridge Place, near Tunbridge Wells, will be home to a magical training centre this Halloween, and budding spellmakers can experiment with their own potions and creations. Once you’ve completed your witch or wizard training, you can take part in the pumpkin hunt, watch the family-friendly Halloween shows, have a boogie at the spooky disco, and meet characters such as Spidey and Maleficent.
Halloween activities at Groombridge Place take place from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Hever Castle, Edenbridge
Dress up in your creepiest costume and join the festivities at Hever Castle. The historic castle will be adorned with vibrant Halloween decorations, perfect for photo opportunities in your costume, and filled with guides who will share their spine-tingling ghost stories with anyone who is brave enough to listen. The magnificent castle gardens will be split into different zones where you can visit chilling characters such as witches, spiders, skeletons and bats, and you will have the chance to get stuck in and plant your own garlic bulbs to keep the vampires at bay. If things turn a little cold, you can head inside the castle and follow the spooky trail to discover the hidden histories of this impressive estate.
Halloween activities at Hever Castle take place from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Hop Farm Family Park, Paddock Wood
Brace yourself as you venture into the farm and follow the Halloween trail - you never know what you might find. This half term will see the Hop Farm open its terrifying trail, along with some great activities such as spooky arts and crafts, candle making, themed pottery painting and trick or treating. There will also be the option to dress up as your favourite Halloween characters and explore the farm, including meeting the animals and hopping on the children’s rides.
Halloween activities at the Hop Farm Family Park take place from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Kent Life, Maidstone
We hope you’ve got a sweet tooth, as Kent Life is opening its doors to a host of trick or treaters this Halloween. You can visit the Sandling farm, sweet bag in hand, and knock on the doors of the historic houses on site to see if you receive a treat - or a trick! Once you’ve filled up on goodies, you can head over to the pumpkin carving area, explore the creepy corner, show off your Halloween costume in the best dressed competition or enjoy the fun farm rides that will open daily.
Halloween activities at Kent Life take place from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Leeds Castle, near Maidstone
One of Kent’s best-loved castles will be fully immersed in the Halloween spirit during the spooky season, with lots of activities for families to enjoy. There will be live performers sharing stories of the witches of Leeds Castle with audience participants and surprising twists, apple activity booklets, a pumpkin trail where you can spot the pumpkins carved by the castle staff, ghoulish games such as the Halloween bean bag toss and witches hoop toss and creepy characters in the outdoor maze. If you turn up dressed for the occasion, you could also win a prize for the scariest and most creative Halloween costume.
Halloween activities at Leeds Castle take place from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Marleybrook House, Canterbury
The fearsome family Fright Night at Marleybrook House is perfect for those who want more of a thrilling Halloween experience, but still want to be able to sleep with the lights turned off when they get home. The elegant Canterbury venue will turn into a petrifying place filled with scare mazes, featuring live actors, and PG-rated Halloween movies playing in the barn all evening. There will also be fairground rides, food stalls, three bars, face painting, a sweet stall and live music from Kent-based band GrooveZoo.
Grown ups can also enjoy a night out at Marleybrook House with an adult-only Fright Night, where the fear factor will be dialled up and plenty of scary surprises and terrifying twists in store.
Halloween activities at Marleybrook House take place on Saturday, October 29 (adult only) and Sunday, October 30 (family friendly). Book online here.
Penshurst Place, Tonbridge
Did you know there are magical residents living at Penshurst Place? The Coven Elder has swapped the Tonbridge estate for her annual holiday in Transylvania, so it’s up to her black cat to watch over her home and protect the spell book until she returns. During the Halloween season, you can help the witches’ cat look after her precious spells by uncovering clues and collecting evidence as you venture through the gardens. On select dates, there will also be a captivating and interactive storytelling performance where visitors can learn all about the witches of Penshurst Place.
Halloween activities at Penshurst Place take place from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Reuthe’s The Lost Gardens, Sevenoaks
If you visit Sevenoaks’ Lost Gardens during October, it’s highly likely you’ll find a number of Halloween activities to get stuck into. Whether it’s winning a prize for your pumpkin carving skills or following the woodland trail filled with spooky surprises around every corner, the whole family can get into the spirit of the season. On select dates, there will also be a special Circus of Horrors trail, which is a 30 minute acrobatic performance suitable for visitors aged 12 and over, and a Halloween-themed children’s party with games, music, food and even animal encounters.
Halloween activities at Reuthe’s The Lost Gardens take place from Saturday, October 15 to Monday, October 31. Book online here.
Reindeer Centre, near Ashford
The Reindeer Centre's big barn will be transformed into a creepy cave of fun Halloween scenes this October. The team will be dressed up in their best costumes and perform their favourite monster dance routines, which visitors can also join in with. You can also come along in fancy dress, win competition prizes, take scary selfies, test yourself in the Tunnel of Terror and meet the animals, including meerkats, reptiles and, of course, reindeers.
Halloween activities take place on select dates from Saturday, October 15 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Walmer Castle, near Deal
Once the sun goes down, the shadows begin to dance around the gardens of Walmer Castle and, this Halloween, you are welcome to join them. The castle’s ghost hunters, dressed in their best traditional ghost tour garb, will guide you through the gardens but, be warned, there have been reports of strange occurrences and spooky sightings in the grounds. The outdoor tour is eerie enough, but still keeps things light hearted and suitable for young families.
Halloween activities at Walmer Castle from Friday, October 28 to Sunday, October 30. Book online here.
Wildwood, Herne Bay
If more than 40 species of British wildlife, including a host of creepy crawlies, wasn’t enough, Wildwood is giving visitors even more to explore during October. You can still get up close to the animals, including bison, badgers, wolves and wildcats, and, once you have said hello to the creatures, you can throw yourself into the fun and frightening activities. There will be a pumpkin trail, where you can spot the wooden pumpkins dotted around the ancient woodland, and scavenger hunt where you will need to solve the riddles to win a prize. There will also be a chance to meet a ‘real life’ witch, Winifred, who will be sharing her tales and whipping up potions, and a number of traditional family games including pumpkin bowling and ring toss to take part in.
Halloween activities at Wildwood take place from Saturday, October 1 to Monday, October 31. Book online here.