The Autumn half-term holidays are always a hoot, as they coincide with Halloween.
And while it might look a little different this year, there are plenty of activities and days out planned throughout the region to make for a spooky week off school.
We’ve picked out some exciting events and great places to visit to get your frightful fix.
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is hosting a range of Halloween-themed activities to entertain families during the Autumn break.
Visitors to the Carlisle venue can keep an eye out for special stripy characters – Wally will be hiding out in the museum, and families can join the search.
The Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search, organised by Walker Books and Kids in Museums, will celebrate the release of the new book, Where’s Wally? Spooky Spotlight Search.
There’s a code to crack and a prize draw competition to win an ArtFund Family Membership and a bundle of Where’s Wally? Goodies.
Tullie House is open daily from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 11am to 5pm.
There will also be some free spooky craft sessions throughout half-term week, which can be booked here.
Have you got any aspiring young wizards in your family? If the answer is a resounding yes, then a visit to Screamlands 9 ¾ is in order.
Greenlands Farm Village, in Tewitfield, near Carnforth, has had a Halloween makeover, and throughout half-term will be holding potions classes where you will make your own themed slime, make your own wand, photo opportunities, wizard chess and more. Alongside all this, you can enjoy the farm’s daily itinerary, a bouncy castle, straw play and ride-on cars.
Every child gets to take home a pumpkin too. Booking is essential, and you can do so by phoning 01524 784184 option 3.
Arguably Cumbria’s spookiest location, no Halloween is truly complete without a visit to Muncaster Castle.
From Saturday 24th to Saturday 31st, the haunted stately home plays host to the “Sledgehammer House of Horrors” themed show running each day, every hour from 4pm throughout the evening. As well as this, visitors can participate in plague medicine workshops, lantern and drumming workshops, take the Witch Warbler trails and the Enchanted trail around the castle grounds, and watch fabulous fire shows and meet a juggling jester.
Halloween activities commence each day from around lunchtime, and Sledgehammer House of Horrors and Twilight Owl displays need to be booked separately. Head to the Muncaster Castle website for more information.
Pumpkin picking has become one of the most popular autumn days out across the country, and there is plenty of choice here in our region.
From October 15th to the 31st, Walby Farm Park, in Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle, is inviting all ages to their pumpkin patch. There are special Mini Pumpkin Pickers events for toddlers and preschoolers from the 19th to 23rd, and on the 19th and 30th there are special floodlit pumpkin picking events after hours. Visit the Walby Farm Park website to book.
At the other end of the county, Page Bank Farm, at Rampside, Barrow, is opening its pumpkin patch to the public from the 24th to 31st, and you can book a time slot here.
While Penrith’s amazing Winter Droving will look very different in 2020, it is still shaping up to be a memorable four days. From Wednesday 28th to Saturday 31st, Eden Arts will be doing various things around the town to catch the eye: at St Andrews Churchyard there will be a colourful projection display featuring members of the Winter Droving community intertwined with footage from the Winter Droving past events; and a public art gallery will be scattered throughout Penrith Town Centre, with shop windows transformed into a photographic display of Droving supporters in homemade, highly sought after, and bespoke masks and fancy dress, giving the town a flavour of the usual festival fun.
Events are ongoing over the four days, so there is no need to book.
For a real ghost train experience, Millerbeck Light Railway, near Newby Bridge, will be hosting a Halloween Open Day on Saturday 31st. The miniature railway will be staying open late for some after-dark train rides that are not for the faint-hearted. Passengers are encouraged to wear spooky fancy dress. Booking opens soon, so keep an eye out here.
One of the best ways to see the stunning Whinlatter Forest is to visit in the dark. A series of ‘Dark Skies’ guided walks are being held with spaces still available on Wednesday 28th and Friday 30th. Starting at the Visitors Centre at 6pm, the walk will follow a route through the trees enjoying the sounds of silence and the forest. If the weather plays you will do some stargazing, or just enjoy being in the darkness. Well behaved children and dogs are very welcome. Visit this website to book.
The day before going back to school, Sunday November 1st, you can get the last bit of spooky enjoyment out of the half-term week. There will be a Halloween trail around Curwen Park, in Workington, from 9am to 5pm, where there will be 10 ‘spooks’ hidden around the park.
Write them down and send a photo of your finished list to firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into a draw to win a £30 voucher for a shop of your choice.