Lead image: SEA LIFE London Aquarium becomes the ‘Ascarium’
1 Ascarium at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, South Bank
19 October-3 November
Unlock a spooky adventure this Halloween as SEA LIFE London Aquarium transforms into an Ascarium, complete with an underwater mystery that dares to challenge the whole family. Launching in time for half term, the Ascarium will host a spooky trail full of the scaliest and toothiest of creatures, and you’ll have the chance to crack the code to win a prize. You’ll be given a trail card to fill out as you travel the underwater world of slimy scales, terrifying tentacles and razor-sharp teeth, looking out for the hidden letters you’ll need to fill in your card. Once you’ve cracked the code you can stop off at Polar Point Refreshments to pick up a trick or treat and say hello to the penguins! Online family tickets from £80 for two adults and two children.
County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; visitsealife.com
2 Horniman Halloween Fair, Forest Hill
The Horniman Museum & Gardens in Forest Hill is hosting its annual Horniman Halloween Fair on the weekend of 26-27 October with spooky storytelling, arts and crafts, creepy crawlies, food stalls and treats (10.30am-4.30pm, free entry. There are also Halloween Slime Workshops running throughout October half term week, where kids aged 5+ can join Einstein’s Entertainers in the Gardens Pavilion for a gooey slime-making science workshop (Mon-Thurs in 45-minute intervals; tickets £7.50). Another half term highlight is Horniman Explorers, where kids can take part in a series of challenges like finding all the ingredients for a witch’s spell or discovering which animal creates the most slime (weekdays 11am-12.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm; free, drop-in).
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk
3 Trick or Treat Halloween at East Village E20
Don your best Day of the Dead skeletal outfits, complete with face paint and flowers, and head to East Village for this free trick or treat trail. Simply register on the day at the Spooky Castle on Victory Parade between 12pm and 3.30pm to receive a free bucket and map to navigate East Village and collect prizes. Organised by Get Living, which offers homes for rent in E20, a pop-up craft bar will give the little monsters the opportunity to design their own sugar skull mask and have their faces painted for free to ensure everyone looks fab-boo-lous. Roaming around will be a trickster magician keeping all ages entertained. You can also head to Get Living’s newest building, Victory Plaza, for a spook-tacular Haunted House experience with even more tricks and treats (register ahead of time for the tours on Eventbrite to be in with a chance to win a number of exciting prizes including a 50” TV or a month’s free rent with Get Living).
Victory Parade, East Village E20 1GF; eastvillagelondon.co.uk
4 The Boo-Tanical Trail at Myddelton House Gardens, Enfield
Scare yourself silly on Myddelton House Garden’s BOO-tanical Trail this Halloween. Fiendish friends are lurking in the shadows at the former home of renowned Victorian gardener and horticulturist E A Bowles. Gussie the ghost and his ghoulish gardener friends who will be haunting the grounds every evening between 29 & 31 October, and brave children who follow the map and explore the spooky pathways, flower beds and vegetable patches, solving the puzzles as they go, will get a goody-bag prize to take home. Families can also listen to some scary story-telling and tuck into a selection of devilishly good drinks and gruesome goodies on offer at the Bowles Tea Room. Frightful costumes are encouraged. Starting at 4pm, 5pm & 6pm. Kids £6, adults free.
Myddelton House Gardens, Bulls Cross, Enfield EN2 9HG; visitleevalley.org.uk
5 Halloween at London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park
21 October-3 November 2019
London Designer Outlet (LDO) at Wembley Park is hosting a full line-up of Halloween-themed activity for all ages, with real life ghoulish actors and professional face-painters from 24-27 & 31 October (free for kids) ready to transform visitors into gruesome ghosts, scary zombies, creepy cats or wicked witches. Cineworld at LDO will host screenings of the latest ghoulish films, including the long-awaited animated remake of The Addams Family, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon. Plus, from 1-3 November a show stopping replica of the Ghostbusters Cadillac as seen in the 1984 cult classic film arrives for even more Halloween fun, complete with interactive activities.
Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley Park HA9 0FD; londondesigneroutlet.com
6 The Original Tour’s Spooktacular Kids Tour, central London
24 October-1 November
This Halloween, The Original Tour is hosting a Spooktacular Kids Tour, where the whole family can dress up and jump on board. London is overflowing with spooky stories, so hop on an Original Tour open-top bus to learn all about the creepy characters, royal ghosts and the dark history of the capital, from the vampire that attacked people in Piccadilly Circus to the terrifying Black Dog that haunts the area around St Paul’s. The 45-minute non-stop tour is designed specifically with the little ones in mind, passing all the major landmarks. Departing from Charles II Street, next to Her Majesty’s Theatre, from 4pm daily from 24 October-1 November. Adult tickets £15, kids tickets £8 (ages 5-15). For a limited time, enter the code BOO30 for 30%.
7 Grim Keepers at ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park
ZSL London Zoo is promising a week of frightful fun this October half term, daring visitors can embark on a Grim Keepers tour to explore what happens when nature gets gruesome. All around the zoo, mischievous monkeys, slithering snakes and all sorts of crazy critters will be getting into the Halloween spirit with pumpkins filled with tasty treats to forage. Little ones can journey through an avenue of ghoulish gourds and hair-raising haystacks to take the perfect Halloween family picture at the Pumpkin Patch, before listening to spooky stories on how nature bites back at Halloween-themed animal talks. There will also be bat mask making, pumpkin carvings design and frightening face painting. Suitable for all ages. Grim Keeper tours run on the hour and half hour between 11am-4pm (except 12.30pm). Entry from £27 for adults and £17.55 for kids.
Outer Circle, Regent’s Park NW1 4RY; zsl.org
8 Halloween Disco at Beckenham Place Mansion
If dancing is more your thing, then give the Everybody Dance Family Disco, a relatively new event launched by Clee-J in 2017. Clee-J, AKA Cleo, is a vinyl and digital DJ and experienced children’s entertainer based in south east London (she’s also a trained actress and has been DJing professionally for 17 years). Her fun-packed children’s discos are a chance for parents and their little ones to have fun on the dance floor together, and her gigs often sell out. The event will feature party tunes, snow and bubble machines, children’s entertainment, glow sticks, a baby and toddler area, plus games and prizes (24 October, 3pm-4.30pm, adults £4, children £8, under 1s go free).
Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham BR3 1SY; beckenhamplace.org
9 Hyde Park’s Hair Raising Discovery Days
23 & 24 October
The LookOut at Hyde Park is hosting a series of free Hair Raising Halloween-themed Discovery Days this half term. Drop in any time from 11am to 3pm on 23 & 24 October to join in activities like the hair-raising nature trail full of fascinating facts, muster up the courage to delve into the ‘feely boxes’ in the Witches Den, try your hand at potion-making using herbs and plants from the garden, listen to spooky stories and, for a fee of £15, learn how to build a bat box to take home. Dressing up is encouraged.
The LookOut, Hyde Park W2; royalparks.org.uk
10 Mischief and Mayhem at Lee Valley Park Farms, Waltham Abbey
26 October-3 November
Lee Valley Park Farms in Waltham Abbey is hosting a week of Mischief and Mayhem spooky specials this half term. There will be spooky face-painting, pumpkin carving, toboggan riding and the chance to explore the Haunted House, follow the Trick or Treat Trail and watch a birds of prey display, taking place daily from 10am-5pm, entry £10). Kids can also explore the world of creepy crawlies at the Lee Valley Bug Club at Waltham Abbey Gardens with a Forest School-inspired activity on 31 October led by an accredited outdoor educator (1pm-2.30pm, £4 in advance, £4.50 on the day).
11 Spooky Storytime on the London Eye, Waterloo
23-26 & 31 October
The Coca-Cola London Eye is taking Halloween to scary new heights with a series of Spooky Storytime events, complete with treats from Hotel Chocolat. Hop on board one of the world-famous capsules for the new 30-minute experience, designed with both kids and adults in mind, where an eccentric storyteller will lead you through four ghostly legends based around London and its history. But there’s a trick! One of them isn’t real, and it’s up to you to decide which one. All guests will leave the experience with an exclusive goodie bag filled with Halloween Hotel Chocolat treats. The Spooky Storytime experience is available to book on from 23-26 & 31 October, with one capsule every hour from 2pm each day. From £35 per adult and child and £17.50pp for any additional people.
The Queen’s Walk, South Bank SE1 7PB; londoneye.com
12 Lil’ Monsters Bash at Hard Rock Cafe, Mayfair
Hard Rock Cafe is hosting a Lil’ Monsters Halloween Breakfast Bash on 26 October. Join the Hard Rock ghoulish gang for an authentic American Buffet Breakfast, alongside a healthy serving of spooktacular fun and games, including an interactive ‘make your own donut’ bar. From pumpkins to black cats, there’ll be sprinkles and icing on hand to create all the Halloween designs you can think off. Fancy dress is encouraged! 10am-12pm. Tickets (including food, beverage and entertainment) are £16.95 for adults, £11.95 for kids aged 3-14 and £5.95 for toddlers (0-2 years).
150 Old Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1QZ. To book see designmynight.com
13 Osterley Park and House Halloween Pumpkin Festival
We just put on our big coats, but how do the animals of Osterley get themselves ready for the long winter months? Follow the trail around the Osterley Park and House gardens and complete the activities along the way. At the centre of the play trail, overlooking the House, rangers will be lighting fires for marshmallow toasting and selling hot drinks to help you warm up (take some pocket money to spend). You can also pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve and take home (please take your own re-usable carrier bag to carry your pumpkin home in to help Osterley House reduce its plastic waste). 11am-4pm. On Friday 25 October there’s also the final Family Gardening Club of the year in the Little Veg Garden, where the whole family can help to harvest the last of the vegetables and prepare the garden for the winter.
Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB; nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley