It’s the Autumn Half Term! So how will we keep our little ones occupied? We’ve compiled our top activities and events that are happening all around us to make sure you have plenty of choice to entertain the troops!
Riverford’s Pumpkin Day; fun and free autumn activities at your local organic farm on Saturday 29th October, 11am-4pm at Upper Norton Farm, Sutton Scotney, Hampshire
Get wellied-up this Halloween and head for Riverford for some farm fun! Their legendary pumpkin day is full of activities, tasty food, and a good dose of farm air. Children’s activities include pumpkin carving, donkey rides, face painting, worm digging, vegetable games and more.
“Our Pumpkin Day is a free day out with loads for both kids and adults to enjoy, right here on the farm. It’s also a brilliant way to celebrate the arrival of autumn and all the fantastic food that it brings,” says Jason Holt, Farm Manager at Riverford Norton.
There’s fun for all the family too; with live music, cookery workshops and organic wine and beers on offer, everyone will be in full autumn spirit. There will be plenty of organic food and drink available to buy, all are welcome (you don’t have to be a Riverford customer) and tickets are £3 per person which includes a free pumpkin or drink. Children under three are free. Visit www.riverford.co.uk/pumpkinday for more information and to book.
Forde Abbey; Try your hand at pumpkin rolling this October half term as Forde Abbey celebrates the very best of what’s in season. Pick a homegrown pumpkin to suit your size and style and have a go!
As the days get shorter and the nights get darker, all sorts of things come out of the wood work for Halloween half term at Forde Abbey.
Join them for a spine tingling week of Halloween fun in the grounds of this 900 year old Abbey. Dare to explore our haunted trail, try your hand at pumpkin rolling and take part in all manner of spooky happenings that are sure to get your pulse racing.
There’ll be lots of hands-on Halloween craft for younger visitors and ghoulish bites to fuel you on your way. Just be prepared for a few unexpected guests…
22nd – 30th October, between 10am – 4pm. Normal admission prices apply. £10 adults, and free for children under 15. Visit: www.fordeabbey.co.uk
Wimborne Knoll Gardens is embracing the autumn with a special event this October Half Term.
Later in the month, on Thursday 27 October, experts from Dorset Wildlife Trust will be leading a bat walk in the gardens as part of Wild About Gardens Week. A joint initiative by the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts and Bat Conservation Trust, the week aims to encourage people to make their gardens more wildlife-friendly, and this year has a focus on UK bats. Suitable for all the family, participants on Knoll walk are most likely to see the Common pipestrelle bat. Weighing less than a coin, it is a great friend to the gardener capable of eating 3,000 insects in just one night. As well as looking for bats against the night sky you will also be able to hear them using a bat detector to make their calls audible to human ears.
Booking is essential as numbers are very limited. For more information and full booking details go to www.knollgardens.co.uk
Bournemouth Fireworks are one of the biggest and best-loved fireworks party and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a grand party being lined up at the Littledown Centre on Saturday, November 5.
The fireworks event on the south coast has three top quality displays, including the famous White Knuckle – the region’s loudest and latest fireworks show – the stage is set for Bournemouth Fireworks to go with a bang.
“Everyone loves Bournemouth Fireworks and this year we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure it’s the biggest and best yet,” says event director Michael Callaghan. “We’re proud of our 20-year track record at the Littledown Centre and with up to 8000 people expected we know it’s going to be a great night out for all the family.”
As well as the three fireworks displays and free entry indoor Family Fun Zone, with Get Set Go Karting, Crazy Creatures, taekwondo display and Avonbourne Gymnastic Club, there’s a giant late-night funfair, a licensed bar and other refreshments.
Outside, the Littledown Centre pitches play host to have-a-go sports sessions with local football, rugby, cricket, tennis and golf coaches providing free lessons.
And this year sees the return of live music with Bournemouth-based band Black Water County, fresh from supporting American ska-punk favourites Less Than Jake at the O2 Academy Bournemouth.
Gates open at 5.30pm with fireworks displays at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. A limited number of family tickets are available until October 31 at the special Early Bird discount price of £20.
Lead image: Millie Pilkington Photography