October Half Term Saviours
Half term's looming but don't be afraid, we've sorted the fun with brilliant things to do in Cornwall and beyond to keep the little and not so little people entertained.
FOR OLDER KIDS
ART COURSE: Teens Art Workshops, (online) St Ives School of Painting, 12 Oct – 9 Nov
The St Ives School of Painting is running a free art course, with five online sessions of creative fun, culminating in an exhibition in November. Explore five major steps in creating a final outcome that includes drawing, concept, composition, and painting. Once the workshops have been completed, the School of Painting will curate a one day exhibition of all the students’ final outcomes for students that have attended all the workshops. With a Private View, friends, family, and the public will be invited to see your artwork in a St Ives venue. Aimed at 13-16 year olds.
EXHIBITION: Petrit Halilaj’sVery volcanic over this green feather , Tate St Ives, opens 16 October
Not a kids activity as such but given Petrit Halilaj was only born in 1986, gotta be worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little more cultural. This is his first UK museum solo exhibition (he usually lives between Germany, Kosovo and Italy) and his work revisits 38 childhood drawings that he made in Kukës II refugee camp in Albania during the Kosovo war (1998–99), when he was thirteen years old – probably one for older teens, look out for our review soon. There’s also a holiday art challenge to complete.
NEW! EXHIBITION: Reimagining Reality, Narisa Hall, Priory Park, Bodmin, until 23 Dec
Reimagining Reality is an innovative exhibition for Cornwall that will turn your world upside down! Explore the weird and wonderful peculiarities of science with interactive exhibits. Be prepared to be left wondering what you really know. If you think science really isn’t your thing, come for the art! Experience an immersive journey along surreal passageways leading to quirky exhibits that are an artwork in their own right. This exhibition is about as environmentally friendly as they come. Everything has been carefully crafted with waste or reclaimed materials. Follow the stories that are entwined in each exhibit; where it’s components came from and how it was transformed.
SPOOKY EVENTS: 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)
SPOOKY EVENT: Halloween Fireworks Spectacular, Flambards, Helston, 27 October
Lots going on all week at Flambards but don’t miss the Halloween Fireworks Spectacular on Wednesday. The theme park is staying open late to stage its famous Halloween Tricks & Treats Firework Spectacular – visitors can enjoy after dark rides and fabulous entertainment with the local talent, Stone Roots performing two sets of live music before the fireworks launch.
SPOOKY EVENT: Halloween Maze of Horrors, Cornish Maize Maze, Saltash, 30 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. Don’t miss the pumpkin patch too, on all week.
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
SPOOKY EVENTS: Dead of Night Dance, Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods, 22 – 31 Oct
An immersive theatre adventure celebrating Halloween; a wickedly joyful treat for all ages in the sparkling dark heart of Tehidy Woods from Muddy favourite (and award-winning) magical Rogue Theatre. Trick or treat yourself this Samhan with a ticket to the under-land wonderland; a world of witch humour and wolfish delights. With all new dead good stories to tickle your ribs, thrill your spirits and chill your bones! Spirits of all ages welcome (family and fiend friendly).
EVENT: Tunnel of Lights: Arctic Adventure, The Shipwreck Museum, Charlestown, 23 -31 Oct
An immersive frozen adventure through the Shipwreck Treasure Museum’s underground tunnels as it’s transformed into a sparkling wonderland of ice. Follow the footsteps of Polar Explorers as you discover glittering waterfalls, giant icebergs, and frozen shipwrecks. Building on the success of the hugely popular Tunnel of Lights in 2020, the event returns for the Autumn season with thousands of lights, atmospheric Arctic soundscapes and a magical journey through a polar world.
SPOOKY EVENTS: Halloweden, Eden Project, St Austell, 23 – 31 Oct
Discover the secrets and folklore behind the ‘boo’-tiful plants that line the pathways of the gardens and Biomes (for an extra £5 book a 40-minute magical experience featuring enchanting storytelling and some mysterious apothecary owners) or follow the spooky story trail which will send you into a fearsome frenzy. Head to the Citrus Grove for an enchanting tail feature a 3m tall owl, or meet some bewitching birds of the night in ‘person’ with the Screech Owl Sanctuary. You could also take a spin around the outdoor ice-rink which this year opens on 23 Oct. Note, sadly no Little Monsters’ Ball Halloween disco this year. Booking essential, locals pass members also need to book a timed entry slot.
THEATRE: Horrible Histories, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, 24 – 28 October
Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians! Are you ready to swing with a Georgian king? Can you see eye to eye with Admiral Nelson? Does the Duke of Wellington get the boot? Dare you dance the Tyburn jig? Will you be saved by Florence Nightingale? Find out what a baby farmer did 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!
THEATRE: The Kiss that Missed, Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, 29 – 31 October
The Little Prince’s goodnight kiss has gone missing. It’s escaped into the forest where it has no business to be, so the brave and fearless knight is sent on a mission to bring it back… But is he brave and fearless enough?
David Melling’s delightful series of Knightly Tales is brought to life with all the charm and humour of the original stories, plus some new songs and, of course, plenty of kisses bouncing around.
EXHIBITION: China Clay in your Everyday, Wheal Martyn, St Austell, until 31 Oct
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! This intriguing exhibition shows how china clay is a secret ingredient in many aspects of your everyday life – including toothpaste!
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) was 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.
FOR YOUNGER ONES
SPOOKY EVENTS: Wizards of Once, Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, 23 – 31 Oct
Gather your little monsters for a ghoulishly good day out at Pendennis Castle. Explore the grounds on the brand-new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s bestselling Wizards of Once series. Will you find the ingredients for the Spell to get rid of Witches and uncover the location of the Cup of Second Chances? Come, along in frightful fancy dress and snap a picture to enter our competition on social media. It’s going to be a really wizard day out!
Plus, get up close to a host of real-life ‘beasts’ with Zoolab! Meet some amazing animals – including snakes, spiders, and more – and learn all about these creepy crawly creatures. 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.
SPOOKY EVENTS: Spooktacular Creepy Halloween Half Term Fun, Paradise Park, 23 – 31 Oct
Mark’s Ark will be hosting creepy crawly wildlife encounters, learn about scorpion eating birds (silent but deadly nocturnal hunters) on the pumpkin trail and survive the Jungle Express Train on its journey through the jungle tunnel (small extra charge and weather permitting).
SPOOKY EVENTS: Camel Creek Halloweek Extravaganza, 23 – 31 Oct
Lots going on in a socially distanced way at Camel Creek brand new scare zones, Trick or Treating and a Stable Surprise, plus the Bug Ball returns on 29th & 30th October/6pm-7:30pm. Pre-booked tickets only.
ART: St Ives School of Painting, Sunday Club , 31 October
Join the online Sunday Club sessions, led by experienced tutors focusing on a fun and engaging topic and technique for creating art; the £10 charge for these sessions helps support the other youth work of the School, which is a charity, enabling it to provide free arts education to those less able to pay. Aimed at children aged 7-12.
LITTLE ONES ONLY
EVENT: Peppa Pig at Lappa Valley, 26 and 27 October
Peppa Pig will be making an appearance at Lappa Valley – ride the nostalgic steam trains and meet everyone’s favourite bear in pre-booked intervals.
Further afield /just over the border
EVENT: Weaving Journeys, The Box, Plymouth, Tues 26 – Fri 29 Oct, 10.30am-12.30pm (last entry 12.10pm) and 1.30pm-3.30pm (last entry 3.10pm)
Your child love to cut out and craft? Here’s a chance for them to help make a giant woven artwork, as part of the museum’s Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition, celebrating the world’s oldest cultures. Plus, on Sat 30 Oct, The Box Kitchen & Bar are hosting Monster Mash with Halloween-themed dishes, a spooktacular disco and the chance to take a torchlight tour through some of their ghoooul-eries.
EVENT: Pumpkin Fest, Strawberry Fields, Lifton, 16-31 October
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. Plus, don’t forget the maize maze!
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.
EVENT: Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2021, various in Devon and Somerset
What kids doesn’t love the thrill of being outdoors after dark and this way you can fill their head with useful astronomical facts too. Stargazers with a poetic bent will be interested in this year’s competition – write a haiku and the best one wins a Celestron telescope.
SPOOKY EVENT: Underground Pumpkin Hunt, Kents Cavern, Torquay, Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct
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.
GET OUTSIDE: RHS Rosemoor Autumn Carnival, Great Torrington, Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct
A week-long excuse to wrap up and go kicking through RHS Rosemoor’s impeccably groomed leaves, with pumpkin painting, a sowing and growing drop-in, craft and a late-afternoon fancy-dress opportunity at their Halloween Disco in the Garden Room on Saturday.