Your spooktacular guide to October half term in Sussex
Halloween is round the corner and Sussex is bursting with fun activities and things to do to keep the kids happy this half term. It'll be a scream!
Halloween Happy Hauntings, Fishers Farm Park, Wisborough Green
Get ready for a week of spooky, cackle-tastic fun at Fishers this half term. As well as the usual rides, attractions, animal encounters and a fab new soft play, you can explore the ‘boo!-tiful’ Enchanted Wood and be greeted by the ghostess with the mostest and other marvellous mysteries. Finally, take a ride on the gory Ghost Train – if you dare. A full list of fang-tastic events will be published here so you can plan your trip – remember to book online in advance. A guaranteed pleaser.
Halloween Shriek Week, Drusillas Park, Alfriston
A spooky atmosphere and heaps of fang-tastic fun are on offer at this small zoo and adventure park just outside Alfriston, near Eastbourne. The Discovery Centre will play host to heaps of spooky creepy crawlies for kids to encounter, and kids can take part in a fancy dress competition and count the pumpkins they encounter en route. Book online.
Curse of the Crimson Cauldron, Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures, Brighton
The unique Phileas Fogg indoor theatrical experience, described as Crystal Maze meets I’m A Celeb, has several offerings this Halloween, from the flagship adventure quest with world-famous vampire hunter Van Helsing as your guide instead of Fogg, to a ghost walk and VR experience defeating an evil goblin army. There’s also an over-18s version for the cool kids.
Halloween Trail, Borde Hill Garden, Haywards Heath
Take your little witch or wizard on a sensory trail around Borde Hill Garden, one of the true hidden gems in Sussex. A challenge-packed story trail will keep them happy and entertained and there’s a prize at the end for everybody. Meanwhile, autumn colour will be in full effect.
The Good The Bad and The Ugly at Brighton Toy Museum, Brighton
Full disclosure, this one’s too scary even for Muddy. Brighton Toy Museum has dug out some of its most horrifying toys and put them on display as part of this half-term trail through the museum’s vast collection. Kids will love spotting the creepy additions to the collection, like Crazy Alice here and other glassy-eyed nightmares. You won’t sleep a wink the night after, of course, but if you’re a parent, that’s nothing new.
Gruffalo Trail, Wakehurst Place, East Grinstead
Silly old snake! Doesn’t he know? There’s no such thing as a gruffal – oh! If you’re brave enough to prove Snake wrong, head down to Wakehurst botanical gardens to embark on the Gruffalo Trail, go on an adventurous Gruffalo crumble hunt, and listen to stories round the fire. There’s also Gruffalo workshops from Oct 27 – 30. Guaranteed to please the little ones and grown-ups alike.
Halloween at Globalls, Brighton
Here’s something you won’t get to do every day – indoor crazy golf around a spooky, Halloween themed UV-lit course! Yes, you read that right. The unique Globalls in Brighton has decked out a course with zombies, skeletons and other UV creepies. Make sure you book the Jurassic course for the spooktacular experience.
Halloween at Sharnfold Farm, Eastbourne
Little ones can enjoy carving their pumpkins (and parents can enjoy not having to clear up the mess afterwards) at Sharnfold Farm this October, followed by a walk round a spooky play trail and a challenge to complete. Prizes for all who take part.
Halloween at Leonardslee Gardens and Lake, near Horsham
October is a fantastic month to visit Leonardslee for the incredible colour – and over half term little ones will be able to follow a spooky pumpkin trail around the grounds with prizes for all, as well as meet creepy crawlies during an encounter with RepTylers. Refuel with one of the famous Leonardslee afternoon teas afterwards – with a spooky Halloween theme, of course.
Where’s Wally? Spooky museum search, Amberley Museum, Amberley
Hunt out everybody’s favourite stripy character at Amberley Museum this half term – part of the national celebrations of the launch of the latest Where’s Wally? book. Exhibits at Amberley include a narrow-gauge railway, historic busses, a working print shop, and an on-site pottery and other rural crafts. With 36 acres of space there’s enough to tire out the most enthusiastic little legs.
Half term activities, Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton
Family activity packs and a pumpkin trail await at the Weald and Downland Museum. Wrap up warm for a visit to this outdoor museum celebrating the heritage of the South East, through rescued historic buildings and rural homes that tell the story of more than 1,000 years of history.
Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park
This wonderfully-preserved steam passenger railway chugs through 11 miles of gorgeous Sussex countryside. Trains run between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, stopping at Horsted Keynes and Kingscote. The railway is run faithfully in keeping with traditional practices, including staff in period clothing, and all four stations are preserved in different periods of history. A Day Rover ticket lets you hop on and off as much as you like. Book online.
Spooky Battle Abbey, Battle
Gather your little monsters for a ghoulishly good day out at Battle Abbey this half term. Follow the trail to solve creepy clues and gather round to listen to spooky stories. There’s a frighteningly fun fancy dress competition every day – just come in your scariest outfits to be in with a chance of winning.
Pumpkin picking, various locations
Does it get more autumnal than this? Grab the little ones and head to your nearest pumpkin patch for autumn fun.
Crawley’s Tulley’s Farm have just the 20 acres of pumpkins – producing more than 150,000 of the round critters! This is a fantastic day or evening out with the little ones (the evening sessions under the moonlight are said to be magical) and there’s plenty of food and drink on offer onsite too.
Elsewhere, you can grab a squash and enjoy the great outdoors at Sharnfold Farm in Eastbourne, Rogate Pumpkin Patch between Midhurst and Petersfield, Roundstone Farm at Angmering and Sompting Pumpkin Picking Patch.
Arundel Castle, Arundel
Arundel Castle and gardens are open for the season until Nov 1, so this is your last chance to grab a visit this year! One of the largest complete and inhabited castles in the UK, it’ll capture the imaginations of young and old alike. Due to Covid the keep and a few other buildings and rooms are closed. Admire the new water gardens, complete with resident family of swans instead.
National Trust Venues, various
Normally the good old National Trust is your go-to for Halloween fun for all the family. This year, understandably, things are a bit different and to date there’s no word on any bespoke events. But fear not! All your fave venues including Bodiam Castle, Bateman’s, Nymans, near Haywards Heath and Petworth House and Park have acres of outdoor space to enjoy and are open with an online ticketing system for you to book in advance.