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Kent: October half term and Halloween family activities 2018

By Angela Cole

There's a whole host of Halloween activities happening across the county this October half term. Here's our pick of them...

BETTESHANGER COUNTRY PARK, DEAL

Deep in the woods, something is stirring this half term... Vampires are on the loose. The Halloween trail will run from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28, between 10am and 3pm each day. Young visitors can solve the riddles, complete the activities and earn a place in the Vampire Welfare Society. The trail is suitable for three to eight-year-olds and costs £1.50, with wellies advisable. For details visit betteshanger-park.co.uk

Broadditch Farm Shop HauntFest last year L/R, Evie Allison, Charlotte Gamble, Molly Allison, Harry Gamble. Picture: Simon Hildrew
Broadditch Farm Shop HauntFest last year L/R, Evie Allison, Charlotte Gamble, Molly Allison, Harry Gamble. Picture: Simon Hildrew

THE BEANEY, CANTERBURY

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge has family afternoon and evening on Friday, October 26 - Fright at the Museum - between noon and 8.30pm. There will be a ghost hunt trail, pumpkin carving and a Halloween-themed menu in the cafe. To details visit canterburymuseums.co.uk/beaney/

BLUEWATER SHOPPING CENTRE

The centre is giving children the chance to try and test this year's must-have toys between Monday, October 22 and Friday, October 26, with brands including LEGO, Build-a-Bear, Disney, John Lewis, The Entertainer, Hawkins Bazaar and Early Learning Centre bringing some of their toys to the Toy Testing Lab for children to play with. For details go to bluewater.co.uk

Bluewater opens a Testing Lab for half term
Bluewater opens a Testing Lab for half term

BROADDITCH HAUNTFEST

From Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28 there will be a range of scarily good activities for children. There's the Freaky Forest tractor trailer ride, the Boo Bungalow, Monster Madness and pumpkin carving workshops at the Broadditch Farm Shop in New Barn Road, Southfleet. For details of times and prices, visit spookycastle.co.uk/day-events/

For National Trust ideas across Kent click here.

BROGDALE, FAVERSHAM

There will be activities throughout the week at the home of the National Fruit Collection. Young visitors can meet bugs and beasts on Beastie Day on Tuesday, October 23, with a bug hunt in the orchards and the chance to discover the creatures living in among the apples. On Wednesday, October 24 there will be a Meet the Owls Evening, when you can see the owls swoop and fly in the barn. On Friday, October 26 there will be a Wild Weather Day when you can ride the tractor trailer to Brogdale’s interactive weather station, take scientific measurements, and learn about the weather. Book your tickets at brogdalecollections.org

Halloween fun with the National Trust this half term
Halloween fun with the National Trust this half term

CANTERBURY TALES

The attraction in Margaret Street holds its Spook Quest for half term from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. There will be ghosts and ghouls hidden throughout the venue, and alongside the regular storytelling tours, young visitors can enjoy a spooky trail. Armed with their trail sheet, kids can hunt down ghosts, and when they complete the trail, they can claim a spook-tacular prize. Entry is £10.95, with five to 15 years £8.95 and a family £32.50. To book call 01227 696 002, email info@canterburytales.org.uk or visit canterburytales.org.uk

CHATHAM HISTORIC DOCKYARD

Enchantment and Magic is back at the dockyard for October half term, when the Enchanted Garden returns in the grounds of The Commissioner’s House. There will be craft activities, and pumpkin carving, plus to ensure all your dreams are enchanted, there will also be a chance to create a dream catcher. There’s also wand making and storytelling throughout the day and for weekend visitors, there's the chance to see the Pumpkin Express. A visit to the Enchanted Garden is included in the entry ticket, though there is a small extra charge for some activities. Go to to The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Visit dockyard.co.uk for more details.

Where to go pumpkin picking across Kent.

DOVER CASTLE

Who's feeling brave? The castle will become a Haunted Castle from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28, between 10am and 4pm every day. Prepare to be scared when you can try a frighteningly fun day and enter the tunnel of terror or say boo to a ghost or two. There will also be creepy crafts, and prizes for the best children's Halloween costume. To find out more about visiting english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/haunted-castle-dover

Dover Castle Halloween fun. Vicky Glover as the ghost leads a tour around the castle. Picture: Tony Flashman
Dover Castle Halloween fun. Vicky Glover as the ghost leads a tour around the castle. Picture: Tony Flashman

DREAMLAND, MARGATE

There will be seven days of hauntingly good fun for the family from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. Get spooked in a slippery slime factory, put your craft skills to use in a Halloween-themed costume workshop, get jumpy in a spooky games arena or get lost in a puzzle hedge maze. There will also be a appearances from children’s TV superhero favourites, PJ Masks on Wednesday, October 24. Get Spooked will run from noon to 4pm each day, though the park itself is shut on Monday, October 22 and Tuesday, October 23. There is also the scare festival for adults, Screamland - for those who dare! Details at dreamland.co.uk

There's Halloween fun for all ages at Fort Amherst
There's Halloween fun for all ages at Fort Amherst

FORT AMHERST, CHATHAM

There are plenty of horrors to be had at the Chatham venue, which this year is celebrating 35 years of scaring. There are Halloween Horrors for various age groups, including a children's experience, where children must be accompanied by an adult over 18. Admission for ages four to 12 is £8, with an accompanying adult costing £8. There's also a Teen's Halloween Horrors for children aged 12 and over. They can be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are £16.50 for ages 12 to 16 and an accompanying adult also needs to pay £16.50. To book, go to fortamherst.digitickets.co.uk

There's loads going on across Kent for half term
There's loads going on across Kent for half term

GROOMBRIDGE PLACE, NEAR TUNBRIDGE WELLS

The Addams Family will be taking visitors on a journey to solve a mystery through the Enchanted Forest from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. Meet all the family including Gomez, Morticia Addams, Wednesday and Pugsley. For more details go to groombridgeplace.com

HEVER CASTLE

Prepare to be spooked at the castle this Halloween and half term, with activities running from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. Listen to ghostly tales in the Ghost Catcher’s Lair, follow the pumpkin trail in the grounds and hear tales of the ghosts of Hever in the castle. There will also be a craft workshop to create a ghost puppet in a free creepy craft workshop or decorate a ghoulish biscuit. There will also be prizes for the scariest costumes. To find out more visit hevercastle.co.uk

HOP FARM, PADDOCK WOOD

A spook-tastic feast of fun for the holidays runs from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. Kids can go to the family park in in their best Halloween fancy dress and take part in pumpkin carving, face painting, laser games, storytelling, as well as magic shows and and meeting the animals. On Wednesday, October 24, Fireman Sam will be popping by on Wednesday, October 24. Details at thehopfarm.co.uk/events

Halloween fun at Kent life in Maidstone
Halloween fun at Kent life in Maidstone

HOWLETTS WILD ANIMAL PARK, CANTERBURY

Not only is there the chance for kids to go free until Sunday, October 28, but visitors can also enjoy meeting the county's only baby elephant at the reserve. The jumbo surprise arrived to parents Jama and Coco in September. To find out more go to aspinallfoundation.org/howletts/

A baby elephant was born at Howletts in September
A baby elephant was born at Howletts in September

KENT LIFE, MAIDSTONE

There's a spooky week on offer from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. The farming attraction will be transformed for the spooky season. There’s pumpkin carving, a creepy cuddle corner, spooky farm rides and daily fancy dress competitions. You can also try a trick or treat in one of the historic houses if you're brave enough to see who’s lurking behind the doors! To find out more go to kentlife.org.uk

LEEDS CASTLE, MAIDSTONE

From Monday, October 22 to Sunday, October 28, help Monster Hunter Valerie Van Helsing on her quest through the castle grounds to investigate The Case of the Halloween Monster - but watch out for Halloween bandits along the way. Characters will be hiding across the estate from 11am to 1pm and again from 2pm to 4pm, including Vinnie the Vampire and Frank Frankenstein. Complete the trail card to claim a chocolate reward. There will also be a new haunted trail through the Woodland Walk and a Monster Mash Ball from noon to 3pm with daily fancy dress contests at 2pm with prizes. New family tickets for the castle cost £70 online or £74 on the day and last for a year. For details go to leeds-castle.com

Halloween fun at Leeds Castle Picture: matthewwalkerphotography.com
Halloween fun at Leeds Castle Picture: matthewwalkerphotography.com

LULLINGSTONE CASTLE, EYNSFORD

There will be a Halloween & Pumpkin Carving event on Sunday, October 28 between noon and 7pm, which is also the last day the house and World Garden are open for the season. For more details call 01322 862114 or go to lullingstonecastle.co.uk

MAIDSTONE MUSEUM

The museum in Earl Street will hold Make It workshops from Tuesday, October 23 to Friday, October 26, between 10.30am and 4pm. Each day will have a different craft activity, including making an autumn suncatcher, a tealight candle holder, a skeleton scarecrow and a megaphone. You need to book your session at museum.maidstone.gov.uk

PENSHURST PLACE

There will be a host of Halloween happenings going on at the house and gardens from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. There will be a Halloween Garden Trail every day when young visitors must unravel ridiculous riddles and rhymes between 10.30am and 6pm daily. Look out for abandoned broomsticks that passing witches leave hanging about in the air and on the way out, enter the annual Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin competition - with all pumpkins grown in the estate’s plant nursery. There will be Wicked Witches Storytelling between Monday, October 22 and Friday, October 26, and Not-so-Spooky Storytelling, also from Monday, October 22 to Saturday, October 27, led by Aardvark Productions. Hands-on-History will also be performing some fun mock demonstrations of Halloween skull surgery and leg amputation on Sunday, October 28 and there will be creepy crafts daily throughout the week. For more details go to penshurstplace.com

Penshurst Place October half term activities
Penshurst Place October half term activities

PORT LYMPNE, HYTHE

Come face to face with dinosaurs and meet the latest monkey to join the pack at Port Lympne reserve this half term, when kids go free until Sunday, October 28. For more information go to aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne/

WALMER CASTLE

Take a journey back to Tudor times at the castle between Tuesday, October 23 and Thursday, October 26. Between 10am and 4pm there will be hands-on activities including den building, hearing stories over a fire and flag making, plus learning about the castle’s history while searching out a garden trail. Entry is £10.90 and £6.50 for five to 15-year-olds. To find out more and book your tickets in advance, visit
english-heritage.org.uk/walmer

Autumn adventures at Walmer Castle
Autumn adventures at Walmer Castle

WHITEFRIARS, CANTERBURY

There will be daily Halloween party events at the shopping centre from Wednesday, October 24 to Saturday, October 28, including Guess the Gunk, crafts, potion making and meeting creepy crawlies. There’s also a disco in Whitefriars Square on Thursday, October 25, from 2pm. The full programme is available online at whitefriars.co.uk.

WILDWOOD, CANTERBURY

The discovery park is running a range of spooky talks, activities and trails throughout half term from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28. To find out more about what's on, go to wildwoodtrust.org or call 01227 712111.

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