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October Half Term Saviours

Half term's upon us but don't be afraid, we've sorted the fun with 20 brilliant things to do in Cornwall and beyond to keep the little people entertained.

Halloweden, Eden Project (17 Oct – 1 Nov)

Discover the secrets and folklore behind the ‘boo’-tiful plants that line the pathways of the gardens and Biomes, and follow a spooky story trail which will send you into a fearsome frenzy. Meet some bewitching birds of the night from the Screech Owl Sanctuary and Animal Park or take a spin around the outdoor ice-rink which this year opens on 17 Oct. Note, sadly no Little Monsters’ Ball Halloween disco this year. Booking essential, locals pass members also need to book a timed entry slot.

FAMILY: Autumn Roots, Wheal Martyn, St Austell (17 Oct – 1 Nov)

The Wheal Martyn woodland offers the perfect place to be an explorer, play hide-and-seek, get creative, have a picnic or simply relax and enjoy nature! Autumn-inspired, hands-on activities at Wheal Martyn are free with museum entrance fee/annual return pass and include Clay Modelling in Nature (create your own clay insect, animal, plant or landscape using objects in the woods to decorate) and a woodland pumpkin trail with a secret code.

Dark Walk, Bodmin Jail

Using state-of-the-art technology and the latest theatrical effects, the Dark Walk (age 10+) – a major addition to the attraction and the first of its kind in the region – sends you on an immersive, spooky and interactive discovery of Cornwall’s most haunting histories. Stories of Cornwall’s murky past are retold, and you’ll be transported to life within the walls of the 18th century prison. If that wasn’t chilling enough, Bodmin Jail is also home to the only working execution pit in the country and delves into the myth of the terrifying Bodmin Beast.Pre-booked timed entry slots essential & leave the littlies at home – this one is a bit noisy and might make you jump. Not spooky enough? Terrify yourself with late night ghost walks, scary cinema and paranormal tours. (Late night events suitable for 16-plus)

Dead of Night Dis-dance, Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods (23 Oct – 1 Nov)

An immersive theatre adventure celebrating Halloween; a wickedly joyful treat for all ages in the sparkling dark heart of Tehidy Woods from Muddy favourite magical Rogue Theatre. Wander the winding woodland path and through Mr Logan’s gate into the land of the rapturously dead, where lost souls await, to show you the way, and mislead you to the Dead of Night Dis-Dance. Rest in the peace of the underworld forest and chill,   as a collection of comic, ghoulish and ghostly stories come to life on Mrs Logan’s underworld stage!

Haegue Yang Strange Attractors, Tate St Ives (opens 24 Oct)

Not a kids activity as such but these curious, fun, chaotic sculpture/creatures will appeal to your art loving little ones and will certainly get the conversation going as to what the meaning of modern art is, in this new exhibition at the Tate St Ives from Berlin based South Korean artist Haegue Yang. Booking essential, locals pass options.

Spooky Pendennis Castle (24 Oct – 1 Nov)

Gather your little monsters for a ghoulishly good day out at Pendennis Castle. Follow the trail to solve creepy clues and gather round to listen to spooky stories. There’s a frighteningly fun fancy dress competition every day – just come in your scariest outfits to be in with a chance of winning.

With tales of creaking footsteps and menacing creatures, Pendennis Castle has long had a reputation for ghostly happenings. Swoop by and sink your teeth into this Halloween adventure for all the family. Booking essential.

Scaryland, Dairyland Farmworld, Nr Newquay (24 Oct – 1 Nov)

Scary fun on the Farm including visit the pumpkin patch, try pumpkin carving, creepy crafts and visit Witches Wood. Also find Dairyland regulars Pat-a-Pet and the newly refurbished milking of Clarabelle in the Haybarn. Booking essential, £8.95 per ticket.

Spooky Halloween Animal Trail and Quiz, Paradise Park (24 Oct – 1 Nov)

Follow the pumpkin trail as you creep around the Park to win your spooky reward! For half term there is also animal feeding, meet the penguins after their feeding at 11am and 3pm and steady your nerves as you enter the tunnel on the ghostly Jungle Express Train (small extra charge and weather permitting)

Camel Creek Halloweek Extravaganza (24 Oct – 1 Nov)

Lots going on in a socially distanced way at Camel Creek including the Official Monster Minions on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th October in a meet and greet at different times throughout the day, while thrill seekers will be able to experience Camel Creek’s most exhilarating rides including The Airbender, Vertigo and Morgawr. Free sweets for families who come in fancy dress, ready to fright and delight visitors to the park, meet the scariest residents at the Reptile House and Crocodile Corner as well as an exploration through the House of Horrors Scare Zone. Pre-booked tickets only.

Victorian Village Spooky Pumpkin Trail, Flambards, Helston (24 Oct – 1 Nov)

Families can take to the cobbled streets of Flambards’ Victorian Village and hunt high and low through the 50 different sets and scenes to complete the spooky pumpkin trail quiz. Successfully completed trails can be exchanged for wickedly wonderful chocolate treats.

Budding detectives can also have a go at completing the Who Dunnit Mystery Trail to discover which of the village’s colourful cast of characters committed the crime. (Note, the Exploritorium, Demon Drop slide and the indoor and outdoor play area will remain temporarily closed.)

Pumpkin Fest, Strawberry Fields, Lifton (24 Oct – 1 Nov)

Head to the Devon/Cornwall border for their annual Pumpkin Fest where they grow all sorts from little knobbly gourds to big ‘uns good for carving and fancy dress is de rigeur.

If you didn’t get around to growing your own, thankfully there’s a few farmers who did it for us – here’s our pick of the pumpkin patches across Cornwall.

Horrible Histories, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno (25 – 28 October)

Can you beat battling Boudicca? Would you be a martyr for the Magna Carta? Will you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry VIII? Will Parliament survive gunpowder Guy? Dare you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin? Escape the clutches of Burke and Hare and move to the groove with party Queen Victoria! We’ve seen these guys on stage a London theatre previously and they are extremely funny, as well as educational & will be extra special on the outdoor stage at the Minack. Win / win!

Find Wally, Bodmin Keep (26 – 31 Oct)

Wally will be coming to Bodmin Keep as part of Kids in Museums, but will you be able to find him? Find all of the Wally’s hidden around the museum, spell out a spooky phrase and receive a special “I found Wally!” bookmark. If you want to look like a real, erm, Wally, then wear a red-and-white striped shirt and black-rimmed specs to add to the fun. Wally is also said to be at The Castle Heritage Centre, Bude & in the Abbey, Torre Abbey, Torquay.

Big Book Week, St Ives (26 – 30 Oct)

Each day a different ‘Big’ book (bird, bugs, beasts etc) will inspire the craft session at the children’s bookshop in St Ives. Pre-booked tickets are £16 and include a copy of the day’s book (signed – RRP £12.95) and a refreshing juice. An accompanying adult will enjoy a nice hot drink, included in the price. Max of 4 per booking, pre-booking essential.

Paddington at Lappa Valley (27 & 28 October)

Paddington will be making an appearance at Lappa Valley – ride the nostalgic steam trains and meet everyone’s favourite bear in pre-booked intervals.

BFG​ ON TOUR, Sterts Theatre Co, Launceston Town Hall (28 – 31 Oct)

Special performances of Roald Dahl’s most outlandishly vulgar stories about a ‘whiz-popping’ Big Friendly Giant who teams up with the little girl Sophie to save the children of England from the child-eating Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher and Gizzardgulper. Great family entertainment.

Halloween Maze of Horrors, Cornish Maize Maze, Saltash (31 Oct)

The halloween Horror Maze is a set route through the maize maze with scare scenes with live actors along the way – not for the faint hearted, takes around 15 minutes to complete. From 6pm with timed ticket entry, pre-booking essential.

Porthpean Beach Clean, Porthpean (31 Oct)

Join Cornwall Outdoors and the Beach Guardian for an autumnal halloween beach clean, sustainable halloween costume wearing optional. All necessary equipment will be provided, including sanitiser and face masks which are distributed free of charge.

HALLOWEEN: SPOOKY! Walled Garden, Penrose Farm, Sennen (31 Oct)

KRILL presents SPOOKY a family friendly Halloween celebration suitable for all ages. Dress up warm and dress up spooky. Bring a picnic blanket, your own food & drink and a pre-cut Jack o’ lantern. 

Settle in for an evening of Spooky offerings. There will be a crafty making workshop, ghostly dancing, shadow play, live music, animations and storytelling round an open fire.

Monsters of the Deep, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

The National Maritime Museum continues with their Monsters of the Deep exhibition. Explore the centuries-old myths and legends, when chance sightings and odd appearances led to tall tales of deep sea creatures. Learn how, even today, these stories continue to capture imaginations, fuelled by fake news and conspiracy theories.

PK Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno

PK Porthcurno (formerly the Telegraph Museum) re-opened this autumn, with free entry. Once the largest Telegraph Station in the world, this super museum near one of Cornwall’s most picturesque beaches, is an interactive museum experience that showcases the science, the people and the stories that have made developments in global communications possible, and demonstrates how advances in digital communications are changing the world forever.

Further afield

Go Batty!, Kents Cavern, Torquay, Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov

Head into the mysterious underground world of the caves to find the hidden pumpkins – get the right answer and claim your Halloween prize. Get up close to weird and wonderful stalactites and maybe even come face to face with the bones of your ancestors.

Dark Skies/Stargazing at Torre Cider Farm, Washford, Frid 23 Oct (7-10pm)

Need an evening lying down after all that pumpkin hunting? Grab a blanket and spend the night drinking hot chocolate, serenely gazing for stars while your guide reveals all about the heavenly bodies. Hot chocolate, drinks and cakes for sale. To reserve your free space (donations welcome), email Hellen at info@torrecider.co.uk. Part of the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival from 16 – 31 October.

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