Things to do in October half term: Activities for all the family to enjoy in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

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October half term is upon us - so here are lots of things you can do with your family this Halloween school holiday

October half term is fast approaching - and in 2023 families will have the chance to go out and enjoy many activities together - whether you want to be scared silly for Halloween or would prefer something more fun than fearful.

There’s lots happening across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - with many attractions offering special discounts for the half term week and Halloween themed events. Keep reading to discover our pick of this year's attractions and events across all four UK nations that all the family can enjoy during the first school holiday of the academic year.

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For families who enjoy the great outdoors, the National Trust are offering numerous activities at locations across the country, including walking along a wildlife trail and discovering historical stories and sites. There are also craft sessions and exhibitions showcasing unique treasures and art. You can check for events near you on the National Trust website. If you want to do something specifically spooky, there are a number of National Trust Halloween activities you can do too, from traditional pumpkin carving to fun dress up areas.

English Heritage also have a range of family-friendly events at their sites across the country this Halloween, including spooky stories, ghoulish family woodland walks and seasonal craft and cooking events. Better yet, tickets are even cheaper if you book in advance, so check out the English Heritage website now to find an activity near you.

There are also plenty of Halloween events for kids (and big kids) courtesy of Visit England, such as themed days at castles, pumpkin festivals, and ghost walks and even bus tours. This, of course, includes special activities at some of the country's top attractions such as The Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds in London, the Dungeons in York, London and Blackpool, Thorpe Park Fright Night in Surrey, Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire, Alton Towers Scarefest in Stoke-onTrent, Brick or Treat at Legoland Windsor.

Activities for all the family to enjoy during October half term 2023 in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Image by Adobe Photos.Activities for all the family to enjoy during October half term 2023 in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Image by Adobe Photos.
Activities for all the family to enjoy during October half term 2023 in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Image by Adobe Photos. | visoot -

If you're up in Scotland, there's lots to do there too thanks to Visit Scotland. You can take your pick of haunted houses, ghost walks, scary films, pagan fire festivals and more, including events at Edinburgh Dungeon, Glasgow Botanic Gardens and Edinburgh Zoo. If you're based in Ireland, there's a variety of scary stuff you can do to satis every member of the family too, including murder mystery evenings, turnip carvings and more. Visit the Discover Nothern Ireland website to learn more and find something near you. In Wales, there are a number of brilliant events for people of all ages to enjoy, including pumpkin decorating, Halloween trails and dark fairy tale storytelling sessions. See the Visit Wales website for more details.

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You'll also find lots of half term fun at shopping centres acorss the UK - some of them are Halloween themed and some of them are not, which means that everyone can find something they enjoy, whether they want to be spooked or not. For example, there are events at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, the White Rose shopping centre in Leeds, and both Westfield shopping centres in London. You can look up your local shopping centre online to find out if they have anything planned.

If the kids want to dress up for your chosen trip, we’ve got that sorted for you too. This is our guide to the spookiest children’s Halloween costumes and if you’d like to don a dreadfully scary outfit too then we also have a rundown of the most popular Halloween costumes for adults.

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