Half term things to do in Kent this October with the kids
From ghoulish trails and spidery surprises to storytelling and wizardry, this October half term is full of Halloween themed activities for kids.
Here's our guide to some of the top events to head to across the county.
The Beaney, Canterbury
The popular Fright at The Museum is back at The Beaney from now until Sunday, November 7, except on Mondays.
Visitors are invited to test their spidey-senses and explore the museum with Anansi, the famous web-slinging trickster of African folklore, solving puzzles which unlock a special exhibition to take part in a spider story. Visitors who complete the trail successfully will also be entered into a competition to win an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet. Young visitors are to dress up in their best spooky costumes to enjoy free activities and Halloween themed interactive games at weekends, while on Saturday, October 30, there will be an especially spooky day, where visitors are encouraged to dress up. Entry is free with donations encouraged. The trail costs £5 with proceeds going towards future exhibitions and other projects. Find out more here.
Bluewater, Showcase Cinema de Lux
The cinema at the shopping centre near Dartford will be holding a festive film day on the first day of the half term holidays, on Saturday, October 23. It will be showing four classic festive movies for £5 entry. Find out more here.
Families can explore the orchards at the home of the National Fruit Collection; learn about apples, and find out how juice is made during half term with a series of Juicing Days. Visitors can pick heritage apples to make juice and take away their favourite apples. The days are on Monday, October 25, Tuesday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 27, and cost £7.50 for an adult and child. Find out more on the website here.
Half term activities include a new Creature Safari where visitors seek out the dragons, wyverns, cats, dogs and other creatures hidden in the Cathedral’s stained glass, stonework and objects and a Discovery Day: Comics in the Glass, which gives young visitors the chance to work with celebrated graphic novel artist and illustrator, Zara Slattery, to create their own comic and mask based on the pilgrim stories in the medieval stained glass windows. The Cathedral has also extended its Kids Go Free offer until October 31 2022. Find out more about what's on here.
Halloween-themed half term activities run from Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31. Explore the castle on a new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s Wizards of Once series - and go in frightful fancy dress to enter a competition and possibly win a prize. Young visitors can also try becoming a monster hunter and meet the comedy castle rat who will have stories and songs of his explorations of the castle. There will also be dragon and grim reaper puppets in the keep yard. Book your entry tickets here.
Hever Castle, near Edenbridge
Young visitors can come dressed in their spookiest outfit between Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 31 for Halloween-themed fun. There will be Halloween decorations around the grounds, and the chance to learn how to become the perfect little monster in the Ghoul School Audio Trail. Visitors can also plant garlic bulbs in a free family-friendly workshop. Book your entry tickets here.
Historic Dockyard Chatham
A pirate's trail, in conjunction with Bloomsbury Children’s Books and the publication of Pirate Stew, by Neil Gaiman, is running at the dockyard site until Sunday, October 31. Visitors can join Long John McRon, Ship’s Cook, on a new discovery trail around the site to find his missing pirate crew and their unusual stew ingredients. Book here.
Hop Farm Family Park, Paddock Wood
Half term activities at the family park at Beltring near Paddock Wood, which run from Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31, will have a Halloween theme. Young visitors are encouraged to come in fancy dress. The usual children's rides and animal farm are available and there will be a themed trail. Find out more here.
Great Comp Gardens, Borough Green
Half term activities, which run from Monday, October 25 to Friday, October 29, include pumpkin carving sessions and an immersive autumn trail. The trail is a chance to identify seeds, leaves, and find pine cones around the seven-acre garden while learning about nature. Pumpkin carving tickets need to be pre-purchased online and cost £5 per child, with sessions at 10am to noon and 1pm to 3pm. The Old Dairy Tearoom will also be open. Book tickets here.
Leeds Castle, Maidstone
There's a skeleton on the loose this October half term at the castle and young visitors can help find him. Between Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 31 Bones the Skeleton is hiding and has left different clues and riddles to solve which will lead to his secret whereabouts. There are also activities such as adventure golf and birds of prey to see during your visit. Book tickets here.
From Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31 there will be an adventure trail to discover the caves while searching for hidden items and a treat at the end. There will also be crafts on selected days and evening tours. More details here.
A half term trail running until Sunday, October 31 will uncover the story of Chartwell’s Kitchen Garden in wartime, with characters such as Hilda who looked after the cows to Mrs Landemare, sorting the ration books. There will be a pumpkin display in the Walled Garden. and little ones can play in mini Marycot cottage. More details here.
From Tuesday, October 26 to Thursday, October 28, children from four to 11 can take part in supervised craft sessions and make an Egyptian inspired head dress, necklace and wrist cuffs, or a scarab beetle and pyramid and even an Egyptian mummy model complete with its own King Tut style death mask. Sessions cost £3 and run between 10.30am and 2.30pm. Book here.
For seven to 11-year-olds can find out about ancient Egyptian or Japanese objects in the museum’s collections and gain an Arts Award. They can go behind the scenes with curators from, Monday, October 25 to Friday, October 29 for £30 per child. Find out more here.
Halloween-themed delights are lined up at the historic house for October half term. There will be a Halloween garden trail throughout half term week from Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31. Visitors are invited to find the hidden objects in the gardens and grounds to uncover the title of a well-known children’s story. A special trail sheet will be available to help locate clues.
From Monday, October 25 to Friday, October 29, the Hideous Hag of the Hall will descend on Penshurst Place to share her bewitching stories in the Baron’s Hall where will have a cauldron and witching paraphernalia. The house will be closed to general visitors these days. Book tickets to visit here.
Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst
There’ll be two family trails to tackle this half term - a welly wander in the woods or follow the footpaths to spot Scotney’s best autumnal trees. Pick up a trail from the garden entrance for £2 (plus usual admission costs) and collect a prize at the end.
Kent Life, Maidstone
Family-friendly events from Saturday, October 23 to Sunday, October 31 include pumpkin carving, a creepy corner, spooky tractor rides and a daily fancy dress competitions. Plus there's trick or treating every day. Book tickets here.