Half term and Hallowe'en are on the way – head to one of the many special events around the UK to give the kids a real treat.
From spooky woodland walks by lantern light and ghostly train rides, to fancy dress fun and theme park thrills – there's plenty happening this Hallowe'en.
Take your pick from the top events we've discovered...
Get set for a happy Hallowe'en, with spooky happenings at more than 15 English Heritage locations this half term. From a bloody battlefield to dark dungeons, haunted houses to creepy castles, there's plenty to choose from. Find an event.
Hallowe'en happenings at Kenilworth Castle
There are Hallowe'en activities and events at around 50 National Trust locations around the UK this half term. From spooky ghost tours and creepy crafts, to Hallowe'en trails and terrifying tales – find an event near you.
Frightful fun at Hughenden Manor
Experience ‘the home of Hallowe’en’ this half term at the Dungeons in London, York, Edinburgh, Blackpool and Warwick Castle. With new characters, and pumpkins aplenty, it’s the Dungeons’ biggest Hallowe’en yet. There'll also be live actors, special effects, exciting rides, tricks, treats, yucky dips, fancy dress and more. Booking is strongly advised. Find out more.
Will you brave the Edinburgh Dungeon?
Take part in some fantastic family events to help you get closer to nature, this Hallowe’en. Carve a pumpkin to take home with you, go on a minibeast hunt or a migration walk, try pond-dipping or bird-watching, or visit an art and craft workshop. And there'll be hands-on fun at the popular Yuk! Show: Bizarre Bodies, where little ones can learn all about creepy-crawlies. Booking is recommended. Find an event.
Check out vats of slimy troll snot, buckets of dribbling drool, and vials of silvery unicorn blood this Hallowe'en. As well as all the sets, props, costumes and models on the tour, visitors can experience extra Dark Arts activities over half term. Explore the Hallowe'en feast from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, practise your duelling technique in an interactive wand combat lesson, or take a trip down a more mysterious Diagon Alley. Find out more.
Discover troll snot and more on the Harry Potter tour
You can also experience a little Harry Potter-style magic on the heritage railway this Hallowe'en, with its Wizard Weekend. The Watercress Line runs through 10 miles of rolling scenic countryside between Alton and Alresford. All four stations are 'dressed' in period style, and there's a locomotive yard and picnic area at Ropley. Magic and mischief await you this half term, and Hallowe’en fancy dress is encouraged. Find out more.
Don your scariest garb and take the Hallowe'en Spooks Express. Dress up in costume and receive a treat. All trains are steam hauled. No booking necessary. Find out more.
Meet the famous Witch of Wookey in Somerset, or brave an evening ghost tour of the caves of Wookey Hole. Hallowe'en tickets include access to more than 20 attractions, from a witch's grotto, model village, fairy garden, circus world and magical mirror maze, to cheese-tasting, adventure golf and the new Dracula 8D ride. Find out more. Spend the night, if you dare – book a stay at the Wookey Hole Hotel.
The Witch of Wookey, with a friend
Head to Legoland this half term for the Brick or Treat Hallowe'en extravaganza. Dress up and head down to the Enchanted Forest for themed activities and 5,000 orange brick pumpkins. Have a go at making one yourself, then have a boogie at the Monster Ball. With all the usual rides and attractions on top, a day at Legoland with little ones this Hallowe'en is hard to beat. You can even stay the night – at the Legoland Hotel. Find out more.
The legendary Fright Nights have been given a makeover this Hallowe'en. Thorpe Park has teamed up with Lionsgate to bring iconic horror films to life. Experience scenes from The Cabin in the Woods, My Bloody Valentine, Saw, The Blair Witch Project and Studio 13. The live-action horror mazes return and the park stays open until 10pm, so you can even brave the most terrifying rides in the dark. Why not spend the night at Thorpe Park’s new Crash Pad? Just don't have nightmares.
Fright Nights at Thorpe Park – only for the very brave
Have a happy Howl'o'ween at Chessington this half term – with hauntings, mysteries and spooky family fun. Explore the stately home of a famous explorer who mysteriously vanished in The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall, be transported back to Transylvania in 1897, in Vampire: the Haunting in the Hollows, or catch comic capers in the slapstick Hairy & Scary Show. Why not spend a spooky short break at one of the resort hotels?
The Eden Project transforms into Halloweden this Hallowe'en, complete with spooky themed activities, fun crafts, wicked workshops and creepy happenings. Make potions in the Wishcraft Tent, or visit the Room on The Broom tent and earn a ticket to see the film of the same name, based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. There's also a Little Monsters' Ball Hallowe'en disco, face-painting, storytelling, and ice-skating fun for everyone. Extra charges apply for some activities. Find out more.
Children enjoying Halloweden at the Eden Project
Why not brave The Haunted Castle event this Hallowe'en, at Warwick Castle? Younger ones can dress up and have a go at writing spells, and there are spooky Hallowe'en trails and a walkthrough experience. Grown-ups can brave the castle after dark as it stays open until 9pm.
Get set for this year's Halloween Scarefest at Alton Towers, when the park stays open until 9pm. New for 2014 is the Scary Tales book – will you make it to the end? Ride the thrilling rollercoasters in the dark, and experience amazing live shows, horror mazes and costumed characters. Find out more.
Scarefest at Alton Towers
This half term is your chance to 'Solve the Mansion Mystery' as a family, go ghost hunting in the gardens, or brave the 'Hallowe'en Hauntings at the Old Hall'. Find out more.
Where better to spend Hallowe'en than in a historical, and some say haunted, house? For a half term with a difference, Croxteth Hall will be hosting a children's ghost hunt – fancy dress is encouraged, and booking is advised. Find out more.
Are you brave enough to sign up for the Ghost Walk Hallowe'en Special? The evening event involves a two-course Hallowe'en supper and a quiz followed by a creepy ghost walk. Please note: advanced booking only and this event sells out early every year.
There are a series of spooky Hallowe'en events on at Cardiff Castle this half term, including Halloween-themed trails, craft activities, stories, parades, feely-bag frights, games and creepy-crawlies. Dress up and have fun! Find out more.
Frightfully fun family activities are taking place at this great museum around Hallowe'en. Learn about real Welsh ghosts, enjoy terrible trails and tales and Hallowe'en-themed art and craft activities, help to build a giant wicker man, and discover the museum's resident bats. Please note: tickets must be purchased in advance for the Wicked Walk event. Find out more.
The legendary Hallowe'en party nights return to the heritage centre this half term. Dress up and enjoy a spooky disco, apple bobbing, a swamp dip, ghost stories, competitions and more. The bar, barbecue and tea-rooms will be open and there will be prizes for the best dressed children and adults. Please note: these events always sell out, so book in advance. Find out more.
From spooky storytelling to ghost tours, games, trails, fancy dress and family fun, there's plenty going on this Hallowe'en at several of Scotland's National Trust properties. Find out more.
Visit Scotland's oldest inhabited house for some frightening fun this Hallowe'en. There'll be ghostly candlelit evening tours for those aged 8 and over, and a Hallowe'en Fun Day featuring magic, tarot readings, traditional games and more. Prizes for the best dressed. Find out more.
Scary science, workshops and family fancy dress fun make for an unforgettable fright night at the Glasgow Science Centre. This hugely popular event features slime-making workshops, ghost stories in the planetarium, gruesome hands-on science, the chance to come face to face with creepy critters, and much more.
For a slice of really horrible history, join one of the many ghost walks around the UK. Locations with established tours include London, Edinburgh, Derby, Chester, Nottingham, Bath and York.
(Updated 8 October 2014)
Hughenden Manor image by Naomi Goggin
Kenilworth Castle image by Robert Smith