What’s On at October Half Term in Harrogate for Kids

Well, it’s Half Term, how did that happen?! We have a hectic one lined up with a camping trip (yes, that’s right, in October ??) a trip to London and a wedding! Pass me the gin! Ha!

Here’s a round up of what’s going on in and around Harrogate for the week, there’s LOADS on with it being Halloween and Bonfire night too, so you’re totally spoilt for choice!

Whether it’s indoor, outdoor, for tots or teens, there’s loads to choose from including; special effects make up sessions, Diwali crafts, family star gazing, Aardman animation, Bat watching, scary scarecrow finding or story time in a Castle. Harrogate’s got it covered! I’m exhausted just reading it all!

Some of these events are even FREE!! There’s a day by day guide at the end of the post and I’ll be sharing a bonfire and Halloween roundup next week too!

Happy Half Term!

Activities that are on all or most of the week:

Mother Shiptons Cave Halloween Scarecrow Trail (Saturday 22 – Sunday 30th October)


Mother Shipton’s Cave is open every day from Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30th October. The park opens 10am to 4.30pm (last admission 3.30pm). Adults £6 and children £4 (family ticket £18 and under 4’s are free).

“Not all is as it seems this Halloween at Mother Shipton’s Cave. Witches, scarecrows and strange goings on have been reported through the park and we need you to help us track them all down! With our FREE spooky scarecrow trail, children will be able to solve the mysteries of all these odd sightings at Mother Shipton’s and help us scare away things that go bump in the day! Expect the unexpected, but never be afraid! Come in your best Halloween costume and compete in our daily costume competition, it all adds to the fun at this most spooktacular time of the year!”

Thackeray Medical Museum – Special Effects Workshops (Monday 24th to Friday 28th October, 11am to 3pm) 


The little ones will love showing off the skills they pick up at this Halloween-themed event at Thackray Medical Museum. They can get the lowdown and how to create gory wounds and scars using top tips from the world of stage and film. From 11am to 3pm throughout the week, they’ll get to learn it all, so be prepared for a shock, although not at the price – it’s free with your standard admission to the Leeds museum, just book a place when you arrive.

RHS Harlow Carr Creature Crafts and Wildlife Trails (Monday 24th – Friday 28th October)


Creature crafts: Make your own pumpkin seed hedgehog to take home and pop in your garden. 10.30am – 12.30pm & 1 – 3pm, Learning Centre

Wildlife trail. Discover some of the animals of the night that could be found in your own garden.

Wild about Gardens. Pick up information about how to plant a bat feast and get advice and ideas on how to make your garden more wildlife friendly. Visit the Plant Centre for ideas on wildlife-friendly gardening.

Lots of other exciting events (see the day to day guide below).

Stockeld Park Halloween Adventure (Saturday 22nd – Monday 31st October 10.30 – 20.30)


Spooky adventures from 19 – 31 October, 10.30am – 8.30pm when Stockeld Park comes alive for the Autumn Half Term! Journey by Nordic Ski on our woodland trail, take a magical trip around the illuminated Enchanted Forest, travel through the Maze or enjoy our real Ice Rink. Plus join us for a fun-packed events calendar including our freaky Fright Nights!

Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds Morbid Monarchs (Saturday 22nd to Sunday 30 October)


Dare you join us for a week full of terrible tales and horrid histories? Discover the grisly truth about some of the world’s most ruthless rulers, their beastly behaviour and disgraceful downfalls. Activities will include storytelling, combat demonstrations, dramatic performances, Hands on History sessions and animation workshops. Museum admission is free but some activities carry a small charge.

Temple Newsam – Sat 22-Sun 30 Oct

Bring some light into your life by following our light trail and joining in our craft activities. There will also be a chance to sit on a magic carpet for an interactive storytime all about light,dark and colour; plus to mark Diwali come and see our display of lamps from different faiths and make your own sparkly Diwali lamp to take home.

Leeds City Museum – Weds 26 – Fri 28 Oct 10am-12pm & 1-3pm

Enjoy Colourful Festivals- colourful and messy crafts to celebrate the festivals of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.

Royal Pump Room Museums Harrogate: 26th – 28th October 13:00 – 16:00 

Stay as long as you like at these drop in workshops and try some of the crafts that Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte might have enjoyed. You can experiment with silhouettes – great for Halloween! Try some cross-stitch embroidery and create your own tiny books for stories and drawings. Look the part and take a selfie with our Victorian dressing-up box!

Birchfield Ice cream Farm Pumpkin Festival


Brimham Rocks Halloween TraiOctober 27 – November 28 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Trail sheet available at car park. Use map to find the spooky clues to help you answer the questions. When you have all the answers find the witch’s kitchen to claim your prize.
Cost: £2 per trail sheet + general admission charges for non-members (£5 car park fee)
Call: 01423 780688


Ripley Castle- Storytime in the Castle Wednesday 26th to Friday 28th at 11.30am & 2.30pm


Especially for half-term, why not book to join our Story Time in the Castle. Delight in hearing the wonderfully entertaining tale of Zog, and the Flying Doctors, have a sing-along and make magical memories. Children can come dressed up as Princess’s, Knights, Kings & Queens or even….Dragons. A treat for all who do! Tickets: Child £4.50 Adult £5. Booking online only CLICK HERE As this is a children’s event adult tickets are limited to one per child. Story Time sessions last approximately 30 minutes, please note the story sessions are not guided tours of the Castle.

National Media Museum in Bradford: Aardman Expression Lab 22–30 October 2016

For October half term only, In Your Face will feature some brand new activities in the Aardman Expression Lab as we join forces with Aardman to celebrate the studio’s 40th anniversary. Some of Aardman’s best loved characters from the past four decades, including Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, will be popping up in the galleries as we reveal how animated creations communicate through facial expression – and how their faces are made. Please be aware that you may need to queue for activities at busy times (usually 12:00–14:00).

Kilnsey Park Estate

During their Halloween half term event there will be facepainting, crafts, and spell making all hosted by the witch in resident ‘Old nan’ – based on a real life witch from Kilnsey in the 1700s. The campfire will be lit every day at 3pm for marshmallows and story telling and it’s all included in the price. There will also be pumpkin carving in the onsite café.

Sporting Influence Kids Sport Camp


Day by Day Guide

Saturday 22 October 

Abbey House Museum, Leeds – Teens Halloween Special FX Make 12-4pm. Meet up along with your friends and enjoy our event hosted by a professional make-up artist. Learn how to apply gruesome Halloween and special effects.This event is specifically for young people 13+.


Sunday 23rd October

RHS Harlow Carr – Go Batty. The North Yorkshire Bat Group will be in the Lodge teaching us about all things bat-related and even bringing bats for you to meet! Noon – 3pm. Normal Garden admission applies.Monday 24th October


Monday 24th October

RHS Harlow Carr  – Reptile Rangers are bringing African Pygmy hedgehogs to Harlow Carr. Learn all about what these shy little creatures eat and where they live. 10am – 4pm, The Lodge. Normal Garden admission applies.


Tuesday 25th October

Leeds City Museum – ‘Word Up’ 11am-3pm; a day of poetry,performance and word play with activities for families of all ages, including young people aged 13+.

Royal Pump Room Museum Harrogate – Doll’s house furniture making 13:00 – 16:00. Have you seen the beautiful Victorian doll’s house? Come and explore its contents, play the memory game and make some furniture in the craft session. Just drop in.

RHS Harlow Carr – Stories with the Garden Detectives. The Garden Detectives are back with tales of adventure. Find out what the animals of the night get up to while you’re
tucked up in bed! Sessions at 11am, 1pm & 3pm, The Lodge. Normal Garden admission applies.


Wednesday 26th October

RHS Harlow Carr – Woodland Holiday Clubs. Take part in an outdoor animal-inspired woodland holiday club for all ages! Must be booked in advance 020 3176 5830.

Creepy Creature Capers (5 – 7 yrs) Create animal totems, pass through a spider’s web, try our unlucky dip and enjoy bat ear smores and hobgoblin juice. 10.30am – 12.30pm £5 member children and £10 non members. Parents/guardians must stay on the site but don’t need to be at the workshop.

Wicked Woodland Creatures (8 – 12 yrs) Set off on a quest to capture signs of hidden creatures at Harlow Carr. Cast footprints, carve a totem animal and take part in our wicked woodland games. 1 – 3pm £5 member children and £10 non members. Parents/guardians must stay on the site but don’t need to be at the workshop.


Thursday 27th October

Mini Medics First Aid for Kids Workshop – Age 7-11 years at St Wildrids Church Hall. 9am to 3.30pm £25. Booking required 01423 206440.

RHS Harlow Carr – Stories with the Garden Detectives. The Garden Detectives are back with tales of adventure. Find out what the animals of the night get up to while you’re
tucked up in bed! Sessions at 11am, 1pm & 3pm, The Lodge. Normal Garden admission applies.


Friday 28th October

Fountains Abbey  6.30 – 8.30pm- Star Gazing. Test out your telescope skills and unlock the secrets of the night sky with a helping hand from York Astronomical Society. Park at the Visitor Centre and meet us in the visitor centre courtyard to walk down to Swanley Grange. £5.00 per person, (50) BE 01765 643166. If it’s very bad weather and the stars are hiding behind the clouds there will be lots of learning and demonstrations inside the education centre.

RHS Harlow Carr –  Go Batty. The North Yorkshire Bat Group will be in the Lodge teaching us about all things bat-related and even bringing bats for you to meet! Noon – 3pm. Normal Garden admission applies.

RHS Harlow Carr – Nature workshop with the RSPB. Join the RSPB for a nature-inspired indoor workshop and create your own hedgehog house to take home with you.
10.30am – 12.30pm & 1 – 3pm, Learning Centre


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