Kent’s most frightening (and fun!) Halloween attractions
Halloween is a brilliantly frightening yet fun time of year, and every time it comes around it seems to be bigger, better and spookier than ever before. Since it lands rather neatly close to the autumn half term for schools, it’s a great way to get out of the house and spend some fang-tastic fun with your entire family, but don’t worry, for those grownups who like to have the wits scared out of them – there are plenty of adult-only events going on as well if you want a proper fright!
Broadditch Hauntfest // 12-31 Oct
Award-winning Broadwitch Hauntfest is a truly amazing experience for all, from fear-seeking brave souls to fun-loving scare hunters. For younger visitors, there are fun daytime Halloween activities during half-term week (20th-28th October); for the over 16s looking for a more intense experience, there are five haunts open over thirteen ‘live’ nights during October (check website for exact dates and prices).
Screamland // 13-31 Oct
Every October, Dreamland mutates into Screamland. This after-dark event is the biggest and best scare festival in Kent. Get your tickets now to experience the darker side of Dreamland over seven nights this Halloween between 13th and 31st October. Be immersed in a frightening world of interactive scare mazes and sideshows set to thrill and haunt the darkest soul. Your Screamland ticket includes access to all seven scare mazes plus unlimited use of all the rides.
Drusillas // 20-28 Oct
Allow your wicked side to show this Halloween at Drusillas Park. The award-winning zoo has all sorts of seasonal surprises and eerie entertainment planned to keep your little horrors half-term happy between Saturday 20th and Sunday 28th October. Drusillas has conjured up some fang-tastically spooky surprises, plus the Gruffalo will be making an appearance on Wednesday 24th October! Come and see the mystical monster who lives in the deep dark wood. He will be meeting brave visitors at intervals throughout the day. Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, call 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk.
Spooky Spider Hunt // 20-28 Oct
Drop in throughout half term (Saturday 20th-Sunday 28th October) to explore RSPB Dungeness Reserve’s nature trail and learn about the wonders of spiders on your way around. Can you find the answers to all the questions on the spiders that are hidden around the trail? There’s a prize if you can find them all! This is a self-led activity, so pick up an activity sheet from the visitor centre, open daily from 10am to 4pm, throughout half term. £1 to take part. Usual entry fee applies to walk the nature trail (free for RSPB members and Wildlife Explorers).
The Addams Family at Groombridge Place // 20-28 Oct
Meet the Addams Family at Groombridge Place this October half term between Saturday 20th October and Sunday 28th October 2018.
After receiving an invitation to meet a mysterious guest, the Addams family sets off, encountering creepy ghouls, ghosts, demons, and witches along the way. Using their macabre sense of style and wit, the Addams family band together to take visitors on a musical journey to solve the mystery of who sent them on this perilous trip through the Enchanted Forest. All the spooky fun begins when the doors open at 10am and visitors are greeted by the fascinating Addams family characters including Gomez and Morticia Addams and their children Wednesday and Pugsley.
There will also be two Addams Family musical shows and singalongs around the attraction every day together with children’s games and activities.
Halloween Fun at Hever Castle // 20-28 Oct
Prepare to be spooked this Halloween at Hever Castle & Gardens. Listen to ghostly tales in the Ghost Catcher’s Lair, follow the pumpkin trail in the grounds and get spooked learning about the ghosts of Hever in the castle. Create a ghost puppet in a free creepy-craft workshop or decorate a ghoulish biscuit* (*small additional charge). With prizes for the scariest costumes, a visit to Hever Castle is sure to be spine-tingling fun for all the family.
Photo credit: Hever Castle & Gardens
Halloween Monster Quest // 20-28 Oct
This October half term help Monster Hunter, Valerie Van Helsing on a quest through the grounds of Leeds Castle to investigate ‘The Case of the Halloween Monster’, but watch out for Halloween bandits along the way! Lookout for Vinnie the Vampire and Frank Frankenstein amongst others! Complete your trail card and claim your chocolate reward. A fun new haunted trail will also guide younger visitors through the Woodland Walk (small additional charge applies). At 12pm and 3pm, dance outdoors in the children’s ‘Monster Mash Ball’ and take part in the daily fancy dress competition at 2pm with prizes for the best costume. There will be lots of ghoulish games and frightening fun to be had at Leeds Castle this half term.
Photo credit: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com
Halloween Spooktacular at Kent Life // 20-28 Oct
A spooky week full of family fun and games takes place at Kent Life in Maidstone from 20th to 28th October 2018. Come along in the daytime between 10am and 5pm and join in with the family friendly Halloween events as Kent Life is transformed for the spooky season.
There’s pumpkin carving, creepy cuddle corner, spooky farm rides and daily fancy dress competitions. Are you brave enough to come along and trick or treat in the historic houses? You never know who’s lurking behind the doors! There will also be fantastic shows in the Big Top.
Betteshanger Halloween Trail // 20-28 Oct
Deep in the woods, something is stirring. Vampires are on the loose, but there’s work to be done. Dr. Trudy Helsing has dedicated her career to finding a cure for ‘The Thirst’, but now – after a huge explosion at her secret underground laboratory deep below Betteshanger’s woodland – her research is scattered and questions have been left unanswered. Solve the riddles, complete the activities and earn your place in the Vampire Welfare Society. Welly boots advisable! £1.50 per trail pack. Suitable for all ages (will appeal most to 3-8 year olds). Booking not required. Collect your pack from Cycle Hire.
Spook Quest // 20-28 Oct
This October half term, ghosts and ghouls will be hidden throughout The Canterbury Tales! Alongside the regular storytelling tours, young visitors can enjoy a spooky trail through the attraction’s authentic recreation of medieval England. Armed with a Spook Quest trail sheet, kids will hunt down ghosts hidden within the popular attraction’s colourful scenery. Complete the trail to claim a spooktacular prize!
Haunted Castle // 20-28 Oct
Feeling brave enough to take on Kent’s most haunted castle? Prepare to be scared this autumn half term as a frighteningly fun day out awaits you at Dover Castle. Are you brave enough to enter the tunnel of terror or say boo to a ghost or two? Have a go at creating creepy crafts and see if you can scare everyone enough to win a prize for the best children’s Halloween costume, bestowed on the most spine tingling attire each day.
Wild Things at Halloween // 22 & 24 Oct
Come along to Dungeness this half term to learn about some of the awesome and gruesome wildlife there. Delve into the ponds to discover leeches and toads. Mix up concoctions in a cauldron to feed the birds. Search the trail for slimy slugs and unusual fungi. Collect materials to make your own monsters to take home with you. Please feel free to come in fancy dress but do bear in mind that most activities will be outdoors (in case of extreme bad weather, alternative activities will be held indoors). Please wear sensible footwear and bring a packed lunch. Children £8. Accompanying adults £2. 20 per cent discount for Wildlife Explorers.
Family Fun at Hempstead Valley // 22-28 Oct
Free family fun during October half term from Monday 22nd until Sunday 28th October, 11am to 3pm daily. For seven days during the October half term, Hempstead Valley is providing fun, family activities – best of all, they are all free! Free activities every day include face painting and make-and-take Halloween arts and crafts. Customers can just turn up on the day, no pre-booking is required. The activities will be held inside the centre. Children must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times and activities are suitable for all ages from toddlers to grandparents.
Pumpkin Half Term Fun // 23 Oct
Children will choose and harvest their own organic pumpkin from Bore Place’s vegetable garden then carve it into a spooky Jack O’ Lantern. They’ll then bake delicious cheese scones to enjoy with pumpkin soup for lunch and there is also an opportunity to meet the cows and visit the farm at the end of the session for those interested. This session is most suited to children aged 5-11 years. Older or younger children are welcome to attend if parents/carers wish to book. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult (no charge). Cost includes lunch of soup and scones (for accompanying adult too!).
Halloween High Jinx // 23-25 Oct
Hop aboard a steam or heritage diesel train from Kent & Sussex Railway to take a ride to Bodiam while staying warm and dry, and enjoy the onboard activities for children. Make your own Halloween mask or glasses and create a magical spooky picture with the stickers and pictures provided. Why not pop in to enjoy a magic show with Mr Mystery in the heated marquee at Tenterden station…and there’s free face painting too. Marvel at the bugs and beasts on display at Bodiam station and take a walk along to the National Trust castle at Bodiam enjoying a small discount on entry upon production of your valid train tickets. Prices for tickets are £38 for a family travelcard for two adults and up to three children (aged 3-15 years), £18 per adult and £12 per child (aged 15+). Children under 3 travel for free and do not require a ticket.
On Friday 26th October, ride the Fright Night Express if you dare! Visit the railway from 5pm for a Fright Night workshop including pumpkin carving (which you can take home) and face painting. Families are encouraged to come in fancy dress…the scarier the better!
Spooky music will be accompanied by the beats of the Drumskullz and an amazing live fire breather will add to the atmosphere before everyone boards the Fright Night Express in time for a 7pm departure. Children will receive a munchbox during the journey. Hot snacks will be available to purchase from the licensed restaurant at Tenterden Town station, to eat-in or take on the train. Upon arrival at Northiam station, enjoy a firework display before the return journey to Tenterden, which will see the train arrive back at the station for approximately 8.45pm.
Halloween Pumpkin Hunt // 25 & 26 Oct
A spooktacular charity event is to take place during the October half term with families urged to book their places now to avoid disappointment. The Halloween Pumpkin Hunt has been organised by Demelza Hospice Care for Children with events to take place in Chislehurst, Gravesend, Greenwich, Hastings, Sevenoaks, West Malling and Whistable on Thursday 25th October and Friday 26th October.
For each event, pumpkins will be on display with various retailers and at local landmarks, and children will be required to hunt for them around their local town while picking up treats from shops and businesses along the way. Children are encouraged to wear fancy dress with lots of witch, wizard, bat, cat and monster costumes expected. The best Halloween costume in each location will win a prize and winners from each town will then be judged against each other for the chance of winning a Merlin family pass. The whole family are invited along for some frightfully good fun.
The Halloween Pumpkin Hunt takes approximately one hour to complete and is open to children aged 3-11. Those taking part will be given their own Pumpkin Passport to get stamped and will be given treats at stops along the route. The Halloween Pumpkin Hunt costs £5 per child and grownups can go along for free.
Money raised will go to Demelza Hospice Care for Children, a charity which provides specialist care and emotional support for children with terminal conditions and their loved ones, so they can enjoy their time together as a family for as long as they have. Each event is being sponsored and supported by local businesses.
Vampire Vanquish // 25-27 Oct
Breaking Halloween news: vampires are real! They’ve escaped from a top secret underground laboratory deep in the heart of Betteshanger Park. Do you have what it takes to help Dr. Trudy Helsing, vampiric biologist and descendant of legendary vampire slayer, Abraham Van Helsing, track down the coven and cure the vampires of their thirst? Test your courage and navigate the dark woods, discover the vampire hideout and administer the antidote on our specialised, foam-tipped arrows. This thrilling 40-minute expedition combines archery TAG, teamwork and some serious guts. Suitable for ages 10 and over.
Murder Mystery // 25-27 Oct
Arrive at Dover Castle for an evening of gothic mystery, intrigue and murder. The year is 1852 and you are invited to take a seat at the dining table of the castle’s grand banquet hall in Constable’s Tower for an exclusive dinner. But the evening takes a dramatic turn when a scream is heard from within the kitchen. Now it is up to you to use your powers of deduction to solve the mysterious murder that has taken place.
Kent-Aminated // 26-28 Oct
The zombie apocalypse is upon us…the once beautiful sites of Kent Life have been ‘Kent-aminated’. The familiar buildings have fallen into disarray and the Big Top transformed into a medical tent to cope with the ever growing numbers of casualties while members of staff fight to defend the historic houses from ruin and provide a place of safety for the people of Kent. You, along with your fellow survivors, must gather at the Registration Point to be processed before being guided through Kent Life to the Safe Zone, which is the only way to survive the outbreak. Will you make it out alive?
QuExtreme Terror // 26-28 Oct
Quex Park in association with Nail in the Coffin productions presents QuExtreme Terror for another year! Within the eerie surroundings of Quex Park’s forest areas, maize field and woodland trails, you’re invited to join a spine-chilling adventure like no other. The team have built on the success of the last two years and constructed three thrilling scares…to be announced in due course! If you are looking for an action-packed night, filled with fun and fear this Halloween then look no further – join Quex Park for the ultimate scare park experience! Gates open at 6.30pm and last entry is 8.30pm. Please note this event is for ages 12+.
Halloween at Belmont House // 28 Oct
Enjoy a spooktacular family outing to Belmont this Halloween. Children can reveal their inner artist with pumpkin carving and creepy craft making with Lynsey of Creative Mash Ups. There will also be a spooky trail around the gardens for everyone to enjoy. The tea tent will be open from 11am for soup, cakes and Halloween treats. £5.00 per child, £1.00 per adult (all materials included). No booking required.
Broadstairs Halloween Party // 28 Oct
Children’s Halloween party for children up to 11 years with party games and music. Children must be accompanied by an adult and both must have tickets to be admitted. This is a very popular event and usually sells out in advance so you are advised to purchase tickets as soon as they go on sale.
Spooky Events At The Walnuts // 31 Oct
There are spooky goings on at The Walnuts this Halloween! As it’s also half term, it’s a good idea to start planning your trick-or-treat route for the evening. Why not pop down and take advantage of the free face painters who will be creating all manner of scary faces to go with your outfits? Plus take part in the ghostbuster fun and ‘Hunt the Ghost’ around the centre. And, if that’s not enough, a crazy professor will show you how to make your own slime! All day on Wednesday 31st October from 10am to 4pm. The Walnuts looks forward to scaring…oops…seeing you!