Published: 06:00, 06 October 2020
| Updated: 07:58, 28 October 2020
Half term treats could feel even more special this year.
Things are a little different, but there's still plenty to get out and do across the county. Here's our round up:
Where's Wally? Spooky Museum, Chatham Historic Dockyard
Children's book character Wally – with his red-and-white striped shirt and black-rimmed specs – will be travelling around the country, and is stopping off for half term at the dockyard throughout half term until Sunday, November 1 as part of the Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search, organised by Walker Books and Kids in Museums.
Celebrating the release of the new book, Where’s Wally? Spooky Spotlight Search, visitors can search for mini Wally standees hidden around the site and a spooky phrase with letters hidden alongside Wally to receive a special prize. Families will also have the chance to enter the Where’s Wally? and Kids in Museums grand prize draw competition to win an ArtFund Family Membership and a bundle of Where’s Wally? goodies. Visits must be pre-booked by visiting thedockyard.co.uk
Pumpkin Grotto, Groombridge Place
The secret garden with its stream and wooden bridge will be transformed into a magical pumpkin grotto throughout half term at the Tunbridge Wells attraction until Sunday, November 1.
Visitors can see if they can spot all the hidden pumpkins - and if young ones come in fancy dress there may be a special treat for them. Admission includes access to Crusoe's World with the giant tree swings and raised board walk. A family & friends’ ticket for four costs £25 when one of the group is under 12. A kiosk will be open for refreshments. There are specific time slots each day and a one-way system. To book go to groombridgeplace.com
Spooky Dover Castle
Gather your little monsters for a ghoulish good day out at Dover Castle this half term until Sunday, November 1. Follow the trail to solve creepy clues and gather round to listen to spooky stories. Then steady your nerves and come face to face with some creepy creatures. There’s a fun fancy dress competition every day too. Activities are included in normal admission costs.
Ghost Tours, Deal Castle
Join a guide and take a creepy journey through the past to hear tales of ghosts and supernatural sightings from Wednesday, October 28 to Saturday, October 31, at 6pm, 7.15pm and 8.30pm. They cost £15. The tours are suitable for ages 16 and over. Book here.
Spooky Woodland Walks, Walmer Castle
All the family can join the ghost hunting storytellers for a woodland trail at the castle. The outdoor tour lasts about 45 minutes and are suitable for children over five. They run from Thursday, October 29 to Saturday, October 31, at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm. To book click here.
Half term trail, Chartwell, Westerham
Half term is harvest time with the pumpkins that have been growing in the veg garden displayed here and there around the grounds. There also a kid’s spotter sheet with different things to look out for and plenty of space to run off some steam. Book tickets in advance at nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell
Halloween Spooktacular, Kent Life, Maidstone
The site in Maidstone will be transformed for the spooky season with pumpkin carving, a creepy cuddle corner, spooky farm rides and daily fancy dress competitions, all until Sunday, November 1. Pre-book your tickets here.
Pumpkin Carving, Lullingstone Castle
Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the World Garden with a day of carving on Saturday, October 31 between noon and 5pm - in fancy dress, if you like. Tables for carving will be social distanced and a maximum of three children per table. All plastic carving tools will be cleaned before each re-use. Standard admission charges apply plus £2 per child for pumpkin carving. To book go to lullingstonecastle.co.uk/events
Dobbies' Halloween Spooktacular
The Halloween Spooktacular will take place from Thursday, October 29 to Saturday, October 31 in the Ashford and Gillingham stores. Families can enjoy a spine-tingling tricks and treats with creepy crafts and ghoulish games.
There will also be a fancy-dress competition, and refreshments available to buy, plus a number of safety measures including social distancing and rigorous hygiene measures in place.
Children’s tickets cost £8.50 and include a meal as well as activities and games. Adult tickets start from £5.99. Advance booking is essential at dobbies.com
Great Comp Garden, Borough Green
As the leaves continue to fall throughout half term, Great Comp Garden has come up with a simple autumn trail that encourages children to find and collect fallen leaves and seeds.
The Autumn Hunt comes with a map of the garden and instructions on what leaves and seeds to find - and there could be a Halloween treat for those taking part. The Katsura tree at Great Comp will be in full 'fall' mode, with its unusual candy floss smell.
Children will be encouraged to learn facts such as the name of largest leaf in the garden. The tearoom will also be open. Book your tickets at greatcompgarden.co.uk
Hop Farm Family Park, Beltring, Paddock Wood
Treat the kids to a feast of family fun at the Hop Farm through to Sunday, November 1, including a Halloween trail, live entertainment and prizes for the best fancy dress. Details at thehopfarm.co.uk
Betteshanger Country Park, Deal
Betteshanger Park’s half term Activity Club will be available until Friday, October 30 for ages nine to 14. There'll be the chance to experience BattleZone archery,
mountain biking, forest adventures, orienteering, obstacle courses and geocaching. Also, back by popular demand is Wild One’s Forest School aimed at four to 11 years, with den building, campfires, marshmallow toasting and outdoor games.
There's also a Halloween Geocaching with a spooky theme until Sunday, November 1; a Halloween Trail through Betteshanger Park’s forests to Sunday, November 1 and pumpkin carving from Friday, October 30 to Sunday, November 1 with sweets for all participants and fancy dress encouraged. For details go to betteshanger-park.co.uk
Hever Castle, near Edenbridge
Don your best creepy costume for a pumpkin trail in the grounds and keep an eye out for pumpkin masterpieces on display, with the chance to vote for your favourite. You can also share your pumpkin masterpieces with the chance to receive a treat (or a trick) on social media, using #HalloweenatHever by Friday, October 30. Find out more at hevercastle.co.uk
Bedgebury National Pinetum, Goudhurst
There will be self-led Forest Art and Autumn Colour activities for half term with the learning team on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30 from 10am to noon. Download the activities for free at forestryengland.uk/bedgebury at any time during half term. There's also a free autumnal colour chart to use with fallen leaves, needles and cone debris found around the pinetum. Make your own forest art with needles, bark and other goodies and tag the pinetum on social media with your pictures using #BedgeburyForestArt. Children should be accompanied by an adult, and parking charges apply.
The Beaney, Canterbury
The Black Dog Mystery trail will uncover the truth behind the strange sightings of a black dog that has been spotted inside the Beaney and around Canterbury. Is it a bad omen? Or maybe things aren't quite as they seem? Visitors can complete the trail and solve the mystery to be entered into a competition to win an Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet from now until Friday, November 6. The cost is £5 a trail.
Plus at the weekend there is has an interactive game with Halloween fancy dress and spooky fun, part of the venue's Fright at the Museum family events for Halloween. Find out more at canterburymuseums.co.uk
Leeds Castle, Maidstone
One of the treats for half term is that the castle's maze is set to reopen on Saturday, October 24. To celebrate, there will be fun challenges hidden as you make your way to the middle. Also taking place until Sunday, November 1 will be the chance to have a go at the ancient sport of archery, an activity which lends itself well to social distancing, with trained instructors.Tickets are £3 per person.
There will also be a Halloween trail on the free Leeds Castle app for half term, with spooky surprises afoot. Details at leeds-castle.com
Wildwood Trust, Herne Bay
Throughout half term until Sunday, November 1 the animal park will have a spooktacular makeover, with outdoor ghost trails through the park - and winning prizes if you find the ghosts.
Besides seeing the park's two newest residents, brown bear cubs Mish and Lucy, there will be lessons in potion-making with Wildwood’s resident wizard Cornelius Cobweb, and mini witches and wizards can put their pumpkin carving skills to the test by creating a jack-o-lantern at home and bringing it to the park for a chance to win an up-close encounter with arctic foxes Teddy and Flo.
Find out more at kent.wildwoodtrust.org
There will be drop-in Halloween-themed decorations to make between 10.30am to 3.30pm until Friday, October 30. Social distancing means it will be one family per table, so you may be asked to queue for a short time. Tickets are £2 per child and please bring the correct change.
And for the grown-ups on Thursday, October 29 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, up to six over 18s in a group can try out the ghostly escape room tours.
Groups will be guided around an apparently normal tour of the museum’s galleries. However, the Grey Lady haunts the premises and other things lurk in the dark! Each group must complete a series of puzzles in order to escape from the museum. Tickets are £12 each, with an Ectoplasm cocktail included, or a soft drink alternative. For details click here.
Port Lympne & Howletts
You can take the family to Port Lympne Reserve in Hythe or Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury this half term until Sunday, November 1 and get kids' tickets half price - plus a sweet treat on arrival. Book online and use the code TRICKORTREAT50 by clicking here.
Rare Breeds Centre, near Ashford
There will be a special Spooky Week for half term where young visitors are encouraged to come in their own spooky face paints with prizes on offer for the best. The centre will be decorated for the season. Book online at least 24 hours before you intend to visit at rarebreedscentre.
Broomstick Flying School, Penshurst Place
Witches have been trying out their broomsticks around the grounds - can you spot them in the Garden Trail this half term until Sunday, November 1? You can also join the Wicked Witch of the Wild Wood Storytelling. To book your visit go to penshurstplace.com
Witches Market, Whitstable Castle
There will be a Psychic Fair & Witches Market on Sunday, November 1 at the castle from 10am to 4pm. Social distancing measures will be in place and masks must be worn. The gardens will also be decorated throughout half term.