Frighteningly good Halloween activities
Love to get your pulse racing? Looking for fun activities to keep the kids busy over half term? Our round-up of Halloween events for kids and adults in Cambs and Suffolk should keep you all scarily busy.
It’s that time of year again, when you book your kids in to a number of scary halloween events in order to stop the half term boredom and then immediately regret it when they keep you up into the small hours with nightmares! We’ve rounded up plenty of kid-friendly halloween events in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, plus a few super-scary adults-only options. Just don’t come crying to me when it’s you who’s having bad dreams.
All aboard the ghost train
Audley End House certainly knows how to do a themed event. Their miniature railway will be transformed from 25th October – 3rd November into a ghost train, where kids journey on the haunted Halloween Express with trick or treat bags to visit the witches in their haunted house. Fancy dress is very much encouraged. The craft tent is in action as always, so little monsters can create a creepy craft, have their faces painted, test out their thriller dance moves and listen to a spooky tale.
House of horrors
Just over the road Audley End House itself is also dusting off its skeletons and joining in the fiendish fun with their creepy critters event. From the 19 October – 3 November, little ones can take part in creepy crafts, a wicked witch-themed quest and the daily fancy dress competition (go on, get your sewing machine out!). Here’s the bit where you’ll find me somewhere in the grounds having abandoned my child… there’ll also be animals to meet, including snakes, spiders and all other types of critters.
Carve it up
It wouldn’t be halloween without some pumpkin carving. Get the kids to do the hard work for you by taking them to the Pumpkin Carving workshops at Wimpole Hall’s Great Barn from 19 October – 2 November. They provide all the pumpkins and tools – your kids just need the ideas. Halloween pumpkin – sorted!
Now here’s a good idea – let your little devils make a big old mess outside your house with this craft workshop on 23 October at Bury St Edmunds’ The Apex run by The Crafty Foxes. Kids can go to town making slime in a jar and glove monsters complete with birth certificate. Old clothes are encouraged!
Fire them up
Huntingdon Racecourse always delights with its annual Halloween and Firework Festival (aka parenting win – get halloween and fireworks night all wrapped up in one go). This year it’s on 3 November and has a sparkling mix of things to delight both parents and kids: the annual spookiest customer and spookiest pumpkin competition, large fairground rides, food stalls and a real ale tent.
Muddy favourite Hinchingbrooke Country Park has two Halloween walks on the 31 October, sensibly dived up into age groups of 7 – 9 and 10 – 12. Both start with spooky stories round the campfire before a sunset walk through the woods. Older kids get to enjoy the park in the ghostly dark!
Trick or treat
There’s nothing scary about Scotsdales Great Shelford’s Halloween offering this year. They’ve focussed on the treats side of trick or treating with a delicious themed spooky tea served up from the chef’s cauldron every day from 21 – 31 October. Kids can work up an appetite first on the 22 October with the Creatures of the Night craft workshop, where they’ll decorate a ceramic bat tea light holder.
Angels and devils
Let your Halloween activity double up as a good turn this year by having your little devils (sorry angels) join in St Nicholas Hospice’s Pumpkin Parade in Hardwick Park Gardens, Bury St Edmunds. It’s a 1km pumpkin-lined walk (exercise ticked off too then), and kids can dress up, they’ll receive a treat and a pumpkin medal. Get them to drum up sponsorship for the charity to make it even more special.
Don’t just want to stand on the sidelines and watch your little monsters having all the fun this year. Let us suggest the Ely Spooky Spectacular Family Rave instead then. Yes you heard us right, there’s a rave happening at The Maltings in Ely on 26 October, organised by award-winning Big Fish Little Fish. DJ Trax + Countmonkula will be playing old school (grown up) music. The event will feature themed crafts, giant balloons, glitter cannons, bubble machines, amazing lighting, face painting and a parachute dance (you’ll just have to go and find out what this is!).
Week of Wickedness
Skylark Garden Centre near March isn’t your average garden centre… it’s also home to a maize maze and fun yard and hosts events galore throughout the year. Halloween is no exception, as they’ve got an entire week devoted to wickedness from 19 – 27 October coming up! There’s pumpkin picking and carving, Phantom Blaster tractor rides, magic shows, a Buzz Lightyear quest in the maze, pig racing and a scarecrow smash, all of which will delight those little devils of yours.
Fun on the farm
Easton Farm Park never pass up the opportunity to get behind a theme, and you know they’ll always have something up their sleeve to delight the kids. This year between 19 – 27 October, there’s everything from a spooky trail to discover and make-a-broomstick workshops to creating your own wand (stupefy! – any Harry Potter fans with me?!) and completing a creepy quiz for prizes.
Take your pick
Head to Undley Farm in Mildenhall to select the plumpest of pumpkins for your Halloween carving on weekends and during half term from 5 – 27 October. Not only can you select your pumpkin and pick it yourself, but there’s a maize maze to loose the kids in (ahem I mean for the kids to enjoy) as well as live magic shows, an inflatable obstacle course and a pumpkin-shaped bouncy castle.
For the adults…
Do you dare?
Lucky us, we’ve got one of the scariest and one of the UK’s top Halloween spectacles right here in Suffolk. It’s called Scaresville, The Haunted Village at Kentwell Hall in Long Melford (2 Oct – 2 Nov) and is so terrifying that it’s adults-wearing-tena-lady-only. It’s an award-winning live action immersive experience run by seriously convincing actors. We’ll not spoil the surprise but the journey into the Haunted Village lasts about an hour and you can tag on a visit to Witchcraft-themed rapid escape room if your nerves aren’t completely shot by then! At the end you can collapse in relief in the Bar-baric themed bar and calm your nerves with a strong drink. Not for the faint-hearted.
Get me out of here
Escape rooms are all the rage these days – I mean what could be more normal than paying to be locked in somewhere and having to bust your way out?! We’ve got a cracker of an escape room right here in Cambridge – Lockhouse Escape Games on Regent Street and Halloween is their bread and butter. We’re talking an armageddon style save the world game or Cabin in the Woods, where you have to stop a serial killer and a bomb going off. Easy then – gulp!
Dance with the devil
Love a good party. Then you need to get yourself down to Cambridge’s Junction on 26 October for Neon Moon’s Halloween Show. Experience a dark world of wonder as you stagger your way (after too many nerve-settling vodkas) to Necropolis – the city of the undead. Creatures of the night will emerge from the darkness as international cabaret, circus and burlesque performers amaze you on the main stage.
Enter if you dare
The Horror at Hinchingbrooke House runs from October 19 to October 27 and is a seriously realistic interactive experience that will have you jumping out of your skin every other minute. We’ve all heard the tales about the haunted house in Huntingdon and now you can actually see if it’s true, with a terrifying journey through the dark rooms. I feel slightly sick just thinking about it.
(Ghost) Story time
There’s nothing quite like a good old ghost story to get the adrenaline running on Halloween, especially if you’re hearing it in the confines of a former Victorian prison, by candlelight. The Norman building of Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, is opening its creaky doors (and then locking them sharply behind you) on 31 October so you can hear spooky stories from across England in terrifying style.
There’s nothing like wandering round an empty stately home after dark to get those goosebumps going. On 25th and 26th October, Audley End House is opening up after hours for adults who are brave enough to take part in a Ghost Tour (so not me then!). Lord Bindon will take you back in time guiding you through the dark history of the Witchcraft Trials and tales of the ghosts that have haunted this hall.