Carmarthenshire has plenty of fun-filled activities over the next month that the whole family can get involved in; from Halloween-themed spooky sleepovers at Dinefwr Park, and ghoulish gold mine tours at Dolaucothi Gold Mine, to exciting events including a giant Lego animal trail at WWT Wetland Centre, an apple weekend at the National Botanic Garden of Wales and, for competitive families, the annual autumnal 'bonkers for conkers' festival also returns this year!
Join a Giant Lego Animal Trail at WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre
Has your family been gripped by Lego Masters, Channel 4's contest to discover the UK and Ireland's best Lego builders? If your little brickies need some close-up inspiration, and a bit of tuition, to help with their creations, head for the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre this half-term where workshops will be on offer throughout October. To coincide with this, the Lego Animal Trail has returned, with two characters; Benedict the Bewick's Swan and the beautifully detailed 'Mac the Mallard' made up of a whopping 11,200 bricks! The giant animals (some of which are up to twelve times their actual size!) also include Kate the Kingfisher and Flavia Flamingo. Over 170,000 Lego bricks were used over 1,209 hours to make all 11 characters.
Apple Weekend and Acres of Gardens at the National Botanic Garden of Wales
The two-day celebration of everyone's favourite fruit, the apple, has returned to National Botanic Garden of Wales this October, highlighting some of the best apples found in the country. Families can come along for a chance to compete in apple bobbing, make an apple bird feeder, win prizes, take part in apple-themed quizzes, view a stunning display of around 400 ranges of apple and, of course, taste them! Families will leave with inspiration to grow their own or at least leave with a selection of apples to make a delicious crumble.
Details: Admission to the gardens is £10.50 for adults and £4.95 for children 5-16 years old. Entry is free for garden members and parking is free for all. The garden is open 10am-6pm, with the last admission at 5pm.www.gardenofwales.org.uk or call 01558 668768.
Go 'Bonkers for Conkers' at the National Botanic Garden of Wales
Consider yourself a conker connoisseur or a chestnut champion? The Great Carmarthenshire Conker Contest takes places throughout half term (16-27 October) and is bound to release every family's competitivity. Families can battle each other out with their conkers at this cracking event while some visitors will be holding on to their conkers in hope to be judged as this year's best conker holder. The Big Carmarthenshire Conker Contest invites families and conker-fans of all ages invited to come along to take part at the gardens.
Details: Prices start from £8.50 per adult and £4.50 per child for entry to the Garden, whilst under-5s go free. Enter to the conker competition is free. www.gardenofwales.org.uk or call 01558 668768.
Discover Dolaucothi's Dreadful Past on a Ghastly Gold Mine Tour
Step back in time at the oldest known Roman gold mine in the UK this Halloween, where those who are brave enough can venture into the depths of the mine with a ghoulish underground tour. Taking place on Halloween itself, brave underground explorers will put on their hard hats and embark on a tour to the centre of the Earth- finding out about the mine's horrible history, including Judge John's infamous murder in the mine. Warm refreshments will be offered at the Dolaucothi Arms after the tour, a cosy pub with its own historical connections to the murder.
Details: Tickets are £16 including a bowl of soup and a cup of punch at the nearby Dolaucothi Arms. Tours run on 31 October between 7-8pm or 8-9pm. All children (aged 14+) must be accompanied by an adult. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dolaucothi-gold-mines or call 01558 650177.
Haunted House Tours and Spooky Sleepovers- Dinefwr Park and Castle
Fans of things that go bump in the night should head on over to Dinefwr Park this October, where pumpkin carving, haunted house tours and spooky sleepovers are all on offer for brave souls of all ages. Taking place in the “4th most haunted” house on the National Trust's roster, visitors between 21-28 October have the chance to explore Newton House by torchlight on a spooky evening tour, discovering the darker tales from history and more recent ghostly encounters, told by storyteller Nick Brunger. Early evening tours are perfect for little ones (7+) with magic tricks and mild spooky tales, whilst later tours (14+) promise to pack a fright with ghoulish ghost stories told along the way.
Fright fans also have the chance to spend the night in Newton House (in the grounds of Dinefwr) on Halloween itself- you'll just need to pack your sleeping bag and nerves of steel- with a psychic, Steven Lewis Evans, joining the sleepover to communicate with the ghostly visitors. The house is said to be haunted by the ancestors of the Rice family who once lived at the property and were brutally murdered. Guests have said that they feel an eerie sensation as they walk up the stairs, blinds open and close themselves, aromas from cigar smoke come and go from butler's pantry and sightings of supernatural can be seen from time to time. But a delicious breakfast awaits those who make it through the night.