Discover Gloucestershire’s ghoulish side this Halloween, with spooky celebrations promising fang-tastic fun for the whole family in October half term.
With Halloween making its great return this 2021 after the easing of Covid restrictions, SoGlos never misses a trick (or treat) with its spooktacular guide revealing the very best Gloucestershire has to offer for frightful family fun this Halloween.
With absolutely no spookiness, but plenty of silliness expected, a trip to the Everyman Theatre to see Tweedy the Clown in action is a lovely October half term treat for all the family.
If Halloween isn’t your cup of tea, comedy legend and star of the Everyman Theatre’s pantomime will be taking to the stage in Tweedy’s Lost Property, a slapstick performance about a clown who gives in and gets a ‘real job’, this October half term.
Always getting himself into a mess, audiences of all ages can join to help Tweedy find a way out of his sticky situations.
With live music and puppetry, little ones will also love What the Ladybird Heard on the Everyman Theatre stage a week after half term. Based on the award-winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, children can join the ladybird as she leads different animals on a quest to save the day.
Tweedy’s Lost Property will be on stage from Wednesday 27 until Saturday 30 October 2021 at either 10am, 12pm, or 1.30pm. Ticket prices start from £14.
For more information, visit everymantheatre.org.uk.
Throughout October 2021 and the Halloween half term, Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter is inviting people to indulge in some spooktacular fun, with an abundance of options for spooky-themed adventures. From family-friendly ‘ghost hunting’ at Escape Hunt, to kids raves, there’s something to entertain everyone!
Little horrors will love getting into the Halloween spirit at the Play Farm, which will be decorated with spooky decorations; serving themed drinks and sweet treats; as well as hosting kids raves with crazy effects, face paints, glow sticks and more.
Investigate a world full of mystical creatures and mysterious disappearances at Escape Hunt’s super spooky new VR game ‘Sanctum’. Plus, look out for Escape Hunt’s ghosts hidden around The Brewery Quarter for the chance to win discounts or free tickets.
Cineworld will be offering reduced prices throughout the October 2021 half term with Movies for Juniors – perfect for warming up on a chilly autumn day. Hollywood Bowl has just had a refurb too, with brand-new machines added to its large arcade area.
And after all the fun, the whole family can refuel at one of The Brewery Quarter’s fantastic food venues like the newly opened Mowgli; Hub Box; and Cosy Club – you can even bring your furry friend along, as they’re dog friendly too!
Young investigators can search high and low around The Brewery Quarter to find the friendly ghosts. Scan the QR code to give little terrors the chance to solve a spooky riddle and be rewarded with a discount code for 10 per cent off tickets to Escape Hunt – or for one player to play free in groups of more than four!
Halloween Raves at the Play Farm take place on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October 2021 from 5.50 to 7.30pm, with tickets costing £12 for kids and £3 for adults.
Cineworld’s Movies for Juniors cost £2.25 per ticket for children and grown-ups of any age; and Escape Hunt’s ‘Sanctum’ is suitable for those aged 12 and above with tickets costing £25 per person.
For more information, visit thebreweryquarter.com.
On October weekends and every day dduring the half term holiday, families can head to Cotswold Farm Park to pick their own pumpkins, just in time for Halloween.
As well as adorable animals, adventure play areas and wildlife walks to go on, Cotswold Farm Park has a pumpkin field and scarecrow trail to explore this October.
Put on your wellies and head over to the field to explore the trail, choose your face painting design and select your perfect pumpkin to take home and carve into a spooky jack-o-lantern.
Once you’ve picked your pumpkin, head to Cotswold Farm Park’s shop to pick up some tasty local produce, including fresh eggs from the farm, perfect to use in a pumpkin pie.
The pumpkin patch is open every weekend in October 2021 and all week from Saturday 2 to Sunday 31 October 2021, with sessions from 9.30 to 3.30pm. Admission to the pumpkin patch is free to Cotswold Farm Park ticketholders, or costs £5 per adult and £3 per child for pumpkin-only tickets. Tickets include a free pumpkin token must be booked in advance.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk.
Get spooky at Sudeley Castle near Cheltenham this Halloween half term, as from Monday 25 to Sunday 31 October 2021 the historic castle becomes home to hair-raising characters, terrifying tales and even a haunted hunt, to keep little monsters entertained.
Get dressed up and head to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe for historical Halloween fun, with costumed characters telling spooky stories throughout the half term.
Meet Victorian villains like Lady Artemisia Winchcombe and Jack the Ratcatcher; learn all about the worst Victorian jobs; and find out the incredible things the Victorians did that have shaped our lives today.
Explore the historic castle itself, wander through the stunning grounds, come face to face with rare pheasants and play king of the castle at the adventure playground.
You can even see a real-life Tudor tomb, with Sudeley Castle being the only private castle in England to have a queen buried there – as Queen Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, lived and died at the castle.
Getting spooked out of your wits by historical horrors is thirsty work. Head to the Castle Kitchen, The Terrace Café or the Pantry at Sudeley Castle to chill out with a range of freshly prepared food and drinks.
Sudeley Castle is open from 10am every day until Sunday 31 October 2021. Halloween activities are included in the price of admission, which costs £17.75 per adult and £8.75 per child aged three to 15-years old – with family tickets for up to two adults and two children costing £48.
Tickets for Sudeley Castle must be booked online in advance where visitors can choose an admission time between 10am and 3pm.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit sudeleycastle.co.uk.
Throughout the October 2021 half term, Cotswold Alpacas is giving fun-loving families a unique chance to meet its gorgeous herd of Huacaya alpacas, walking along the country lanes in Cowley, near Cheltenham.
A perfect Halloween activity without the spookiness, this half term there is an extended opportunity to enjoy two unmissable animal experiences at Cotswold Alpacas
Alpaca walks are a chance for visitors, aged five to 105 years, able to spend one-hour getting to know the herd – and even having the chance to lead the alpacas on a walk around the paddocks and lanes of Cowley.
And the 30-minute alpaca meet and greets which are a lovely introduction to the gentle animals, allowing visitors of all ages the chance to see and stroke the alpacas, plus find out more about the fluffy herd.
As an added bonus this October 2021, there will be extra Halloween treats for families taking part in the alpaca meet and greets and walks. Plus, wand making for little ones.
The one-hour alpaca walks are available on Monday to Saturday, costing £25 per adult and £12.50 per child, with a two adult minimum booking.
The 30-minute meet and greets cost £15 per adult and £7.50 per child aged five to 15-years-old, with a two adult minimum booking. All activities must be booked in advance, see the website for all options.
For more information, and to book in advance, visit cotswoldalpacas.co.uk.
Throughout October 2021 and the Halloween half term, Cirencester’s Corinium Museum is inviting families to take part in some unique Halloween fun, including a spooky pumpkin trail to a mini mosaics workshop.
Brave little ones can look forward to a spooky pumpkin trail taking place around the museum, finding out interesting historical facts about the Halloween traditions, rituals and why we dress up ghoulishly for the occasion.
The new and increasingly popular Corinium Explorers Handbook is available to purchase, full of pictures, puzzles, and activities to bring the history on display to life; little artists have the chance to create their own colourful, Halloween mosaic with safe glass tiles at the mini mosaics workshop; or, sit back and relax as the cinema at Corinium Museum is back, screening Dream Horse.
For teens, get ready to discover Haunted Cirencester, with a spooky tour by the Museum’s Emma Stuart, giving visitors the chance to hear all about some of the haunted stories, urban legends, and ghostly happenings associated with the historic buildings across Cirencester.
Young ghost hunters can take part in the Spooky Pumpkin Trail jam-packed with interesting seasonal facts – with ten hidden pumpkins in the galleries, can you help find them?
The Spooky Pumpkin Trail takes place from Wednesday 22 September to Monday 1 November 2021 from 10am and is included in the museum admission, costing £6 for adults and £2.85 for children aged 5-16, and free for those under 5.
The Corinium Explorers Handbook is available to purchase at an additional cost.
Suitable for ages 8 and above, the Mini Mosaics Children’s Workshop takes place on Tuesday 26 October, from 10.30am to 12pm. Tickets cost £18.
The Haunted Cirencester tour taking place on Wednesday 20 October 2021 at 7pm lasts approximately one hour and is recommended for those aged 16 and above. Tickets cost £8.50.
For more information, visit coriniummuseum.org.
With PYO pumpkins, Spookyard and Frightmare, there’s lots to discover this Halloween at Over Farm in Gloucester, from Saturday 2 to Sunday 31 October 2021.
Brave the spectacular Spookyard Halloween event perfect for little ones including shows, a Monster Mashup and fancy dress competition; attend Frightmare as it returns promising a terrifying host of attractions, ghoulish rides, and creepy trail; or find the perfect jack-o’-lantern to pick and carve with PYO pumpkin this Halloween 2021 at Over Farm.
Those that are keen to be spooked can enjoy a series of ghoulish shows each day with Over Farm’s Spookyard, follow clues on an adventure around the farm, whilst spotting friendly animals and embark on Maize Maze – there’s even a Corn Cannon to blast at targets!
Tickets for Frightmare will cost £30 per person; children’s tickets for the Spookyard will cost £10, and adults £9; and tickets to PYO pumpkin will cost between £2 to £4 per person depending on dates (excluding babes in arms).
For something a little less spooky but still sure to be packed with wildlife fun, every day during the October half term, families can head to Slimbridge Wetland Centre to take part in a host of activities, from a canoe safari and bird demonstrations to otter and amphibian talks.
Not only will guests have the chance to meet adorable animals and spot plenty of wildlife, Slimbridge Wetland Centre will also be hosting some special events.
Daily activities throughout half term include Sandbox in the Rain Garden where guests can stimulate their senses and see what landscapes they can create; learn more about birds and how they adapted to their wetland environment at the Autumn science talks; and dip for nymphs, water boatmen and water fleas in the beautifully planted raised ponds using nets and trays provided by Slimbridge Wetland Centre.
Budding photographers can enjoy a practical day, learning the ins and outs on how to get greats shots of wildlife at the Family Wildlife Photography Day, or young bird watchers can get to grips with bird identification with the help of experienced reserve wardens during the Young Birder Workshop.
Guests can also take part in the Wonder of Wetlands Bird Demonstrations – meet species including pink-backed pelicans, a crowned crane and magpie geese; while keen wildlife explorers can grab a paddle and head to Slimbridge’s fun canoe safari trail; as well as amphibian and adorable otter talks!
Explore the full extent of Slimbridge with the Wetland Heroes app – the interactive experience allows visitors to explore lesser-known areas and take part in fact finding missions and fun challenges that can be played by the whole family.
Slimbridge Wetland Centre is open every day from 10am to 5pm, with last admission at 4pm.
The Family Wildlife Photography Day takes place between 10am and 1pm on Wednesday 27 October 2021; and the Young Birder Workshop takes place on Friday 29 October 2021 between 10am and 12pm.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit wwt.org.uk/slimbridge.
With ghostly goings-on from Monday 25 to Sunday 31 October 2021, head to Berkeley Castle for family fun and frights this Halloween half term.
Haunted by the Tudors for six fearsome days, visitors can meet Henry VIII and his two beheaded wives; discover revolting remedies for plagues and other illnesses; and hear harrowing tales from the executioner as he creeps through the castle corridors.
Watch out for witches and beware of the gaoler, who will be looking for new recruits to fill his diabolical dungeon!
The experience promises to be fun, educational and interactive – all while maintaining social distancing. Not only will little monsters get to see the Tudor action in person, there will also be a gruesome gameshow to take part in.
Open from 11am to 3pm, tickets for Berkeley Castle must be booked online in advance and visitors must select a time slot for arrival when purchasing their tickets.
Tickets cost £14 for adults, £7 for children aged three to 16, with children under three able to come along for free. There is no extra cost for the Halloween activities.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit berkeley-castle.com.
Open every day throughout the October 2021 half term – and twice as big as last year’s event – Cattle Country Farm Park in Berkeley is running special Halloween activities in addition to its usual family fun, promising a ghoulishly delightful day out for all.
From freaky face painting to pumpkin picking, carving, and decorating, little horrors will love getting into the Halloween spirit at Cattle Country.
There’s tractor and trailer rides, animal handling and even a chance to tuck into toasted marshmallows, perfect for warming up on a crisp autumn day.
There will also be some spooky seasonal dishes to satisfy the hungriest of monsters at the onsite café and restaurant, GRAZE.
Grab your wellies and a wheelbarrow as Cattle Country’s new pumpkin patch is open from Saturday 9 to Sunday 31 October 2021, giving Halloween enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to pick their perfect pumpkin.
Entry to the Pumpkin Patch is included in the Cattle Country entrance ticket which costs £13 for adults, £14.50 for children and £10 for toddlers. The pumpkins will be priced by size and start at £2 each.
For more information or to book tickets, visit cattlecountry.co.uk.
With ancient woodlands and spellbinding installations to explore, wander into the woods this Halloween with Forestry England in the Forest of Dean.
Having been installed in July 2021, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail has eight new temporary sculptures which celebrate forest wildlife, flora, and fauna on its sculpture trail at Beechenhurst.
Open until Sunday 31 October 2021, the ‘Forest to Forest’ trail is designed to uplift visitors after the hardship of the pandemic and help reconnect with nature. Plus, it’s only 1km in length, making it an accessible and family friendly route to enjoy this Halloween.
As well as being home to the famous Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Beechenhurst provides plenty of opportunities to amazed by the changing colours of the ancient woodlands – and get some autumnal family shots for the ‘gram.
Entry to Beechenhurst and the ‘Forest to Forest’ trail are both free, with parking costing up to £7 for a day – but visitors are advised to come back at another time if official car parks are full.
For more information, or to book tickets, visit forestryengland.uk.
Only brave souls dare to visit Dean Heritage Centre this Halloween half term, with spooktacular family-fun activities taking place every day from Saturday 23 to Sunday 31 October 2021.
With everything from monsterific woodland trails and haunted cottages to pumpkin carving and Halloween-themed crafts, families are sure to have a scarily fun time at Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley this October 2021 half term.
See Athelstan the Anglo-Saxon who will be demonstrating the delights of Saxon surgery; hear all about the dark things that lurk in the forest; meet the wacky witches who will be residing in the cottage; and even brush up your sorcery skills at spell school with Luna Halfmoon.
Plus, take part in seasonal craft activities including autumn-themed printing and Halloween crafts, or pick a pumpkin from the patch to create your very own ghoulish lantern to take home.
After all the Halloween thrills and entertainment, guests can head to the onsite café to refuel with spooky-inspired snacks and drinks.
Perfect for smaller visitors, there’s the chance to meet adorable animals at Rupert and Chums mobile petting farm, with miniature ponies, fluffy bunnies and the world’s cuddliest dog visiting on Tuesday 26 October 2021; as well as adorable owls for guests to meet when Little Owlets visits on Sunday 30 October 2021.
Dean Heritage Centre is open every day from 10am to 4pm this October 2021 half term. Most Halloween activities are included in the price of admission, costing £7.20 per adult and £5.40 per child, with those under three entering for free.
Please note, a small donation will be required for the pumpkin carving activity, as well as for some aspects of the Rupert and Chums petting farm.
For more information, visit deanheritagecentre.com.
By Zoe Gater
Friday 08 October 2021
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