October half-term and Hallowe’en

Autumn’s beautiful backdrop, its crunchy leaves, glossy conkers and juicy blackberries, create a natural playground for children. We’ve got lots of new activities on offer, from Mottisfont’s colourful patchwork trail to spooky story-telling and witch’s broom-making in the New Forest. Every visit you make helps us keep these places open for future generations of children to discover.

Boy dressed as a pumpkin giving thumbs up to camera

Winchester City Mill 

Join us at the Mill for apple harvest activities, pumpkin carving and spooky storytelling. You can win prizes on our new pumpkin trail, plus we’ve got a special Hallowe'en baking demo, with tastings and recipe cards to take home. Try our new Red Velvet cupcakes. These activities including the trail are suitable for all ages. Various dates between 21 - 29 October.

Children on an autumn walk at Mottisfont

Mottisfont 

Our new Crafty Patchwork Trail is inspired by the kaleidoscope of autumnal colours in our gardens. Designed to stretch young imaginations, the trail is packed with colourful ‘make and do’ challenges. Kids will be creating their very own ‘patchwork’ using drawings and natural materials. Suitable for toddlers to older children. 21 – 29 October.

A picture of a girl clasping autumn leaves

Hinton Ampner 

Explore myths and legends surrounding the ancient gnarled trees in our parkland. Our Tree Trail challenges children to design their own story, as creative tasks take them through the gardens and parkland. Suitable for the whole family, with different elements for different ages. 21 – 29 October.

Two little children in yellow high vis jackets peer into money drop chute

The Vyne 

Our rooftop walkway and its amazing 360° views is proving a huge hit with families. Lift access makes it suitable for buggies and short legs. You’ll find out about our chapel bats, and discover a money drop chute with a funny noise. Draw on a tile destined for the roof, or hunt for 16th-century animals on our Tudor Animals trail. Our geocaching challenge takes older children on a hunt for Tudor ‘treasures’. All activities available every day.

Little girl in jeans and cream jumper leaping onto path in autumn garden

Uppark 

Uppark is home to all sorts of little bats, which swoop over the lawns and meadow at dusk on the hunt for insects. As Hallowe’en draws near, we’re inviting little ones to ‘think like a bat’ and complete the activities on our new bat-themed trail through the grounds. Suitable for younger children, 21 – 29 October.

Children and ranger sit around a woodland camp fire

New Forest 

Join the rangers at our cosy New Forest basecamp for spooky stories around the camp fire. You’ll also learn how to make your very own witch’s broom (27 October). Our popular Forest School sessions return this autumn, introducing younger children to the natural world in a safe setting – Thursdays 10am – 12pm, booking essential.

Close up of pencils in a pot with children drawing in the background

Mompesson House 

Our new drawing activity, inspired by our exhibition on Mompesson’s previous 1970s interiors, will appeal to budding young architects. Children can create their own designs to re-decorate and furnish Mompesson in a 1970s style. Suitable for all ages, 1 September – 5 November.