Halloween Haunts for Cotswold Kiddiwinks
Day trip inspiration for your little devils in and around Cheltenham and the Cotswolds this October half term.
As the weather starts to turn and we begin feeling autumnal here in the Cotswolds, the start of October signals that Halloween is just around the corner - a much anticipated day in our household!
With the scary wolf costume selected and well and truly on standby already, I have one excited little boy eager to enjoy all that this time of year has on offer. After muted activities last year, I have a feeling that this year we won’t be the only ones with little devils keen to have a frightful amount of fun with this seasonal celebration!
From pumpkin patches to halloween trails, I’ve rounded up a few family-favourite Halloween haunts, in and around Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, for some spooky day trip inspiration. So grab your wellies and the snacks and treat (or trick!) yourselves...
Over Farm’s Spookyard event is loaded with Halloween activities that the whole family will enjoy during the weekends leading up to and throughout half term. Their tractor-trailer is in action and they’re also putting on a schedule of shows for visiting families. Children will love seeing the farmyard animals and enjoy the jumping pillows. Last entry to Spookyard is at 12.00pm and they advise arriving before noon to make the most of your day. And of course a visit to the farm wouldn’t be complete at this time of year without picking your own pumpkin. Just remember that you’ll need to book PYO separately to the Spookyard event.
Activity-packed Cattle Country in Berkeley boasts a large pumpkin patch complete with wheelbarrows and thousands of pumpkins and gourds ripe for the picking! Running from 9 Oct, entry to the patch is included in normal Cattle Country tickets and this year they’re promising some exciting extras like pumpkin carving and decorating and marshmallow toasting! During half term there’ll also be face painting to really get your little ghouls into the spooky spirit!
Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park is always an excellent day out with children but I strongly recommend wrapping up extra warm when visiting this season as it’s location means it can be very windy and chilly! They’ve done a nice job with the pumpkin patch here with a little trail to enjoy leading you towards the patch at the end complete with tractor and wooden crates - ideal for those essential family pics! They even have a professional photo area set up along the trail for those of you who can get their little devils to sit still for more than a fleeting moment! Spooky face painting is also on offer this year. Entry to the field (plus a free pumpkin token) is included in your Farm Park admission and you are strongly advised to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Pumpkin field only tickets are also available and I would definitely say it’s worth going for just this if you prefer a shorter trip.
We love All Things Wild - particularly their amazing Dinosaur Trail and array of wildlife! And this year they’re putting on a Halloween-themed itinerary during half term including a ‘Cobwebs and Cauldrons’ story trail, potion-making, spell-casting and more! All the usual fun day out at the wildlife park, with some extra spooky excitement! Itinerary activities are at set times throughout the day and pre-booking is essential.
The very sweet Primrose Vale is running a ticketed Halloween trail again this year, complete with separate PYO pumpkins throughout half term. Tickets will be bookable on their website and PYO entry is redeemable on pumpkins! The trail will get you out in the fresh air, enjoying puzzles around the farm and end with a small treat at the end. You can even enjoy their lovely small playground, with hot drinks and light refreshments available from the Potting Shed Cafe - wellies very much recommended!
Winchcombe’s wonderful Sudeley Castle with its fantastic adventure playground is a firm family favourite of ours and for Halloween week this year they are going all out! Meet some ‘hair-raising’ Victorian characters with tales to tell and enjoy gruesome games, quizzes and a haunted hunt. Fancy dress is invited and all Halloween activities are included within your admissions ticket, as well as access to the beautiful and history-rich castle, exhibitions, playground and Pheasantry. And if your little ghouls’ tummies get grumbly, the Castle Kitchen Pantry and Terrace Cafe are on hand with a range of freshly prepared light bites. Pre-booking is always recommended at Sudeley and if you have tiny ones, I would advise keeping your buggy as light-weight as you can, or take a baby carrier where possible in order to navigate the gravel walkways.
Promising spooky shenanigans galore, Berkeley Castle’s Spooktacular Halloween event during half term sees them hosting Past Times Living History performers to enhance the usual castle visit experience - entertaining, captivating and educational at the same time! Tickets are booked as per usual standard admission.
West Midlands Safari Park is just over an hour's drive from Cheltenham and Gloucester and is certainly a bigger ‘treat’ day out for the whole family. This year the park will undergo a Spooky Spectacular makeover for half term, brimming with decorations and pumpkins as the pumpkin patch returns alongside all the Park’s usual wonderful animals to see, things to do and rides to enjoy. There’s also a new addition of ‘Patch’, a pumpkin character, performing at a ‘Pumpkin Party’ stage show at selected times throughout the day. Tickets bookable online as per usual Park admission.
The simply stunning Blenheim Palace on the far edge of the Cotswolds is always a wonderful excursion and Halloween at Blenheim Palace is set to be no exception with a spooky fun-filled trail for all the family across their beautiful gardens and additional themed half term entertainment, both ticketed separately via their website. For the trail, we are promised flickering flames in a fiendish fire garden, daring fire artists and grinning pumpkins aglow. Children can wind their way through the illuminated haunted woods filled with creepy neon cobwebs, ghastly ghouls, wicked witches, larger-than life spiders and beastly bats. Warming refreshments will also be on offer. Additional Halloween entertainment includes themed activities, fire performers and pumpkin carving. There’s also a mini ghost train taking you and your little ones through the ‘Terrifying Tunnel’, coming face to face with spooky statues in the Palace - see if you can spot the Beasts of Blenheim lurking amongst the paintings and artefacts! For younger visitors there’s also the chance to listen to a selection of scary stories.