October half-term events

Children with pumpkins at Rowallane Garden, County Down, in October.

Autumn is a feast for the senses as the natural world reveals its many wonders. As well as apple days and festivals, mushrooming events and spooky Hallowe’en thrills there’s loads more fun to be had in the great outdoors. Join in at family events across the country this October half-term.

Here's a few of our highlights

Bird watching

Strangford Lough, County Down

21 Oct, Brent Watch, 11.30am-1.30pm 

Strangford Lough is one of the major destinations for wintering birds in the UK, attracting a host of wildfowl and waders. One of the most iconic visiting species is the Brent Geese; every year over 25,000 of these light-bellied birds leave their breeding grounds in east Canada and travel to Ireland to spend the winter. This is a great opportunity for visitors to spot these special birds, with one of our rangers on hand to help with identification and answer any questions.

Family fun at the exhibition

Mottisfont, Hampshire

21 – 29 October, Half Term trail, 11am-5pm 

Mottisfont is renowned for its outdoor family trails and this October half-term we’ve got another activity-based adventure to stretch young imaginations. Inspired by the kaleidoscope of colours in our new Kaffe Fassett textiles exhibition, this action-packed trail includes all sorts of colour-based ‘make and do’ challenges.

Close up of a barn owl's face

Beningbrough Hall, North Yorkshire

21 October–5 November, Oh Wise Owl, 10.30am–5pm 

Have a hoot at Beningbrough this half-term as they explore all things owl-related. Join a storyteller for magical tales, glide through the gardens to follow an owl-themed trail, use your imagination in the owl-making craft workshop and get up close and personal with our feathered friends. Closed on Mondays.

A family gathering autumn leaves

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

23-27 Oct, Tree-mendous Autumn Crafts, 11am-3pm 

Drop in for some craft activities celebrating the wonderful trees at Kedleston. What’s more, every visit you make helps to look after the landscape, and keep the trees thriving.

Exterior view of Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank, Cheshire

23–27 Oct, Meteorites and fireballs, 11am–4pm 

As part of Manchester Science Festival, Quarry Bank will be hosting some special family-friendly fun this half term. Step inside the giant inflatable Cosmodome and find yourself flying through the Solar System or gazing at the stars. It’s the perfect experience for budding astronomers, and you’re sure to pick up a useful fact or two.

Building work at Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo, Devon

24 Oct, Meet the Builders, 11am-4pm 

As the building project to save Castle Drogo is now over halfway through, come along to a very special opportunity to meet the hardworking builders on the project. There will be demonstrations and activities to have a go at behind the scenes...

Children enjoying a bushcraft lesson

Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

25 Oct, Nature survival skills, 10.30am–12.30pm & 2pm–4pm 

If you’re planning an adventure, it’s important to know a few basic skills. This session will give you a taster of activities such as shelter building & fire lighting, so you’re ready for your next intrepid journey into the unknown.

A red squirrel peeps out with a nut in its mouth

Plas Newydd, Anglesey

30 Oct–3 Nov, Red Squirrel Week, 11am–3pm 

In 2008, six red squirrels were released into the gardens at Plas Newydd in an attempt to boost the numbers on Anglesey. The project worked, and there are now have over 100 of the shy critters on the estate. To celebrate we're hosting a series of special walks, talks and squirrel crafts during October half term, so you can learn more about these special animals. Maybe you'll even spot one for yourself?