Family: Wicked Hallowe’en
Emily Martin picks 10 things to do with your little pumpkins on our patch
What a Carve Up
If you haven’t carved a face in a pumpkin on Hallowe’en, then frankly what were you doing? It’s an essential part of the Hallowe’en checklist and this October half term you can tick it off in the Great Barn at Wimpole. Pumpkins and carving tools are provided, just bring your ideas and your nerves of steel.
Wimpole Hall and Home Farm, Arrington SG8 0BW. October 19–November 3, 11am-4pm, £4 per pumpkin. Booking essential via nationatrust.org.uk/wimpole-estate
If you go to dinner at Oliver Cromwell’s House, keep your wits about you as one of the diners will be harbouring a terrible secret. Dinner at OC’s is typically ruined by the announcement of a murder, and then you must follow the clues to figure out whodunnit. If that’s a bit too scary for the whole family, why not book onto the Cromwell Quest and search for ancient treasure? Or try a Family Escape Room session and see how well you can work together when trapped in a room? A useful family skill to practise in time for Christmas.
Oliver Cromwell’s House, St Mary’s Street, Ely CB7 4HF. Visit olivercromwellshouse.co.uk for details of all events and to book.
This one is just for grown-ups, so cover the children’s ears as you prepare for an evening of spooky stories from across England. Arrive at the ex-Victorian prison, a (totally safe and fine) Norman building lit with candles (again, all sounds fine). Then a Victorian gentleman will lock the doors (what?!) and errr. . . you can relax for the evening? Drinks and nibbles are included and booking essential.
Moyes’s Hall Museum, Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1DX. October 31, 6.30-8.30pm, £10, over-18s only. Call (01284) 758000 to book.
Join the Craft Foxes for an afternoon of fun making lanterns and monster window decorations. You get juice and a biscuit and feel free to dress up, but make sure you’re wearing clothes you don’t care too much about as you’re expected to leave in a big ol’ monstrous mess.
The Apex, arc, 1 Charter Square Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3FD. October 23, 2-3.30pm, £15, ages 7 and over. Head to theapex.co.uk for more information.
Raising money for St Nicholas Hospice Care, come and join the 1km parade around the pumpkin-lined hospice ground. All are invited to dress up and children will receive a medal and sweets.
St Nicholas Hospice Care, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds IP33 2QY. October 26, 10am-1pm, £5. Online booking essential, head to stnicholashospice.org.uk to join the parade.
For harvest vibes on overload, check this one out. Undley Farm’s pumpkin patch is celebrating its 20th birthday with a maize maze event, running throughout October. Pick your own pumpkins, watch marvellous magic shows and investigate an inflatable obstacle course. There’s even a pumpkin-shaped bouncy castle. Refreshments available too. Sounds like you’re going to need them.
Undley Farm, Undley Road, Beck Row or visit undleyfarmevents.co.uk.
Grab your broomstick and head to Audley End House and Gardens for a bewitchingly brilliant day. Expect creepy crafts, a witch-themed quest, a fancy-dress competition and coming face to face with real snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies. If grown-ups fall under the spooky spell too, they can join the (adults only) Ghost Tour of the main house, looking for ghouls by candlelight. Spook-tacular.
Audley End House and Gardens, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF. Visit english-heritage.org.uk for more details, prices and to book.
This is a family friendly rave with a Hallowe’en twist. DJ Trax and Countmonkula will be throwing on the classic old school tunes, providing the soundtrack for themed crafts, giant balloons, glitter cannons, bubble machines, amazing lighting (no strobes), face painting and optional fancy dress. Organisers ask that you’re mindful of young children when choosing your costume. You know how you get carried away sploshing on that fake blood.
Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave, The Maltings, Ship Lane, Ely CB7 4BB. October 26, 2-4pm. For booking and some housekeeping rules visit eventbrite.co.uk/e/big-fish-little-fish-ely-family-rave-halloween-special-tickets-63375307250
Spooks & Sparkles
Watch fireworks light up the sky for the annual Hallowe’en and Firework Festival at Huntingdon Racecourse. Dress to scare and be in with the ghoulish chance of winning spookiest customer (we bet there are some year-round contenders for that one). Enjoy fun for all of the family with large fairground rides, food stalls, a real ale tent and spookiest pumpkin competition tooOoo.
Huntingdon Racecourse, Thrapston Road, Brampton, Huntingdon PE28 4NL. November 3, gates at 6pm, fireworks at 7.30pm. Tickets from £5, under 18s go free. Visit jockeyclub.co.uk for more
If you can’t get enough of the pumpkin patch action, here’s another one for you - and it’s for a brilliant cause. The GeeWizz Charity Pumpkin Patch and Maize Maze is a fun day out where kids can run free and pick their own pumpkins, plus learn about how pumpkins are grown while getting their faces painted and sipping on refreshments. All while raising awareness and funds for GeeWizz, the Suffolk and Norfolk charity which supports children and young adults dealing with disability and life-threatening illness.
GeeWizz Pumpkin Patch, Hall Farm, The Drift, Bury St Edmunds IP31 1SL. October 19-27, 11am-3.30pm. Visit geewizzcharity.com for more information.