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By Severine Etienne for Queen’s Park Mums

No we won’t let the rainy days get the best of us! Autumn is a time to celebrate vibrant hues, twinkling lights, woollen socks, comforting food and… ghoulish costumes! We’ve compiled our annual list of boo-rilliant activities that will enchant our little monsters and keep them entertained during Half Term both in and around the area, and further afield when we thought it worth it!

FAMILY DAYS OUT

HYDE PARKS’ HAIR RAISING DISCOVERY DAYS

Drop in any time from 11am to 3pm to take part in a host of free and exciting Halloween themed activities at Hyde Park including:

  • Dare to investigate our ‘feely boxes’ in the Witches’ Den
  • Explore our hair-raising nature trail, discovering fascinating facts along the way
  • Create a potion using herbs and plants from the garden
  • Build a bat box to take home (Limited amount, £15 cost)
  • Listen to a spooky story!

Dressing up is encouraged!

At peak times, there may be a queue to enter the LookOut.

When: 23 & 24 October, 11am – 3pm (drop in anytime)
Where: The LookOut, Hyde Park, W2
Cost: Free

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GRIM KEEPERS TOUR AT ZSL LONDON ZOO 

Halloween is descending on ZSL London Zoo, promising a week of frightful fun this October half term – daring visitors can embark on a ‘Grim Keepers’ tour to explore what happens when nature gets gruesome.

All around the Zoo, animals – from mischievous monkeys to slithering snakes – will be getting into the Halloween spirit with pumpkins filled with tasty treats to forage. Little ones can journey through an avenue of ghoulish gourds and hair-raising haystacks to take the perfect Halloween family picture at the Pumpkin Patch, before listening to spooky stories on how nature bites back at Halloween-themed animal talks. There will also be bat mask making, pumpkin carvings design and frightening face painting. Suitable for all ages.

When: 19 – 27 October. Grim Keeper tours run every hour and half hour, 11am-4pm (except 12.30pm) and last 20-25mins.
Where: Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
Cost: Halloween crafts, Grim Keeper tours, talks and demonstrations all included in Zoo entry price. Pre- Booking is advised.

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AN EVENING WALKING TOUR WITH STORIES OF GHOSTS AND PARANORMAL ACTIVITY AT HAMPTON COURT PALACE 

Darker nights see the return of the chilling Ghost Tours to Hampton Court, with a special family-friendly version. Will you dare explore some of the palace’s most ghoulish locations during the witching hour and discover stories of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activity? Children must be aged 8+ and must be accompanied by an adult. Maximum of three children per adult.

When: 31 October & 3 November, at 7pm
Where: Hampton Court Palace
Cost for family tours: Adult £14, Child £7. Check website for dates and times.

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Ghost Tours at Hampton Court Palace

BURGH HOUSE – CELEBRATING DIWALI

Expand your (and your children’s) openness to the world and embrace the Indian celebration Diwali. You’ll find magic in the Festival of Lights at Burgh House and will be immersed in a new culture full of dance, music, storytelling with performer artist Archita Kumar. Your children will enjoy DIY lamp making as well as Rangoli art and crafts. Suitable for children 4 and over.

When: 27 October, Times for arts and crafts stations (no ticket required): 12pm-3pm / Archita Kumar performance times: 12.30pm – 1.20pm &1.30pm – 2.20pm
Where: Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT
Cost: Arts and crafts are free / Early bird tickets for the performance are £3 per child (until 11 October), £5 per child there after. Parents go free.

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Diwali at Burgh House

ZIPPOS CIRCUS – HAMPSTEAD HEATH

Zippos Circus returns to Hampstead Heath to make the whole family awestruck.

When: 22 October – 3 November
Where: Lower Fairground Site, East Heath Road, London,NW3 1NT
Booking: Varies according to positioning.  Book here

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Zippos Circus

WHERE’S WALLY? THE BIG MUSEUM HUNT

50 museums across the UK bring you one of the best games of all time this half term: families can join in the search for Wally at this half-term. Each museum will host its own search for Wally so your little ones can find Wally hidden amongst their amazing artefacts and exciting exhibitions.

When: 18 October – 3 November
Where: V&A (Level 0, Sackler Centre for arts education), Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 2RL & London Transport Museum , 39 Wellington Street, WC2E 7BB
Cost: Free, drop-in, suitable for all ages

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ARTS, CRAFTS & TECH

SPOOKTACULAR FUN AT BOB’S CAFE

While you’re sipping on a cuppa, your kids will enjoy decorating their own bag for trick or treating for the D-day.

When: 22 and 29 October at 11am
Where: Bob’s Café, Salusbury road, NW6
Cost: £10 – includes the activity and a kids meal deal (main, juice and dessert)
Booking essential – hello@bobscafe.net

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PAINTING ON A PUMPKIN WORKSHOP

When: Monday 21 – Friday 25 October, 10.40, 12.30 & 14.40
Where: V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA
Cost: Free, drop-in, suitable for all ages

This workshop, inspired by the Big Draw Festival’s theme, Drawn to Life, invites visitors to get create and paint designs onto the usual canvas of a pumpkin – with the help of artist Amy Brown.

HALLOWEEN PARTIES

BURGH HOUSE & HAMPSTEAD MUSEUM HALLOWEEN KIDS’ PARTY

Who’s in for spooky story-telling and creepy craft activities, fancy-dress competition and a monstrous museum trail? Ages 8 and under. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

When: 25 October, 1pm – 3pm
Where: Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT 
Cost: £10 per child + £1.37 fee. Advance booking is essential.

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HALLOWEEN PARTY AT WILLESDEN SPORTS CENTRE

Willesden Sports Centre is holding a children’s Halloween Party with spooky games and guaranteed fun!  For children under 11 (under 8’s to be supervised by a parent).

When: 25 October, 1pm – 3pm
Where: Donnington Rd, Willesden, NW10 3QX
Cost: £3.50 per child / £6 for two
Prior booking at reception desk advised via CAMWillesden@1life.co.uk

LIBRARY HALLOWEEN BABY DISCO

It’s never too early for some disco fun. Willesden Green Library is hosting a daytime music and dance session for little ones. Time to shine with your scariest costume! For children under 5; children must be accompanied by an adult and siblings are welcome.

When: 30 October, 11.30am – 12.15pm & 12.30pm – 1.15pm  
Where: The Library at Willesden Green, 95 High Road, NW10 2SF
Cost: Advanced tickets are £2.50 per person (children and adults alike). Advanced ticket holders will be take priority, limited tickets available on the door will be £3.50 per child and per adult. Ticket desk opens at 11.15am

EXCLUSIVE 3 HOUSE CLUB HALLOWEEN PARTY FOR 2-4Y

This fancy dress party will delight your little ones! Expect spooky songs & games, pumpkins decoration, face painting and trick or treats (with take home gifts).

When: 25 October, 3.30pm – 5pm
Where: 3 House Club, Bridgman Street, NW8
Cost: £29 per child. Discount available for siblings.

 

ELECTRIC CINEMA KIDS’ CLUB 

Electric Cinema on Portobello Road has a special screening of Disney’s Day of the Dead-inspired COCO (PG) and a seasonally spooky party. There will be music and games and prizes awarded for the best costume.

When: 26 October, 12pm
Where: 191 Portobello Road, W11 2ED
Cost: £10.  Call the box office to book: 020 7908 9696 

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LOCAL FUN

GEORGE IRVINS HALLOWEEN & HALF TERM FUNFAIR / Wristband Day

Get a spooky spine-tingling time at this Halloween Funfair with rides and a prize for the best costume (entry is via email).

When: 18 October – 27 October, 1pm – 9pm (except Friday 18th October: 3pm-9pm)*
Where: Roundwood Park, Harlesden Road, NW10
Cost: Entrance charge is £1 per person, free for children under 3 years. Token fair only – no cash on rides or inflatables**

*On Wednesday 23rd, you can purchase a wristband giving you unlimited use of the rides.

**Token information: Tokens are available every day at £1.20 each or ten for ten pounds. Tokens are on sale at the fair. Number of tokens per ride varies.

TRICK-OR-TREATING

If you’re taking the kids out for a spot of trick-or-treating, make sure you don’t miss the famous ghoulish action around the roads of Dundonald/Wrentham Ave/Crediton in Kensal Rise.

Not only will there be plenty of goodies (kindly donated by residents and Queens Park Design & Build) and fantastically decorated houses again, but by attending you can also help raise money for a brilliant local charity millionandon.  Residents will again be collecting with every penny donated in the buckets to Great Ormond Street Hospital and other local charities.

Please take care to only put money into authorized Dundonald Rd/Wrentham Ave buckets (sadly the past two years there were rogue glow stick sellers around claiming to be collecting for GOSH).

Brent has kindly agreed to make Dundonald Rd a Play Street this year and it WILL BE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC (take care on the adjacent roads).

When: Thursday 31st October, 5.30-7.30pm
Where: Crediton Road / Dundonald Road / Wrentham Avenue / Okehampton Road, Kensal Rise, NW10
Cost: Free (donations welcomed)

To get a flavour of what to expect – check out this link

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Know of anything else going on locally for Halloween? Send the details over to info@queesnsparkmums.com


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