Autumn half term heroes
Half term in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is coming! This Autumn, get set for pumpkins, theatre and more spooky fun than you can shake a broom at...
Accoustic Explorers at Winchester Science Centre, now until Sun 21 Nov
Take an adventure through some epic sounds at Winchester Science Centre in this new live science show. Concluding the Science Centre’s 2021 Year of Sound, Acoustic Explorers will find out what an acoustic engineer does, what reverberation is and how it’s used to control sound. Awesome live demos include a gotta-be-seen-to-be-believed light-bending laser harp.
Brick or Treat at Legoland, Thurs 14 – Sun 31 Oct, Windsor
It’s back! Sneaking over the Berks border to the wonderful world of Legoland, the Haunted House Monster Party Ride is ready for your mini monsters. Look out for a new Harbour Show, Lord Vampyre’s Creepy Crypt Trail and Monster Rocker’s fang-tastic Pumpkin Trail. Plus there’s costume competitions and rides aplenty at Mythica, Legoland’s new World of Mythical Creatures.
Pumpkin Time at Sunnyfields Farm, Fri 15 – Sun 31 Oct, Totton, Southampton
As-seen-on-TV, Sunnyfields is the go-to PYO patch in these parts, with world-beating giant pumpkins to marvel at and photo ops aplenty. Hungry? Warm up with a steaming bowl of pumpkin soup or pumpkin tagine, too. Mmmm.
Autumn Days & Evenings, Sat 16 – Sun 31 Oct, Robin Hill Country Park, Newport
Robin Hill Country Park’s 88 acres opens daily from 10am – 5pm this Autumn half term for rides, attractions and good old-fashioned leaf kicking in the beautiful autumn colour. Stay up past bedtime for evening opening until 10pm on 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 Oct with food and drink, live music and a DJ. The woodland will come to life with a brand-new electric light show featuring electro-light performers and lasers on a floating pontoon. And there’s a beautiful illuminated trail, too. Magic.
Rogate Pumpkin Patch, Sat 16 – Sun 31 Oct, Petersfield
The most Instagrammable patch for miles around. This popular PYO on the West Sussex border is always packed with spooky pumpkins, witches and wizards – and that’s just the kids! Think haystacks, barrel rides, giant bubbles and fields of ghoulish gourds.
The Mottisfont Earthshot – An Adventure through Time: 16 October – 7 November, nr Romsey
Bringing a fun, thought-provoking eco adventure to Mottisfont, children’s arts charity, The House of Fairy Tales, have created a cool new interactive half-term sound adventure. A colourful fold-out map reveals a message trail left by a time traveller from the future. On your journey around the gardens, you’ll hear voices from the future, discover clues and get stuck into activities that explore ideas about a greener, fairer and wiser world.
Tapnell Farm Pumpkin Patch, Sat 16 – Sun 31 Oct, Newport
Good Gourd! Join Wanda and her team of Scatty Scarecrows in the Magical Pumpkin Patch at Tapnell Park Farm. Pick your own Pumpkin then carve or ‘pimp’ it with stickers at the carving cabin.
HumDrum Ghost Stories, Wed 20 – Sat 23 Oct, The Spring, Havant
Definitely not one for the littlies, this eerie evening production brings to life a series of Victorian ghost stories for Halloween at the Spring in Havant this Autumn half term. Expect noises in the walls, the dead rising from the grave and tales of wagers that should never have been made… Yikes, Scoob!
Celebrate Voice Festival Guild Hall, Thurs 21 – Sat 30 Oct, Salisbury
Little raver or teen muso, take your musical child to this celebration of opera, jazz, folk and more, just over the Wilts border in Salisbury. Headliners include the super-smooth, jazz-tastic Ronnie Scott’s All Stars on 21 Oct (above), a cool vibe teens will totally dig. Littlies will love Rock the Tots pop and rock covers, with puppets, percussion and stories on Sat 23 Oct. Opera buff? Look out for star international singers performing Verdi’s La Traviata on 22, 24 & 29 Oct.
Harvest at Hinton Ampner, Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct, Alresford
Hinton Ampner’s garden displays are always an absolute treat. This October, kids are invited to help John the gardener and his friends find the tools he needs for harvest in the Harvest Helpers Sensory Trail. On Sat 30 and Sun 31 Oct, Sparsholt College will help to host Hinton’s apple days – connoisseur kids will love tasting all the different types.
Spooky Halloween River Tour, New Forest Activities, Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct, Beaulieu
Take a spooky trip along the beautiful Beaulieu river on a guided 2-hour canoe tour with New Forest Activities, where friendly guides will tell a few haunting stories. Too scary? Make it a bit sweeter with a Halloween-themed paddle hunting for candy along the riverside. New this autumn half term, take aim at fiendish werewolves, ghosts and ghouls on the Halloween Pumpkin Archery Shooting range. How’s that for DIY Ghostbusters (Hampshire-style…).
Wellington Country Park’s Hallo-Welly-Ween, Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct, Riseley
Absolutely brilliant for eight and unders, carve your glorious gourd at Wellington Country Park’s patch this year then get stuck into loads of other brilliant activities. Board the spooky ghost train to crafts, roll up for Big Top family shows, there’s a Halloween disco and a pop-up play village, too… *Slime alert.*
Halloween Half Term at Milestones, Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct, Basingstoke
Milestones is haunted! Well, it will be this Autumn half term, anyway… Roam the cobbled streets and spot the ghostly ghouls and fearsome phantoms. Take the trick-or-treat trail around the museum and have a go at make-and-take creepy crafts. For the bravest, there’s an after hours spooky tour, tooooo…
The Amazing Bubble Man at the Haymarket, Sun 24 Oct, Basingstoke
Explore the mind-blowing dynamics of bubbles with Louis Pearl. A sell-out Edinburgh fringe act, he combines comedy and artistry with enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone entertained – from square bubbles to rocket bubbles, tornado bubbles and flying saucer bubbles. Look out!
Halloween Ghost Train at Exbury Gardens, Mon 25 – Sun 31 Oct, Exbury, Southampton
Board the ghost train – if you dare… Exbury has plenty of ghoulish family events this autumn half term, from a Halloween-transformed steam railway experience to a gruesome garden trail and pumpkin carving. Leave time for a leisurely walk afterwards and enjoy the 200 acre-site in its full, glorious autumn glory.
Half term Remote Touch Typing Course, Mon 25 – Fri 29 Oct, QWERTYkids, online
Giving children a tool to communicate and express their thoughts freely can translate to a real breakthrough in their learning and communication. Fun and instructive, Clare and Philippa’s QWERTYkids touch-typing courses challenge in an engaging way. Comprising 5 x 2-hour sessions, this remote Autumn half term course is best suited to upskilling 9 – 17 year-olds.
Wizard Week at The Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Mon 25 – Fri 29 Oct, Havenstreet
Let the friendly witches of Havenstreet be your host this Autumn half term. Always a brilliant event on the Island, you’ll also be entertained by a magician, plus there’s a spooky treasure hunt around the grounds and – of course – a trip on the gorgeous heritage railway. Wait – what’s that? Watch the skies and ‘owl’ in delight as birds of prey from Haven Falconry swoop and dive.
The Dong with the Luminous Nose, Tues 26 – Wed 27 Oct, Theatre Royal Winchester
The tale of a shy, troubled boy and his encounter with ‘The Jumblies’ this brilliant production has had rave reviews. Brought to life by a colourful cast of abstract puppets, this absurd take on Lear’s nonsense classic explores that difficult age between being a child and becoming an adult It’s sure to resonate with kids aged 7+.
Wild Half Term at The Point, Tues 26 – Thurs 28 Oct, Eastleigh
There’s loads to keep ’em busy this Autumn half term at The Point. Book ’em in for creative monsters and superheroes holiday workshops and a kid-friendly Comedy Club. Also on the bill this Autumn half term are art and dance and a brilliant, bubble-tastic Baby Rave for the under 3s.
Ghost Tours at Carisbrooke Castle, Thu 28 – Sun 31 Oct, Newport
If anywhere on the Island is haunted, it’s gotta be this place… One for the over 16s, local storytellers will guide you on a bone-chilling nighttime adventure around Carisbrooke Castle, with tales of ghosts, supernatural sightings and horrors from history. Not for the faint-hearted.
Halloween Disco Party at Port Solent, Thurs 28 Oct, Portsmouth
Do the Monster Mash at this free Halloween disco on the waterfront at Port Solent. Expect dancing, party games and scary fun aplenty, with free parking and plenty of restaurants to satisfy monster appetites.
Wizard Weekend, Fri 29 – Sun 31 Oct, The Watercress Line, Alresford
All aboard for Hogwarts! Well, close. Potter fans and spooky kids are invited to walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps over the famous railway footbridge where Harry received his Hogwarts Express ticket, with face painting, wand making and unlimited rides on the miniature railway.
Pumpkin Party at Festival Place, Sat 30 – Sun 31 October, Basingstoke
Nowhere is safe from spooky happenings on Halloween weekend – including Basingstoke’s Festival Place. Head to Porchester Square, by M&S, between 11am and 4pm where kids can ‘perk up’ a pumpkin at the no-carve craft station, strike a pose in the pumpkin patch and meet friendly Pumpkin Pete and pals.