EVENT Half-term Fun!
For many, it’s half-term. Which means there’s lots going on in museums, galleries and attractions as well as wilder events. English Heritage is running a series of Halloween themed sessions across the country (and it’s worth checking out their round-up of family days out for under £20 too). Or get back to nature – RSPB reserves are spooking things up with a series of wizard schools, spider hunts, treasure trails and mini beast safaris – find an event near you here. Deep in forests, things are stirring; The Woodland Trust have a series of spooky, self-guided trails to follow, bat walks, broom and wand making sessions and pumpkin carving. Find an event near you here.
You’ll have to put on a brave face north of the border too – the Scottish National Trust’s Creepy Crawls combine spooky trails with apple dooking, grave grabbing and the ‘Enormous Neep Heap’!
Welsh Museums are making this half term historic, with a festival that includes torchlit advenutres, historical mysteries to solve, craft workshops and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Find out more here.
In the capital, the London Literature Festival is over 11 days of talks, readings and performances. Head to the Southbank Centre to take park in drumming workshops, follow a fairy-tale trail, listen to tales of Anansi and much more. North of the Thames, The Museum of London and MOL Docklands have a stellar line-up of half-term fun, with puppet-making, VR experiences, stench pot and curse making, and time-travelling dormice.
MAKE Green ‘Ween
Many Halloween costumes and decorations are a disaster for the environment, but natural decorations are gentler on our planet and can look a lot spookier! Why not take time out ahead of the spookiest night of the year to make your own? These yarn-and-branch spider webs and stick skeletons are striking enough to stay up until Christmas, and ghost leaves will lurk in corners long after Halloween. Or gather up some pinecones and make these cute bats or quirky looking owls!
EVENT and RECIPE Lights! Action!
Diwali is on Sunday – expect to hear the crashing and banging of fireworks! The Festival of Light is celebrated by those from the Hindu and Sikh religion. It’s all about the lights; candles are placed in homes, there are firework displays (we love the always-spectacular one at the BAPS temple in north London – held this year on Sunday and the huge celebrations in Leicester
). There’s family fun at London’s National Maritime Museum with Bollywood dancing, lantern making, rangoon art, drumming workshops and a colourful and noisy parade to join. In Edinburgh, watch another huge parade and more fireworks, or marvel at the spectacular Lightopia exhibition. Next week, Trafalgar Square explodes into colour and noise as it hosts Diwali in London. Celebrate at home by making your own lanterns, create a rangoli, make these delicious Diwali snacks or cup of warming vegan chai. Finally, here are five of our favourite ways to celebrate the festival
RECIPE Pumpkin It Up
Lantern making means that there’s a lot of spare pumpkin flying about ahead of Halloween. Don’t waste its sweet goodness! Rustle up a batch of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and use them in waffles or vegan spice drinks. Or use the beautiful vegetable as a pot and serve pumpkin humous or baked pumpkin fondue – how pretty are these ideas?
EVENT and LEARN Sing Out
Get your best voice on! It’s World Opera Day. There are special performances taking place across the world, but if you don’t fancy putting on your fanciest clothes and heading to the theatre, why not watch a show in your front room? Find resources here including an introduction to opera for beginners, costume design videos, lesson plans and video clips from Frankenstein, an animation about the life of Janacek and a chance to see fairy tale opera Trois Contes. Or why not go freestyle and make up your own opera!?