Halloween fun and fireworks in the South East
Take a short break and maybe stay at one of the many unique boutique hotels or ‘restaurants with accommodation’ offering a good range of price options. Visitors can get out and about during the October half term and celebrate the unique autumnal season and landscapes at the many historic houses, formal gardens, parks and visitor attractions in the region.
Spook Fest is one of the biggest nights of the year at Royal Windsor Racecourse (Saturday 3 November). A Spooky Night at the Movies with the famous 1984 original Ghostbusters screening after the unbelievable fireworks display. Visitors can enjoy a selection of songs from movie classics such as Ghostbusters, Adams Family and many more alongside family entertainment and a massive themed funfair. www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk
Spooky Castle, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight (20 to 28 October) promises a Halloween Adventure for families including crafts, exploring the grounds with the Victorian ghost hunters listening to macabre tales of times gone by including the gruesome demise of some of the castle graveyard’s occupants. A prize awaits for the most spine-tingling costume each day. Castle ticket entry Adult £10 Child £6. www.english-heritage.org.uk
Jack On The Green at Beach House Park, Worthing. Same Sky will be running free making workshops on both days between 2-4pm. Join us in the evening for a lit trail around Beach house park between 6-8.30 pm. (27 and 28 October) FREE entry with a donation welcome on the gate. discoverworthing.uk
Be immersed in a frightening world of interactive scare mazes and sideshows set to thrill at Screamland at Dreamland in Margate (20 to 31 October). The amusement park and entertainment centre, based on a traditional British seaside funfair, is transformed after dark and offers all the ‘fun of the scare’. Tickets include access to all six scare mazes plus unlimited use of the rides. This year there will also be some frighteningly good live music/DJs on the scenic stage. Children 12+ only. From Adult £18 Standard Advanced, £20 on the day. www.dreamland.co.uk
Halloween and Night at the Museum. Bring your little monsters to Tudor House & Garden in Southampton. Meet the friendly sprits in the banqueting hall, have your face painted, create creepy craft items and experience a spooky ghost tour. (26 October) FREE entrance (Small charges will apply for activities and tours and spooky ghost tours must be pre-booked). tudorhouseandgarden.com
Shriek Week at Drusillas Park near Eastbourne will be conjuring up oodles of eerie Halloween events and seasonal surprises (20 to 28 October). Haunted Heights features creepy cobwebbed corridors leading to the terror-tory of sin sisters, Hocus & Pocus as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public. Spooky Happenings invites visitors to knock on the trap door and discover the spook-tacular surprise within. At Creepy Crawly Encounters will feature amazing mini monsters such as weird insects, slimy molluscs and scary spiders, with experts from the zoo team available to answer questions. Fang-tastically frightening tattoos and face painting in The Parlour will transform little angels into witches, black cats and monsters. Tickets from amily of two £35.90 online (£39.90 on the gate). www.drusillas.co.uk
Halloween half term at Hever Castle, the former home of Anne Boleyn at Edenbridge in Kent, will be offering a spine-tingling programme of entertainment over the half term break (20 – 28 October). The theme for this year’s Halloween activities will be ‘Haunted Hever’ with prizes for the best costumes, creepy craft workshops, awesome activities and a spooky trail to follow in the grounds. The event is included in normal entry ticket. Adult £16.25 online (£17.25 on the gate), Child £9.20 (£9.75 on the gate). Concessions available. www.hevercastle.co.uk
Brick or Treat includes spook-tacular activities, plus over 55 rides, live shows and attractions making the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort an awesome day out for all the family. (18 October to 1 November). For ticket prices and full details visit www.legoland.co.uk.
Owls by Moonlight on selected Saturdays during the autumn (15 September to 27 October). Join the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire for a magical evening. Watch these mystical birds twist and turn through the night sky as they skim silently over your head. During the evening, there will be a guided tour of the grounds to see more of the resident owls. Visitors should come wrapped up warmly and bring a torch. Tickets £34.50 Adults, £20.45 Child, includes supper, hot drink and chocolate brownie. hawk-conservancy
Marwell Zoo’s resident wizard will be putting trainee flyers through their paces to earn their Level 3 broomstick license at Boo at the Zoo (20 to 28 October). Sessions take place each day in the ‘flying arena’ on the front lawn of Marwell hall on a first come first served basis. Visitors are invited to join Esme, the scary witch, for some creepy storytelling in the Haunted Hall. There will also be the opportunity to create their very own spellbinding wand to take home (£1 fee applies). Entry to the zoo from Standard Adult £20, Child £16. www.marwell.org.uk
Enjoy unlimited rides on the Wizard Express steam train in the Harry Potter-style coaches on the Watercress Line at Alresford in Hampshire, one of which featured in the films (27 and 28 October). The weekend programme includes a daily fancy-dress competition, the opportunity to walk in Harry Potter's footsteps on the real Kings Cross footbridge from the films, watch owls and falcons, marvel at haunting magic performances, learn how witch's broomsticks are made and try some Halloween crafts. Adult £17, Child (aged 2-16 yrs) £9, Child under 2 FREE, Family (2 + 2) £43. www.watercressline.co.uk
Answer a riddle to find the wacky wizards and witches around the grounds at Leeds Castle, Maidstone. Lookout for Vinnie the Vampire, Gloria the Ghost and Frank Frankenstein amongst others and listen to their spooky tales and complete a trail card to claim a chocolate reward. Wacky Wizards & Witches will also feature a children's 'Monster Mash Ball' and lots of ghoulish games and frightening fun (22 to 28 October). Visitors can also enjoy a fun NEW haunted trail to guide younger visitors through the Woodland Walk (small additional charge applies). Standard (year-round entry) Adult ticket £25.50, Child £17.50. www.leeds-castle.com