Tricky Treaty Halloweenie... October half term guide!
October half-term can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. The kids are off for a whole week, it’s not all sunny days and it’s definitely not Christmas yet. So what can you do for family fun across the Bay? We’ve put together this indispensable, day-by-day guide to get you through this tricky yet treaty school holiday…
As part of Torquay Museum's launch of their latest exhibition - More Deadly Than War: Spanish Flu and the Threat of Pandemic - there will be an activity day for all the family. It might not immediately sound like something for the kids… but trust us, they won’t be disappointed. Artist Shelley Castle will be making a 'Wellbeing Medicine Cabinet' with kids making their own sand art 'medicine bottle' to add to the collection. The Squircle Arts team will also be helping kids investigate health through art, with a range of activities for all ages. Start your Arts Award journey by exploring artists influenced by the Spanish Flu pandemic. Create your own posters for a flu vaccination campaign and enter it into a competition! There’s also the Young Archaeologists Club from 2-4pm for 8-16 year olds. Find out how archaeology can help our understanding of disease, and discover what Neanderthals can teach us about the flu. Costs £3 per person.
Kents Cavern is a go-to school holiday destination, especially at this time of year. When the weather’s rubbish, do what our ancestors did and hunker down deep underground. Today (and up until October 31) you can take part in an underground pumpkin hunt, a woodland bat challenge and creative activities from making your own bat to designing a caveman. Suitable for all ages. See https://www.kents-cavern.co.uk/
Feeling especially brave today? Go for a creep and crawl around Cockington Country Park. The rangers there will be pointing out the weird and wonderful residents, as well as telling a few ghost stories from 1.30-3.30pm. £3 per person. Suitable for kids aged 6+. To book, see https://www.countryside-trust.org.uk/events/details/509/spooky-tour-of-cockington
Visit Cockington Court to see some incredible Mexican Day of the Dead-themed artwork. ROC Creative and Helen Bacon present ‘Dia do Los Muertos’, on here until November 15 (and pop along from 6-8pm on Saturday 27 October for a special evening event too!) Kids can enjoy Cockington Court’s Halloween Festival, complete with a spooky sugar skull trail at only £1 per child. Go in fancy dress to collect a double treat!
While you’re at Cockington Court, be sure to take a look around the Stable Yard and Sea Change Studios to see arts, crafts and work produced by some of our most talented local makers from OurGlass to Rex Latham, Freeload Accessories, Gaff Interiors and Takahashi McGil. Oh, and make sure you pop in to the delicious Cockington Chocolate shop. Just follow that delicious smell to fill your boots with halloween themed treats. See www.cockingtoncourt.org
Tuesday = paying a visit to Tessera Hub studio in Babbacombe to create your own mosaic artwork (around £7 per child). Suitable for aged 5+. You can make coasters, frames or boxes and larger items if you book in advance. Go crazy with the designs and choose from an array of colourful and decorative tiles. Once you’re done, blow away the cobwebs with a stroll along the beautiful Babbacombe Downs; the highest cliff top promenade in the whole of England. See http://www.tesserahub.co.uk
It’s a bit of a wildlife Wednesday in the Bay today. Living Coasts has teamed up with the South West Coast Path Association to organise a guided walk and bug spotting stroll. Starting at the Terrace Café at Living Coasts, the walk will take in top views of the Bay along a route now preserved as a wildlife conservation area. You’ll be able to see a wartime lookout post, rare plants and even a devil in his limestone cave. £6 per person. Suitable for all ages. Booking essential. See https://www.livingcoasts.org.uk/plan-your-visit/whats-on/events/detail/torbay-wildlife-watch
Also on today, join Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s marine ranger for a Rockpool Ramble at Goodrington from 3.30pm. Discover feisty crabs, slimy anemones, wriggly starfish, sneaky prawns and more in the rock pools of Middlestone! £3.50 each. Suitable for all ages. See booking info at https://www.countryside-trust.org.uk/events/details/434/rockpool-ramble-october
Thursday is Torre Abbey day! Kids and teens get in free which makes it the perfect place, especially if you’re entertaining the generations. Catch the Artists of St Ives exhibition (on until November 15) where kids can have a go at drawing their own seascape. The pictures will be added to the museum’s Coastal Collage and the best ones will win a prize.
Killer Tomatoes: The Horribly Haunting Halloween Hunt will send you around Torre Abbey’s award winning grounds, hunting Halloween facts, haunting histories and finding those Killer Tomatoes! On until 1 November. £1 per Halloween Hunt entry.
See https://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/ for all the latest info and remember, grown-ups can pay just £16 for entry all year round as part of The 1196 Club.
Pay a visit to Berry Head and discover more about this important heritage site. You can follow a special audio trail and collect rubbings using one of the site spotter guides, available from the Guardhouse Visitor Centre. There are 15 points on the audio trail, which take you on a journey starting at the tip of the headland. You can choose either the Children's Trail, or the Adult Trail. Both are free and suitable for all ages. See http://www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk/section_main.cfm?section=815
Right, time to put down the bag of Halloween-themed sweets and get those trainers on. Paignton Velopark’s FREE 5km ParkRun is on today. You can join in whatever your age, fitness level or pace. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, it’s the taking part that counts. See parkrun.org.uk/torbayvelopark
For teens with a passion for film, why not take them along to the English Riviera Film Festival at the Palace Theatre today. Watch award winning films together and be part of an international award ceremony. Tickets from just £6: https://www.palacetheatrepaignton.co.uk/shows/english-riviera-film-festival/
You’ve made it to the end of the week. Whether you’re all still speaking to each other or want someone to walk the plank; head down to The Golden Hind at Brixham. This is a full sized replica of one of the most iconic ships from the age of exploration. Hop aboard for a Happy Halloween in true pirate style with Sid the skeleton and friends, spiders and spooks. Spot the pumpkins and fancy dress spot prizes too. Tickets from £5. See https://goldenhind.co.uk/news1+.php?nID=22&n_start=0
So there you have it… a few suggestions to help keep everyone entertained in the Bay this week. Look our for our Christmas guide for kids and their parents… coming soon!
Credit: Day of the Dead skulls illustration courtesy of http://www.cockingtoncourt.org/whats-on/halloween-festival