It barely feels like the new school shoes have been broken in, yet the first half term of the academic year is almost here.
Here at Explore Bedford we have rounded up lots of local activities to keep your little monsters entertained, whatever the weather…
Always a favourite for half term fun and this October it won’t disappoint as you ‘Enter the World of Dreams and Nightmares’
- 22 October: Spooky Stuff with Art Adventures: make a Halloween decoration
- 23 October: Hubble Bubble with Little Science – SOLD OUT
- 24 October: Monsters under the Bed: Make you own little worry monster to tell your toubles to
- 25 October: Halloween Clay with Victoria Houghton: make a Halloween themed clay model
All these workshops are 11am, 12,30pm and 2pm.
£3 per child (accompanying adults are free). Book online here and use the code HIGGINS99 to get the £3 transactional fee discounted.
You can also book by calling 01234 718044
We always love the holiday walking quizzes from The Longholme. As ever, it’s completely free to play and you can take part from 21 to 27 October, 10am – 4pm. Treats for the kids and prizes for top scorers. Just pop to the café during opening hours and collect a quiz sheet, map and you off! You can reward yourself with a coffee, hot chocolate and cake afterwards,
Great Denham Community Hall is hosting spooktacular events including Creepy Crafts on Tuesday 22 October, Monster Mash fancy dress disco and a Freaky Film on Friday 1 November. Tickets on sale at The Eatery.
Book all three events for just £5 per child
Love Bedford’s Halloween Trail runs from 19 October until 3 November there will be Love Bedford Halloween Trail in Bedford. Pick up a map from The Works, Smiggle, Gallone’s or The Store. All entries wil receive a little prize.
At all of Bedford’s local libraries there are lots of different Halloween crafts and activities throughout the week and all for free. Children can make Halloween magnets, spooky finger puppets, Autumn wreaths, spooky bunting and lots more.
As part of iExplore day, visitors can take part in a digital treasure hunt and sessions to design a craft table or make a matchbox camera.
There will also be sessions to introduce apps available via the library to access audiobooks, music, and the digital Britannica Library resource for children. Find out more atwww.bedford.gov.uk/libraries
Catch the last week of the John Bunyan Museum ‘Gaol! Banged-up in Bedford’ which looks at crime and punishmnt from the 17th century to the present day.
Get into the Halloween spirit at Ready Steady Roll Board Game Café this Half Term. With over 350 games on the shelves, there are loads of spooky games to play – with Game Gurus on hand to explain them so you don’t need to read the rules.
You could play Mysterium, where players work as a team to solve a murder with the help of ghostly images, like a creative Cluedo. Or maybe try Salem and attempt to figure out which player is secretly an evil witch. Finish off with a quick game of Harry Potter Dobble, but watch out for Death Eaters and Draco!
Perfect for anyone aged 6 – 110, you can enjoy homemade cake and a special Halloween Milkshake while you spend time with family and friends away from technology. Booking recommended here.
The Place Theatre have got goodies galore to keep everyone entertained this Autumn.
- 23 October at 6.30pm, we will be have Jay Forman in the house performing ‘Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children.
- 24 October, we have Jackastory at 10am and 11.15am
- 27 October, we embrace a Fancy Dress ‘Day of the Dead’ theme to watch the beautiful film that is ‘COCO
Book your tickets here.
Another theatre to visit is The Quarry at St Luke’s as they are hosting everyone’s favourite, The Hungry Caterpillar.
It’s been so popular they have added an extra show. Book tickets here before they sell out!
Grab your wellies and head to The Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park as it is a great place to spend a few hours in the great outdoors.
Walk the dog, have a picnic, enjoy the views across the Wetlands Nature Reserve from the Tower Hide and Woodland Walkway or just stroll around Stewartby Lake. The Lakeside Café serves a range of meals and snacks, and you can grab an ice cream, toy or gift at the gift shop.
Parking charges apply but if you become a Friend of the Forest you get many benefits including free parking.
- 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 October – Halloween Trail: the vampires have moved into Frank’s graveyard and he isn’t happy about it… help Frank and Wilma the Witch put the magic spell together and get rid of the vampires once and for all! £3 per child (ages 1+) includes trail sheet, certificate and prize. Several sessions starting dead (geddit!) on time at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm.
- 21 October – Family Magic Show: SOLD OUT
- 22 October – Hedeghog Hide and Seek: Hedgegog trail with outdoor games and activities and learning about how to help our prickly friends. Ages 4-10 and £4.50. 9.45am, 11.30am and 1.45pm
- 23 and 24 October – Kids Halloween Disco: SOLD OUT
The Shuttleworth Collection is two miles west of the A1 near Biggleswade, a short drive outside of Bedford. It’s home to a collection of vintage aircraft vehicles and The Swiss Gardens, a beautiful landscaped garden with sculptures, woodland sculpture trail and a resident peacock. There is also a play area for the little people.
- 21 and 22 October, 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm, – Bumpy Broomticks and Crafty Cats: Collection mystical materials to make your own brilliant broomstick and cat to adorn it. £1 per child plus normal entry fee.
- 23 and 25 October, 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm – Blass-off Broomsticks & Bonkers Bonfire Blasters – Create your own Broomstick rocket and create a peice of chalk firework fine art, £1 per child plus normal entry fee. Not suitable for under 5’s
- 26 October, entry from 5.20pm (staggered entry) – Halloween at The Swiss Garden: Walk the spooky trail stopping for scay stories then enjoy Ghoulish games plus a drink and biscuit. Don’t forget your torches. £8 per child (3-12 years, under 3’s free) and £5 per adult.
Explore the evolution of the English garden with a stroll through three centuries of landscape design at Wrest Park. From dazzling parterres and fragrant borders, to sweeping views and woodland walks, Wrest Park is a real treat for the senses.
- 19 October, 10,30am – Saturday Archaelogy Club: Open to everyone aged 8–16 years. If your child has an interest in archaeology, history, heritage or all three Wrest Park is an amazing place to learn about them. £4 plus normal entry fee.
- 19 October – 3rd November, 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm, Spooky Wrest Park: Grab your cloaks and steady your nerves as your little horrors scare themselves silly this Halloween half term. Mysterious goings-on await you at petrifying Wrest Park. Meet our gruesome guides as they take you on a journey into the puzzling past – use all your wits to solve the riddles and claim your terrifying treat. Have a go at carving your very own petrifying pumpkin to take away. £4 plus normal entry fee, first come basis.
- 25 and 26 October, 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm – Spooky Woodland Walk: Have you ever wondered what the secret life of the gardens are after dark? Listen to weird and wonderful tales in Wrest Park’s woods on a dark and moonless night? Suitable for age 5+. Normal entry fee.
Harpur Centre soft play and Ping Pong Parlour – Free entry
Whatever the weather, little ones will be entertained at the Harpur Centre‘s woodland friends’ soft play and big ones will love the Ping Pong Parlour. Both activities are free to take part in. Check out their Facebook page for up-to-date opening times.
The Talking Statues is another way to have fun whilst in the town. You need a smartphone to swipe on the plaque by the statues to hear their stories – you can download a map here. Wander into town to pick up some shopping including in one of our many independent shops (Bedford has higher than the national average for indies), plus you can keep the kids happy with a visit to Rogan’s Books, Rollback World, Close Encounters, Beales have a great toy section on the top floor, Gallones for a wonderful selection of ice cream and of course no visit would be complete with a bag of retro sweet from Arcadia (for the grown ups too!)
And finally don’t forget all the wonderful open spaces in Bedford Borough, including woodlands, lakeside country parks, Bedford Embankment and Bedford, Russell, Addison, Jubilee, Allen and Mowsbury parks where you can have a relaxing walk, run off some energy in the play areas, pitch and putt and grab a coffee and cake – read more here. Just make sure you wrap up warm and remember your waterproof!