Thursday, 11 October 2012

October Half Term Activities at Heart of England Attractions

As autumn approaches attractions are gearing up for all kind of fun half term activities and spooky Halloween events. Here is your half term survival guide packed full of great ideas of where to take the family this October half term.
Ironbridge Gorge Museums

At the Ironbridge Gorge Museums you will find all kinds of hands-on half term activities. At Enginuity (20 October- 4 November) make Techno-Terrors from mini-motors and craft materials, these creepy creatures scamper across the floor. Get arty at Coalport China Museum (22-26 October and 29 Oct- 2 Nov) and make Ceramic Halloween Monsters or at Jackfield Tile Museum (23-26 October and 29 October- 2 November) you can decorate a Terrifying Tile.

An Annual Passport Ticket offers unlimited day time access to all ten museums for 12 months. £23.25 adult, £18.75 60 Plus, £15.25 Child (5-18 in full time education) and £64 Family (two adults and all your children- T & C apply). Activities vary day to day and have extra costs to admission.

On the evening of 27th October visitors to Blists Hill Victorian Town will discover that the friendly Victorians have been replaced by ghosts and ghouls. The town’s shops and cottages will be decorated in spooky fashion and visitors should come dressed in their most frightening costume. Tickets must be purchased in advance and Passports are not valid for this event. Adults £9.50, Child (3-15) £6.25, Family (2 adults and 2 children) £29. A joint Family Ticket for Ghostly Gaslight and Fireworks night (3 November) is available at £52.

For more information about the Ironbridge Gorge Museums call 01952 433424 or visit

West Midlands Safari Park

Spooky Spectacular at West Midland Safari Park is an evening event that is full of entertainment and autumnal fun theming for October half term and Halloween. Starting on 20th October and running each evening until 2nd November everyone is encouraged to dress up and take part in a variety of hands on activities and animal encounters to celebrate the spookiest of seasons – all for fun of course.

Spooky Spectacular opens at 5.30pm, with last admission at 8.00pm and the Park closing at 9.00pm. As the daylight fades the Park comes alive with over 50 exhibits that feature all kinds of scarecrows – from Pete the Pumpkin Head Pirate to Tommy the Toy Soldier – there are pumpkin scarecrows galore. Animal illuminations will brighten up the darkness; there will be crafts and hands on activities and thousands of pumpkins decorating the walkways.

Special prices apply for Spooky Spectacular - £6.99 adults, £4.99 children (amusement rides are charged extra in all cases).

For further information on West Midlands Safari Park please contact 01299 402114 or visit

Cadbury World

Visitors to Cadbury World in Birmingham this Halloween are in for a few surprises as the popular family attraction hosts a spook-tacular programme of entertainment.

From 20-28 October, Cadbury World will host a series of frighteningly fun Halloween themed activities including a spooky fancy dress competition for children and family entertainment shows in the outdoor marquee. Elsewhere, the attraction’s staff will be getting into the spirit dressed as ghosts and ghouls, while the Cadbury CafĂ© will be serving up a terrifyingly tasty menu including sludge casserole, witches’ broth and werewolf eyes! Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase chocolate treats and limited edition handmade chocolate pumpkin novelties from The World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop.

In addition to these themed activities, visitors can also enjoy Cadbury World’s 14 amazing zones which offer something for the whole family. Starting at the ancient Aztec Jungle families are taken on a fascinating journey through time to discover the history and magic of the chocolate-making process.

For more information or to book your trip, please visit

Drayton Manor

Families looking for a fun-filled and money-saving day out during the upcoming half term holiday (29th Oct – 2nd Nov) should visit Drayton Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, as visitors who book online via will receive a reduced entry prices. Tickets purchased from the park’s website currently cost just £20 for adults, £12 for grandee (60+) and children aged 4 – 11 years old and free for children aged under four. There will also be free parking for those booking in advance.

But that’s not all. The discount prices also apply during the two nights of spectacular firework displays on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November. This means families can spend a whole day in the park and then experience the fireworks in the evening starting at 7pm. Visitors will also get to enjoy a host of rides that will be open until 9pm, including G-Force, a rollercoaster that subjects riders to 4.3Gs, and Apocalypse, the 54-metre drop tower. For younger visitors, Drayton Manor has Europe’s only Thomas Land™ attraction, which features a variety of rides themed around the popular Thomas & Friends™ series.

Further information about Drayton Manor please contact 0844 472 1960 or visit

Black Country Living Museum

Horrible historians at Black Country Living Museum are set to disgust and delight with a Halloween Gore and Grime Trail which takes places during the half term holiday, from Saturday 20 – Sunday 28 October, 2012.

Ghost busting visitors can follow a revolting route around the Museum site encountering putrid props, scary spiders, repulsive rats and a hidden mystery surprise to win a prize. Unleash your wicked side and make Wicked Winged Puppets during creative workshops held in the Museum’s Workers’ Institute. Paper craft activities will be taking place throughout the day with bat, ghost , bird and firework designs and scary kites to choose from.

Swap classrooms for cobbled streets and a timetable of holiday fun with a history lesson like no other and keep children absorbed for hours! Travel back in time to the early 1900s where modern conveniences like washing machines, cookers and bathrooms are just a twinkle in the eye and dolly tubs, black leaded grates and 'buckets and chuck its' are the must-have gadgets of the era!

Tickets cost £14.95 per adult, £11.95 for concessions, £7.95 Child (5-16). Discounts are available by booking on

For more information about the Black Country Living Museum please contact 0121 557 9643 or visit

Heritage Motor Centre

The Heritage Motor Centre is inviting families to enjoy ‘Model Planes, Creepy Crafts, The Big Draw and more!’ during October half term from 27 October – 4 November. With half term coinciding with Halloween, the HMC is also organising a special Halloween themed Museum Trail for children plus family craft activities including making spooky pom-pom bats and bean-bag witches on Tuesday 30 October.

As part of the National Big Draw campaign, the HMC is encouraging families to come along and ‘doodle, draw, stick, paint and create’ on Thursday 1 November. Children will also have the opportunity to use their imagination to produce their own works of art! This year the HMC is including ‘Doodle Doors’, cut-out 3D Minis, Land Rovers and the chance for children and parents to contribute their artistic flair to the half scale Land Rover model. Activities are free but normal museum admission applies. Don’t miss the return of the ‘Large Model Aircraft Show’ on Sunday 28 October, organised by the Large Model Association. Museum prices are: Adults £11, Child £8 (5-16 years) under 5 free, Concessions £9 & Family £34 (2 adults & up to 3 children).

For more information about the Heritage Motor Centre please visit or call 01926 641188.

Coventry Transport Museum

Coventry Transport Museum will be opening the doors to its free winter exhibition ScooterMania, just in time for October Half Term 2012. ScooterMania is a brilliant new exhibition of British scooters from the 1950s and 60s, and looks set to draw in the crowds over the half term break.

Whilst many people are familiar with the Italian scooters favoured by the Mod generation, this new exhibition showcases over 40 scooters made right here in Britain – and there are quite a few weird and wonderful surprises in store. All of the scooters on display were collected by one man, and they include well-known British names such as Triumph, BSA and Raleigh, as well as more ‘obscure’ manufacturers such as DMW, DKR and Dunkley, to offer a unique perspective on this iconic form of personal transport.

During October Half Term week, Saturday 27th October to Sunday 4th November, the exhibition will be complemented by a variety of scooter-themed family activity trails and craft sessions, with different activities happening on each day and charges raised for different activities. The exhibition runs from Friday 26th October 2012 to Sunday 3rd March 2013.

For more information about Coventry Transport Museum contact 024 7623 4270 or visit

RAF Museum Cosford

This Half Term, 22-26 October, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford invites all children over 5 to join in a free and exciting activity in which both they and their friends will become active participants in an air sea rescue and discover how the Royal Air Force mounts such operations in hazardous conditions.

In each session children will be able to experience what it is really like to be marooned in a life raft and will learn various survival techniques, with their fellow crew members. Participants will also watch a DVD of an actual RAF rescue and learn about some of the dangers of the sea.

The sessions will take place at 11.00am and 2.00pm each week day and will be located in the Museum’s Hangar 1. Participation in this event is FREE of charge. Younger children will need to be accompanied by an adult but are welcome to participate in this experience. The Museum is open daily from 10am.

For further about RAF Museum Cosford please contact 01902 376200 or visit

SEA LIFE Birmingham

Between the 20th October – 4th November SEA LIFE Birmingham is hosting a special Shark Week event in celebration of one of nature’s most magnificent but misunderstood creatures.

See Sharks in all shapes and sizes and learn to identify different types when we take you on a fin-tastic journey! In an urgent bid for shark conservation, SEA LIFE are proudly supporting the Shark Trust in presenting a range of exciting, interactive and memorable experiences to raise awareness about the wide range of shark species and the challenges that they are facing. During Shark Week you will be able to get up close and personal with our resident sharks; Hammerheads, Nurses, Black Tips, Zebras and Bamboo sharks. Learn a variety of cool facts on sharks, their habitats and how they hunt; see our Aquarists feed the sharks; Pick yourself up a shark hat, take part in puzzles and games and much much more…

We’ll throw the spotlight on sharks for this event, so come and learn all about these amazing creatures whilst entertaining yourself with the activities throughout this two week event!

Tickets are available at; adults £18 and children (3-14 years) £14.40

For more information about SEA LIFE Birmingham contact 0871 423 2110 or visit

Dudley Zoological Gardens

Join the hairy, scary Halloween fun at Dudley Zoological Gardens with Close Encounters of the Furred Kind.

From Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, November 4 there’s spooky stuff for all ages going on every day including monster craft s in Creepy Crawly Corner, a chance to meet giant toads, blood-sucking leeches and rats with attitude, plus ghoulish games and ghost walks around 11th century Dudley Castle at the heart of the zoo.

Presenters’ spells will help young visitors befriend spiders and snakes and for night owls there's a fangtastic Halloween Hocus Pocus on Wednesday, October 31 with a chance to join the spooks' twilight tour and find out what really happens after dark at DZG!

The family show, which includes a fancy dress parade and disco, runs from 6pm to 9pm and must be pre-booked.

Across the 40-acre site there's also an opportunity to catch up with Halloween arrivals including a baby red panda and seven newborn micro pigs down on the Farm, plus check out the action in Lemur Wood where dozens of cheeky little primates will share pumpkin treats.

For full details visit or call 01384 215313.


This October half term break, families can enjoy a whole host of scientific fun events and activities at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. From prehistoric autopsies and animal handling through to storytelling and ‘Meet the Scientist’ sessions, there is something to entertain the most curious visitors of all ages.

From 22 - 25 October, to coincide with the BBC Two series Prehistoric Autopsy, BBC Learning and Thinktank are hosting a new hands-on exhibition, Prehistoric Autopsy - Uncovered. Visitors will come face-to-face with three of our earliest ancestors: a Neanderthal, a Homo Erectus and an Australopithecus Afarensis. At the centre of the exhibition are the actual models used in the new television series, which have been rebuilt in extraordinary detail based on fragmented remains of ancient bones and the latest scientific research. In addition, there will be interactive activities and games and a chance to recreate some of the shell jewellery that our ancestors may have once worn.

If you have ever wondered what scientists actually do, you can come and meet real research scientists at special Meet the Scientist sessions. Visitors are invited to talk to the experts and find out what it is really like to work in a lab, see some of their equipment and maybe even have a go at some of their techniques! From 22 - 26 October, scientists from the University of Birmingham and National Genetics Education and Development Centre will be on hand to meet visitors.

For more information about Thinktank visit

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