ONLY the brave can cope with the spooky shenanigans planned at a host of Hampshire attractions this Halloween.
There’s plenty of spooky family fun to be had and kids will be entertained throughout midterm by everything from a ghost train to an aquatic treasure hunt.
These are all treats, not gimmicks. Here’s our pick of four of the best.
Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway
Visitors will be treated to a ghoulish new forest trail at Exbury Gardens this semester, as well as creating spooky mini-gardens, pumpkin carving and an interactive Halloween ghost train ride.
For the first time, the staging of the Exbury Halloween Garden Trail will shift from the Rock Garden to the much larger Witcher’s Wood so youngsters can venture through beautiful autumnal woods in search of a lair of witches, a gruesome graveyard and a lair of spiders.
Visitors can board the Exbury Steam Railway, transformed into a Halloween ghost train, to meet its crew of macabre demons who will haunt the steam train, tracks and tunnel, entertaining families with their comedies slapstick – with a few scares along the way!
Youngsters will be able to get creative with pumpkin carving and learn how to create a spooky mini garden in workshops specially designed for family groups.
For those looking for a much less spooky fall, the 200 acres of Exbury Gardens in full fall colors can be explored.
Tickets from exbury.co.uk
New forestry activities
With a variety of adventure activities, there’s plenty to keep all your little monsters enchanted in the New Forest this October. From water to land, there’s a whole host of Hubble Halloween bubble jobs and problems to choose from.
Gather your crew and head to the Beaulieu River on Halloween canoe scavenger hunts for missing Red Beard candy, or enjoy Spooky River Tours by moonlight.
For land prowlers, New Forest Activities will be holding its popular pumpkin archery shootouts for another year, as well as a new spook-tacular laser tag activity; Battle Zone: Apocalypse! See if your troops dare to brave the bloodcurdling battlefield to emerge victorious.
Dressing up is encouraged!
The friendliest and spookiest Halloween family event is underway at Paultons Park.
Peppa Pig World has gotten a spooky makeover, Tornado Springs is sporting western Halloween decorations and don’t miss The Legend of Paultons Manor, a song and dance show.
Also meet Pickles the Pumpkin and the rest of the Spirit Squad characters on the first weekend of the festivities.
There are late night openings until 7:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday midterm with so much spooky fun to be had!
The Watercress Line
During Wizarding Week, The Watercress Line will transform into a place of Halloween magic and mischief.
Children of all ages are welcome to dress up as their favorite spooky character – little monsters, ghosts, witches and wizards are welcome.
There are prizes to be won in the costume contest, which runs daily, as well as treats to make you dizzy.
Ghouls and lads alike can ride the Wizard Express steam trains throughout the day and hop on and off as they please to explore the four heritage train stations. Stock up on weird and wonderful treats at Ropley Station, take flying lessons and be scared by spooky creatures.
Longdown Activity Farm
Enter the haunted barn at your own risk!
Howl with laughter at comical Halloween-themed hugs when Crazy M visits (Thursday) and learn about barn owls and creepy creatures in real life with the Creature Teachers on Sunday, October 30.
a Pumpkin Quest also promises to be fun for the whole family – everyone will enjoy spotting the mischievous orange faces around the farm as they discover each cheeky pumpkin in unexpected places.
After all that scary stuff, calm down with the friendly farm animals and take part in a full program of farm activities throughout the day.
Book at longdownfarm.co.uk
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