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Published: 05:19, 30 September 2019
| Updated: 15:54, 24 October 2019
Don't let Halloween creep up on you - check out our guide to events across the county so you can find plenty to keep your little monsters busy.
There's some monstrous fun to be had over half term at the Monster Academy at Leeds Castle. Running from Monday, October 21 to Sunday, October 27, young visitors can explore the castle grounds and complete spooky classes, winning stamps from each teacher to graduate from the Academy. Activities will include learning to move like a monster, perfect your scare technique and completing an obstacle class. There will also be a spooky trail through the grounds as well as daily ghoulish games and a fancy dress competition. There's a small extra charge for the Monster Academy booklet. Find out more here.
A mystical garden and seasonal crafts await at the dockyard's No.1 Smithery from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27. Grown-ups and children can make their own magic wands and
origami butterflies, plus they’ll also be able to carve pumpkins and make their own gooey slime for a small extra cost. Families will be invited to ‘charge’ their magic wands and creep quietly through the secret door into the mysterious world of the dockyard’s fairies and mystical creatures. There'll be storytime when they can follow the plight of the lost ship Phoenix as a digital storybook comes to life on the big screen with narrator Little Victory. Access to the Enchanted Dockyard is included in an entry ticket but visitors need to book a timeslot on arrival. Youngstersare encouraged to come dressed in fancy dress. An entry ticket also includes access to the dockyard’s 80-acre site and regular attractions and guided tours. Tickets last for a year. Book at thedockyard.co.uk
Kent Life is promising a spooky week of family fun with pumpkin carving, a creepy cuddle corner, spooky farm rides and daily fancy dress competitions from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27.
And if you're brave enough you can come along and trick or treat in the attraction's historic houses. Plans are also underway for a new Big Top show for Halloween too. During half term the site will be open 10am until 5pm. For tickets and bookings visit kentlife.org.uk
Are you brave enough to take on Kent's most haunted castle this October half term? Descend into the darkness in the tunnel of terror or say boo to a ghost or two in spooky tours of the castle keep at the Spooky Castle from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27. There will also be creepy crafts, the chance to make a menacing mask or witches' cat to take home and there will be prizes for the best costume. Find out more here.
Famous spooky characters will be taking to the stage in the outdoor forest theatre at Groombridge Place for October half term from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, November 3. West End actors will perform a Spooky Halloween Musical in the Enchanted Forest with songs from well-known films including the Addams Family, Little Shop of Horrors, Nightmare before Christmas and Hocus Pocus. Everyone is encouraged to sing along and come in fancy dress for a chance to win a prize. Doors open at 10am daily and there are two shows a day. Admission includes the musicals in addition to the daily birds of prey displays, entrance into the walled gardens and all the attractions in the forest including Crusoe’s World with its pirate ship and rope bridges, the board walk with its zip wire and rope swings and the giant tree and nest swings deep in the forest. Find out more here.
Dig out your Halloween costume and head to The Canterbury Tales for a Spook Quest between Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 27. You will travel with your band of fellow pilgrims along the spooky route to the shrine of St Thomas Becket, and discover five of the Canterbury Tales and their colourful characters along the way. Booking is now open here.
Things are lurking in the shadows around Chartwell this half term from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, November 3. Take the Beastly Bat trail and search for the special bat boxes hidden all around the gardens and open up each to discover all about the different types of bat living at Chartwell. Running from 10am to 4pm each day the trail costs £1 plus normal admission charges. Details here.
Follow in the footsteps of the Victorian children who lived and played at Scotney Castle this half term from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, November 3. Follow the trail around the garden to hear all about the ghosts that also lived here and find the answers to the quiz to collect your prize. The cost is £2 plus normal admission charges.
New for Halloween at the Margate attraction this year will be a family friendly maze for the brave and not so brave, there’s also ghoulish party games, a devilish disco and a variety of spooky crafts and activities, all between Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 27. Dressing up is encouraged and alongside a host of rides is the Dreamland Ark, where animal lovers can enjoy a special creepy crawlies experience. The park is free to enter and will be open every day throughout half term, from 11am to 5pm. More details here.
Broadditch becomes Broadwitch at Halloween from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27 with fangtastic fun promised. The Freaky Forest, Bone Yard and Boo Bungalow are among the attractions suitable for children with pumpkin carving workshops also available. Tickets for all of the daytime events can be booked at visit spookycastle.co.uk
Free Halloween craft events will be held at Hempstead Valley from Monday, October 21 to Sunday, October 27 with the kmfm Street Team. There will be free makes and takes with a Halloween theme and free facepainting. More details here.
Halloween arts and crafts, Smallhythe Place, Tenterden
Grab your broomsticks, hats and cloaks and get ready for an afternoon of spooky arts and crafts on Wednesday, October 23. Come dressed in your favourite Halloween costume to be in with a chance of winning a prize. Activities take place between 1pm and 3pm but normal admission charges apply.
Prepare to be spooked this Halloween with ghostly storytelling in the ghost catcher’s lair and a scarecrow scavenger hunt around the grounds or spotting bats in the castle. The fun runs from Saturday, October 19 to Thursday, October 31.Young visitors can enjoy a sweet treat at the deadly delicious biscuit decorating workshop for a small extra charge and there will be prizes for the scariest outfit - topped off with freakish facepainting. Admission is £17.75 and £9.95 for children, with under fives free. Book at hevercastle.co.uk
For half term the Spooky Spectacular event runs from Saturday, October 19 until Thursday, October 31. Young visitors can meet all the Creepy Critters in the reptile area; try some pumpkin activities and join the Monster Mash Dance on stage with all the other monsters and witches. There will be two tunnels of terrors, and there will be prizes for young visitors who come in the best fancy dress of the day. There will also be two bouncy castles; an under fours play area and new for this year, the soft play climbing area. All the farm animals including the sheep, pigs, llamas and alpaca, goats and donkeys will be waiting to greet children, along with the meerkats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Prices are £6 and £7.50 for children which includes a Halloween gift. Find out more at reindeercentre.co.uk or by calling 07769 212455. There is no need to book, the site, which is fully under cover, is open from 11am to 5pm.
Hunt across town for pumpkins on display in shops and at local landmarks and pick up treats from shops and businesses on your way with the annual event organised by Demelza Hospice Care for Children on Thursday, October 24 in Sevenoaks and Rochester and Friday, October 25 in Tenterden, West Malling, Whitstable and Gravesend. Halloween fancy dress is encouraged with prizes for the best dressed. The hunt takes around an hour to complete and is open to children from three to 11. It costs £5 per child and every child's place includes two adults free. All money raised will go to Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Further details here.
Witches and wizards descend on Penshurst Place for half term with a Willow the Witch Halloween hunt and trail around the gardens from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27 and storytelling in the forest den with the Wicked Witch of the Wild Wood with her cat and broomstick, from Monday, October 21 to Friday, October 25 - plus marshmallow toasting over an open fire. Discover your inner sorcerer this Halloween and join Witches and Wizards for some storytelling on Saturday, October 26. Recite some spellbinding tricks before graduating in your first magical class with broomstick-flying colours. Sessions take place at noon 1.30pm and 3pm. Places are on a first-come, first-served basis. More details here.
Head to Lullingstone Castle on Sunday October 27 for pumpkin carving, a spooky house, garden tours and Halloween inspired light bites in the cafe marquee. Learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight too. Spooky House tours are at 2pm and 6pm, including tales of a resident ghost. Fancy dress is welcome and a £2 donation is required for pumpkin carving. Admission is £10 for adults and children under 15 are free. Details here.
There's a frighteningly fun day out awaiting at the castle. Spooky Castle runs from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27 between 10am and 4pm. Let your little horrors scare themselves silly with activities and ghost hunting. Dress in your creepy finest for the chance to win a prize. More at english-heritage.org.uk/walmercastle
Farmageddon Workshops, Bluewater
This half term celebrate the launch of the latest adventure for Shaun the Sheep - A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon - with clay modelling workshops running from Monday, October 21 to Thursday, October 24, in Moon Court at the Lower Mall outside M&S. The workshops cost £4 to create a model out of clay and run every 30 minutes, but ideally book a slot first.
Children’s TV favourites Shaun the Sheep and PJ Masks come to the shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells this half term. There will be story time with Shaun The Sheep on Wednesday, October 23, marking the release of the new Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. Shaun will be dropping in to entertain children with some of his mischievous tales. Interactive and fun story telling sessions featuring Shaun will take place at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. There will also be a PJ Masks Hero Trail on Sunday, October 27 when parking is just £2. For more details go to royalvictoriaplace.com
It's not just Halloween fun such as pumpkin carving and spooky costumes - on offer at the park at Beltring, Paddock Wood, from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27 - the Gruffalo will be popping into meet kids on Tuesday, October 22. Details at thehopfarm.co.uk
Thirty years after its fall, the Berlin Wall may be gone, but it is not forgotten. For half term, the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham is staging a Berlin Wall Art activity, from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27, when children can create a stencil inspired by the art on the wall and paint it onto a fabric drawstring bag to take home. It costs £2 plus normal admission. Details at re-museum.co.uk
Create an autumn colour chart using fallen leaves, needles and debris around the Goudhurst Pinetum on Monday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 22 and on Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29. Get an activity sheet when you arrive. Details at forestryengland.uk/bedgebury
Half term art, Turner Contemporary Margate
Running from Monday, October 21 to Friday, October 25, there will be workshops, conversations, screenings and talks as part of a Turner Contemporary takeover by Platforma Festival. The programme (coordinated by Tom Green and Dijana Rakovic at Counterpoints Arts) reflects upon several of the themes showcased in the work of the Turner Prize nominees. Find out more here.
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More by this authorAngela Cole