How to Spend the October Half Term 2023

21 September 2023

How to Spend the October Half Term 2023

The new school year might not have started long ago, but trust us, the kids will be breaking up for the October half term before you know it. As the weather gets that bit colder and wetter, you might be asking yourself, what is there to do? If you feel like you’ve exhausted all options from the summer holidays, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of recommendations. 

Whether you’re looking for a bit of history or nature, an adventure worth remembering or indoor or outdoor fun, there’s truly something for everyone this October half term! Prepare to see a lot of Halloween-themed special events on at many of Norwich and Norfolk’s favourite family venues… Here’s some of our pointers this half term. 

Black Cats and Witches Hats Halloween Trail – Chantry Place 

Give yourself and the family a spooky start to the half term (Saturday, October 21 – Tuesday, October 31) and enjoy the ‘Black Cats and Witches Hats’ trail all around Chantry Place this half term! Start this FREE trail off by picking up a map from HMV or The Works on the ground floor and find the different letters laid out across the mall to spell out a magical word.  

Then, head to the Chantry Place post box where you can post your entry for the opportunity to win a prize worth over £150! Plus, the first 1000 families to return to The Works when the trail is completed get a free trail badge! 

For an extra autumnal treat, visit RSPB’s pop-up pod on selected days to learn more about Norfolk nature. Or make the most of the Halloween photo display opposite Oliver Bonas and take a spooky selfie!  

Good to know: 

  • RSPB will be at Chantry Place on Tuesday, October 24 – Wednesday October 25 and Saturday, October 28. 
A promotional graphic showing a cat with a witches hat and broomstick.

Be sure to visit Chantry Place and follow their spooky trail for the chance to win a prize!

Stranger Things Extravaganza – Castle Quarter 

Castle Quarter are putting their own Halloween spin on the half term as they travel back in time to the 1980s for a special Stranger Things Extravaganza. For one day only on Saturday, October 28, fans of the series can come get involved in the fun and see Castle Quarter transformed into the Upside Down for FREE! 

Fans of all ages can snap pictures with the Alphabet Wall, Vecna’s grandfather clock, the iconic ‘Welcome to Hawkins’ sign, and even Hopper’s American cop car! If you’re feeling brave, come and meet a Demogorgon! Don’t worry, Eleven will also be there to help if it gets too scary!  

To make the most of it, why not dress up like your favourite Stranger Things character? You could even win a £50 voucher to spend at Castle Quarter! Hurry along to Castle Quarter to make sure you don’t miss out on the Hawkins adventure! 

Good to know: 

  • This one-day only event is open from 11am – 4pm, so you have plenty of time to see the extravaganza! 
A promotional graphic reading 'friends don't lie', while depicting a police car, a clock, and a sign.

Castle Quarter’s Stranger Things event is must-visit for fans of the show!

The Trolls are back – Castle Quarter

This one’s for the little ones in the family – in celebration of the new Trolls movie, Poppy and Branch will be visiting Castle Quarter on Saturday, October 21 (12pm – 4pm)! It’s the perfect start to the half term, and who doesn’t want to meet movie stars?

So, step into the colourful world of the Trolls at Castle Quarter for this day of rainbows, magic, friendship, and fun. It’s a day guaranteed to put smiles on everyone’s face, and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to grab memory-making photos! Grab your sparkliest glitter, and get ready for a fantastically fun day!

Good to know: 

  • Poppy and Branch will be exploring all levels of Castle Quarter, so no one misses out on a hug or a selfie!

Fans of the Trolls movies shouldn’t miss out on meeting Poppy and Branch!

Norwich Book Bench Walking Trail

A new addition to Norwich in summer 2023, an exciting chapter began which saw a series of eight new book benches appear around the City of Stories. These benches celebrate Norwich’s wealth of literary heritage, and now you can enjoy them as a FREE walking trail! Perfect to get some fresh air while keeping active this half term.

Each of these gorgeous benches is handmade and unique from one another – some are made from wood, others stone, and others metal. They’re all designed around the shape of a book, which makes them truly gorgeous!

This walk around the city is great for seeing Norwich in a completely new light, all while appreciating our rich writing history. Who knows, you might even find a new favourite spot on your travels! Check out the ‘Book Benches’ page for more information and the trail route!

Three people sit on benches carved to look like stacks of books.

Celebrate our UNESCO City of Literature with these stunning benches!

Not So Creepy Crawlies – Holkham Hall 

If you’re looking for some woodland fun this October, Holkham Hall is the place to be. There is plenty to do, from the usual year-round fun, to exploring their Halloween themed activities across the grounds (Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 29), with nearly everything included in standard admission prices! (£23 per adult, £8.50 per child) 

Start your day in the Walled Garden, where you can find Bert’s Amazing Creatures – there’ll be reptiles, hedgehogs, tarantulas, and many other weird and wonderful creatures to meet. Perfect to get over your fear of creepy crawlies.  

Then, get creative and go pumpkin carving! Grab a pumpkin, and get stuck in. Whether you’re a fan of the usual scary faces, or if you’re going for something a bit more unique, it’ll make for the perfect decoration to take home in time for Halloween. And don’t worry about making a mess either, Holkham will compost it! Available for £4 per pumpkin, including use of tools and a tealight.  

For more half-term fun, explore the rest of Holkham, visiting the Hall or Holkham stories, where you can find even more spook-tacular activities to get stuck into. There’ll be tonnes of stories to listen to, a haunted hunt in the Hall, or you can head to the Old Kitchen to make a brilliant bat! 

And, if you’re not looking for anything scary or Halloween themed, why not hire a bike, or check out the exciting Ropes Course to get a different angle of the beautiful park? There’s nothing quite like getting back in touch with nature, and Holkham has something for everyone! 

Good to know: 

Four children kneel next to a large reptile

Holkham Hall has more than enough to keep the family entertained this half-term!

Dippy’s Halloween Days – ROARR! 

It might be the half-term, but at ROARR! the Weston-Smythe School of Dinosaurs and the Undead is only just starting… Just a half hour drive from Norwich, join Dippy and his friends as you encounter a host of unusual Professors with hands on lessons and sessions at Dippy’s Halloween Days! (Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 29). 

Here, you’ll find six lessons to attend, from Professor Bloodlust teaching history lessons about dinosaurs, to Professor Crochet leading the dance classes with some of their ghostly tunes. You can expect some seriously special Halloween activities to enjoy across the week. Tickets for Dippy’s Halloween Days costs £15 per adult and child over 90cm, £10.95 per concession, and children under 90cm go FREE 

And don’t forget their well-known attractions, like Valley of the Dinosaurs, Predator High Ropes, Dippy’s Raceway, and Dinomite Indoor Adventure Play, which all remain open as usual for twice the fun! 

Good to know: 

Kids Go Free – Bure Valley Railway 

For a unique and exciting day out this October half term, why not travel the picturesque Norfolk Broads by steam train? Bure Valley Railway presents a nostalgic trip on Norfolk’s longest gauge railway, running between Aylsham and Wroxham. With stops at market towns and riverside villages, you’ll be sure to experience the historic beauty right at the heart of the Norfolk Broads, it’s the perfect way to explore our National Park! 

What’s more, this half term Kids Go FREE (Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 29)! And with Halloween just around the corner, Bure Valley Railway are also offering a spooky activity to complete during the journey. Plus, the Whistlestop Café will be decorated in theme and scarily tasty Halloween lunches are available to buy as well.  

Good to know: 

A steam train moves down a track.

Enjoy a Halloween day out on the Bure Valley Railway, while seeing the gorgeous Norfolk Broads!

So, there you have it! Some of Norwich & Norfolk’s very best activities this October 2023 half term. They’re all bound to be great days out! And, if you’re still looking for more, don’t forget to check out our ‘See & Do’ page, there’s more than enough to get up to in our City of Stories any time of year.