Devon is a great place to be for families looking for something different this October Half Term and although there is plenty to satisfy fans of Halloween, there are also a number of fun and educational options available.
Visitors to Devon may want to get involved in the following activities:
Saturday 23 – Sunday 31 October:
Witches, Wizards & Gory Stories
Scary pursuits over the half term include: Witches, Wizards & Gory Stories at Exeter’s Underground Passages taking place between 23 – 31 Oct. Children are invited to explore under the city’s streets on guided tours and discover ingredients for magic spells. Using the ingredients found, the young adventurers are challenged to concoct their own magic spell and enter it into a competition with the opportunity to win one of many fantastic prizes.
On 30 & 31 October, the tour guides will be running special ‘Gory Story Tours’, highlighting some of the more unsavoury tales from Exeter’s past. Children can have a go at writing their own ‘Gory Story’ and again have the chance to win a fantastic prize. Check out www.exeter.gov.uk/passages for more information.
Sunday 24 October:
Pumpkin Day and Woodcrafts
A participant in the Devon Celebration of Food is RHS Garden Rosemoor which has organized a Pumpkin Day and Woodcrafts. Check out www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor for more information.
Monday 25 October:
Check out the seasonal foraging at Cockington Court between 2pm – 4pm on Monday 25 October and search for a range of weird and amazing fungi with suitably magical names like Wax Cap, Fairy Ring and Witch’s Butter on an exploratory tour around the estate – all strictly supervised as everyone will be made aware what is and isn’t safe to eat.
Tuesday 26 October:
Really Wild Rock pool Ramble
If your children prefer splashing around in rock pools rather than muddy fields, then the Really Wild Rock pool Ramble at The Seashore Centre is the place to be. Children can discover the weird and wonderful animals living in Goodrington’s rock pools and even make their own mini rock pool to take home. Booking essential, Tel: 01803 606035.
Tuesday 26 October:
You can get even closer to the fish at the National Marine Aquarium which has organised a Halloween Sleepover on the night of Tuesday 26 October – visit: www.national-aquarium.co.uk/shop/sleeping-with-sharks if you dare!
Halloween Cycle Ride
More spooky walks and tales in the forest at Haldon Forest Park near Exeter as well as a “spooktacular” Halloween Cycle Ride with Exeter Mountain Bike Club taking place on 26 October, and open to everyone over 7 – although must be able to ride a bike! Check out: www.forestry.gov.uk/haldonforestpark for this and other Halloween happenings.
Wednesday 27 October:
Wild About Food
Darts Farm is inviting Kids (to go) Wild About Food – part of the Devon Celebration of Food.
Local education ranger James Chubb will be exploring the local landscape, searching for wild ingredients to make wild bread. Participating foragers will take the wild harvest back to the cookery studio where they will all learn how to make wild bread, which will then be feasted on with homemade pumpkin soup for lunch! visit www.dartsfarm.co.uk for further details.
From Seed to Tree
Occombe Education Centre, children can join rangers to take part in From Seed to Tree on 27 October where they will make their own collecting bags and then hunt for seeds in the woodland and have a go sowing them afterwards, ready to take home. Just £2.50 per child and no booking required. Visit: www.occombe.org.uk for more details.
Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 October
Adults may want to try an Introduction to Hedge Laying at Cockington Court where they can help to restore a Devon hedge bank while gaining new skills. The cost is £30 for a two day course and booking is essential, Tel: 01803 606035 for the course details and Family Fungal Foray.
Saturday 30 and 31 October
Halloween Terror Trail Walk
Are you brave enough to walk the Halloween terror trail in the woods at night? This popular event is organised by Occombe Farm and takes place over Halloween weekend on 30 and 31 October. The trail ends with spine-tingling tales over firelight. Visit: www.occombe.org.uk for further details and more Halloween events.
Shute Gatehouse photo by Paul Osborne courtesy of DevonBrand.