As the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold, and a crisp chill fills the air, it’s clear that autumn has descended upon the idyllic landscapes of the Forest of Dean. With October half term just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to embrace the magic of this enchanting woodland haven. Nestled in the heart of Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean beckons families, adventurers, and nature enthusiasts alike to embark on an unforgettable journey amidst its ancient trees, hidden valleys, and captivating tales. In this blog post, we’ll unveil a treasure trove of family activities and experiences that await you in this breathtaking natural playground, ensuring that your October half-term is filled with wonder, exploration, and lasting memories. Whether you’re seeking serene moments of reflection, heart-pounding adventures, or simply a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the Forest of Dean has something special in store for everyone. So, grab your scarves, gather your loved ones, and prepare to immerse yourself in the wonder of the October half-term in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley!
Updated for 2023.
Pumpkin Patch at Wallhope Farm
The pumpkin patch at Wallhope Farm in Boughspring is a quintessential autumnal destination that captures the essence of the season. Nestled amidst rolling hills and picturesque countryside, this patch is a place where families and friends gather to create cherished memories year after year. As the leaves turn shades of gold and crimson, the fields come alive with a riot of orange as pumpkins of all shapes and sizes beckon visitors. Children can be seen excitedly picking their favorites, while parents enjoy the rustic charm of the farm. Wallhope Farm’s pumpkin patch is more than just a place to find the perfect pumpkin; it’s a place to celebrate the magic of autumn in all its glory.
Dean Heritage Centre
Dean Heritage Centre have lots of half-term fun planned. There’s pumpkin carving which has to be the ultimate creepy craft, ghostly indoor spooky trails, a monster tea party, glitter tattoos, a wicked witch, a book signing by local author Margaret Iggulden, fire lighting and marshmallow toasting (weather permitting), autumn heritage crafts and bonfire night crafts. Head to their website for dates and booking information.
Perrygrove Railway bucks the trend by offering a Halloween-free October for those who don’t like or don’t celebrate Halloween. Activities include colouring, crafts and BigJig play sessions as well as the standard train rides, play areas, treetop adventure, beautiful woodland and indoor village. Read our review of Perrygrove here.
Taurus Crafts is part of the charitable company Camphill Village Trust and they normally run a full programme of activities throughout the school holidays. As Wales and England usually have different term dates, they normally run events for two weeks to cover both. At the moment details for these are yet to be released (I’ll come back and update this post when the information is available). They have however released details of their All Hallows Eve family party. Head to the Camphill Village Trust website to see the latest events information.
Taurus Crafts have now released details of their half term activities.
Harts Barn Craft Centre is having a Craft Fair on Saturday, October 28th from 10 am to 4 pm. In addition to their regular onsite retailers and artists, they have lots of local craftspeople joining them who will be selling their makes. Some of the residents are running classes or demos of what they do – there will certainly be some great present options for birthdays or Christmas. There will be a prize draw for children as well as a tombola run from The Mystical Cat, and great food/drink from Old Dairy Tearoom. As it will almost be Halloween, The Mystical Cat may be a bit more spooky and magical than usual…..
Harts Barn Cookery School is hosting a kid’s cookery class with a Halloween theme:
There’s some spooky, scary baking going on at the Cookery School. Join us for Kids Cookery -Halloween Baking
Let’s get baking some spooky treats, either to share or just for you! During this class, you will be doing hands-on baking. Baked treats to include:
- Witches Fingers
- Spider web cookies
- Ghostly biscuits
Common Wood Flowers
Celebrate the magic of the October half-term with Common Wood Flowers in Woolaston as they invite you to pick your pumpkins and embrace the timeless tradition of pumpkin carving. Nestled amidst the picturesque countryside, this family-friendly event promises a memorable autumnal experience. Wander through their lush pumpkin patch, where a vibrant array of pumpkins awaits your selection, from small gourds to massive jack-o’-lantern contenders. After handpicking the perfect pumpkin, unleash your creativity and carve intricate designs or spooky faces with the provided tools. It’s an ideal opportunity to bond with loved ones, create lasting memories, and savour the essence of the season. Join Common Wood Flowers for a pumpkin-filled adventure that captures the spirit of October and adds a touch of enchantment to your autumn break.
Rachel Shilston Mosaics
Rachel Shilston Mosaics is thrilled to invite you to a spooktacular Halloween-themed mosaic-making and biscuit-decorating workshop like no other! Embrace the eerie charm of the season as you delve into the world of mosaic artistry and culinary creativity. Under the guidance of the talented Rachel Shilston, you’ll craft your very own Halloween mosaic masterpiece, incorporating hauntingly beautiful designs and colours. And what’s a Halloween gathering without some wickedly delicious treats? After your mosaic creation, get your hands messy with a biscuit decorating session, adding a playful and eerie twist to classic treats. This workshop promises an enchanting blend of creativity, craft, and culinary delights, ensuring that you’ll leave with both a unique work of art and a taste of Halloween magic. Don’t miss this chance to add a touch of the supernatural to your artistic repertoire and join us for a frightfully fun experience!
Beechenhurst Lodge is holding a pumpkin carving event on the 30th & 31st of October. Pumpkins and carving kits will be provided, all you need to bring is your imagination. They want to see your most creative designs! Beechenhurst Café will be serving up some scary treats, so why not get in the spooky spirit by coming in your best fancy dress? Make it a full family day out by enjoying a walk out in the deep, dark woods. The autumn colours will be putting on a show, and you can even search for your favourite dragon Zog.
Bathurst Park Annual Firework Display
This year the Bathhurst Park annual firework display is taking place on Friday the 3rd of November. Gates open at 5:30 pm and the fireworks begin at 7:30 pm. There is usually a small funfair, stalls, games and live music from local bands as well as plenty of food offerings. This is usually a very busy event and parking near the park is limited so visitors are advised to park in one of the town centre car parks and walk.
Ready, set… SPOOK! Spookyard’s back for the October half term, packed full of fun, silliness and pumpkin-loads of activities for all the family. If your child likes Halloween – or getting up to happy shenanigans in the fresh air – they’ll LOVE this!
Put on your freakiest fancy dress (yes, you too parents!) and creep it real at Countryside Adventure for a spooktacular family fun day out on the farm, just when you need it! Enjoy spooky daily live shows with our wonderfully weird witches, step up for the Monster Mash-Up dance competition, and then see how many pumpkins you can spot on our spellbinding woodland trail…
Spookyard tickets include full access to Countryside Adventure, with a Halloween twist everywhere you look. Animals to feed, maize maze to get lost in, jumping pillows to bounce on, tractor-trailer tours and quad train rides, mini golf, corn cannons for blasting, and all sorts of hocus pocus. Over Farm is also hosting pick your own pumpkin and pumpkins after dark. Head to the Over Farm website for all the details and to book.
Although Goodrich Castle is not in the Forest of Dean, it is within the Wye Valley.
Grab your broomsticks and get ready for a bewitchingly brilliant day out at Goodrich Castle. Gather round and prepare to be enthralled as you listen to stories spun by their spooky storytellers. Your little monsters will giggle and gasp at these kid-friendly tales, all against the backdrop of the creepy castle! Unearth the ‘Legend of Halloween’, Discover the ‘Book of the Dead’, and revel in some frightful fun along the journey! From Saturday 21 October to Sunday 5 November, you can take part in the Halloween Quest and discover magical potion ingredients. Complete the booklet’s activities and solve its creepy clues to become a wonderfully wicked witch’s apprentice!
Flanesford Pumpkin Patch
Pick your own Pumpkin this October to celebrate the seasons changing and get ready for Halloween. Use their wheelbarrows to venture into the Pumpkin Patch to pick your own or choose your favourite from the stand. Hen & Dot Cafe will be open serving autumnal treats. Lots of fun activities for all the family to get involved. Head to the website to book.
Severnbanks Primary School Trunk or Treat
Head along to Severnbanks Primary School, Lydney Trunk or Treat Halloween event on Tuesday 31st October from 4 pm-7 pm.
A safe and organised way for your children to dress up in Halloween costumes and collect treats (or tricks) from scarily decorated cars on school grounds.
Beefy Boys and Divine Donuts are confirmed attendees to our event!
Wonka Raffle with Golden Ticket Prizes!
FREE Kids Disco
For cars wanting to enter the competition for the best spookily decorated boot, please click the link £5 per car to enter
Prize for the best-decorated trunk!
Prize for best costume for children!
Game stalls and more for all the family.
Sweets, popcorn and candy floss
Coffin Selfie Station
Halloween Dog Show
Forest of Dean Dog Rescue is hosting a Halloween-themed fun dog show at Littledean Tap. There will be food, drink and kid’s crafts as well as ten different classes and a fancy dress competition.