Devon is a great place to be for families looking for something different this October Half Term and although there is plenty to satisfy fans of Halloween, there are also a number of fun and educational options available.
This month Devon, a county known for its dedication to food, is encouraging children to get involved in the Devon Celebration of Food and Darts Farm has the perfect event on 27 Oct when it invites Kids (to go) Wild About Food. Local education ranger James Chubb will be exploring the local landscape, searching for wild ingredients to make wild bread. Participating foragers will take the wild harvest back to the cookery studio where they will all learn how to make wild bread, which will then be feasted on with homemade pumpkin soup for lunch! www.dartsfarm.co.uk. Also check out Pumpkin Day and Woodcrafts at RHS Garden Rosemoor, another participant in the Devon Celebration of Food on 24 October: www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor.
Autumn is a great time to collect seeds fallen from trees and children can join rangers at Occombe Education Centre to take part in From Seed to Tree on 27 October where they will make their own collecting bags and then hunt for seeds in the woodland and have a go sowing them afterwards, ready to take home. Just £2.50 per child and no booking required. Visit: www.occombe.org.uk for more details.
More seasonal foraging is available on Monday, 25 October where families can go to Cockington Court between 2pm – 4pm and come and search for a range of weird and amazing fungi with suitably magical names like Wax Cap, Fairy Ring and Witch’s Butter on an exploratory tour around the estate – all strictly supervised as everyone will be made aware what is and isn’t safe to eat and no booking is required. Adults may want to try an Introduction to Hedge Laying taking place on 30 and 31 October at Cockington Court where they can help to restore a Devon hedge bank while gaining new skills. The cost is £30 for a two day course and booking is essential, Tel: 01803 606035 for the course details and Family Fungal Foray.
If your children prefer splashing around in rock pools rather than muddy fields, then the Really Wild Rock pool Ramble at The Seashore Centre on Tuesday, 26 October is the place to be. Children can discover the weird and wonderful animals living in Goodrington’s rock pools and even make their own mini rock pool to take home. Booking essential, Tel: 01803 606035.
You can get even closer to the fish at the National Marine Aquarium which has organised a Halloween Sleepover on the night of Tuesday 26 October – visit: www.national-aquarium.co.uk/shop/sleeping-with-sharks if you dare!
More scary pursuits over the half term include: Witches, Wizards & Gory Stories at Exeter's Underground Passages taking place between 23 - 31 Oct. Children are invited to explore under the city’s streets on guided tours and discover ingredients for magic spells. Using the ingredients found, the young adventurers are challenged to concoct their own magic spell and enter it into a competition with the opportunity to win one of many fantastic prizes. On 30 & 31 Oct, the tour guides will be running special ‘Gory Story Tours’, highlighting some of the more unsavoury tales from Exeter’s past. Children can have a go at writing their own ‘Gory Story’ and again have the chance to win a fantastic prize. www.exeter.gov.uk/passages .
Or are you brave enough to walk the Halloween terror trail in the woods at night? This popular event is organised by Occombe Farm and takes place over Halloween weekend on 30 and 31 October. The trail ends with spine-tingling tales over firelight. Visit: www.occombe.org.uk for further details and more Halloween events.
More spooky walks and tales in the forest at Haldon Forest Park near Exeter as well as a “spooktacular” Halloween Cycle Ride with Exeter Mountain Bike Club taking place on 26 October, and open to everyone over 7 – although must be able to ride a bike!
Check out: www.forestry.gov.uk/haldonforestpark for this and other Halloween happenings.
For more information about Visit Devon, contact Rosie Bates, General Manager, T/: 01392 332828 or M/: 07854 952 352 or E/:email@example.com or go to www.visitdevon.co.uk .
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About Visit Devon Visit Devon is the destination management organisation responsible for promoting Devon to the world. The organisation acts as a voice for tourism in Devon and its aim is simple - to increase the number of visitors to Devon by promoting the county as a year-round destination for business or leisure. The organization brings together, adds value to and enhances the work and activities undertaken by the six Area Tourism Partnerships across the county. Visit Devon is committed to growing the tourism sector sustainably, increasing the skills within the industry, and raising the quality of the visitor experience.
Visit Devon is a public-private partnership limited by guarantee. The not for profit company comprises nine member organizations including the six Area Tourism Partnerships (The Heart of Devon, Visit Plymouth, North Devon+, The Dartmoor Partnership, The English Riviera Tourist Board, and Visit South Devon, Devon County Council, The Devon Association of Tourist attractions (Data), and Devon Farms. Visit Devon is the trading name of Destination Devon Ltd.
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