The sudden realisation that October half-term is only two-weeks away hit me like ton of conkers! We were planning to go away (and still might) but the Autumn term has been relentless and we haven’t booked anything. This sent the organised (note: controlling) side of me into overdrive and, should we decide to have a Halloween-themed staycation rather than a mini-vacation, I have sniffed out a selection of free, cheap and reasonably priced activities to keep my littluns entertained this half-term.
Arts & Culture
The National Portrait Gallery has FAB (Family Activity Base) activities for young children. Pick up printed resources and art materials and take the kids (and the OH) on a hunt through the galleries. We keep the littluns interested (for longer than you’d think) by choosing printed images then searching for them in the galleries. The first person to find the portrait gets ten points and the person with the most points gets to choose the afternoon’s cake! It’s on from 11am to 4pm each day during half-term.
When you have a little drama queen and a Halloween theme, what better activity than a Macbeth workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe. A one-hour workshop for 5-7 year olds. At £7 each we can really work on our characters in readiness for Halloween!
The Horniman Museum & Gardens in Forest Hill has a Halloween Fair on 27th and 28th October, 10:30-4:30. There’s lots going on! The event is free (some activities charge- although it is very cheap) and dressing up in your best Halloween costume is positively encouraged!
The Imagination Station at the V&A Museum is inspired by the current Frida Kahlo exhibition- Making Her Self Up. There’s a range of fab activities and it’s all free! 22nd-26th October, 10:30-5pm.
National Trust properties are always a good shout in half-term and holiday time; there is usually a themed activity on that is included in the entry price or, if, like us, you are members, it’s a no/low-cost day out. Osterley Park has an enchanted pumpkin trail- complete the trail and carve your own pumpkin to take home for £4 – well worth it! Just think, you won’t have to clear up all the pumpkin innards!
The very haunted Ham House in Richmond has a witch hunt, scary storytelling, biscuit decorating and arts and crafts to enjoy. There is no additional charge for half-term activities, just usual admission prices – free for members.
Keeping it local…the Brockwell Park Miniature Railway has a Halloween Special on Sunday 28th October. The Halloween themed train is open from 11 – 3pm and return fare is £1. If you go in costume the fare is only 50p return and you’ll get a handful of sweets (while stocks last!)
Godstone Farm and Bocketts Farm in Surrey are fab for a day out! Both have loads of Halloween activities during half-term and are very reasonably priced! Godstone Farm will end the half-term week with a firework display on Saturday 27th October.
I can’t remember the point at which the cost of a family trip to the cinema became so ridiculously expensive! Cinema trips are wasted on my four-year-old, who actually can’t sit still, so I’ll be avoiding the hefty tickets and overpriced snacks and taking my littluns to a Kids Club screening. I don’t mind missing the film or leaving early if I’ve only paid a fraction of the full ticket price!
Kids Club screenings tend to be on Saturday or Sunday mornings, so perfect for my early risers! Wandsworth Cineworld don’t programme their screenings this far in advance but they are currently showing Coco (good for a pre-halloween treat), Incredibles 2 and Luis and the Aliens so they are bound to have some good films on over Halloween weekend. Tickets are £2.50 each.
Clapham Picture House‘s offering for Halloween weekend is Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Hotel Transylvania 3. Tickets are a tiny £2 each. Bargain!
That is plenty to keep us busy! We will definitely visit the pumpkin patch at Crockford Bridge Farm– read more about it here– and get busy with some Autumn arts & crafts. Perhaps it will be a staycation after all!!
Enjoy! Amy x