Halloween family fun 2015
There are plenty of spooky goings-on across the UK this Halloween to keep little monsters entertained
An unusual heritage
English Heritage is opening up some of England's most haunted castles after dark for families to explore history's horrors. Hear tales of ghostly apparitions and devilish deeds at Kenilworth Castle or be scared stiff at the infamous Bolsover Castle as you meet some of their past residents. There'll be a tunnel of terror at Dover Castle and creative kids can try their hand at some creepy crafts at Audley End, while Beeston Castle is going batty and uncovering the secret world of the vampire's best friend.
Go one better than a bag of sweets with a Halloween-themed afternoon tea at the Lancaster London. The children will love the eyeball lollipops, black macaroons with a pumpkin filling, butternut squash tartlets, white chocolate and pistachio opera cakes and Pumpkin cupcakes. And don't worry, there are cucumber sandwiches and fresh scones, too!
Tots can try their hand at making a decorative pumpkin garland, a Halloween wand or mobile or greetings card at West Dean Gardens. There's scary storytelling, face painting and a Halloween Trail for monsters of all ages.
26 – 31 October 2014
Get ready for scary surprises at the Half-term Halloween Hoot at Chatsworth in the Peak District, where you can walk the Halloween trail with pumpkin lanterns lighting your way, and hear spooky stories. Not terrifying enough? Board the Fright Flight trailer ride and travel deep into Warlock Wood. If that all sounds too much, you can try your hand at magic makes in the craft barn.
24 Oct-1 Nov
Feeling brave? London Zoo's In With The Spiders exhibition has Europe's only walk-through spider enclosure. Get acquainted with UK-native species before moving on to exotic breeds such as the black widow, huntsman and giant bird-eating spiders. You can even pose for a selfie with the golden orb spiders – and find out why spiders should be seen as friends, not foes. Hmm – maybe daddy can take the kids to this one...
Head to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire for a magical owl-themed trail, and have a go at carving designs into your own hollowed-out pumpkin (they do the hard work for you!). On Halloween itself, be mesmerised by a special owl display, hear regular storyteller Bill Spectre's ghoulish tales, and be amazed by his sidekick Colin the Mind-reading Crow...
24 October-1 November
Isle of Fright
The streets of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight - known globally as the 'Ghost Island' - play host to a spectacular Dark Nights carnival. The cliff face will come alive with a web of torchlight parades, illuminations and digital projections followed by a tale of pirates, dinosaurs and sea monsters.
25 October 2015
Magic and mischief
The Watercress Line steam railway is transformed into Hogwarts during Wizard Weekend. Walk in Harry Potter's footsteps over the railway footbridge where he received his Hogwarts Express ticket.