Ten super ideas for families during October half-term

It’s down to you to keep the family entertained during the October school break. No pressure there then… Just as well we’ve got you covered with these ten awesome days out for everyone to enjoy, from ice-skating to becoming a superhero and lots more!

Learn to roller skate

Hyde Park Corner, London

Grab your skates and your bearings: you’re taking the kids to a mass skate in London’s Hyde Park Corner. Also known as ‘Sunday Stroll Skating’, this weekend (Sunday 15 October) skate club is designed for beginners and children accompanied by adults. Not only is it jolly good fun, it’s also free to participate, which should put a smile on your face even if the thought of balancing on a set of wheels fills you with dread. The weekly event departs from Serpentine Road in Hyde Park at 2pm.

Discover creepy crawly creatures

SEA LIFE Brighton

Thrill seekers and brave souls, it’s your time to shine. This October, SEA LIFE Brighton is hosting a Fear Forest exhibition in its Rainforest Adventure area. Though it may sound a bit scary for the little ones, they’ll love learning about the extraordinary beasts found in each tank. Creature handling sessions take place three times a day and guests are invited to take part in a ‘Yucky Dip’ in the gift shop for the chance to win toys, sweets and VIP feeding experiences.

Get Halloween crafty

Wyevale Garden Centre, Bicester, Oxfordshire

Garden Centres: the bane of any child’s life. But not for much longer! The Bicester Avenue branch of the Wyevale Garden Centre group is hosting loads of Halloween events for little monsters during October half-term. From planting your own mystical heather and decorating a plant pot, to creating a spider finger puppet and learning how to carve a face into a pumpkin, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained while the grown-ups supervise with a cup of something nice. You’ll need to book tickets to the activities in advance.

Draw purrrfect pet portraits

National Museum Cardiff

Whether it’s a dog, cat, guinea pig or parrot, we’ve all got a favourite pet or animal we count as family (or certainly one that we’re hoping Santa might bring). Between 31 October and 3 November, the National Museum in Cardiff is showing the portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet with her pet parakeet and inviting visitors to draw their own portrait with a pet, whether it’s real or imaginary. It’s free to attend though places are limited, so you’ll need to book on arrival. Find out more online about the timings of the portrait sessions.

Family festival vibes

Herefordshire’s Family Festival, The Courtyard, Hereford

Expect a day of enchanting performances, creative workshops and bewitching activities at Herefordshire’s Family Festival on Wednesday 25 October. This will be the third annual family-friendly festival, which follows last year’s successful installment that saw over 1000 visitors. The full list of events is still to be revealed but get yourself and the children down to The Courtyard on Edgar Street for an afternoon of fun.

Do a big fun run

Victoria Park, London

What better way to encourage the family to exercise than by signing up to a 5k run together. Adults and children alike can take part in a Big Fun Run at London’s Victoria Park on Sunday 29 October at 11am. Whether you’re running for fitness, charity or just to get moving and have a laugh, this is the running event for you! Standard entries close Thursday 19 October at 5pm, so sign-up now if you’re keen.

The ultimate Lego workshop

Weston Museum, Weston-super-Mare

The Weston Museum needs your help. Inspired by their new temporary exhibition ‘Making Weston Museum’, visitors are being invited to create their own dream museum using Lego. Workshops are for one hour at timed slots throughout the day on 21 October. It’s set to be super fun for the children and though the parents will need to stay within sight of the little ones, they’re free to enjoy a peaceful cuppa in the café next to the Learning Space (and relax…). Tickets can be bought in advance from the museum reception and cost £3 per child or £5 for two children together.

Choo choo choose your superhero

Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company, Paignton

The Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company is hosting a Superhero Fortnight from 16_28 October. Whether your child’s inner superhero is Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman or even a Ninja Turtle, this is the perfect occasion for them to wear fancy dress and have a laugh during the school break. All children who journey dressed as their favourite superhero character will travel for free! Grown ups, you don’t get away with it that easily, if there’s a fancy dress superhuman cloak tucked away in your wardrobe, well, you know what to do.

Reveal Harry Potter’s History of Magic

The British Library, London

From pondering the peculiarities of potions to discovering enchanted creatures and more, you can delve into Harry Potter’s world of magic at The British Library. Fans and visitors will be able to marvel at original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling from the series and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Adults everywhere may be feeling very old all of a sudden…

Ice ice baby

Eden Project, Cornwall

From exploring tropical rainforests to learning about all forms of plant life and more, the Eden Project has loads to offer families during the October break and it’s not all wildlife specific. From 14 October right through to February 2018, the Eden Project ice rink is open for all to enjoy. Sessions begin on the hour, last for 40 minutes and cost £7 for adults and £6 for children.