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Where to discover animals this half-term and Halloween

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!

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Please note: all venues covered in this guide require tickets to be booked in advance – see individual websites for further details. 

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West Midland Safari Park – Spooky Spectacular

Join West Midland Safari Park for a Spooky Spectacular this Halloween and solve the ‘Mystery of the Pumpkin Thief’ on a brand-new interactive trail.

Help Grenith the Witch and friends find out which critters are stealing their prized pumpkins with magical treats for those who complete the task. Visitors are also encouraged to attend in Halloween fancy dress and tag pictures with #WMSP at one of the Park’s spooky locations for the chance to win an Annual Family Pass.

Brimming with Halloween decorations, illuminated scarecrows and hundreds of pumpkins,  visitors can enjoy West Midland Safari Park’s Spooky Spectacular during extended opening hours on weekends and during the half-term holiday. Brave guests will be able to experience the Adventure Theme Park and Land of the Living Dinosaurs in the dark too!  www.wmsp.co.uk

Macaque and pumpkins – Trentham Monkey Forest

If your little monsters love dressing up for Halloween, take them along to Staffordshire’s Trentham Monkey Forest from the 26th of October to the 1st November for the chance to win a family membership with unlimited visits.

To enter, simply visit wearing your best Halloween costume, take a picture at the forest’s dedicated competition zone and upload to Monkey Forest’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages to enter.

Monkey Forest will close for a short winter break from November, so make the most of your visit as it will be your last chance to spot this year’s new baby macaques! www.monkey-forest.com

Slithering snakes at Drayton Manor Park

Also in Staffordshire, meet slithering snakes and creepy crawlies at Drayton Manor Park’s More Treat Than Trick Halloween event, which runs until Saturday 31st October.

Brave animal lovers are promised a day out to remember with the zoo’s creepy-crawly and reptile zoo experiences. Visitors can get up close with some of the world’s most unique creatures, including the Madagascan hissing cockroach, albino giant land snail, jungle nymph and tailless whip scorpion, while reptile enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most intriguing cold-blooded animals, including snakes and lizards, before visiting the park’s tarantula!  www.draytonmanor.co.uk

Halloween at Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm

Visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm can enjoy a spooky half term from 24th October to 1st November with plenty of creepy-crawlies and pumpkins to keep the whole family entertained.

Those brave enough to visit during the scariest time of the year can discover an assortment of frightful inhabitants lurking within the  Minibeast Metropolis. From scary spiders and a hairy scorpion to predatory beetles and three poison arrow frogs – prepare to be terrified by some of the most deadly animals on Earth!

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

Mexican red-kneed tarantula – ZSL London Zoo

A week of frightful fun is promised at ZSL London Zoo this October half-term – enchanting little monsters from Saturday 24th October to Sunday 1st November 2020.

Ghoulish guests can follow a creepy trail around the almost 200-year-old zoo to discover the weird and wonderful animals most famous for haunting Halloween. Step into the eight-legged world of In with the Spiders, where giant webs surround the most fearless of folk – or come face-to-face with the ‘ghosts of Madagascar’ at In with the Lemurs – named because of their wide-eyed stare and loud after-dark calls.

Halloween-themed pop-up talks take place throughout the day as zookeepers tell gruesome stories on how nature bites back, with fancy dress of all kinds welcome.  Slither through the Reptile House as Harry Potter perhaps, who famously practised his parseltongue here … www.zsl.org

Dive into the creepy deep to experience SEA LIFE’s Ascarium trails at centres across the UK this half-term and Halloween.

Find the missing potions and ingredients hidden throughout displays of the creepiest creatures to solve the riddle at the end of the trail. Complete the spell for the SEA LIFE sea witch before claiming a free Cadbury reward for your Halloween bravery!

Visitors can also learn about some of the many monsters of the deep that SEA LIFE is home to – including its resident sharks! Ascarium at Sea Life centres runs until 1st November 2020.  www.visitsealife.com

Lion at Halloween – Knowsley Safari Park

For an outdoor adventure this half-term holiday, why not take the family to Knowsley Safari to visit lions, rhino, bison, moose, camels, rare deer and more as they roam 550 acres of open park. Or take the foot safari and come nose-to-nose with Amur Tiger sisters Sinda and Bira, newly arrived Iberian wolf cubs, and eagles, vultures, owls and as they swoop just inches from your head during the Flight of Talons bird of prey display.

For a memorable Halloween, kids aged 8 to 10 can go on an Intrepid Explorer session and make treats for the safari animals as part of the day-long adventure. Available from 26th October to Sunday 1st November, places are limited to just 12 per day and cost £30, with booking essential. www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk.

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With Halloween looming and the dark nights drawing in, why not enter into the spirit of the occasion and choose your spooky favourites from our online shop!

 

Main image:  Lemur enjoys Halloween treat at London Zoo

 

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