Things to do in October half term and halloween events in Kent

Carve out a perfect Halloween themed outing for all the family this autumn.

Alongside some fantastic places to pick a pumpkin across the county is an action-packed programme of half term events. Here's our guide...

Take on the Glow Trail at Jeskyns
Take on the Glow Trail at Jeskyns

Glow trail at Jeskyns Woodland, near Gravesend

Running from October 1

A Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon-inspired Glow Trail has arrived in north Kent. Download the app ahead of your visit, collect a UV pen in your trail pack for just £3.50 from the visitor centre and see if you can solve the clues and complete the challenges to return the alien back home. For more details on taking part in the interactive trail, see our guide here.

Dover Castle
Dover Castle

Spooky Castle, Dover Castle

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, October 27

Is your family brave enough to take on Kent's most haunted castle this half term? Descend into the darkness in the tunnel of terror or say book to a ghost or two in spooky tours of the castle keep. There will also be creepy crafts, the chance to make a menacing mask or witches' cat to take home and there will be prizes for the best costume.

A visit to Dover Castle family ticket costs £54.30, English Heritage members are free. Information on admission can be found here.

Enchantment and Magic at the Historic Dockyard
Enchantment and Magic at the Historic Dockyard


Enchanted Dockyard, The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, October 27

Disappear into the magical world of the Enchanted Dockyard this October half term. A mystical garden and seasonal crafts await inside the No.1 Smithery gallery. You’ll be tasked with making your own magic wands and origami butterflies, plus you’ll be able to carve pumpkins and make your own goo-ey slime before entering the Enchanted Garden.

Then charge your magic wand and creep through the secret door into the mysterious world of the dockyard's fairies and mystical creatures. You can also come dressed in your own magical and mystical outfits to really be part of the story.

The immersive experience takes approximately 1 hour and entry to the Enchanted Dockyard is included in an entry ticket. More details here.

Children are being encouraged to come in fancy dress to Groombridge Place
Children are being encouraged to come in fancy dress to Groombridge Place

Spooky Halloween Musical, Groombridge Place

Saturday, October 19 until November 3

Famous spooky characters will be taking to the stage in the outdoor forest theatre at Groombridge Place for family friendly fun in October half term.

West End actors will perform a ‘Spooky Halloween Musical’ in the Enchanted Forest with songs from well-known films including the Addams Family, Little Shop of Horrors, Nightmare before Christmas, Hocus Pocus and more. Everyone is encouraged to sing along and don’t forget to come in fancy dress for a chance to win a prize at the end of the Halloween disco after the last performance of the day.

Doors open at 10am each day when characters from the musical will meet visitors before they disappear into the Enchanted Forest for the first of two daily spooky Halloween shows.

Admission includes the musicals in addition to the daily birds of prey displays, entrance into the walled gardens and all the attractions in the forest including Crusoe’s World with its pirate ship and rope bridges, the board walk with its zip wire and rope swings and the giant tree and nest swings deep in the forest. There will also be the chance to learn more about tarantulas during half term - with more than 30 on display! Ticket information available here.

Halloween fun at Kent Life
Halloween fun at Kent Life

Halloween Spooktacular, Kent Life, Sandling near Maidstone

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, October 27

Kent Life is promising a spooky week of family fun during half term and ahead of Halloween. There will be pumpkin carving, a creepy cuddle corner, spooky farm rides and daily fancy dress competitions. And if you're brave enough you can come along and trick or treat in the attraction's historic houses! Plans are also underway for a new Big Top show for Halloween too. During half term Kent Life is open 10am until 5pm. For tickets and bookings visit kentlife.org.uk/event/halloween-spooktacular

Spook Quest, The Canterbury Tales

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, October 27

Grab your best Halloween costume and head to The Canterbury Tales where you can help Zelda the Medieval witch find all the ingredients around the attraction to make a potion and cure the plague!

You can also embark on a spooky quest through Chaucer’s famous ‘Canterbury Tales’. You will travel with your band of fellow pilgrims along the spooky route to the shrine of St Thomas Becket, and discover five of the Canterbury Tales and their colourful characters along the way. Booking is now open for the event. Learn more here.

Beastly Bat Trail, Chartwell

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, November 3

Creepy things are lurking in the shadows around Chartwell this half-term! Take the Beastly Bat trail and search for the special bat boxes hidden all around the gardens and open up each to discover all about the different types of bat living at Chartwell. Running 10am to 4pm each day the trail costs £1 alongside normal Chartwell admission charges.

Children of Scotney Halloween trail, Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, November 3

Continue to follow in the footsteps of the Victorian children who lived and played at Scotney Castle. Follow the trail around the garden to hear all about the ghosts that also lived here and find the answers to the quiz to collect your prize.

The cost to take part is £2 but normal admission charges also apply.

There are plenty of chances for the kids to wear their fancy dress costumes during half term
There are plenty of chances for the kids to wear their fancy dress costumes during half term

Get Spooked, Dreamland, Margate

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, October 27

Nine days of frightfully good fun by the sea is being organised for families visiting Dreamland ahead of Halloween.

New for 2019 will be a family friendly maze for the brave and not so brave, there’s also ghoulish party games, a devilish disco and a variety of spooky crafts and activities to take part in too. Dressing up is encouraged and alongside a host of rides is the Dreamland Ark, where animal lovers can enjoy a special creepy crawlies experience meeting spiders, reptiles and more.

The park is free to enter and will be open every day throughout half term, from 11am - 5pm. Buy unlimited ride wristbands online in advance and save 25%. All the information can be found here.

Broadwitch Hauntfest, Broadditch Farm, Southfleet

Saturday, October 19 until Sunday, October 27

Broadditch becomes Broadwitch at Halloween with fangtastic fun promised at all of the farm's family-friendly daytime events.

The Freaky Forest, Bone Yard and Boo Bungalow are among the attractions suitable for children with pumpkin carving workshops also available to book. Tickets for all of the daytime events in 2019 are now available to buy with ticket packages available for families who wish to participate in more than one event. To learn more or to make a booking please visit www.spookycastle.co.uk

Halloween at Hever Castle
Halloween at Hever Castle

Haunted Hever, Hever Castle

Saturday, October 19 until October 31

Join the spooky storytelling, take part in the Halloween craft activity, follow the scarecrow scavenger hunt around the grounds and sink your teeth into a sweet treat at the deadly delicious biscuit decorating workshop* (*small additional charge).

Don your scariest outfit to take part in the fancy dress costume (with prizes for the best dressed) and finish your spooky creation off with a freakish facepaint (small additional charge). You can search for hidden bats in the castle and have a chance to read up on some gruesome Victorian tales. Learn more about all the events here.

Character clay modelling, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe

Monday, October 21 until Thursday, October 24

Kids will be able to create their own Shaun the Sheep from clay at Bluewater Shopping Centre. The classes will run every 30 minutes from 10am until 6pm and cost £4 per person.

Visitors should head to the Moon Court within the Greenhithe Shopping Centre in order to book a slot on the day as the activity is available on a first come first served basis. More details here.

Free Halloween events, Hempstead Valley, Gillingham

Monday, October 21 until Sunday, October 27

Free Halloween craft events return to Hempstead Valley this weekend with a spooky set of free makes and takes to enjoy - all with a Halloween theme. There will also be free facepainting on offer.

More details as they are released by clicking here.

Take your kids to the Monster Academy
Take your kids to the Monster Academy

Halloween Monster Academy, Leeds Castle

Monday, October 21 until Sunday, October 27

Send your little monsters back to school over half term and to the Monster Academy at Leeds Castle.

Explore the Castle grounds and complete spooky classes as you go, winning stamps from each teacher to graduate from the Academy. Activities will include learning to move like a monster, perfect your scare technique and complete an obstacle class. There will also be a spooky trail through the grounds as well as daily ghoulish games and a fancy dress competition. A small additional charge applies for the Monster Academy booklet. Admission information can be found here.

Kids for a Quid, Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells

Wednesday, October 23 and Thursday, October 24

Affordable fun for the whole family is on offer at the Spa Valley Railway with its ‘Kids for a Quid’ promotion. With children travelling on the line for just £1 each it means two adults and two children can travel for the day for just £26. More information available here.

Halloween arts and crafts, Smallhythe Place, Tenterden

Wednesday, October 23

Grab your broomsticks, hats and cloaks and get ready for an afternoon of spooky arts and crafts. Come dressed in your favourite Halloween costume to be in with a chance of winning a fancy dress prize! Activites, which are free, take place between 1pm and 3pm but normal admission charges to Smallhythe Place apply.

Conningbrook Lakes Halloween Widlife Walk, Ashford

Thursday, October 24

A special Halloween themed walk is to take place at Conningbrook Lakes Country Park led by Kent Wildlife expert Cristina Juan.

The free guided walks will have a series of clues for participants to follow around the lakes and country park, with Halloween face painting or mask making for the youngsters as well

as a crafty pumpkin carving session. Sessions are taking place at 10am and 1pm. Places are free but limitied. Please call 01233 215155.

Meet the owls, Ightam Mote

Thursday, October 24

Kent Owl Academy will be visiting Ightam Mote with some of its owls on Thursday between 11am and 3.30pm It will allow visitors the opportunity to get up close to the incredible creatures. Owl talks will take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Learn more here.

Halloween fun day, Macknade Fine Foods, Faversham

Thursday, October 24

Children aged five to 11 are invited to Macknade’s Flagship Food Hall in Faversham on Thursday October 24 to take part in a variety of food and craft activities, including pumpkin carving and biscuit decorating. Wasted Kitchen will be heading up the pumpkin carving and sharing its ideas for what to do with left-over pumpkins after Halloween.

For young aspiring bakers, there will be an opportunity to create spooky designs for cakes and biscuits. And Whitstable firm Slumber Teepees will create a special activity corner, where children will be able to enjoy glitter face-painting and a fancy dress competition children are invited to come dressed in Halloween-themed clothing. Macknade marketing manager Rosie Collins said: ““This event is all about inspiring families to have fun together with food this half-term. There is a charge of £5 per child and two different time slots available to book. Details here.

Halloween Pumpkin Hunt, various Kent locations

Thursday, October 24 in Sevenoaks and Rochester and Friday, October 25 in Tenterden, West Malling, Whitstable and Gravesend

Hunt across town for pumpkins on display in shops and at local landmarks and pick up treats from shops and businesses on your way. The annual event organised by Demelza Hospice Care for Children encourages Halloween fancy dress with prizes for the best-dressed!

The hunt takes around one hour to complete and is open to children aged three to 11. Taking part costs £5 per child and every child's place includes 2 accompanying adults free of charge.

All money raised will go to Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Further details here.

Free fangtastic fun, The Forum Shopping Centre, Sittingbourne

Friday, October 25

Between 11am and 4pm mini monsters are invited to the centre in their best Halloween fancy dress for a range of frighteningly free fun. Arts and crafts, trick or treating and treasure hunts will all be part of the activities on offer.

There plenty of half term Halloween events
There plenty of half term Halloween events

Pumpkin Carving, Lullingstone Country Park, Eynsford

Saturday, October 26

Head over to the country park and its forest school for the chance to carve a pumpkin to take home. The event will finish around the campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows. The activity takes an hour and a half and tickets are £8. Book here.

Witches and Wizards Spells and Tricks, Penshurst Place

Saturday, October 26

Discover your inner sorcerer this Halloween and join Witches and Wizards inspired storytelling! Recite some spellbinding tricks before graduating in your first magical class with broomstick-flying colours!

Sessions take place at noon 1.30pm and 3pm Please note that limited places are available for each session and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to visitors. More details here.

Day of the Dead Halloween celebrations, Ashford town centre

Saturday, October 26

From a fang-tastic Halloween trail to ghoulishly good entertainment, there’s plenty of family fun happening between 11am and 6pm.
From 11am, collect a free Halloween trail map from The Glass House on the lower High Street; complete the route around the town, collecting letters to spell out a secret message, then head back to The Glass House to claim your prize.

Between noon and 4pm in Park Mall children can get their faces painted, make flower crowns and skull masks with Emporia Fabric and Crafts and have photos taken in the Pumpkin Patch zone.

Then at the PictureHouse in Elwick Place from 2pm will be music from Disney’s Coco performed by a live acoustic guitarist and wizardly dance moves performed by a Harry Potter Flash Mob.

#WILD_CHILD Halloween Spooktacular, Salomon's Estate, Tunbridge Wells

Sunday, October 27

The #Wild_Child family dance party is returning with a bone-shaking bang ahead of Halloween and promising an afternoon of spooky family fun. There will be a DJ, Halloween crafts, balloons, and frightening facepainting! Adult and child tickets cost £9 each. Further details available here.

Halloween pumpking carving at Lullingstone Castle
Halloween pumpking carving at Lullingstone Castle

Halloween Magic, Lullingstone Castle

Sunday, October 27

Head to Lullingstone Castle between noon and 7pm on Sunday October 27 for pumpkin carving, a spooky house, garden tours and Halloween inspired light bites in the cafe marquee.

Learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight too. Don't miss Spooky House tours at 2pm and 6pm including tales of a resident ghost! Fancy dress is welcome and a £2 donation is required for pumpkin carving. Admission is £10 for adults and children under 15 are free.

Halloween Weekend at Gravesend's miniature steam railway, Thong Lane

Sunday, October 27

Dare you ride the ghost train? It's scary - but not too scary say organisers The Gravesend Model Marine and Engineering Society. The ghost train will be running on the track next to Cascades leisure centre from 1pm until 4pm. More details about the attraction here.

Spooky food choices at Chiddingstone Castle
Spooky food choices at Chiddingstone Castle

Children’s Halloween Cookery, Chiddingstone Castle, Edenbridge

Thursday, October 31

Let the kids cook up their very own spooky supper for tea on Halloween! They will prepare the ingredients in the Victorian kitchen, learning about healthy eating and where food comes from whilst having fun with friends. Whilst supper is cooking participants will then enjoy some spooky games and a spooky story, until they sit down to enjoy their hard work.

All ingredients and equipment will be provided and there will also be a torchlight tour of the castle for all the family to enjoy at the end. The event takes places between 4pm and 7pm and is suitable for children aged eight to 13 and costs £28 each. Book by contacting jobanks@alivewithflavour.com

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