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Reader Treats Just For You!

32 brilliant half term ideas

Yep, half term crept up on us too. No fear, Muddy to the rescue with the ultimate guide to beating the boredom and surviving the school holidays.

PUMPKINS: Sat 12 – Thurs 31 Oct

  • Pumpkin Moon in Maidstone AND Rainham, Sat 12 & Sun 13, Fri 18 – Sun 27 and Mon 28 – Thurs 31: Pick your pumpkins and join in with the popular maize maze, face painting, story telling and pumpkin painting! Perfect for the little ones. pumpkinmoon.uk
  • PYO Pumpkins in Medway, Sat 12 – Thurs 31 Oct: In October, Riverside Farmers open their doors to the public and hold their annual Pick Your Own pumpkin event. With a wide range of pumpkins and squashes in all sorts of shapes and sizes – grab your wheelbarrows and get picking! pyopumpkins.com
  • Beluncle Farm in Rochester, selected dates this Oct: Pick your pumpkins, squashes and globe artichokes in many colours and sizes! pyopumpkins.com 
  • Tulleys Farm in Crawley, Sat 12 – Thurs 31: Entry is free and there are 12 acres of pumpkins producing over 75,000 in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You’ll be spoilt for choice here! tulleysspookfest.co.uk 
  • Stanhill Farm in Dartford, Open from Thurs 17: Family friendly farm with pumpkins of all dimensions perfect for eating and for decorating! Why not bring a picnic and make a day of it? stanhillfarm.co.uk 
  • Little Fant Farm in Maidstone, Sun 19 – Sun 27: This farm is offering the full autumn experience with PYO Pumpkins but also pumpkin decorating, a Halloween Trail, storytelling, creepy craft and a visit to their Witches House! Get booking: facebook.com/events  
  • Chilton Manor Farm in Sittingbourne, Open from Sat 19: Don’t just pick your own pumpkins, why not get ready to purchase fruit and vegetables too? chiltonmanorfarm.co.uk 
  • Saffery Farm nr Faversham, Sat 19 – Sun 27: Saffery Farm has been in the business 35 years and is giving you the chance to PYO your own pumpkins on selected days in October! Don’t forget your wellies, you were warned. facebook.com/pages 
  • Four Winds Farm in Fordcombe, Weds 23 – Sun 27: PYO your own over the half term at Four Winds Farm with face painting, a fancy dress competition and hot refreshments! facebook.com/events 
Port Lympne Reserve, SPECIAL OFFER, Sat 19 Oct – Sun 3 Nov

Meet Binti, Kulinda and Khari – the 20 week old cubs pictured here having some Halloween fun when the popular lion pride were treated to carved pumpkins by their keepers as part of their daily enrichment programme. If you would like to see them and the rest of the 900 animals then here’s a brilliant offer. Visitors to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, home to Kent’s only safari experience (and the county’s only lion cubs), can enjoy adventures every day for a fangtastic discounted price online. Available for October Half term (from Sat 19 Oct – Sun 3 Nov) visitors can get their claws on 25% OFF online day tickets, whilst the new Rainy Day Guarantee will ensure that continuous rain won’t dampen spirits. The popular wild animal park, near Ashford, has announced a packed programme of free activities taking place every day, including fact packed animal talks, fun activity sheets and a public pumpkin hall of fame – where visitors can display their best home carved pumpkin creations. There will also be a daily fancy dress competition for little horrors and great prizes up for grabs.

 

To plan your day out at Port Lympne and take advantage of 25% off day tickets: aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Bateman’s, OPEN NOW

Author Judith Kerr alongside ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ exhibition.

Plenty of The Tiger Who Came To Tea themed fun at Bateman’s this October Half Term! Join them everyday of the week until Sun 3 Nov to see The Tiger Who Came To Tea anniversary exhibition and try the Tiger themed goodies in The Mulberry Tea Room – find the stripy veg growing in the garden! First published in 1968, the children’s book had sold over five million copies by 2008 and been translated into eleven languages. Set in the family home of author Rudyard Kipling, displays of Judith Kerr’s illustrations will delight all tiger-loving generations. Discover Sophie’s room from the story where children can sit on the bed and listen to a recording of the tale before visiting the Tiger in the kitchen downstairs. Littles ones can enjoy interactive play with a life-size tiger in the kitchen. Delve into the dressing-up chest and grab a mini stripy Tiger or Mog onesie, have fun making ‘tea’ in their fully interactive play kitchen and can even sit with the tiger, fab photo op! Or take part in the Trail, from 19 Oct, discover the tiger related activities around the garden and spot the tigers in the house (£2.50 per trail). And you could even make hour own tiger and pumpkin themed items, in Bateman’s Half Term Craft Days (£2.50). nationaltrust.org.uk 

Wildwood Trust, Sat 19 Oct – Sun 3 Nov

Wildwood have plenty of daily Halloween activities plus their adventure play park with climbing walls, rope bridges, slides and scary drop slide PLUS they have over 50 species of native British animals from past and present in their 42 acre woodland! Daily engaging talks led by their team of wildlife experts, a FREE spider trail, FREE arts and crafts and FREE activities such as potion making, meet an animal and touch tables. For the full programme of events, go to: wildwoodtrust.org

Beastley Bat Trail, Chartwell, Sat 19 Oct – 3 Nov

Fly around the gardens of Chartwell this autumn half term and discover more about the beastly bats that live here. nationaltrust.org.uk

Get Spooked, Dreamland, Margate, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct

Celebrate Halloween at Dreamland this October half-term, with nine days of frightfully good fun by the sea for families to enjoy. Enjoy the family friendly maze for the brave and not so brave, Dreamland’s new and vintage rides and Dreamland Ark, where animal lovers can enjoy a special creepy crawlies experience. There’s even ghoulish party games, devilish disco dancing and a variety of spooky crafts and activities to take part in too. The park is free to enter and will be open every day throughout half term, from 11am – 5pm. Dressing up is encouraged! dreamland.co.uk 

Hever Castle, Sat 19 – Thurs 31 Oct

Prepare to be spooked this Halloween at Haunted Hever. Hever Castle & Gardens. Join the spooky storytelling, take part in the Halloween craft activity, follow the scarecrow scavenger hunt around the grounds and sink your teeth into a sweet treat at the deadly delicious biscuit decorating workshop. Don your scariest outfit to take part in the fancy dress costume (with prizes for the best dressed) and finish your spooky creation off with a freakish face paint. hevercastle.co.uk

Halloween Trail: Children of Scotney, Scotney Castle, Sat 19 Oct – Sun 3 Nov

Be prepared to get a little bit spooky this half term when you take part in the Children of Scotney trail. Edwy was one of six children who grew up at Scotney Castle and the recent discovery of his diaries told us that they all enjoyed telling ghost stories. The children are making up a ghost story to tell their parents but need some ideas. Can you help them to find all 8 props from around the garden? Complete the story and collect your prize from the visitor reception. £2 per trail, open 10am – 5pm. nationaltrust.org.uk

Spook Quest, The Canterbury Tales, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct

Grab your best Halloween costume and head on down to The Canterbury Tales! Join in on a spooky quest through Chaucer’s famous ‘Canterbury Tales’. Travel with your band of fellow pilgrims along the spooky route to the shrine of St Thomas Becket, and discover five of the Canterbury Tales and their colourful characters along the way – who’s that behind you? canterburytales.org.uk

The Hop Farm, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct

So much going on at The Hop Farm this half-term with pumpkin carving, ghoulish face painting, creepy storytelling, a Spooktastic Harry Snotter Magic Show and even Monster Mash UV Discos. Plus on Tues 22 Oct, The Gruffalo will be visiting the Hop Farm for meet and greets at intervals throughout the day. Cameras at the ready! For the full programme: thehopfarm.co.uk 

Spooky Halloween Musical, Groombridge Place, 19 Oct – 3 Nov

Famous spooky characters will be taking to the stage in the outdoor forest theatre at Groombridge Place for family friendly fun! West End actors will transform into scary well-known characters to perform a fabulous ‘Spooky Halloween Musical’ in the Enchanted Forest.  They will be performing a musical with songs from well-known films including the Addams Family, Little Shop of Horrors, Nightmare before Christmas, Hocus Pocus and many more. Sing a long and don’t forget to come dressed in your best Halloween outfit for a chance to win a prize! Admission includes the musicals PLUS birds of prey displays, entrance into the walled gardens and all the attractions in the forest including Crusoe’s World with its pirate ship and rope bridges, the board walk with its zip wire and rope swings and the giant tree and nest swings deep in the forest. Book now! groombridgeplace.com

Owl Trail & Meet The Owls, Ightham Mote, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct

Plenty of adventures await this October half-term at Ightham Mote! Take your kids on the Owl Trail and find out more about these feathery hunters of the estate and hear stories written by children from The New Beacon and Dunton Green Primary Schools. Definitely don’t miss Thurs 24 Oct where you’ll have the chance to meet some owls with Kent Owl Academy! Get up close to these incredible creatures. nationaltrust.org.uk 

Penshurst Place, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Oct

There’s lots going on this Halloween over at Penshurst: from not-so-spooky storytelling to riddles and garden trails, there’s something for everyone! With a range of family-tailored activities from Wicked Witch of the Wild Wood Storytelling to an interactive session Potion Masters From History led by Hands on History. Penshurst makes the perfect family day out over the October half term. For the full line-up: penshurstplace.com

The Halloween Monster Academy, Leeds Castle, Mon 21 – Sun 27 Oct

Are you a little monster? If so you’ll fit in at our brand new Monster Academy this Halloween. Explore the Castle grounds and complete spooky classes as you go, winning stamps from each teacher to graduate from the Academy. Activities will include learning to move like a monster, perfect your scare technique and complete an obstacle class. There will also be a spooky trail through the grounds as well as daily ghoulish games and a frightful fancy dress competition. A small additional charge applies for the Monster Academy booklet. leeds-castle.com

Colouring Competition, Bill’s Restaurants, 21 Oct – 1 Nov

Bill’s have got you covered as they’re running a half term colouring competition for the little ones. When you visit, your kids can design and colour in their very own milkshake or smoothie, to be handed into the team and at the end of half term, every Bill’s restaurant team will select one winner. The winner will then be invited back to have their creation brought to life by their chefs/bar team along with £30 off the meal for mum and dad. Every entrant will win one of their milkshakes and smoothies next time they visit so everyone’s a winner! Book your table now: bills-website.co.uk 

Bodiam Castle, 21 Oct – 3 Nov

Escape with the family to Bodiam Castle for a wildlife and witches trail and storytelling! Set off on their new autumn trail ‘Wildlife and Witches’, let your little ones hunt around the castle and grounds to win a prize (£2.50 per trail, daily 11am – 3pm). There will also be storytelling taking place in the Castle Towers from Sat 26 Oct. Ask at visitor reception for times and meeting places. nationaltrust.org.uk

Half Term Kids’ Camps, Bewl Water, 21, 24 & 25 Oct

Keep the little ones entertained during the school holidays with Kids’ Camps at Bewl Water! Kids’ Camps at Bewl Water provide an affordable alternative to traditional childcare for busy or working parents and are a great opportunity for children to make new friends and remain active during the holidays. From half days to multiple weeks. Available to all children, aged 5 years and over. Half day: £19.50 per child, £37.00 per full day. To book: 01892 890 000 and for all the details: bewlwater.co.uk 

Halloween Arts & Crafts, Smallhythe Place, Weds 23 Oct

Grab your broomsticks, hats and cloaks and get ready for an afternoon of spooky Arts and Crafts at Smallhythe Place. Join in from 1-3pm where we will be making Halloween crafts for you to decorate your home. Come dressed in your favourite Halloween costume, will your costume be the scariest? Suitable for ages 3+ (parental supervision required). nationaltrust.org.uk

Peter Pan, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Thurs 24 & Fri 25 Oct

Trinity Youth Theatre presents the original stage version of J.M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan – the true-to-its-roots swashbuckling adventure – before panto got its hook in! It’s being directed by Samuel Marlow, a long time collaborator of their Youth & Learning team, and is a proper adventure story. Not too Disney if you know what we mean – Pan himself is a much more ambiguous character than in subsequent versions. It’s also been wonderfully handmade from top to bottom – with sets, costumes, puppets, arrowheads and swords created house by the Trinity team. One not to miss. trinitytheatre.net/events/peter-pan

Beastie Days, Brogdale Collections, Thurs 24 Oct

A full day of exploring Brogdale and discovering fantastic bugs & mini beasts! The kiddies will be hunting and collecting bugs, learning all about these interesting creatures and even have the chance to see an impressive collection of Mega bugs! Including giant cockroaches, millipedes, devil stick insects and epic moths – not for the squeamish. brogdalecollections.org

Fright Night Express, Kent & East Sussex Railway, Fri 25 Oct

Ride the Fright Night express if you dare! Before everyone boards, visit the railway from 5:00pm for a Fright Night workshop including pumpkin carving and face painting. There’ll be spooky music and a live fire breather to get everyone in the mood for the 7pm departure. Upon arrival at Northiam Station enjoy a firework display before the return journey to Tenterden, which will see the train arrive back at the station for approximately 8:45pm. kesr.org.uk

Sussex Country Gardener, Fri 25 – Thurs 31 Oct

There’s so much going on at Sussex Country Gardener in Mark Cross this Half term! Decorate your own monster, bat or witch brew uptakes, take part in the Halloween Wooden Spoon Puppet Making Workshop or a Pumpkin Painting Workshop. There’s even a Halloween afternoon tea! Phew! sussexcountrygardener.digitickets.co.uk

Mum’s The Word #wild_child Halloween Spooktacular, Salomon’s Estate, Sun 27 Oct

Mum’s The Word #Wild_Child family DANCE party is back with a bone-shaking bang this Halloween! Tickets include the devilish DJ (playing 90s dance, garage and Halloween monster mash ups), Halloween themed craft activities for all ages, balloons, giant parachute, colouring wall and frightening facepainting! There will also be street dancing with ‘Funky Moves’, Spooky Storytelling and Halloween Baby Sensory. Plus a chill-out area, baby zone, street food and a licensed bar (for the parents – all that dancing is thirsty work!). Halloween fancy dress for Mums, Dads and their little monsters is very much encouraged and there will be competitions for the best dressed throughout the afternoon! See you on the dance floor. mumstheword.online 

Alice in Wonderland, Trinity Theatre, Sun 27 Oct

Join the tea party and meet the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts. This exciting and playful take on the tale features a professional cast of energetic performers, catchy new songs and lots of humour that will entertain and delight the whole family! Don’t be late for this very important date! Book your tickets now: trinitytheatre.net  

Halloween Cookery Event, Chiddingstone Castle, Thurs 31 Oct

A halloween night to die for! Cook up your very own spooky supper in the Castle kitchen and go for a torch light tour of the Castle. Are you brave enough? For children 8 -13 years old. £28, ingredients and equipment provided. Book now! chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

Compiled by Mollie Manning 

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Kent