Spooktacular Half Term Special
The kids are home. All. Week. But fear not, your bumper half term Muddy Guide is here, with more days out, entertainment and outdoor fun than you can shake a broomstick at.
‘The Witches’ Halloween Afternoon Tea, Headland Hotel, Newquay, Fri 21 Oct – Sun 5 Nov
Now this is the sort of spooky fun I can get on board with! Take Halloween-themed tea at the very hotel where the film of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ was shot. Expect pumpkin scones with lashings of clotted cream and jam, candy mice, chocolate witches hats and eyeball – accompanied by traditionally served loose-leafed teas (this is the Headland after all!). £18.50 per adult (minimum two people), £10 per child. Served 3pm-6pm, pre-booking essential. Lighthouse Cinema is showing the film on 28 Oct if you want the full experience.
‘Dead of Night Dance’ by Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods, Sat 21 – Tues 31 Oct
Rogue Theatre returns to Tehidy Woods with a promenade performance, including brand new stories for Halloween. The Dead of Night Dance is a wicked and wonderful Halloween celebration with theatre and adventure, thrills, frights, delights and dancing. Journey deep into the forest to the land of the rapturously dead where a collection of comic, macabre and sheer ghostly short stories play out on Mrs Logan’s stage in a ghoulish spook show before the party of departed souls truly comes to life!
Heligan Halloween, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Heligan’s magical and mysterious woods will play host to a Spooky Folklore Trail this half term. This year’s trail will take inspiration from the Russian folklore tale of Baba Yaga. Enter the dark woods and stumble upon weird and wonderful ‘going’s on’. Will you find the old creaky house of Baba Yaga? Can you and your family work your way through a Giant spider’s web? Weave your way through the woods and see if you’re in for a fright or a delight. Expect shadow puppet shows, storytelling and Halloween crafts.
National Trust Halloween Trails, Spooky Storytelling & Pumpkin Carving, venues across Cornwall, Sat 21 – Sun 29
Particularly good if you have National Trust membership – you could make your way around the very many Halloween themed events at these beautiful Cornish spots. Go pumpkin carving at Trelissick, discover torchlit terrors at Tintagel’s Old Post Office, brave Freak Week and Cothele Mill and much more.
Halloweden, Eden Project, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct
Brilliant as ever, Eden Project has come up with something really imaginative for Halloween this half term (my kids are going to LOVE this). Pit yourself against Roald Dahl’s infamous villains, springing from the pages of his best-selling books. The whole family can brave challenges from some of the most notorious characters. Tiptoe past sleeping giants and frightful farmers, learn how to spot a real witch, dodge tricks and pranks in the home of the Twits, or take on the dreaded Trunchbull test (don’t get thrown in The Chokey!).
Skillywidden & Tales from the Trees by Squashbox Theatre, Heartlands, Pool, Sat 21 & Sun 22 Oct and Sat 28 & Sun 29
On the two weekends of half term, Squashbox Theatre will be entertaining with two of its popular shows. First up, meet Skillywidden, the mischievous Pisky and all his faery friends and see the dance of the beautiful Faery Queen. Then the following weekend, see Tales from the Trees, a terrific tangle of puppetry, storytelling, live music and comedy, with a theme that embraces natural history, folklore and ecology. Both shows are about an hour long and suitable for children aged 5+ and their families. £3-4
Cornish Apple Bobbing Championships, Healey’s Cyder Farm, Sun 22 Oct
In celebration of one of the nation’s favourite fruits during harvesting season, locals and visitors to Healey’s are invited to take the plunge to bob as many apples as they can in one minute. The winner will be crowned King or Queen of the orchards. The day starts with the kids (5-16 years) competition at 11am for the chance to win a month’s supply of fruit juice and a meal for two in The Old Bottlery Restaurant. This is followed by a bobbing battle between adults to win a month’s supply of Cornish Rattler and a meal for two in The Old Bottlery restaurant. Warm up by the log fire with a Sunday roast and mulled Rattler afterwards.
Penrose Apple & Woodland Celebration Day, Helston, Sun 22 Oct
Bonus points for having nothing to do with Halloween! National Trust Penrose are dedicating this Sunday to celebrating the woods, with crafts, demonstrations and more. Meet a heavy horse and learn how they helped once manage the woods, press your own apple juice, bob for apples, see rangers practising traditional skills, cook your own woodland bread and do some woodland crafting with Great Scott Adventures (£3 per child for crafts £1 for bread).
Ice skating at Eden, Eden Project, open now
The Eden Project ice rink has reopened for the season. You need to book ahead and also pay for Eden admission if you don’t have a local’s pass already. There are push along penguins to help novice skaters find their confidence and special toddler (from 18 months) and junior sessions – so check times if you have little folk, who’d like a go. Adults £7/ Children £6.
Children’s Halloween Baking Course, Rick Stein Cookery School, Padstow, Thur 26 Oct
Got a budding chef in the family between 8 and 12? Things are getting spooky at Rick Stein’s Cookery School, with their Halloween cookery course. With lots of tempting treats to bake and enjoy, this is the perfect way to get in the mood for Halloween – plus take your witches hats and pumpkin cupcakes home with you at the end of the course to spook and spoil your siblings. £40.
Fireworks Night, Retallack Resort, Newquay Thur 26 Oct
Retallack’s annual fireworks night is hosted by the watersports lake at the Newquay resort. The free evening event kicks off at 5pm and as well as the pyrotechnics there will be live music, face painting and a Halloween show. Warming drinks, food and sparklers will be available to buy. Fireworks at 7pm!
Hocus Pocus, Caerhays Drive-In, Fri 27 Oct
How about a spooky cinema date this Halloween? Cornish Cinema Club will be putting on Hocus Pocus, an all time family favourite, at Caerhays Beach Cafe! The film start time will be 6.30PM and as usual, the cafe will be serving food and drink for the evening. Hocus Pocus will be followed by Nightmare on Elm Street for a more grown-up crowd.
Artisan Craft Fair, Enys Gardens, Penryn, Sat 28 & Sun 29 Oct
Enys House and Gardens is opening its doors for an autumnal weekend. You can see the gardens in their beautiful autumnal colours, visit the Artisan craft fair, try your hand at archery, get your face painted, discover a new spooky Enys trail or sit by the fire in the house. There will be food and drinks, children’s activities and so more. Adults £3 and under 16’s are free.
Season Finale Pool Party & Doggie Swim, Jubilee Pool, Penzance, Sun 29 Oct
The Jubilee Pool is celebrating its longest season in 80 years with a big pool party! Entrance to the pool as a swimmer or spectator will be free. Swimmers can practice their skills on the inflatable obstacle course in the morning, with time trials in the afternoon and lots of prizes up for grabs. The cafe with be open, serving hot dogs and onions, mulled cider and toffee apples and there’ll be pumpkin carving. Then from 4-5pm you’ll be able to swim with your dog – a much requested end to the season. But rest assured, the fab new Jubilee Pool cafe will be open into December!
Surfers Against Sewage Beach Cleans, various locations across Cornwall throughout half term
Each year the coastal communities brace themselves against the winter conditions that create a ‘Perfect Storm’ of plastic pollution on our beaches. The Autumn Beach Clean extends deeper into this darker, colder time than any other beach clean project, when, in the absence of summer’s tourist spotlight, the health of our coastlines can slip from the nation’s mind. There will be over 300 beach cleans happening this autumn, to find one near you, click the link below. Educational plus exercise – beach cleans are a great thing to get the kids into.
Puptober Half Term, Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, Sat 21 – Sun 19 Oct
It’s pup season for grey seals and every year The Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek rescues over 60 stray, sick and injured seal pups discovered along our coast. A pup may need rescuing for many reasons; from malnourishment after being separated from its mum, to more extensive injuries that require medical attention. The sanctuary rescues seal pups in distress, brings them to the Seal Rescue Centre for treatment then releases them back into the wild. So October half term is the perfect time to visit!
PLUS, a few things that are probably just for the grown-ups…
Joe Armstrong, Half Term Exhibition, Harbour Gallery, Portscatho, Sat 21 Oct
Cornwall based painter Joe Armstrong has a half-term exhibition coming up at Muddy award winning gallery, Harbour Gallery Portscatho. Expect a gorgeous selection of contemporary Cornish landscapes – lots of which you’ll recognise. Rich in colour and texture, Joe’s oil paintings are usually done with a palette knife, giving them a beautiful, spontaneous sense of movement.
The Carvin Jones Band, Acorn Theatre, Penzance, Wed 25 Oct
The Carvin Jones Band is an explosive blues trio fronted by the world renowned Carvin Jones on guitar and vocals, bassist Joe Edwards and drummer Levi Velasquez. Together the band has played 36 countries on 3 continents in 24 months and has been well received by critics and fans alike. The band currently averages around 330 live performances a year. Eric Clapton says of Carvin, “Carvin Jones is a young cat out of Phoenix who I think is the next up-and-coming blues player”. Can’t beat that for an endorsement. The band’s here in PZ for one night only – get down there.
Catherine Ireton: For All The Fires Not Yet Lit, AMATA, Penryn, Fri 27 Oct
A new solo performance of songs and spoken word from Catherine Ireton (Winner of Brighton Fringe Music Award 2016) exploring small acts of courage and how they can be as contagious as fear. Bride-to-be Claire is not going to make a speech at her wedding. No way. She’s just not that type of person. But what if being timid is a good thing? What if being scared is just you starting an adventure? And so it is that a morning’s outing to the shops turns into a 24-hour odyssey where our heroine-in-pyjamas tries to locate her brave bone.
Noel Prior, Woodburner Session, Lusty Glaze, Fri 27 Oct
Every Friday night through autumn and winter Newquay beach venue Lusty Glaze will be hosting its chilled out Woodburner Sessions. The last of the all-Cornish acts lined up this month is acoustic singer-songwriter Noel Prior. Noel’s accomplished finger-picking acoustic style and melodic vocal has been likened to that of artists such as James Taylor, Elliot Smith and Ben Harper.
Hedrafest, Driftwood Spars, St Agnes Fri 27 – Sun 29 Oct
One of our favourite pubs, Driftwood Spars in St Agnes is holding its annual October beer festival ‘Hedrafest’ in the second weekend of half term. Try a great selection of beer from the UK’s best microbreweries and a few special brews from Driftwood Spars brewery. To accompany the beer, a range of beer inspired food, such as mussels cooked with fennel & beer, will be served on Friday and Saturday, with a traditional roast lunch on the Sunday. You can also expect plenty of great live music all weekend.
Willie and The Bandits, Princess Pavilion, Falmouth, Fri 27 Oct
Willie & The Bandits are famous for creating an astonishingly huge sound, incorporating eclectic grooves from World music to Heavy Rock, using bizarre instrumentation such as Tongue Drum, Djembe, Lap steel guitar and Double bass they push the boundaries of what is expected of a modern three piece. Although difficult to pigeon hole, Wille and the Bandits are taking roots rock music to a new level. Wille and the Bandits are renowned for their diverse songwriting and often likened to the greats of the 70’s such as Led Zeppelin, Santana and Pink Floyd.
Kernow Killer, Chyverton Park Country Estate, Sat 28 Oct
And if half term’s not been punishing enough, round it off with this! Run by Cornwall Sports Events, this assault course challenge uses the tough Cornish landscape to put contestants through their paces. Nestled within 400 acres of woodland, farmland and parkland, the Kernow Killer is held at the stunning Chyverton Park Country Estate. Not that you’re likely to notice the views while beasting yourself on your choice of the 9-10 mile Kernow Killer or 4-5 mile Kernow Destroyer. You’ll be be faced with obstacles to climb, scramble through, wade across, swim over or under to reach the finish line by any means may be necessary.