Here’s our pick of the best events coming next month across the destinations and attractions we work with. Most events require booking in advance. As ever, please check individual websites for the latest updates.
8 –16 October (excluding Sunday 10 October)
One of Europe’s largest and oldest travelling funfairs, dating back to the 13th Century, returns to Hull after last year’s event was cancelled for the first time in 75 years. Promising its usual mix of fairground favourites, food stalls, children’s rides and thrilling sky-high attractions, a city car park will once more be transformed into a venue for around 300 rides and attractions, including thrilling big wheel rides offering spectacular views across the fairground and city.
7, 14, 21 and 26 October
‘Great live music, tasty food and welcoming crowds’. The hugely successful Trinity Live is returning to Hull’s Trinity Market with weekly live music, which attracts extra people into the market during the evening as well as giving a platform to many local bands and performers.
Lone Flyer – The last Flight of Amy Johnson
Hull Truck Theatre
Tickets from £10
A powerful play about a Hull heroine, one of the most inspirational women of the twentieth century. As the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, Amy’s career reached new heights, but the outbreak of the Second World War changed everything, and she finds herself facing her greatest challenge yet. Driven by the need to escape from one life to another, follow Amy’s journey from humble beginnings to become one of Britain’s most influential female aviators.
Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens
9 & 10 October
Tickets: £8 adults, children (4-15) £5.50
Enjoy a seasonal celebration at Burton Agnes Hall and Garden’s Autumn Festival featuring local food, drink and craft stalls, with festival entertainment, tours and much more..
East Riding Festival of Words
15-23 October 2021
The East Riding Festival of Words is back with live events this autumn. The main festival will take place from Friday, 15 to Saturday, 23 October, with additional events scheduled in the lead up, plus a varied programme of children’s events too.
Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens
23 -31 October
Included with normal admission prices: £8 adults, children (4-15) £5.50
Over October half term, pop to Burton Agnes for a hunt around the peaceful yet eerily atmospheric woodland, featuring a frightfully fun series of handcrafted scenes. Each dramatic scene asks a single question and bears a freaky fact. Decipher the full trail of spooky clues and enjoy a treat.
Halloween Spooky Gardens
Sewerby Hall and Gardens
Day ticket: £8.20 adult, £6 child (3-15)
Explore the gardens to see what spooky characters you can find. Plus also:
Weird Wildcats Webs and other spooky crafts
Create chilling critters and design dreadful decorations in Sewerby Hall’s bewitching beasts and bauble bonanza session. Drop-in session from 10.30am until 2.30pm. Children must be accompanied throughout.
Rusticus Lantern Making Workshop
Join Sewerby’s medieval man of the woods, John Forrester, as he shares the secrets of lantern making. John has everything you need for a family to enjoy designing and making their very own lanterns together.
Rusticus Lantern Adventure
Join intrepid adventurers on a journey by lantern-light into the grounds at Sewerby Hall and Gardens to meet some of its most iconic crepuscular creatures – magnificent moth, barmy bat and bashful barn owl – as they show why dusk is the most magical time of day.
Spooky Magic Day and Face Painting
Professor Bubbles presents his spectacular spooky magic show. Come as you are or dressed for the occasion. Join a day of spooky fun and games with Spooky Halloween Magic Shows at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm, plus a professional face painter will also be available between 10.30am until 3.30pm. Booking advised, as places will be limited.
Musical Fireworks Spectacular 2021
30 October 2021
Tickets: £11, adults, £6.50 child (Age 3-16), must be pre booked
It’s the sixth year of the fantastic Musical Firework Spectacular event – and set to be the best! Discover a spooky side of fireworks with fantastic and terrifying tunes which accompany the big bangs and mesmerising colours to light up the sky with a spectacular spooky twist!
Derby Folk Festival 2021
1-3 October 2021
Derby Market Place
Tickets: from £25
In its 15th year, 2021’s Folk Festival is back, and will take place in the “Love Derby” temporary venue on the new-look Derby Market Place. Last year’s event went virtual, but now many of the artists who had planned to be in Derby last year will be back performing live shows, drawing folk enthusiasts back into the heart of the city.
Bustler’s Burger Festival – Patty Party
15-17 October 2021
Admission: £5.50, includes a free beer
A Burger Lovers Dream… join the festival of Burgers at Bustler Market, a street food event with some of the UK’s best street food traders, along with music, craft beer and cocktails. Based in The Chocolate Factory, Derby’s newest and biggest independent events destination, it promises a ‘beast’ of a line up, with eight of the UK’s best street food burger traders, plus eating competitions, games and prizes, live music & DJs.
Afternoon Tea with your Pooch
The Wonky Table
10 October 2021
Well behaved Dogs (and humans) only! Enjoy a Classic Afternoon Tea for yourself, homemade by the Wonky Table chefs, and a canine friendly version, made by specialist Ruffles Dog Bakery, for your best friend. The ‘Doggie Menu’ includes personalised cupcake, ‘Jammy Dogger’ and Paw Print Biscuits. Human companions can enjoy afternoon treats ranging from finger sandwiches and sausage rolls to filled meringue and salted caramel eclair… with scones, cream & jam, of course.
Assemble: Derby’s Festival of Making
Museum of Making at Derby
23 October 2021
Assemble: Derby’s Festival of Making is an annual gathering that celebrates makers of all shapes and sizes, this year staged at the Museum of Making on what is widely regarded as the site of the world’s first factory. Discover the creations of makers, engineers, tinkerers, crafters, hobbyists and more, and have a go yourself with all sorts of fun, hands-on activities for makers of all ages. A family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness.
Derby Family Arts Festival 2021
23 – 31 October 2021
The festival will bring a variety of creative events and activities to families in Derby this half-term, covering film, art, music and theatre with many events being free. The diverse programme is organised by Derby’s Family Art Network, which is a partnership to increase participation opportunities and cultural events across the city.
Meet a Maker Trail
Museum of Making
24 – 31 October 2021
£1 per trail sheet
This half-term, journey around the Museum of Making to find out about some of the ingenious makers whose creations make up this fascinating collection. Complete the challenges as you go to discover your inner maker.
Bluebells Halloween Festival
23 – 31 October 2021
Admission: From £10.95 adult, £12.95 children, booking advised
A pumpkin picking patch with thousands of pumpkins, Halloween trail, daily spooky shows, and playful sheep racing are just some of the treats in store at Bluebells this year. There are thousands of pumpkins to choose from in all shapes and sizes at the Pumpkin Picking Patch, while at the pumpkin carving table, turn your pumpkin into a spooktacular Jack-o-lantern. But it’s not just about pumpkin picking, among activities and shows are a Trick or Treat Training Show, Pansy Pickle’s Pumpkin Pursuit, Piggy Apple Bobbing, Spooky Sheep race, fancy dress parade and ghoulish play barn. Plus, there’s the rick or Treat Maize Maze. Once a year, the maize maze comes alive with the sound of spooky screams. There are ghoulish surprises up every turn: haunted houses, witch covens, and more.
Lincoln Grand Prix and Sportive
Free to attend
A weekend of cycling events, and for the first time in the event’s history, the national champions’ jerseys will be presented for the road race, time trial and circuit in the same week. The Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix comes to historic Lincoln and for 2021 the National Championships brings together Time Trial, Circuit Races and Road Races, welcoming the highest level of British riders in the world. The steep hills of Lincoln’s cobbled Cathedral Quarter offer a popular, and tough, route for the riders and spectators.
Frequency Festival of Digital Culture 2021
Free to attend
Marking its 10th anniversary, Frequency International Festival of Digital Culture returns to Lincoln from 28th – 31st October 2021. Once again, the city streets will come alive as established and emerging artists alike light up Lincoln’s historic centre as we safely welcome people back to enjoy a range of captivating sights and sounds. Frequency Festival has become a key highlight in the city’s cultural calendar with inspiring pop-ups in non-traditional spaces. Each edition of the festival has seen unexpected imaginative adventures – from VR experiences in sheds to Turner Prize-winning artists taking over Lincoln Cathedral.
Spooky Tours at Burghley House
20-31 October 2021 (excluding Sunday 24 October).
Tickets: £22 each, available online only
Spooky lantern-lit tours at one of England’s grandest Elizabethan houses returns with more scary stories and haunting hidden history. Led by a costumed ghostly expert, this year the guided tours will brave the creepiest corners and darkest depths of the grounds at Burghley. Taking place in the Gardens in twilight with low level lighting across uneven surfaces, steps and grass areas, the tours are designed to be scary but fun, and reveal Burghley’s ghostly goings-on across the centuries. Often an early sell-out, there are four tours every night.
Love Cheese Live
Staffordshire County Showground
22-23 October 2021
Admission: adults £15, children Free (under 16 years)
Love Cheese Live – the UK’s largest cheese and food weekender with cooking inspiration, shopping and tasting. Watch Michelin starred, celebrity and top local chefs cook their signature cheese recipes, and tuck into street food offering flavours from around the world plus learn what it takes to be the best at the International Cheese and Dairy Awards – the largest cheese show in the world, with over 5,000 cheeses on display.
Stone Food & Drink Festival
Admission: Online tickets: £9pp; On gate: £10pp/day
Food lovers are in for a treat this October, with the return of Stone’s annual celebration of all things food and drink. For one ‘big weekend’ the town’s Westbridge Park transforms into a foodie haven packed with artisan produce, street food stalls, live cookery demonstrations with top local chefs, talks, tastings and live music. Local breweries will be out in force to create Staffordshire’s biggest ‘beer garden’ centred around lead sponsor Joule’s Brewery’s pop-up pub and there will be plenty to keep younger visitors entertained with circus skills workshops, fairground rides and the chance to make their own milkshakes.
The Laboratory: Art Installation
1-31 October 2021
A free and contemporary installation artwork by Artist Peter Walker and featuring sound compositions by David Harper. Explore the fascinating world around us through the eyes of a scientist. The installation will be included in The Great Exhibition: SCIENCE and will also be the centrepiece for a range of free family activities during October half term.
Alton Towers Resort
8-10 and 15-31 October 2021
With spooks, frights and thrills for everyone! The Theme Park becomes home to Halloween, remaining open until late so you can enjoy your favourite rides in the dark plus loads of extra entertainment. For spooky young visitors, there are live shows and the famous freaky four to meet, whilst older families will enjoy the scare zone.
National Forest Adventure Farm
16, 17, 23-31 October
Admission: online tickets only, £14.99 adults and children, under 2 free.
All the fun of the farm plus a day packed with spooky Halloween fun! Take the pumpkin wagon tractor ride to the pumpkin patch to pick your own, learn to fly a broomstick in an interactive show, join Scare School, visit mad Professor Lewey in his crazy lab, and have a go at pumpkin carving.
National Forest Adventure Farm
Various dates in October
Admission: online tickets only, check website for details, early booking discounts
After a year away, Screamfest is back from the dead and returns in 2021. Scares for this year are Creed Farm, Le Theatre Noir, Hillbilly Joe’s Zombee Zoo, Love Hurts and Freakout on Tour, plus there is entertainment including fairground rides, live shows and food and drin
Halloween Spooky Steam Specials
Apedale Valley Light Railway
30-31 October 2021
Admission: £3.50 (adults) and £1.50 (children).
Apedale Valley Light Railway, in Staffordshire will be running its popular Spooky Specials again in October. A fun outing, suitable for all ages, the steam trains will run at frequent intervals, finishing at 7.30pm. Wrap up warm and bring a torch!
Oktoberfest is coming to Stafford for one night of traditional Bavarian music from Schunklers Oompah Showband, plus street food vendors and mobile bars.
British Ceramics Biennial
Until 17 October
One of this year’s top visual arts events in the UK, outside of London, the British Ceramics Biennial has returned to Stoke-on-Trent, with a vibrant five-week festival of new artist commissions, exhibitions and hands-on events that celebrate the life, character and creativity that ceramics bring to the city. The Goods Yard, a 19th century former warehouse in the heart of Stoke, has been transformed and animated by the UK’s leading ceramic artists and emerging talents, many of them taking inspiration from the city’s industrial heritage and transforming tradition in a contemporary way.
Bond in Motion – No Time To Die
From 15 October 2021
Included in normal admission: £23 adult, £12 child (5-16)
Already one of the South of England’s top family days out, Beaulieu will now be home to Bond in Motion – No Time To Die, a new exhibition featuring the iconic cars, gadgets and costumes from the latest 007 film, the 25th James Bond film. The exhibition will be the first opportunity for the public to see the folding-wing glider from the film, with the full-size model suspended above Bond’s iconic silver birch Aston Martin DB5, complete with new LED number plate and machine guns. Also on display will be the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, the No Time To Die Aston Martin V8 and the Chevy Bel Air.
Creative Footsteps Nature and Literary Festival
Follow in the Creative Footsteps of some of Hampshire’s literary greats. To celebrate the literary heritage of East Hampshire, and the beautiful scenery that inspired it, local visitor attractions have come together to form a literary festival. The programme of events will range from talks and workshops at venues such as The Allen Gallery, The Petersfield Museum, Chawton House, Jane Austen’s House Museum and Gilbert White’s House & Gardens.
October Half Term at Spinnaker Tower
23- 31 October 2021
Admission: included in standard admission (from £13 adults, £9.85 child)
Head to the top of the Tower for a spooky sky-high game of i-spy, and watch out for some extra spooky surprises hidden around the tower itself! Brace yourself for a thrilling experience and brave the nerve-jangling glass Sky Walk or just take it easy and enjoy the view from Spinnaker Tower – the stunning 170-metre icon of the South Coast and Britain’s best viewing tower.
Happy Halloween at Paultons Park
From 14 October 2021
Admission: check website for details, limited tickets and must be pre-booked
New land, Tornado Springs, will have a ghostly makeover and Peppa Pig fans will delight in seeing Peppa Pig World transformed for Halloween, including Grandpa Pig’s ‘World’s Biggest Pumpkin’ growing in its greenhouse. Paultons Park’s exclusive show, The Legend of Paultons Manor, will make a grand return this year, while the whole Park will be festooned with thousands of pumpkins and straw hay bales.
Spooky Halloween River Tour
New Forest Activities
From 23 October 2021
Tickets: £34 adult, £25 Child
With so much history and stories of resident ghosts, are you brave enough to venture out onto the Beaulieu River at dusk? Head out in illuminated canoes onto the estuary at nightfall on this 90 minute, canoeing tour. Paddle the Beaulieu River’s dark waters by moonlight, stopping along the way to hear ghoulish ghost stories from your night-time guide. Hot chocolate and Halloween candy will be available for everyone taking part. Fancy dress is not essential but encouraged!
Canoe Halloween Candy Hunt
Available from October
Tickets: £34 adult, £25 Child
Treat (not trick) your little monsters to some scarily good fun on the Beaulieu River this Halloween. Head out in stable Canadian canoes on the hunt for devilishly delicious Halloween candy along the riverside.
Spooky Halloween River Tour, Hampshire
Spooky Tours at Burghley House, Lincolnshire
Burton Agnes Hall & Garden's, East Yorkshire
Museum of Making - Assemble: Derby’s Festival of Making
Love Cheese Live, Staffordshire
Frequency Festival, Lincoln - photo credit: Electric Egg