Hampshire takes a spooky turn this October

September 12, 2019

As the temperature begins to drop you’ll be sure to enjoy some heart-warming family experiences with great days out and fun-filled events in Hampshire this October. With many of our attractions taking a spooky turn, we welcome the season of pumpkins and treats…with the occasional trick!

Legend of Paultons Manor Characters
Legend of Paultons Manor Characters

Visit Paultons Park this October from 5th October and experience Happy Halloween, the most frightful fun fest in the UK! New for 2019 and for the very first time, Peppa Pig World will be transformed and you’ll be able to meet Peppa & George in their spooky outfits!

There’s lots happening at Emirates Spinnaker Tower in October. Families can enjoy haunted histories from the view at half term, whilst grown-ups can relax with a few drinks and stunning night time views at the City Lights pop up bar or comedy club events.

The Watercress Line has a spooky day of magic and mischief (26th – 27th October). Sit in the train carriage and visit the Kings Cross footbridge both used in the Harry Potter films. Be whisked away on the Wizard Express, encounter hooting owls and creepy crawlies. Ride the spooky miniature railway and marvel at magic performances!

Head to Marwell Zoo this October and see hundreds of endangered and exotic animals. Keep an eye out for their newest and cutest arrivals including Greater flamingo chicks! Don’t miss the exciting Halloween event this half term where you can enjoy spooky storytelling and go monster hunting around the park.

Mottisfont celebrates the season with Harvest Time activities from 21 September–3 November. Spot scarecrows dressed as famous guests, take part in the ‘Veg Olympics’, and plant a seed to take home. You can learn about how they look after the gardens and gather up crunchy leaves for compost, too.

Beaulieu Fireworks
Beaulieu Fireworks

To start the holidays with a bang, Beaulieu’s Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday 26th October will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an Out of this World theme for the half-centenary of the first moon landing. Choreographed to amazing music, the display is one of the largest in the south.

Incredible Inventions at Winchester Science CentreDiscover super machines and glorious gadgets at the live science show, have fun in the Invention Studio, explore hands-on science exhibits and fly through the universe! Weekends: 19 Oct – 10 Nov/Daily: 25 Oct – 4 Nov.

As the nights draw in join the team at Butser Ancient Farm for some fireside evening’s entertainment this October. On Saturday 5th October archaeologist and broadcaster, Mary-Ann Ochota will join forces with storyteller Jason Buck to unearth a unique blend of archaeology and storytelling, inspired by artefacts discovered across the British Isles. Later in the month the farm with celebrate the Celtic festival of Samhain with live music, storytelling and real ale on Friday 25th October.

Dress to distress in your scariest costume on the streets of Milestones Museum this October half term and claim a sweet treat!* Activities include a “Trick or treat” trail, make-and-take craft, face painting and a funky Halloween disco. Included in normal admission, under 5s free. See website for more details.

October is the anniversary month of the raising of the Mary Rose, so what better time to come and visit Henry VIII’s warship at its amazing purpose-built home in Portsmouth! See the ship come alive through the thousands of objects recovered, as well as the amazing light show on the ship!

Exbury Gardens
Exbury Gardens

Exbury’s 200-acre woodland garden is overflowing with vibrant acers, the National Plant Collection of fiery nyssa and oxydendrum, plus a multitude of plants specifically chosen to create wonderful russet tones in autumn. Making October a beautiful time of year to visit, particularly with a £2 discount on adult tickets too!

You’ll find loads of events and reasons to visit Chawton House on weekly this October. To name a few…to celebrate Libraries Week, join Chawton House Chief Executive, Katie Childs, on a tour of the 2019 exhibition Jane Austen’s Reading on the 11th October. On the 29th October join author Louie Stowell as readers encounter crazy creatures, create magical artwork, wind their way through foreign dictionaries, and unleash their inner wizards just in time to save the librarian. 

Explore Winchester Cathedral’s spectacular new exhibition Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation. This stunning exhibition space will take you on a journey through 1,000 years of history, unlocking Winchester Cathedral’s captivating stories and revealing some of the nation’s greatest treasures.

The Hampshire based Go Ape Sites are set to host the ultimate trick or treat on daredevil customers this Halloween, as they invite fearless families on a spook-tacular twilight adventure in the trees.

With so much history and stories of resident ghosts, are you brave enough to paddle the Beaulieu River’s dark waters by moonlight? Head over to New Forest Activities in your best fancy dress and paddle out on the water in illuminated canoes, stopping along the way to hear ghoulish ghost stories from your nighttime guide. Plus, there’ll be hot chocolate and Halloween candy for everyone taking part! Great for all ages, all equipment provided. See their website for available dates throughout October.

Hedgerow Berries and Winter Ills – an introduction to nature’s medicine chest with Kate Scott BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine. This workshop is at the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst on Saturday 5th October.  

Halloween paddle with New Forest Activities
Halloween paddle with New Forest Activities

See the history of one pond from Saxon time to today’s climate crisis in Pond: Mere, Rune, Flint. An art exhibition at Gilbert White & The Oates Collections

Enjoy a selection of walks between pubs on the annual Classic Buses, Beer and Walking Weekend, or take an autumn leaf out of the Slow Travel Guide which gives information about how to enjoy the Island without your car using bus and train services or your own legwork.

Itchen Valley Country Park will be treating visiting families to a spooktacular time in the woods in the lead up to Halloween over the autumn half-term. If you’d like to swap the sugar overload of trick or treating for a real Halloween adventure.

There’ll be some very strange goings on at Fort Nelson so visit if you dare. Come and find out about vampire killing kits in the fascinating Fort Talk (23 Oct), join the map-cap professor for half-term Victorian science experiments (28 Oct – 1 Nov) and hear tales of the extraordinary at the Myths of the macabre evening (1 Nov). 

Calling all mini witches and Wizards! The Flying Broom Academy at Manor Farm is on Sat 26th Oct to Sun 3rd Nov, 10am to 5pm. Become a pupil at Manor Farm’s Flying Broom Academy this October half-term and learn the learn the magical arts of wand making, spellcasting, potions, and broomstick flying!

Visit Birdworld, one of the UK’s largest bird parks for a range of unique daily shows including a Penguin Feeding Show, Discovery Theatre Session and Animal Encounters(weather permitting). Also running until the end of October go and watch the very popular Outdoor Flying Display.

The Whitchurch Silk Mill is a fitting home for the exhibition ‘The River Test’s Journey’ featuring Pete Gilbert’s paintings and Hugh Lohan’s photographs capturing scenes from Longstock, Leckford, Fullerton, Whitchurch and Tufton in the Test Valley in the beautiful rural Hampshire countryside.

Lots of exciting shows perfect for the little ones coming to Nuffield Southampton Theatres this October! Classic stories such as Rumpelstiltskin and Hansel and Gretel as well as new shows featuring vibrant puppetry; all told in engaging and visual ways, with plenty of fun and laughs for the family. 

You’ll find a whole host of wonderful shows at Theatre Royal Winchester this October. Skylight by David Hare (Thu 10 – Fri 11 Oct), Lily and The Albatross (Sn 13 Oct), Murder, Margaret and Me (Mon 14 – Sat 19 Oct), Shappi Khorsandi (Fri 25 Oct) returns to the stage – fresh from the I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! jungle, and also The Little Prince (Mon 28 – Tues 29 Oct), a dance rendition of the world-famous story by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, featuring a bold set and brightly coloured costumes.