We’ve just heard of some special ‘spooky’ events coming up in Hampshire and wanted to share them with you.
We’re massive fans of Halloween so love participating in pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and dressing up. These are the places we will be visiting this October.
1) Festival Place – Basingstoke
Spooktacular event –30th October –31st October 2015
Taking place from Friday October 30th to Saturday October 31st, the fiendish family fun event will have a range of eerie entertainment, 12-6pm, to get customers set for the scary season.
Porchester Square will be transformed into the centre’s very own Spooky Hollow, raising money for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, with scary face painting and a Shear Beauty nail art stand for kids – big kids welcome too!
Customers will then have the chance to win a variety of great prizes from Festival Place’s retailers simply by taking a photo in the centre’s custom-built photo booth (including scary props!) and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #spookyfp.
Prizes will go to the spookiest photos, so customers are encouraged to come along in their creepiest costumes and ghoulish gear.
To keep up to date with details of these and other upcoming events at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk
2) Exbury Gardens – Southampton
Ghost Train – 26th October – 1st November 2015
Under 3’s Free
Railway ticket £4.00
Families can enjoy some hair-raising and rib-tickling fun on the Exbury Ghost Train as it takes to the rails over half-term. With skeletons, scarecrows (many supplied by local charities) and other ghoulish characters en route, Exbury dares you to experience their Halloween week ‘Phantomime’!
During the 1 ¼ mile journey, visitors will enter a pitch-black tunnel, be told some ghostly stories, dreadful puns and see some frightening sights! The hosts for the groan-inducing trip will be the spooky Napoleon Bone-aparte and his sidekick Batty the Vampire!
There will be free goody bags for all children and after a brush with all the things that go bump in the night, why not head off into the gardens to enjoy the new Spooky Trail? With appropriately revolting rhymes, children can discover mysterious sounding trees such as the Chinese Coffin Tree, the Ghost Tree and the Devil’s Walking Stick!
Mr Eddy’s Tea Rooms is being turned into a ‘Haunted Workshop’ serving Hallowe’en themed delights so do come in for some fang-tastic food and let the children do some colouring, take a Frankenstein selfie before running around the play area.
The Exbury Ghost Train runs up to five times a day between Monday 26 October and Sunday 1 November. The first train departs 10.45am and the final train at 3pm.
Pre-booking is essential so call 023 8024 5750 for more information.
3) Manydown Farm – Basingstoke
Pumpkin Carving – 22nd October – 1st November 2015
Under 2’s Free
Included in the price of entry is a trip for the children to our Pumpkin Patch area at Manydown Farm to pick their own pumpkin to take home (every child’s entry ticket gets a free pumpkin, if you would like to choose any extra pumpkins to take home, they can bought for an additional charge). You can then go to the pumpkin carving area and help your little ones get creative with their carving!
We also have lots of other pumpkin themed activities to keep little hands busy! We have the popular pumpkin story-telling, stories for preschool children and then stories for school-aged children. The story-telling for the older children happens across two different locations on site, to get a really interactive experience!
All our mini farmers on our tractor and trailer ride need to help us find our pumpkins! Can you help us find them all? We think you all have the sharp eyes that we need to track down those naughty pumpkins! You can also take a ride or a stroll through our woodland walk, which has a special spooky twist on it!
Farmers’ Retreat Cafe will be open with lots of seasonal warmers to choose from. There will be warm favourites of our own hot-dogs and burgers as well as lovely soothing soups. There will be all the usual hot drinks including coffees and hot chocolates. There will also be some seasonal surprises like toffee apples, Halloween treats and themed biscuits. A special treat to add into your day!
3) Top of Town – Basingstoke
Mexican Day of the Dead – 30th October
Come and enjoy our Mexican Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos inspired procession, as dancers, giant stilt walkers and musicians parade around the Top of the Town.
The event will showcase professional artistry and local talent. It promises, by its very nature, to offer a vibrant, colourful and fun event for all age groups. Offering a mix of street entertainment, music, food, family activities, storytelling, projection projects plus colour and textile workshops. All culminating in a night-time street parade with lanterns, flags, professional street entertainers and local groups that have been proud recipients of professional choreography input by Brazilian dancer, Manuela Benini.
Mexican Day of the Dead is an annual festival that takes place in South America, honouring ancestors through celebration using colour, sugar skulls, flowers, colourful faces and costumes. Dia de Muertos as it is known, is a celebration of diversity as much as of ancestry, which we in Basingstoke embrace.
Activities start from 12pm. Night parade starts at 7pm.
4) The Vyne, National Trust – Basingstoke
Lots of activities happening at The Vyne over the spooky season.
Under 2’s Free
Apple Pressing – 23 October 2015 at 11:00am – Come and see apple pressing taking place in the Summer house. The Gardens team will be pressing the apples from our orchard using a traditional manual press to draw out the juices. Free added event. Normal admission prices apply.
Castle of Otranto Spooky Tour – 8 dates between 24 October 2015 and 31 October 2015 – Explore Horace Walpole’s first gothic novel of ‘Castle of Otranto’ this Halloween. Discover the spooky story as you wander through the house and grounds. Children trails are available, please check with Visitor Reception for more information. Free added event. Normal admission prices apply.
Please visit The Vyne’s website for more details.
5) Finkley Down Farm – Andover
Saturday 24th October – Saturday 31st October
Under 2’s Free
Fun and games with Halloween Magic and Mayhem Shows (Mon – Sat). Follow the Witches Trail and win a prize, pumpkin carving (extra charge) competitions at 1pm and 4pm for the best pumpkins. Visit the Spooky Stables and meet Finkley’s very own scary Witch. Every child that comes in Halloween fancy dress receives a special treat.
Pony Rides and Sheep Racing take place every day. There’s also stacks of fun to be had in the Giant Indoor Playbarn.
Monday October 26th Silly Scott’s Halloween Show
Tuesday October 27th Silly Scott’s Halloween Show
Wednesday October 28th Silly Scott’s Halloween Show
Thursday October 29th Silly Scott’s Halloween Show
Friday October 30th Smiley Riley’s Halloween Show
Saturday October 31st Smiley Riley’s Halloween Show
Shows each day at 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm
Pumpkin Carving (extra charge) Saturday October 24th – 31st October 11am until 4pm.
Judging for best carved Pumpkins for under 6 years and over 6 years of age takes place at 1pm and 4pm each day.
So, what will you be getting up to over the Halloween Half Term? Will you be carving pumpkins or eating loads of sweets? At this rate, if I eat anymore sweets I’ll be turning into a pumpkin! 🙂
Love Bella x