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Top family-friendly Halloween events 2023

With October creeping up on us, get your witch hat and fake blood ready for Halloween 2023. From staying at the iconic Cornish hotel used in Roald Dahl’s The Witches to visiting one of the most haunted castles in the country, there’s plenty of Halloween events for kids (and big kids) to enjoy or run away from screaming this October half-term. Muahaha!

More Halloween 2023 events and things to do: 

9 eerie places to visit this Halloween | 5 gruesome murders in historical English homes

1

Halloween events: Shriek Week at Drusillas

Berwick, East Sussex

Man dressed up as Egyptian mummy chasing children

Drusillas Zoo is gearing up for a frightfully fun half-term this October. As well as devilish décor – from pumpkins and cobwebs to spiders and skeletons – there’ll be an array of activities to keep your mini monsters busy. Venture through creepy cobwebbed corridors in the park’s live-action haunted house experience, go hunting for an ancient mummy, meet the iconic Sugar Skull Witch and have exciting encounters with a range of creepy crawlies, like cockroaches, locusts and Asian forest scorpions. They can even have some freaky face painting done down at the Petrifying Parlour and take part in the park’s fancy-dress competition.

When? 21 to 29 October 2023

Book the ultimate October half-term event
2

Halloween events: The Dark Arts at The Making of Harry Potter

Watford, Hertfordshire

Pumpkins in The Great Hall at WB Studio Tour

Wands and wits at the ready… The Dark Arts have returned to the Harry Potter studios. For two months, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford will be infiltrated by the symbol of Lord Voldemort, the Dark Mark. Projected throughout the tour, the Mark will lead you through all the Harry Potter film sets, from the Great Hall with its 100 floating pumpkins to the Forbidden Forest filled with giant spiders. If you’ve memorised your spells, you can even take part in a live duel with Death Eaters. Expelliarmus!

When? 15 September to 5 November 2023

Have a Hogwarts Halloween
3

Halloween events:The London Dungeon

London

Mrs Lovett at The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon is the true home of Halloween, with year-round jumps, frights and chilling stories about the capital’s perilous past. But for October, the Dungeon gets an even more ghoulish addition to accompany its collection of haunting tales, rides and characters – an exclusive Halloween show. Please avoid trying one of Mrs Lovett’s pies!

If you’re based in the north, both Blackpool and York Dungeons have their own morbid makeovers, with plenty more nightmarish stories of happenings closer to home. 

When? Dates to be confirmed

Learn about the gruesome history of London
4

Halloween events: Muncaster Castle Halloween Week

Muncaster, Cumbria

Fake witch on broomstick suspended in air above Muncaster Castle

Visit one of Britain’s most haunted castles for Halloween this year. The castle hosts an array of weird and wonderful activities, from the fire juggling to The Scary Maze. Little devils will love the Ghostly Grotto, with face painting, lantern making and drumming workshops, while aspiring witches and wizards may prefer learning about spells, potions and charms on the Witch Hunters trail. 

When? 21 to 29 October 2023

Celebrate Halloween in Cumbria
5

Halloween events: Tapnell Farm Pumpkin Festival

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Celebrate everything orange and squashy (get it?) at Tapnell Farm this autumn. After picking your very own pumpkin from their home-grown selection, you can carve it right on the farm for free and turn your pumpkin into a spooky masterpiece – and what’s more, all the leftover bits will go to feeding the farm animals. Once you’re finished picking your pumpkin, why not take part in some axe throwing for fun? There will also be pumpkin-themed treats, a licensed bar and live music on selected dates.

When? 7 to 8 October, 14 to 15 October, and 21 to 31 October 2023

Find more Halloween events on the Isle of Wight
6

Halloween events: Brick or Treat at Legoland Windsor

Windsor, Berkshire

Returning for 2023, the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is once again hosting BRICK OR TREAT - where the LEGO® Monsters are taking over and throwing a Monster Party to celebrate their favourite time of the year! Join in on the festivities with the return of the frightfully fun 4D movie, The Great Monster Chase!, get stuck in with awesome themed LEGO builds, watch the fangtastic Monster Jam show on the Harbour, PLUS ‘Monster Street’ returns for all those who dare to visit…

When? 28 September to 5 November 2023

Spend Halloween at Legoland Windsor
7

Halloween events: The Ghost Bus Tours

London

Scary story fans big and small (from as little as 5 years old!) should get their hands on tickets to this London-based tour, which recounts the haunted history of some of the city’s most famous attractions, including The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, The Shard and the Tower of London. On board a lovingly restored 1960s Routemaster bus, you’ll be treated to one of the best comedy-horror theatre experiences on two wheels, with tales of royal executions and devious spirits. 

When? All year round

Find more things to do in London this Halloween
8

Halloween events: Halloween Spooktacular at Audley End Miniature Railway

Audley End, Essex

Toddlers dressed in Halloween clothes at Audley End Miniature Railway

Suitable for even the smallest of monsters, this spooky, scare-free experience will get the whole family in the Halloween mood. Your journey will begin at Audley End Miniature Railway Station, where you’ll board the Halloween Express before delving into the tall, dark woodland. At your destination, the witches’ house, to watch monsters dance around cauldrons, meet Belinda the Fortune Telling Witch and help the King of the Woods, William the Wizard, perform his spells. Be sure to book an afternoon slot, too if you want to see the trees adorned with lights.

When? 21 to 31 October 2023

Enjoy a child-friendly Halloween
9

Halloween events: Happy Halloween at Paultons Park

New Forest, Hampshire

Paulton’s Park puts the ‘happy’ in ‘Happy Halloween’, at their frightful yet friendly fun Halloween event. Meet Peppa Pig as she rocks her spookiest costume, brave the rides after dark and attempt to count the 10,000 pumpkins dotted across the park! The highlight of the day though is The Legend of Paultons Manor stage show, which follows the Spirit Squad as they try to throw the best Halloween party ever. This singing and dancing extravaganza is not to be missed.

When? 12 to 30 October 2023

Find more Halloween events in Hampshire
10

Halloween events: Halloween at the Castle

Warwick, Warwickshire

Children in fancy dress at Warwick Castle

Join ghosts, ghouls, wizards and witches on the grounds of Warwick Castle this October half-term for some family-friendly frights. From secret spells to bubbling cauldrons, you’ll uncover eerie experiences around every corner. Navigate the Horrible Histories maze, attend spooky schools and discover quirky characters in spellbinding shows. If you’re brave enough, turn your visit into a spine-tingling sleepover at the Fright’s Village, complete with bedtime ghost stories.

When? 21 October to 5 November 2023

Spend Halloween in a real castle
11

Halloween events: Halloweenies at Kentwell Hall

Sudbury, Suffolk

Budding witches and wizards ages 3 to 14 are invited to attend Kentwell’s School for Sorcery this half-term. With parents in tow, you can explore spooky zones around Kentwell’s buildings, gardens and grounds, with lots of fun challenges and activities like broomstick flying and spell casting to get stuck into. Don’t forget to dress up in your favourite cloaks – all activities are outdoors so it might get chilly. 

When? 22 to 29 October 2023

Find more Halloween events in Suffolk
12

Halloween events: Halloween Half Term Fun 2023 at Hever Castle

Hever, Kent

Visit the childhood home of doomed queen Anne Boleyn this Halloween for some sinister surprises. Explore Hever Castle's grounds on the Halloween Trail to discover different spooky zones, from spiders to witches, skeletons to bats, each hiding a letter that spells out a mystery word. Will you be able to guess it? Once you’ve solved it, you’ll also have the chance to plant some garlic bulbs to ward off any stray vampires. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for  the giant spider...

When? 21 to 29 October 2023 

 

Find more Halloween events in Kent
13

Halloween events: Blackgang Chine’s Frights & Sprites

Blackgang, Isle of Wight

Two children in fancy dress at Blackgang Chine

The Isle of Wight’s most famous theme park transforms into a Halloween spectacular for two weeks in October. The family-friendly Frights & Sprites event will have lots to keep your little monsters busy, from puppet shows and spooky discos to fancy-dress competitions and arts and crafts. There’ll be a brand-new ghost story at the Rumpus Mansion Live, and lots of mini beasts to look out for in the Gremlin Quest. All the festivities are included in a standard park ticket, so you can enjoy the other attractions and experiences, too.

As for the bravest of grown-ups, there’s Terror Island (27, 28 and 29 October; 3 and 4 November 2023) – the Isle of Wight’s biggest scare event with three epic scare mazes, live DJ sets and plenty of food and drink. 

When? 23 to 27 October and 30 October to 3 November 2023

Find more October half-term events in the Isle of Wight
14

Halloween events: Reddish Vale Farm

Stockport, Greater Manchester

Cobwebs and spider decorations at Reddish Vale Farm

Bedsheet ghosts, toilet-paper mummies and aspiring witches are welcome to join in the fun at Reddish Vale Farm’s Halloween event. Taking place throughout October, this farmyard festival has many activities and attractions to keep your little devils entertained. Ride the Spooky Express tractor tide, try Vampire Archery, get lost in the straw maze and pet the farm’s smallest animals. Kids can also pick their own pumpkin before taking it to the Carving Cavern to create a haunting masterpiece.

When? 7 to 29 October 2023

Find more things to do this Halloween in Manchester
15

Halloween events: Oxford Castle & Prison’s Ghost Fest

Oxford, Oxfordshire

See gruesome history come to life this October at one of the most haunted places in the UK. The little ones can brew up magical potions under the watchful eye of resident warlock Merlin down in the Castle’s Crypt in a family-friendly potion-making session, while courageous teens can join an evening tour to hear the haunting stories of Oxford Castle and Prison’s 1,000-year history. On your journey, you’ll explore the vaulted well chamber, visit the punishment cells and descend into the crypt, with some parts of the tour taking place in complete darkness. Who knows who or what you’ll discover!

When? 15, 21 to 31 October 2023

Raise a scream in Oxford
16

Halloween events: Thorpe Park Fright Nights

Chertsey, Surrey

Got a pack of older teenagers to entertain this Halloween? Be sure to visit England’s most notorious Halloween event at Thorpe Park. For over two decades, the Fright Nights event has preyed on its visitors’ darkest fears with its creepy atmosphere, infamous mazes and spine-chilling scare zones. And this year, it returns for another fearful celebration. Visit the island on dates throughout October to experience thrilling rides in the dead of night (including the sick and twisted games of Jigsaw on SAW – The Ride), escape lunatic lumberjacks in brand-new scare mazes and witness an awe-inspiring fire and light display.

When? 6 to 31 October 2023

Find more things to do this Halloween in Surrey
17

Halloween events: Shiverpool

Liverpool, Merseyside

Woman leading group past tombstones

Add some grisly history to your Halloween fun this October with these year-round ghost tours in Liverpool. Immerse in fact-filled 90-minute tours of the city’s haunted heritage, packed with spirited storytelling, humorous history and sinister sites. Suitable for all ages, Shiverpool offers a variety of different tours, including a comedy-horror road trip on board a vintage Routemaster bus, and a walking tour. Learn about tales of slavery, plague and city slums, explore a former city morgue and walk down the most haunted street in northern England – if you dare.

When? All year round

Experience one of the scariest things to do in Liverpool
18

Halloween events: Adventure Play at Blenheim Palace

Woodstock, Oxfordshire

A spook-tacular October half term experience awaits you at Blenheim Palace, where a new themed walking trail awaits to chill and thrill you and the family. Wander the grounds of this magnificent 18th century property, (the birthplace of Winston Churchill, no less!) and wind your way through the scary spider tunnel where you will encounter fire performers - but be sure to look out for the sinister cloaked horseman lurking in the mist. Discover demons, listen to werewolves howl in the dusk and dodge the grinning pumpkins as you approach the vampires’ crypt - will you encounter the fanged creature waiting inside?

Afterwards, soothe your nerves with a selection of sweet treats with a fiendish twist. Why not indulge yourself with a cheeky hot toddy or decadent hot chocolate too? 

When?  20 to 29 October 2023

Enjoy spooky thrills and chills this half-term
19

The Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds

Marylebone, London

Venture (if you dare) into Madame Tussauds' reopened Chamber of Horrors, where you will find an updated waxwork collection of the most heinous criminals in history, including the Kray Twins, Dennis Nielson and Ruth Ellis. Explore London’s most notorious crime scenes of the past 150 years. Not recommended for under-16s or those of a nervous disposition - you have been warned...

When? All year round

Have a horror-filled outing in London

Check out even more scary outings this Halloween

• Combine history and scares with the nerve-breaking Bath Ghost Walking Tour, which reveals the ancient city's ghost stories and haunted locations from the Romans to modern times. It's suitable for all ages, so don;t hesitate to take the kids along. 

• Fans of Poldark, Jamaica Inn and all things smuggler related can take a trip to Cornwall's fearsome Bodmin Jail. Gain a unique sight into the history of the infamous gaol, where thieves, pirates and arsonists were condemned to die. 

• Join your very own enchanting witch guide on a spellbinding London Witches Walking Tour across London's streets, where you will learn the histories of the city's most famous wise women and witches - and the terrible fate that befell them. 

• Tour the dark side of Newcastle and revisit the scenes of murder, judgement and executions that plunged this city into panic during the Victorian era. 

• A fab-BOO-lous time awaits the family at "Howloween" at Chessington World of Adventures this autumn (on selected weekends). Ride attractions like the Vampire rollercoaster at dusk, enter a fancy dress contest and go trick-or treating.

• Have yourself a fun fright as you take a journey through Shrek's kingdom of Far Far Away and maybe even get a photo with a witch at Scared Shrekless: Shrek's Adventure in London. Keep an eye out for the loveable green ogre and his friends along the way.

•  An eerie yet informative night awaits you at Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein in Bath, the home of the world's first science fiction author. Explore four floors of immersive and atmospheric displays of artefacts and creepy vintage props. If you're feeling extra brave, why not head to the basement for an extra scary escape room experience? Not for the faint-hearted...

•  Go ghost-hunting in Pluckley in Kent, recently crowned the UK's most haunted village by the Guinness Book of Records, where an impressive 12 to 14 ghosts are said to roam, including a screaming man, a lady in red, and even a highwayman. 

25 Oct 2023(last updated)

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VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023 winners

  • 1

    Berwick, East Sussex

  • 2

    Watford, Hertfordshire

  • 3

    London

  • 4

    Muncaster, Cumbria

  • 5

    Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

  • 6

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  • 7

    London

  • 8

    Audley End, Essex

  • 9

    New Forest, Hampshire

  • 10

    Warwick, Warwickshire

  • 11

    Sudbury, Suffolk

  • 12

    Hever, Kent

  • 13

    Blackgang, Isle of Wight

  • 14

    Stockport, Greater Manchester

  • 15

    Oxford, Oxfordshire

  • 16

    Chertsey, Surrey

  • 17

    Liverpool, Merseyside

  • 18

    Woodstock, Oxfordshire

  • 19

    Marylebone, London

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