Half-term this year for most of us won’t stretch over Halloween which is a shame. All the fun will be on a school night for Team Minted which somewhat cramps our style. Never mind, there’s half term beforehand to make the most of the phantasmagoric fun with the kids.
Most of which costs, of course. Carving pumpkins (see Dear Daughter’s efforts in the photo) is still my number one favourite activity and is relatively cheap. You don’t need any fancy kit, just a sharp knife and a watchful eye on young kids. For my top tips on half-price Halloween, see my blog here. But for those who fancy splashing some cash, here’s a quick round-up of what’s on.
1. Find a real ghost
Genuinely haunted Hampton Court Palace is hosting family friendly ghost tours while the Tower of London is another obvious choice to spot potential spooks. Alternatively, take a Tales of Plague guided walk which goes from outside Tower Bridge tube station from 2 pm on Saturdays. Or get on board a vintage Routemaster with a Ghost Bus Tour in Edinburgh, London or York for a chilling ride.
2. Fancy dress
Supermarkets have the cheapest outfits but for that special party you might want to upgrade. Check out Angels in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue and Hendon or even the National Theatre’s Costume Hire Store. Further afield there’s Mad World in Crawley and various sites in town.
Most museums have a Halloween event, including a spooky sleepover at the Museum of London for 7 to 11 year olds. There’s a Halloween Fair at the Horniman from 27 to 28 October – dressing up looks mandatory – while a sea witch is on the loose at the London Aquarium and needs help finding ingredients for her spells. Old gaols can give you a shiver too: there’s the Clink near London Bridge while Oxford Castle & Prison has a week-long Ghost Fest.
Your favourite horror flicks probably aren’t appropriate for the kids so what about theatre? Woman in Black, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked are all available to book now. Check LOVEtheatre or other booking sites for any discounts.
5. Theme parks
Crikey even Legoland has a Halloween event! All the major theme parks seem to have something pricey on but you might be able to save up to 57% with Kids Pass*. You have to subscribe to the scheme but you can currently get a 30-day version for just £1 which would take you through half-term. The annual pass is £39.99 and has loads of discounts on restaurants and cinema too.