Halloween is traditionally a time of spooky costumes, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving and trick or treating. But this year, Halloween is shaping up to be vastly different to previous years.
With tiered restrictions across the county and the ‘rule of 6’ law banning large gatherings or parties, the government has also confirmed that trick and treating will be banned in areas under local lockdown, leaving many kids disappointed.
However, Brits are finding alternative ways to hold a spooky celebration, with pumpkin carving competitions online or a night of scary movies and popcorn. There are also many venues that are hosting COVID-safe Halloween events, to ensure that youngsters (and the young at heart) can enjoy a scarily good day out.
Take a walk on the wild side…
English Heritage have launched a series of spooky walks at six of their venues across the UK. Boys and ghouls can explore the outside areas of historic castles and abbeys at Audley End, Belsay Hall, Walmer Castle, Brodsworth Hall, Witley Court and Wrest Park and take part in a story-telling trail designed for the whole family.
Visitors are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes, with daily prizes for the scariest outfits, as they follow the trail to solve revolting riddle and creepy clues.
English Heritage advise that the Woodland Walk trails will take approximately 45 mins and are suitable for children between 5-12 years of age. As it’s an outside activity, suitable shoes and warm clothing should be worn. Book your place online at the English Heritage website.
Visit Cadbury’s World for a creepy chocolatey adventure
Chocolate lovers should head to Cadbury’s World this half term for the chocolatier’s Halloween Spooktacular. Running from October 17 to November 1, the attraction will include Freddo The Frog’s Haunted Mansion where guests need to find the ghost through a series of games, and a 4D rollercoaster adventure.
Of course, along the way there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy free samples of chocolate and experience the Have A Go zone where families can pipe their names on chocolate. The shop will also be selling a range of fang-tastic treats including chocolate pumpkins to take home.
Visitors need to prebook tickets to visit the Halloween Spooktacular and prices range from £18 for adults and £13.25 for kids. Kids under four go free.
Brick or Treat at Legoland
Halloween event Brick or Treat is returning to Legoland for 2020, running from October 15 to November 8.
This year, the attraction includes the Haunted Lighthouse Halloween Show at Heartlake City, packed with devilish dances and songs. Family favourite, the Brick and Treat Trail is back—and children have to find the monsters lurking in Halloween surprises. They can also enjoy Lord Vampyre’s Haunted House Monster Party Ride.
To make the most of the trail and to help solve the clues, parents can download the Legoland app, and little ones will get a ghoulish goody bag to take home, which includes a mini Lego pumpkin!
Brave guests can also creep through the Enchanted Forest, where they may bump into a host of werewolves, mummies and vampires.
Legoland tickets start from £33 per person, and kids under 90cm go free. Families must pre-book and take a mask, as they may be required in certain areas.
Explore a creepy castle
Muncaster Castle in West Cumbria will be running daily activities for kids, including the Sledgehammer House of Horrors—a themed show guaranteed to fright and delight!
Included in the admission, are plague medicine workshops, lantern making classes and fire shows. In the castle grounds there is a Terrifying Terrace and Maze to explore, complete with a juggling jester!
The Castle opens from 10.30am so families can have a full day of fun. A visit to Creeping Kate’s Café or the Owl Garden Tea Room, will refuel hungry kids for an afternoon of adventure. Fearful fancy dress is recommended – book tickets online and remember to take a mask for the indoor areas.
Visit the National Trust’s haunted houses
The National Trust looks after some of the oldest buildings in the country—so it’s no surprise that many venues play host to some ghostly goings-on. There are 60 National Trust buildings currently open, so there is no shortage of places to go ghost-hunting.
Blickling Hall in Norfolk was the ancestral home of the Boleyn family, where the headless ghost of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne is said to roam.
Visitors to Buckland Abbey might spot another historical ghost in the form of Sir Francis Drake. Famous for circumnavigating the globe in his ship The Golden Hind, his spirit is said to ride across nearby Dartmoor in a black coach driven by headless horses.
Visits to the houses are limited, and tickets must be booked online. The National Trust are opening as many cafes and shops as possible in the grounds too.
Peppa Pig’s Halloween makeover
Paulton’s Park, home to Peppa Pig World, is to be transformed into a frighteningly fun event this half term. Youngsters will be able to meet Peppa and her family in their Halloween costumes and enjoy the themed decorations.
The attraction will also include Grandpa Pig’s ‘World’s Biggest Pumpkin’, a giant version of Mr Skinny Legs the spider. Thousands of pumpkins will also be displayed throughout the park.
The park will stay open until 7.30pm on October 27 and 29 to add to the festivities, with rides including The Queen’s Flying Coach and the Peppa’s Big Balloon.
Tickets for the event are available online and must be pre-booked as there is limited capacity in the theme park, to adhere to social distancing restrictions.
Stay safe, book online and take a mask
All these Halloween attractions require pre-booked tickets online, and no groups larger than 6 people can be admitted. Many of the attractions require a face covering to be worn in indoor areas. Check the venue’s website before travelling for the latest guidelines.