With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve been making a list of family-friendly activities we’d like to do in around Nottingham over half term. Compared to previous years, we’ve found there are plenty of events and activities in the area to enjoy with your little ones. And today we’ve picked out our top ten to share with you guys who read my blog.
From hunting down ghosts and ghouls at Rufford Abbey, picking your own pumpkins at Maxey’s Farm Shop, and visiting Nottingham’s Old Market Scare, there’s something for everyone. So grab yourself a cuppa, make yourself comfortable, and let me tell you more …
Every October Nottingham’s Old Market Square transforms into an amazing Halloween Adventureland, where you can ride the UK’s biggest mobile ghost train, visit the walk-through haunted house or don your spookiest costumes for a selfie with the giant light-up Halloween pumpkin.
On Halloween itself, you can discover more of Nottingham city centre with your family for free. Trick or Treat your way around a fun map to hunt out the hidden spooky characters and take part in craft activities, ghost stories and games. Families are encouraged to start at the Nottingham Tourist Information Centre off Market Square for an official welcome and to collect their map. Treat bags filled with goodies will be handed out as you make your way around the trail. And you can make as many or as few stops as you like.
There’s also live entertainment planned for the evening, and there’ll be a brand-new bar on hand to help calm your nerves. I definitely recommend having a wander around the Old Market Scare as it’s a truly magical experience – my two little monsters love it as it captures the essence of Halloween just perfectly.
The Old Market Scare will be open all day from Friday 26th October to Wednesday 31st October.
Have you ever wondered where you can pick your own pumpkin near Nottingham? Well, the answer is to visit Maxeys Farm Shop between 6th October and 31st October for their annual P..P..Pick Up a Pumpkin Festival. Maxey’s is open every day from 9am till 5pm, and admission is completely free. You just pay for any pumpkins you pick and any activities you fancy taking part in while you’re there.
The pumpkins are grown where you pick them. So the owners recommend you wear wellies or boots when you visit as the ground may be uneven and muddy. But I think that’s all part of the fun! And as well as being able to pick your own pumpkins, Maxey’s have a whole host of other activities you can take part in too. From going on a spooky woodland walk to taking a Halloween themed tractor ride through the fields of the farm, they’ve thought of it all!
And if your tummies are a-rumbling after all that excitement, you can head on over to the BBQ and grab a delicious homemade burger or hotdog made with fresh meat from the farm shop before heading home. Visiting Maxey’s is sure to make a fantastic day out for the whole family, and my two can’t wait to go check it out. Keep an eye on my Insta feed for pictures!
If your kids fancy being a real-life Ghostbuster this Halloween, then I highly recommend visiting Rufford Abbey for their annual Halloween Monster Hunt Trail! Spooky goings on have been reported to the Rufford Park Rangers recently. And they need your help to hunt down ghosts, ghouls and monsters in order to restore peace and harmony to the Abbey.
Between Saturday 20th October and Sunday 4th November, you can join Rufford’s Monster Hunt team and follow the map into the haunted hideaways and creepy woods to see if you can figure out what’s been causing the commotion! The Monster Hunt maps cost £2 each and you’re promised a whole heap of fun exploring the spooky happenings around the Abbey. Survive the trail and you will also receive a fun prize at the end of the hunt. How cool! We can’t wait to give it a go.
This half term, White Post Farm has created a whole host of spooktacular fun for families to enjoy. You can learn to ride a broomstick at Broomstick School, get your hands dirty at one of their Slime Workshops, watch some amazing magic tricks and even pick and carve your very own pumpkins!
As well as all the Halloween fun you can find at White Post Farm this year, you’ll also find their friends from the Go-Active Falconry showing off their birds of prey, have farm favourite, Sam the Entertainer, on-hand to teach you some awesome circus skills, and find all the usual animal activities going on as well.
The Halloween Festival takes place daily from Saturday 27th October to Friday 2nd November and entry costs £9.95 per adult and £9.75 per child, with under 2’s being admitted free of charge. And with so much going on, I think that’s a bargain. Will we be seeing you guys there?
If you fancy doing something a little different with your tribe this half term, why not head down to The National Ice Centre on Friday 26th October for their Family Halloween Party? You can enjoy a whole hour and a half of skating with your little monsters, dancing to the best Halloween tracks through smoke and disco lights. And make sure they don’t forget their fancy dress, as there’s a prize for the best costume!
For any excited trick or treaters out there, The National Ice Centre will have plenty of sweets to go around. And the awesome Sub Zero Cafe will be on hand to make delicious Pumpkin Spice Lattes for the parents. Yum! Plus, there’s free face painting available for everyone (including parents) to add those all-important finishing touches to your costume!
The party will take place on Friday 26th October from 5:30-7pm and tickets cost £8.50 per adult, £7.50 per child and under 5’s are absolutely free! Got a big family? Don’t worry – there are family tickets available too. Just head on over to their website to find out more.
While we’re on the subject of Halloween party’s, I have another suggestion for you! Soft Play Centre, Playmania, in Mansfield are hosting their annual Halloween party on Sunday 28th October from 5-7pm. Little ones can spend time running off lots of energy while enjoying the equipment, while adults sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee in relative peace.
As well as being able to use the soft play area, there will be loads of fun, games and prizes for little ones to enjoy too. And, of course, a spooky disco! Playmania is also laying on a cold buffet for everyone so you won’t go hungry while you’re there. Tickets for the event cost £4.00 per adult and £8.00 per child. But be sure to order them quick, as they always sell out fast!
From Saturday 13th October till Sunday 4th October Wheelgate Park near Newark is inviting families to it’s fangtastic Halloween event, which is jam-packed with things to do! Head on over to one of their spooky workshops where you can carve or paint a specially grown pumpkin, make a magical wand, or learn to fly your very own broomstick!
Keep an eye out for Millie the friendly Monster and Grizelda the naughty Witch who will be making special appearances throughout the festivities. Little ones love having cuddles and photo opportunities with them. And, if you’re lucky enough to visit the park on Friday, October 26th, you can even join the falconry team for a Halloween experience like no other – walking with the owls! Each Owl Walk session lasts for an hour and consists of walking around Wheelgate Park with its Lil’ Park of Horrors Halloween decorations, hunting for spooks, owls and any other Halloween friends you may encounter. Each child will also receive a glow stick and enjoy a falconry show at the end of the session.
Tickets to the park are £12.48 for both adults and children over 108cm, £6.24 for kids between 95cm and 108cm and free entry for little ones under 95cm. With so much to do at the park, I think this offers great value for money.
Did you guys know that Cineworld in Nottingham has specially discounted screenings at weekends and on school holiday mornings? Well, they do, and my two absolutely love to head along to them! They’re the perfect way to enjoy a little bit of time as a family, without having to head out too far and make a full day of it.
Movies for Juniors is a great way to introduce your little ones to the exciting world of cinema without it costing a fortune and having to keep them quiet throughout the whole film. We’ve been to a fair few screenings now and find them to be a lovely, relaxed environment. If children want to jump up and down and sing or talk throughout the whole film then they can – no one complains. Although to be fair I’ve always found the majority of children do sit and watch the movies quietly, no matter how young they are!
The selection of movies is always really good and we’ve been to see The Muppet’s Most Wanted, Shaun the Sheep and Minions to name just a few. In fact, I think the kids will be wanting to go again next weekend if the Teen Titans Go Movie is still showing as they’ve been wanting to see that one for ages. And how can I say no when tickets are priced at just £2.50 each for 2D movies? (And slightly more for 3D ones).
Movies for Juniors offers great value for money and you’re guaranteed to choose a movie that’s suitable for the whole family to enjoy. And if you’re worried that you’ll get cheap cinema tickets but then end up spending a small fortune at the popcorn stand then don’t be. Cineworld has a special deal where you can get a box of popcorn, a snack and a drink that doesn’t cost the earth. It’s a real winner in my eyes!
If celebrating Halloween isn’t really your thing, but you still want to do something fun with the kids this half term, how about taking them to Clip ‘N Climb, Nottingham – the action-packed climbing experience for the whole family?!
We’ve been to Clip ‘N Climb as a family a couple of times now, and the kids always thoroughly enjoy it. It has a large arena with loads of different climbing walls around it, and after a safety briefing and getting harnessed up, you head out, clip your harness into whichever wall you want to climb, and off you go! There are walls for beginners, intermediates and pro’s, and I’ll be publishing a full review of the centre here on my blog soon, so make sure you look out for that.
During half term, Clip ‘N Climb is open every day from 9:30am-8pm and it costs £12.50 per person to enter.
And last but not least on my list on things to do with the kids in and around Nottingham this half term is to go tenpin bowling at Mansfield Superbowl! I particularly like this bowling alley because it has 28 lanes, so you’re almost always sure of being able to get in if you drop by on a whim. And it’s a really relaxed, fun environment to bowl in. Oh, and they also have some amazing offers on throughout the week too.
For example, my sister-in-law and I took the kids bowling over the summer, and we hired a lane for a whole hour for just £20. How cheap is that?! It meant we could have as many games of bowling as we could squeeze in during that time, without having to keep paying for more games. There’s also an on-site diner which offers a wide range of delicious food and drinks for when you start to get a bit peckish.
Mansfield Superbowl is clean, modern and well equipped with all sorts of little extras. The staff are always friendly and ready to help, and I truly think it’s the best tenpin bowling alley in the area. You’ll definitely find us there again this half term!
And there you have it, 10 things to do with the kids in and around Nottingham this Halloween.
Have I convinced you to go and try any of them out? Or will you be heading somewhere else instead?