Half term activities for all the family

It seems as if the children only just went back to school but, unbelievably, it is now the half term holidays for a majority of children in the UK!
Here is some inspiration for things to do around the country over the coming week or so:

1. If you ever wanted to try your hand at break dancing, or were interested in taking up a few circus skills, then Juice Festival in Newcastle is the place to be this half-term. With activities and workshops ranging from scientific experiments to full-blown hip-hop dance competitions, the city of Newcastle will be abuzz with things to keep the young (and not so young) occupied. Events are individually ticketed. (21-29 October)

2. This Halloween half term, step into the world of Roald Dahl’s book The Witches at Tatton Park in Cheshire. Here you can explore the Old Hall, Mansion and Gardens, create magical potions, hunt for witches, hear stories and take part in the conker challenge. Tickets are £11 for adults and £5 for children. (22-30 October)

3. If you head down to Chester Zoo you’ll probably find that things are little different; an evil sorcerer has cursed the animals to steal their nocturnal powers. As you follow the trail around the zoo you’ll not only meet some amazing creatures, but also see acrobats, musicians and other performers along the way.  Tickets are included in your entry to the zoo – £20 and £16 for children. (22-30 October)

4. If you have kids who are obsessed with tech, then head to the Digital Kids Show in Manchester for this amazing line-up of gaming, entertainment and more. Here you can meet famous gaming YouTubers, try your luck at a retro gaming tournament, try coding workshops and there’s even the chance for 10-17 year olds to have a driving lesson. Tickets are £12.50. (29-30 October)

5. Visit the Festival of Ideas, hosted by Cambridge University, which sees workshops and events spanning the length and breadth of the city. With free activities like the Festival of Cruelty which looks deep into the origins of Punch & Judy, to building your own Day of the Dead altar, plus over 60 events this weekend alone, you’ll be amazed and astounded in equal parts. (17-30 October)

6. Step into the caravan, Little Fawn, for tales that will amaze and astound you, as the puppets of Sokobauno Puppet Theatre in Bath spin tales of intrigue and mystery. And although Halloween can be a scary time and the matter of the stories may be somewhat unnerving, this show is suitable for all ages. Tickets are £6 for access to their miniature auditorium. (27-29 October)

7. Enjoy a day jam-packed with Halloween activities at the National Forest Adventure Farm in Derbyshire. Take the tractor and trailer ride to the pumpkin patch and select your perfect pumpkin to take home, attend a class at Scare School, try some Broomstick Training and then brave the Haunted Hotel! There’s also a very exciting mini maize maze. (21-30 October, 10-6, £10.95, under 2’s FREE)

8. Meet the Master of the Mansion, hear his spooky tale and take on his tricky task this Halloween half term at Attingham Park in Shropshire. Why not get into the “spirit” of this event with a spooky costume or Halloween fancy dress. (Suitable for ages 4-11, 28-30 October)

9. If Halloween isn’t your thing, why not help support the habitat diversity by taking part in the apple harvest at Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire. Wander through the orchards and choose some freshly picked apples to take home. (Free event, £1 for 6 apples, 24 October- 6 November)

10. Take an adventure across the night sky at the Chilterns Gateway Centre. Explore the universe and find out more about the mythology behind the stars in a stunning indoor planetarium. (£3, 12th November)

Sources: www.nationaltrust.org.uk; www.visitengland.com