The spookiest day in the calendar is also one of the most fun. From pumpkin picking and getting out into nature to baking monstrous treats and the horror of Victorian-era dentistry, here’s our guide on fun Halloween things to do with children and teens…
Photo: Craft & Crumb
1 Craft & Crumb Halloween baking kits
Suitable for all ages and anyone with a sweet tooth, these home -baking kits take a lot of the faff out of Halloween-themed baking sessions, and you’re guaranteed a delicious (and cute) treat at the end. Make, bake and eat or give away ghosts in coffins, monster biscuits or slime popcorn that comes with eyes. Also, good to know the kits are designed to be as sustainable as possible so most of the contents are re-usable, recyclable and contain minimal plastic.
Price: kits start from £7.99
2 Halloween Broomstick Workshop at Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
There’s a few Halloween-inspired activities at the Chelsea Physic Garden, suitable for children from 4-years-old to 11. Craft your own broomstick out of foraged plant materials at the garden’s Halloween Broomstick Workshop. Participants walk (or ride) away with a broomstick, crafted to suit their personality and costume, after taking it for a spin around the garden, learning about the various plants along the way. Suitable for children 4-years-old and older.
When: Tuesday, October 26
Time: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, sessions run for an hour
Where: 66 Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HS
3 FaBOOlous bowling at Hollywood Bowl, O2, Surrey Quays, Finchley and Tolworth
Hollywood Bowl is hosting spooky festivities on Saturday October 30, which includes two or three games of bowling, unlimited nachos and fries, and your chance to win drinks when playing Monster Bowl. Also, If you’re blessed with having Addams as your last name, you’re invited to bowl for free on one of the Hollywood Bowl lanes, Saturday and Sunday, October 30-31. Perhaps less likely (but you never know) if you’re first name is Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley or Fester, you too can also bowl for free on the Halloween weekend.
When: Saturday, October 30
Price: From £12.50 per person
Where: Surrey Quays Leisure Park, Surrey Quays Road, Surrey Quays, SE16 7LW
The O2, Peninsula Square, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX
Leisure Way, High Road, Finchley, N12 0GL
Charrington Bowl, Kingston Road, Tolworth, KT5 9PB
4 Burials, Bombs and Fantastic Beasts Walking Tours at Leadenhall Market, City of London
Leadenhall Market have a few things on for half term and Halloween, including a walking tour that explores the site’s sinister history. While the market dates back to 1321, the site has been in use since Roman times, so its seen some witchcraft, murder and death (as well as the burial of a cheeky gander) in its time.
When: Every Wednesday in October
Price: £8.14, tickets available from eventbrite.com
Where: Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT
5 The Surgeon, London London Dungeons, London Bridge
Dentists are the stuff of nightmares for many, but Victorian-era dentistry is pure horror, and the basis of London Dungeons’ Halloween Show, The Surgeon. The gut-churning show takes viewers through the grim history of Victorian age dental surgery and will relish in making you squirm. London’s creepiest residents of the past will host the event preview (October 8), which is your chance to say hi to Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper without dying, except maybe from laughter.
When: October 8-31, various times
Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday, Friday 10am-4pm, Thursday 11am-4pm, Saturday 10am-5pm
Price: From £27 and includes entry into the London Dungeon
Where: The Queen’s Walk, SE1 7PB
6 Pumpkin Pottery Kit by Sculpd
One for the older kids and teens or to help the younger ones with – home pottery kit makers Sculpd have a pumpkin pottery kit that comes with all the bits and pieces you need to make a decorative pumpkin or pumpkin tealight holder out of a lump of clay. Kits are for two and come with air dry clay, a step-by-step guide, tools, paints and varnishes – its the perfect excuse to stay in for the night. If you’re super eager, Sculpd will host a live (and free) pottery class on Wednesday October 20, should you want your pumpkin perfect. Sign up to join in.
Price: £49 per kit
7 Chocolate Thursday at Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
If the stash of sweets and choc gained from trick or treating isn’t enough, Chelsea Physic Garden is also hosting a chocolate day where participants learn about the history, geography and science of this plant-based treat. There’s crafty things to do, a garden tour, tasting opportunities and the opportunity to make your own mixture to take away. For children 6-years-old-11.
When: Thursday, October 28
Time: 10.30am-2.30pm, including a lunch break
Where: 66 Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HS
8 Halloween trail at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
With Halloween falling neatly on a half term weekend, the day is a perfect excuse to get out of town for the day or the night. Blenheim Palace is getting into the spirit of things with an after-dark trail through haunted woods that will take you past creepy neon cobwebs, ghouls, witches and ginormous spiders and bats. There’s also more Halloween things to do at Blenheim Palace, such as the afternoon tea, fire performances and pumpkin carving, so you can make a day and then night of it.
When: October 22-31
Price: from £25/£10 adult/child
Where: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1 UL
9 Hair-Raising Halloween at The LookOut, Hyde Park
Guess the gruesome contents of feely boxes, explore and learn about an eerie nature trail and create a witches potion with herbs and plants picked from the garden at this Halloween and half term event that celebrates nature. Children can also bask in science experiments, listen to interactive stories, craft nests for creepy clay creatures and create a mask that can be as scary as you like. While not compulsory, dressing up in the spirit – or ghoul – of things is most welcome.
When: October 26-28
Where: The LookOut, Hyde Park, W2 2UH
10 Pumpkin Picking, Crockford Bridge Pick Your Own Farm, Weybridge
Picking pumpkins in London is usually grabbing them from the veg aisle in Sainsburys. However, if you want to pick a pumpkin straight from the patch not too far from London, head to Crockford Bridge Pick Your Own Farm at the weekend or pick a pre-picked one up any day of the week. The farm also has a Pumpkin Festival during half term featuring a pumpkin carving and decorating area, performers, pumpkin displays and tasty snacks to eat. Want to make a day trip further afield? Pick pumpkins in Kent, Essex and Sussex.
When: Pumpkins available until October 31, pumpkin picking weekends October 9-10, Pumpkin Festival October 16-17, 23-31
Price: £6 for the festival, £4.50 for pumpkin picking
Where: Crockford Bridge Pick Your Own Farm, New Haw Road, Weybridge, Addlestone KT15 2 BU