Witches and wizards, creatures of the night, and gruesome creepy-crawlies; read our pick of the best places to visit to keep your little horrors entertained this Halloween and half-term holiday!
West Midland Safari Park
From October 22nd to October 31st, families visiting West Midland Safari Park can enjoy a pumpkin-filled celebration as its Spooky Spectacular returns for another year.
Daring explorers are invited to participate in the ‘Perils of the Pumpkin Patch’ scratch card trail, meet ‘Patch,’ a pumpkin-headed scarecrow with his own live stage show, and take a spooky selfie to be in with the chance to win a family annual pass.
The Park’s Discovery Trail will be transformed with cobwebs, eerie scenes, and over a thousand pumpkins, while the brand-new Lantern Festival also begins this week with a magically illuminated Halloween scene, specially created for the spooky season. www.wmsp.co.uk
Trentham Monkey Forest
Staffordshire’s Monkey Forest has teamed up with the Woodland Trust this year to offer a spooky guided tour with lots of Halloween fun for your little ones.
In addition, if your cheeky monkeys visit the park in Halloween fancy dress on October 31st, the team will let them in for free!
This will be your last chance to see the nine baby macaques born this summer – who are already growing their first thick winter coat in preparation for the colder weather – before the attraction closes for the season on November 1st. www.monkey-forest.com
This Halloween, Dartmoor Zoo will open its doors after dark on Friday, October 29th and Saturday, October 30th for a spooktacular trail through the Zoo.
Listen out for rustling in the trees and look out for peeping eyes as you brave your way through the park. You’ll meet a variety of characters lurking in the shadows, so bring a torch with you!
Suitable for the whole family, follow the light trail through the forest around the big cats, birds, and more; learn all about the wonderful creepy crawlies in the Reptile and Bug House, and feel your way out of the Woodland Spook Maze. https://bit.ly/BOOAtTheZoo
SEA LIFE Aquariums
Join in the spooky fun as SEA LIFE centers across the UK go from Aquarium to Ascarium this Halloween.
Follow the immersive trail to find the Sea Witch’s missing potion ingredients hidden throughout the depths of the tanks, where you will also encounter some of the sea’s most terrifying creatures and may even receive a treat (or trick)!
Visitors will not only be able to follow an excitingly eerie trail, but they will also be able to participate in visual activities and take a supernatural snap with the witch’s cauldron.
Ascarium is on at SEA LIFE centres throughout October, although dates may vary – check individual websites for more information. www.visitsealife.com
Stratford Butterfly Farm
Visitors to Stratford Butterfly Farm can expect to see plenty of creepy crawlies from 23rd to 31st October, with highlights including a brightly coloured orange Pumpkin Patch Spider originating from Colombia and baby Rhinoceros Rat Snakes which have just hatched.
More terrifying insects can also be found in the Minibeast Metropolis – including a hairy scorpion, some predatory beetles, and poison arrow frogs! But don’t be afraid, they’re all safely contained behind glass!
Plus on 30th & 31st October, visitors are encouraged to join the team for some ghoulish fun and dress up as their favourite Halloween character – the spookier the better! www.butterflyfarm.co.uk
For the first time ever the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is hosting a family-friendly Halloween trail at Edinburgh Zoo.
On select evenings throughout October, the wildlife conservation charity will welcome visitors on a spooktacular light trail, designed especially for the occasion by the team behind The Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry.
Expect to meet lots of eerie characters hidden among the trees, ranging from witches and wizards to scarecrows and spiders, and enter if you dare! www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/halloween
Main image: Lemur pumpkin party at West Midland Safari Park
Little Crawly Spider Halloween Costume
Ages 3 months to 5 years.