20 fun things to do over October Half Term in Somerset & Dorset
Escape from zombies, put on a play-in-a-day, zoom down zip wires, carve rocks – or pumpkins – lots of spooky Halloween stuff, and more.
We’ve scoured the counties (so you don’t have to) to find the best of what’s on – for tots to teens – in Somerset and Dorset over the half term hols. Always check with the venue before setting off and you’ll have to book ahead in most cases, too.
Autumn Adventure Day Camps, Mill on the Brue, Bruton, Mon 19 – Fri 30 Oct
Enjoy the great outdoors with the experts. Zip down their enormous zip wire, canoe the Brue, leap up and over the assault course, learn bushcraft skills, carve pumpkins, make lanterns and more, at the best activity centre in the South West. £45 per day (9am–4pm); £190 for the week.
Halloween Festival, Ferne Animal Sanctury, Wambrook, nr Chard
Build your own scarecrow, go on a black cats and bats trail, guess how many spiders there are in a trailer (far too many, we say) at Somerset’s sanctuary for rescued animals of all shapes and sizes. Bring your own carved pumpkin for free entry and to enter the comp.
Survival Zone, Nothe Fort, Weymouth
Find your way through labyrinthine underground tunnels and passageways to reach the survival zone and escape the zombies. Immersive, live actors, special effects, super scary. You up to it?
We are family life drawing, Arnolfini, Bristol, Sat 24 Oct
Life drawing class – with a real (clothed) model – for families with kids aged 5 years up inspired by Chantal Joffe’s beautiful pastel work and with artist Bella Franks. Free.
Monkey World, Wareham
Go meet some of your closest relatives in the 65-acre ape rescue centre, which provides sanctuary for hundreds of rescued (from labs, circuses, pet shops, etc) and endangered primates from around the world.
Halloween, Farmer Palmers, Wareham
The farm park – animals, pig racing, cow milking, tractor rides, play barn and dinosaur trail – gets spooky.
Graffiti street art tours, around Bristol
Discover the work of internationally renowned street artists and Bristol’s art legend Banksy on the Bristol Street Art Tour.
Halloween Fun, Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch
Halloween show The Cheshire Cat’s Pumpkin Party, giant spiders and cobwebs (eek) in the Scary Maze and say hello to The Monster Minions – plus the usual theme park rides. Half day tickets available.
Find the bespectacled red and white one hidden amongst the collections at the iconic baths. Learn something about Romans, too.
Theatre workshops, Merlin Theatre, Frome
All the world – or at least, Frome – is a stage, at least over half term, with three holiday workshops for kids ages 7–14: Silly Shakespeare, Play-in-a-day and Micheal Jackson Thriller. Mon 26, Tues 27 & Weds 28 Oct.
Farmyard Fun and Birds of Prey, Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury
Meet a donkey, sheep and goats rescued by Second Chance Petting Farm on Weds 28 Oct; birds of prey from Pitcombe Rock Falconry on Fri 30 Oct. The museum itself is really interesting.
Spooktober, American Museum & Gardens, nr Bath
An A to Zee (this is the American Museum after all) of scariness wandering round the Winding Way discovery trail. The gardens are gorgeous.
Stone carving, Burngate Stone Centre, Langton Matravers
Makes a change from carving a pumpkin: turn a chunk of Portland Stone into a masterpiece using traditional stone carving techniques. Tues 27, Weds 28 & Thurs 29 Oct. Suitable 8-13 years.
Coplestone and the Peculiar Potions: Halloween Trail, Hestercombe Gardens, nr Taunton
Walk through the gardens looking out for the special ingredients needed to complete Coplestone’s mother’s mysterious potion, from sweet honeycomb near the beehives, to a suspicious pink liquid by the Witch’s Hut.
Half Term at The Tank Museum, Bovington
Drive a mini Landrover, free trails and a brand new WWII exhibition at the UK’s best collection of tanks (300 of them) covering 100 years of history.
Halloween Half Term, Forde Abbey, nr Chard
Pick a homegrown pumpkin from the kitchen garden and try your hand at pumpkin rolling on the main lawn.
Puxton Pumpkin Patch, Puxton Park, Hewish
The fields are alive with the sight of orange pumpkins – thousands and thousands of ’em. Pick, paint, then have fun in the rest of the Park.
Halloween at Wookey Hole Caves, nr Wells
If you can’t go OTT at Halloween – a witch in her grotto, a ghost train, people-eating dinos, King Kong, crazy mirrors, spooky caves and tunnels – when can you?
The Gingerbread Man, Lighthouse Poole, Weds 28 Oct
Stuff and Nonsense apply their usual brilliance with a mix of puppetry, live action, great music, humour and a stunning staging in the tale of the Gingerbread Man who must use his wits to escape anyone who finds him tasty. Ages 3 years+
Halloween Fun, Shire Hall Historic Courthouse, Dorchester
Explore the cells and find out what it was like to be held prisoner here plus slime-making workshops, a count-the-spiders trail and story-telling.