October half-term at Smallhythe Place

A family in the garden in October at Smallhythe Place.

This article was created for our 2019 prorgamme and is now finished. This half term get involved at Smallhythe Place and discover its history with new exhibitions celebrating the creation of the Museum. Watch our team doing 'conservation-in-action', explore the gardens with self-led nature trails and take part in Halloween themed arts and crafts, there is something for everyone.

Activities for your little ones

Halloween arts and crafts 

Grab your broomsticks, hats and cloaks and get ready for an afternoon of spooky arts and crafts at Smallhythe Place on Wednesday 23rd October, 1-3pm. Come dressed in your favourite Halloween costume, will your costume be the scariest?

Parental supervision is required. Find out more here.

Halloween pumpkins in the garden at Smallhythe Place

Our top '50 Things' activities

Get stuck in to '50 Things' activities at Smallhythe Place this season. Here are some of our favourite:

#1 Get to know a tree - wander through the apple orchard and nuttery and find your favourite tree. Can you guess how old it is? What colour are its leaves? What makes this one different to the others in the garden?

#9 Eat a picnic in the wild - find a quiet corner of the garden and enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by nature.

#10 Play conkers - See if you can find fallen conkers on the ground. What did the tree you found them under look like? What noise do the conkers make whey they hit each other? Challenge a friend to a game of conkers, who will be crowned the champion?

#13 Make a mud creation - find a muddle puddle or bank and build a mini sculpture.

#17 Set up a snail race - in damn dark areas of the garden, can you find some shiny shelled friends to race?

#18 Create some wild art - go foraging for fallen petals from our apple blossom trees, acorns from the oak trees and greenery and twigs from our hedges. What masterpiece can you create from bits around the garden?

#22 Find some funky fungi - they like to shelter from the sunlight in cool, damp ground, will you find any on your nature quest around Smallhythe?

#31 Make friends with a bug - our bug hotels, log piles and rockeries are a great place to hunt for bugs and hold a scary beast. How many will you find on your nature hunt around the garden?

#35 Discover what's in the pond - explore the banks of our recently rejuvenated pond. Full of life and colour, it's the perfect spot for all sorts of wildlife to bask in the sun or make a home. Why not make a list of all the wildlife you see there today?

#44 Watch a bird - follow our resident swallows swooping in and out of the Theatre Tea-room and across the bright spring skies. You can also watch them feed their hatchlings and peak inside their nest on our new wildlife camera in the Tea-room.

Child collecting twigs and pinecones in the garden at Smallhythe Place

Discover Smallhythe's History

Smallhythe Place is full of hidden secrets, history and unique artefacts. Grab one of our House, Property or Shipbuilding quizzes from Visitor Reception and see what you can learn as you explore the house and grounds. For our littler visitors we have an interactive spot sheet, and a Black Cat trail; let your young ones lead you around the rooms and see what they can find.

Children doing the tour quiz at Smallhythe Place

Nature Trails in the garden

Explore the autumnal outdoors with a nature trail in the garden, a great way to keep the kids busy and get them out in the fresh air. Grab a trail sheet from visitor reception and follow the pictures around the garden, what word will be revealed once the trail is complete?.

Family enjoying a nature trail at Smallhythe Place

Something for everyone


Explore our new exhibition 'The Gift of Smallhythe Place'

Conservation in action (18th and 24th October, 11am - 12 noon)

As we draw towards the end of our open season at Smallhythe Place, we start to think about the winter clean and 'putting the house to bed'. Watch members of our house team demonstrate the different procedures that our unique collection of over 9000 artefacts undergo each year over the winter. They are checked, cleaned, recorded, conserved and safely stored away to prevent any damage throughout the colder months.

The jewellery collection requires delicate and specialist cleaning by our trained team at Smallhythe Place
Jewellery worn by Ellen Terry being placed in display panels in the Costume Gallery at Smallhythe Place, Kent.
The jewellery collection requires delicate and specialist cleaning by our trained team at Smallhythe Place

Step inside an Actresses Wardrobe and join us for a costume tour

Delve into the store for a peek of the delicate and lavish costumes once worn by Ellen Terry and her actor friends. With fascinating stories attached to each garment, costume tours are an opportunity to discover a rich theatrical history. Find out more here.

Close view of part of one of the costumes worn by Ellen Terry at Smallhythe Place, her home from 1899 to 1928, in Kent

Get out and about this October and discover something new.