Half term and Halloween in Kent

Sophie Hewitt

22nd October 2020

We’ve got to say this first term back has been a strange one - getting reacquainted with routine, adapting to new things and learning new ways of working, and that’s just the parents! So, we thought it was only right that we share a few ideas for October half term – ideas to help you and the kids let off steam, enjoy each other’s company and relax, and all within a safe, welcoming environment.

Whether you fancy outdoor trails or Halloween frights, we’ve got you and the whole family covered for a fantastic break.

Haunted Hever

400 pumpkins (go on, get the kids to count them), spooky trails, a pumpkin carving competition and of course, a spine-tingling, horrifying excuse to don the plastic fangs and witch’s hat, Hever Castle is pulling out all the stops for this year’s Halloween Half Term fun!

Legendary Leeds Castle

Wrap up and take to Leeds Castle this half term! Simply download the app and the impressive Leeds Castle grounds will be transformed into a ghostly trail through the gardens. Scan codes, discover hidden sights (if you dare) and get the kids out in the fresh air for a fun family day out.

The perfect pumpkin

Aren’t we all jealous of the incredible pumpkin carvings we see every year? They’re so intricate and imaginative, we would have no idea where to start… right? Wrong! Thanks to Canterbury Cathedral, we’ll all be professionals after watching their gargoyle pumpkin carving demo on their Youtube Channel. We’ll be taking notes, and visiting the real-life gargoyles hidden inside the cathedral's ornate architecture for some more inspiration…

Canterbury Cathedral

Whilst saying hello to the spooky statues, make sure to visit the grounds for the chance to see the magnificent Canterbury War Horse! The sculpture is part of a partnership with Canterbury School of Visual Arts at Canterbury College and Canterbury Cathedral, and represents the millions of horses that were a key part of the First World War. It's not to be missed...

Brilliant Betteshanger

Umm did someone say treasure hunt? Yep, we know that the way to get any kid jumping for joy (big or little) is to present them with the chance to find hidden treasure! So take them to Betteshanger and you’ll have the chance to take on a Halloween geoacaching trail for the chance to discover some spooky surprises.

National Trust

From pumpkins fresh from the grounds of Chartwell and tree folklore and a natural play area perfect for tiring out little legs at Emmetts Garden, to wildlife trails at Ightham Mote and fact finding tours through the grounds at Scotney Castle, the National Trust’s sites are perfect for getting little ones out in nature. Plus with spotter sheets available for your strolls and A TON of autumn colour to discover, you’ll find plenty of excuses to get snap happy this half term!

Where’s Wally?

So, someone’s gone missing at the Historic Dockyard Chatham…goes by the name of Wally? In honour of the release of the new Where’s Wally Spooky Spotlight Search book, it’s time to crack out the magnifying glass and take on the search for mini Wally statues hidden around the 400 year old dockyard site. Complete the search and a spooky phrase will be revealed, plus the chance to get your hands on a special prize.

Port Lympne Reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park

There’s no tricks, just treats at Port Lympne Reserve and Howletts Animal Park this October half term, as kids go half price on all tickets booked for visits between 16th October and 1st November! Use the code, ‘TRICKORTREAT50’ when purchasing your tickets from their website, and for a day of family fun, at exceptional prices. 

The Black Dog Mystery

Strange sightings of a mysterious black dog…is it a bad omen? Or just a trick of the light? Join the mystery trail at the Beaney and around Canterbury and discover what ghostly goings on have been happening in the heart of the city!

English Heritage

Dare to be scared? Perched high on the cliff top, Dover Castle is ready and waiting with a spooky trail to be followed. Discover creepy clues and prick up those ears for some spine-tingling ghost stories! While at Walmer Castle, we’re creeping along woodland trails for a spot of ghost hunting in the grounds, so keep your eyes peeled for plenty of strange and silly goings on!

Pumpkin carving

It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a freshly carved pumpkin, would it? Celebrate in style at Lullingstone Castle and carve your very own creepy creation to take home and adorn your windowsill. And if you really want to celebrate the season, we recommend taking it up a notch with your best fancy dress on the day!

Marvelous Maidstone

From pumpkin carving, spooky farm rides and ghostly fancy dress at Kent Life, to creepy crafting at Maidstone Museum you’re in for a treat in Maidstone this half term. Roll up your sleeves and make your best Halloween decorations, meet farmyard friends, or even turn little ones into pro archers at Leeds Castle, complete with pumpkin targets (much more satisfying than hitting that bullseye!)

Sapper Search

What’s a Sapper we hear you ask? Visit the Royal Engineers Museum this half term and learn all about these experts in camouflage and deception from the First World War. Discover their techniques, follow the trail and see if you can spot all eight! Trust us, with their skills in the art of disguise; you’ll have more than earned the prize!

Witches and broomsticks

Where do witches learn to fly? At our very own Penshurst Place of course! Stroll the grounds this half term and you may just spot a few of this year’s fledgling magical flyers, or at least evidence of their latest crashes on the flying test course! Fancy hearing more from Penshurst’s resident witches? Join the Wicked Witch of the Wild Wood Storytelling session to discover more about these curious forest dwellers.

Terrifying Tonbridge

We’re going on a ghost hunt! Where? In Tonbridge Castle, but we’re not scared! Enter the 13th century gatehouse this half term and you might just spot some of its former occupants! Relive the sights, sounds and smells (yep) of the time, but don’t forget to keep your eyes on the prize and seek out those ghouls!

Into the woods

Visit Belmont House and Garden this half term and you’ll have the chance to book up your very own wood fired cook out with the family! Sourcing ingredients from Belmont’s own kitchen garden, it’s the perfect chance for the whole family to learn about what goes on from field to fork, while cooking up a storm.

Frights and questions in Tunbridge Wells

From scaring yourself silly on rope swings high in the trees at Bedgebury Go Ape (Halloween doesn’t have to be all ghosts and ghouls), to taking on the TimeQuest Escape Rooms in a bid to Save Camelot, Tunbridge Wells is ready and waiting to keep your little ones smiling! Check out the half term fun, both spooky and not so, and start planning your adventures.

Really wild Wildwood

A pumpkin carving competition, a spooky trail, bushcraft activities and even a spot of potion making! It doesn’t matter, which day you decide to visit, you’re in for a few treats at Wildwood this week. Plus, with plenty of real life fangs and fur to be found in amongst the residents, there’ll be more than enough to keep your little ones busy.

The Isle of Thanet

Stalk the streets of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate this half term and keep those eyes open for pumpkins in the shop windows! While there, be sure to head into the Woods at Quex Activity Centre for pumpkin picking, carving and sightings of curious creatures! Not feeling so spooked? Pre-book at Margate Caves and Shell Grotto for special kids go free days! Or take to Revolution Skate Park for plenty of rain-free adventures for little adrenaline lovers! 

For the big kids

And finally, because let’s face it, we ALL deserve a little treat this Halloween, The Foundry BrewPub is offering all you adults the chance to enjoy pumpkins in a slightly different way! Enjoy a pint of Scrumpkin Beer, for the ultimate taste of pumpkin spice and raise a glass to a fresh new season. 

A stroll through the countryside

From coastal rambles to wanders through the countryside, the Shepherd Neame pubs walks throughout Kent offer the perfect excuse to dust of those walking boots and getting little feet moving. Plus, as each circular walk finishes off at a welcoming Shepherd Neame country pub, you can finish up with a delectable lunch as the ultimate reward. 

Travelling with Arriva

This half term, ensuring everyone can travel safely is of the utmost importance, all Arriva buses and workspaces are COVID-19 secure. As a result, travelling with Arriva is a little different, so please remember to maintain social distancing at bus stops and on board (if you are traveling with people from your household please all sit together), wear a face covering, pre-purchase your ticket or use contactless payments on board and avoid cash. You can pre-purchase tickets online or via the “Arriva UK Bus” app.

Please avoid travelling during peak hours (7am to 9am) if you can, and allow extra time for your journey. For more information and frequently asked questions please visit the website