OCTOBER half term is almost here with autumnal days and nights waiting to be filled with fun and laughter.

Most children in Runcorn and Widnes will start their school break today, Friday, ready to enjoy a few days away from the classroom.

What activities and events are on offer for youngsters to keep them occupied and entertained this half term?

From spiders to slime and witches to walks, there promises to be something for families with children of all ages.

Here is our round up of activities taking place just a short drive, train or bus journey away.

When is October half term 2023?

The October half-term holidays differ across the UK with some English schools taking a break between October 23 to October 27 with others enjoying their week off between October 30 and November 3.

These holidays can vary so it’s worth checking your school’s website for their term and holiday dates.


Ghoulish goings on at Knowsley Safari (Image Knowsley Safari)

Ghoulish goings on at Knowsley Safari (Image Knowsley Safari)

Knowsley Safari Park

Knowsley Safari Park is getting a spooky makeover for Hallowe’en as kids go free this half term.

Children go free between Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, November 5 alongside one full paying adult, making half term fun even easier for families and friends to enjoy.

Ghosts, ghouls, and spooky character actors will be aplenty as Knowsley Safari’s Tiger Trail is transformed into the eerie grounds of a haunted mansion complete with an ominous super-sized gated entrance and broken tombstones ‘welcoming’ visitors into the lair.

Starting just seven days before Hallowe’en, this special event is the perfect thrilling way to get in the spooky spirit before the big night.

Visitors to Knowsley Safari across the half term holidays can follow the illuminated, multi-sensory Halloween trail complete with chilling character actors who will be telling spooky stories and running themed games to entertain the kids along the way.

The trail will end with an impressive 8x8m real hedge maze where visitors can encounter even more spooky delights around every twist and turn as they race to the heart of the maze before they plan their escape.

Stephanie Costello, events manager at Knowsley Safari says: “Halloween is always an exciting time for Knowsley Safari and this year we’re super-sizing our guest experience with the addition of our giant authentic maze.

“We’ve designed the whole Tiger Trail takeover to ensure maximum spooky fun and adventure and we can’t wait to see guests’ reactions to this immersive, monstrous experience!”

The Halloween event is included with a paid admission ticket and kids are FREE when accompanied by a full-paying adult.

Click here for more information or to book tickets, which start from £22.50.

Gullivers World

Gulliver's World

Gulliver’s World

Fright Fiesta at Gulliver’s World is the perfect place to showcase your fancy dress costume or delve into the theme park and discover some spooktacular rides.

Highlights include daily performances of Gilly’s Halloween Dance Party, a haunted mansion experience and interactive scare attractions as well as spooky rides.

The event runs until Friday, November 3.

Click here for more details and to book tickets, which start at £17.

Arley Hall

Arley Hall

Arley Hall

There is a Halloween Spooky Garden Trail at Arley Hall over half term.

The good witch Grizelda is trying to break the curse on the Thorny Tea Cottage and Gardens which is getting stronger but she needs the help of her cat to save it - if only she could remember her cat’s name.

Gather up the clues hidden in the gardens and help Grizelda to remember her cat’s name.

The Gardener's Kitchen café will be open every day and they’re offering Halloween treats – mummy dogs, devil’s juice and ghostly sandwiches as well as spooky spider cupcakes and potten slime with worms.

The special afternoon tea is available on October 26, 27, 30 and 31 and must be booked in advance.

Why not come along in fancy dress to make your adventure more exciting?

Normal garden opening times and entry fees apply.

No need to pre-book and dogs welcome on a lead.

The half term fun runs between Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, November 5.

Click here for more information.

Walton Hall and Gardens

Walton Hall and Gardens

Walton Hall and Gardens

Looking for spooky plans this Halloween?

Well, Walton Hall and Gardens is hosting the perfect event for you.

Boutique Halloween party ‘Scaresbury’ will be taking over the recently restored The Old Riding School.

It will be transformed into a party playground with a killer line-up of headline DJ’s and entertainment for thrill seekers and dancefloor demons.

It will be hosted by the team behind the previously successful Daresbury Festival.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Fancy dress is encouraged, so get your creepiest costumes at the ready and we’ll see you on the dancefloor.”

Tickets start from £17.50.

The event is taking place on October 28 and is expected to start at 6pm and finish at 1am, subject to licence.

Click here for more information or to book tickets.

Tatton Park is gearing up to haunt and delight this Halloween (Image Tatton Park)

Tatton Park is gearing up to haunt and delight this Halloween (Image Tatton Park)

Tatton Park

Families looking for things to do this Halloween are being invited to try out Tatton Park’s range of spooktacular activities.

The historic estate has announced its plans for half term and Halloween, with something for everyone to enjoy.

Step back in time to take broomstick lessons in a medieval setting or pick out the perfect pumpkin on the farm.

There are also silent discos in the spooky stately home where visitors of all ages can be immersed in a world spine-tingling entertainment.

Half term events include:

The Great Wizard’s Gathering at the Old Hall:

Discover the magic within the historic Old Hall walls and join in the wizard revelry! With apple bobbing challenges, broomstick flying, thrilling games, and captivating songs and spells.

This event is run by Rusticus, the outdoor theatre company that turns a walk into an adventure.

Halloween Silent Disco:

Join Our Kids Social on the mansion dancefloor for Halloween classics from Ghostbusters to the Time Warp and two music channels to choose from, we guarantee a monstrous time for families.

Halloween fancy dress is encouraged for everyone!

Pumpkin Patch at the Farm:

Say hello to farmyard favourites before getting your hands dirty, picking your perfect pumpkin from the farm fields, ready for carving at home.

Mog in the spooky Maize Maze:

As part of the celebrations this year for Judith Kerr 100 years, Mog the Forgetful Cat is ready for Halloween, but she’s lost in the spooky Maize Maze!

Children who dare to enter can see if they can find an enchanting Mog this half term.

Mog and Bunny in the Mansion:

It’s Halloween and Mog’s special bunny has vanished! Little ones can help find her precious toy on a mansion trail. Have fun dressing up as Mog and playing her favourite games in the cellars’ family space. Don’t forget to pick up and wear your Mog mask for Halloween!

Click here for more information or to book tickets.

Catalyst Museum

Catalyst Museum

Catalyst Museum

Hands-on Halloween fun with October half term workshops at Catalyst Museum.

Visit Catalyst over the October Half Term for a chance to take part in their hands-on spooky Halloween workshops.

Have a go at the scary science experiments, racing spiders, using magnets to move Dracula’s car and making spooky shadow puppets.

Workshops will be held at 11.30am and 2pm.

Click here for more information or to book tickets, which cost £1.95.

Imagine That!

Imagine That!

Imagine That!

Monsterz Mayhem starts on Saturday, October 21 and runs until Sunday, November 5.

They’re gearing up for a monster celebration this October half term with a Monsterz Mayhem event -it’s one not to be missed.

There will be a monster bash with themed crafts and slime as well as a new science show and souvenir photos all included in admission.

Are you superstitious? Here’s a list of 13 things you can enjoy at Imagine That! this October half term:

1: Monster Mash science show – enjoy the new interactive show with plenty of fizz, bang wallop and monster surprises

2: Science Buskers – you can’t miss them! They’re fun, they’re loud and they always have a trick up their sleeves bringing hands-on science to life in Bright Sparks science zone

3: Halloween costumes – bring the little ones in their best costumes and then feed their imaginations as they switch roles in the Imagination Village. Will they be a vet, pizza chef or superhero?

4: Monster Mud Pie – a unique kind of slime only found this time of year Get messy creating your very own pot of worm -infested slime to take home and gross out your friends

5: Monster hunt – follow the monsters’ trail of chaos and mayhem and help round them up and end their mischief

6: Monsterz Magic – it’s trick or treat time and the monsters have eaten the treats but left the tricks behind. Have fun creating optical illusions that will amaze and impress

7: Monster Photo Shoot – strike your scariest pose in front of the giant green screen and take home your free souvenir photo

8: Monsterz Fizzies – make your own fizzing bath bombs

9: Halloween Bingo – eyes down for those spooky monster matches - everyone’s a winner!

10: Monsterz fridge magnets – paint your own keepsake - the perfect decoration for any fridge

11: Spooky spin art – make a monster picture in the Art Beatz area, where there’s also a real car to paint!

12: Dark Room - See how much fun you can have in the dark as you experiment with light. Who said the dark was scary? Not at Imagine That

13: Get messy – have a monster amount of fun in the huge vats of squishy slime filled with spooky surprises

Click here for more information.

Magical Woodland gears up for Halloween spooktacular fun for the whole family at Blakemere Village (Image Blakemere Village)

Magical Woodland gears up for Halloween spooktacular fun for the whole family at Blakemere Village (Image Blakemere Village)

Blakemere Village

Visitors can enjoy a magical woodland this Halloween at Blakemere Village.

The venue will be unveiling the spooktacular interactive Halloween experience, set in 15 acres of stunning countryside.

The themed family trail will include dinosaurs’ den, ghostbusters’ ghetto, a Hocus Pocus party pad and all the thrills of the Under The Sea spectacular.

More than a million fairy lights, laser displays and dazzling tunnels together with captivating canopies will transform the woodland into a world of Halloween excitement that’s perfect for all ages.

Blakemere Village’s Magical Woodland characters will join guests along the route and bring the experience to life with floating umbrellas and clouds of flying lanterns filling the night sky.

Performance art will also bring some scenes to life with guests allocated 90 minutes to enjoy the sound and light spectacular.

There will be cosy firepits where you can toast marshmallows and street food style treats in the food court.

A spokesperson for Blakemere Village said: “Don’t be afraid – our multi-coloured adventure is designed to be spooky not scary!

“If you are looking for a date night with a difference, a family, fun adventure or a night out with friends or colleagues, the only thing you need to bring with you, to make unforgettable and Instagram-able memories is your imagination.”

Magical Woodland will be open until Tuesday, October 31

Click here for more information or to book tickets.

Half price at half term for Halloween spooktacular at BeWILDerwood(Image supplied)

Half price at half term for Halloween spooktacular at BeWILDerwood(Image supplied)


It pays to be organised and book early for the school holidays.

BeWILDerwood in Cheshire is offering 50 per cent off October half term tickets for its adventure theme park when customers book the venue’s Halloween event.

BeWILDerwood is a huge woodland adventure full of family entertainment and outdoor activities on the A49 near Whitchurch and Tarporley.

It’s based on the magical and enchanting books by author and creator Tom Blofeld and a day spent at BeWILDerwood promises to inspire imaginations.

The venue recently launched its festive activities, which have been nominated for Best New Event at the UK Theme Park Awards and picked up the award for New Tourism Business in the 2022/23 Marketing Cheshire Awards.

And the park’s spooky Halloween specials are now available to book.

Anyone who purchases tickets to BeWILDerwood’s Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade will receive a special code for 50 per cent off daytime tickets between October 21 and October 31.

The magical Halloween event will show the woods in a whole new light as visitors enter after dusk and use their glowing lanterns to guide the way.

A spokesperson for BeWILDerwood said: “Discover curious characters, spot peculiar pumpkins, marvel at magical lights, make jokes with the BeWILDerbats and lots more.

“But don’t fret; it’s spooky, not scary!”

The Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade will take place each evening from October 19 until October 31 – including half term – and has scheduled arrival times between 6pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets are £12.50 per person with children under 92cm, wheelchair users and carers entering free of charge.

Click here for more information.

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Play, explore and discover with interactive installations, creative challenges and pop-up activities from Saturday, October 21 until Sunday, 5 November.

Get ready for a museum takeover as the galleries and spaces are handed over to friends and neighbours, from primary schools and community groups to artists and researchers, to explore the different ways that Manchester is evolving.

Find out what skills you need to be an architect, reimagine the future of the high street, and look out across the city's magnificent skyline through the eyes of the next generation of young innovators.

Click here for more information.

Chester Zoos free new Halloween trail is coming this October (Image Chester Zoo)

Chester Zoo's free new Halloween trail is coming this October (Image Chester Zoo)

Chester Zoo

A new mystical Halloween trail will be in place for visitors to enjoy at Chester Zoo this October half term.

The zoo’s ‘Luna’s Legendary Creature Halloween Trail’ will run throughout the whole of October.

Organisers say the spellbinding route, which will see visitors encounter five magical species including the rhinoceros hornbill, Sulawesi-crested macaque and huge Sunda gharial crocodile, will highlight deforestation and the importance of protecting the rainforest.

Guests will be sent on a quest to collect key words about the unique qualities of each animal before helping Luna the witch discover a legendary creature living deep inside the charity zoo’s Monsoon Forest habitat – the UK’s biggest indoor zoological building.

Those who successfully complete the trail will be rewarded with a selection of spooky treats.

Ellie Trigg, the zoo’s customer development manager, said: “There’s a special mystical quest across South East Asia to discover at the zoo this October.

“We need visitors to help us find ‘Luna’s Legendary Creature’ which holds the secret to protecting the rainforest.

“This new trail will take guests through our huge Monsoon Forest habitat, where visitors will be challenged with collecting a number of key words from five locations to complete their log book and help us discover ‘Luna’s Legendary Creature’.

“For the first time ever, guests will be able to jump on to Halloween-themed boats and take a ride down our Lazy River Boat Journey - spotting bats, skeletons and pumpkins along the way!

“Halloween provides us with a great opportunity to highlight some of the world’s rarest animals, especially those that can sometimes be a little misunderstood or which often fly under the radar. This new trail will also show visitors how small actions, such as swapping a few items in their weekly shop to sustainable alternatives, can help the species found on the trail to thrive in the wild.”

The trail is free to all zoo visitors who purchase normal zoo tickets, with no timeslot booking needed.

Visitors can complete the trail at any time throughout the day and it will take around 90 minutes to complete.

Click here for more information or to book tickets.