Stuck for half-term Halloween ideas? We've come up with ideas ranging from mildy spooky to downright terrifying – both at home and away – for children of all ages.
Castle ghost tours Muncaster Castle in the Lake District is organising a week of frightening fun including ghostly tours of the castle, a fire juggler and daily children's activities including face painting, crafts and magic shows. You can also try out the Scary Maze or Mysterious Owl Tours as dusk falls. Children in fancy dress will receive a free gift. All-day entry including a ghost tour costs £17.00 for adults and £7.50 for children. Visit www.muncaster.co.uk
Mini-cruise to Amsterdam Ideal for children and adults alike, there will be special Halloween games and entertainment as well as a fancy dress competition on a spookily-decorated ferry cruising from Newcastle to Amsterdam. From £67 per person for a two-night cruise in an ensuite cabin and transfer to Amsterdam. Departs Newcastle October 29, 30 and 31. For more info visit www.dfds.co.uk/halloween or call 0871 882 0885
Scary Fashion Show Greenwich Market, decorated with carved pumpkins and playing scary music, is holding free Halloweeen costume workshops and a Scary Fashion Show for children aged six-plus on Friday October 29. Kids can choose to make an outfit including witch, Dracula, goblin, evil fairy, good fairy and zombie. All materials will be supplied, there will even be free face painting and Miss Cupcake will be running a scary cupcake decorating workshop (a small charge applies for this.) The fun starts at 11am and runs through to the fashion show at 5pm. Visit www.shopgreenwich.co.uk
It's Johnny! Scare yourself and your teenagers silly this Halloween at The Stanley Hotel – the inspiration behind The Shining – at Estes Park, Colorado. Events over Halloween include a murder mystery dinner and a Grand Costume Ball. There is a paranormal investigator and medium on staff to present readings and take guests ghost hunting and a tour of the hotel featuring a talk about its history and hauntings is also available. Rooms start from $199 dollars per night. Visit www.stanleyhotel.com
Pumpkin-chucking Crealy Great Adventure Parks in Devon and Cornwall will be getting out monster catapults for their annual pumpkin-chucking contest. There's non-scary ghoulish fun for the under-8s including games and trick or treating while older children can enjoy "Crealy Twilight" in the Devon park after 4pm when the Beast Burning Bonfire is lit and headless horsemen, zombies and cackling country bumpkins will come creeping through the park and stumbling out of the forest. Every visitor receives a home-grown pumpkin to carve. Park entry costs £14.50 for adults and children over 1m, £10.95 for children 92cm to 1 metre, children under 92cm go free. Five-star cottages and camping are available on site. Visit www.crealy.co.uk
Disneyland, Paris It's Halloween for the whole of October at Disneyland, Paris where you can get your scary hair and make-up done at one of the special "boo-tiques " and Pumpkin People will be roaming the park along with Disney favourites. Join Mickey Mouse at his "Not so Scary Halloween Party" (£21) held after-hours on four nights in October, or the Disney Halloween Party (£27) on October 31st where you can mingle with Disney characters, experience a special Hallowe'en light and sound show and enjoy all the rides in the dark until 1am. Prices for a two-night three-day package including return travel with Eurostar in October 2010 start from £359 per adult, £92 per child (aged 4-6yrs) £202 per child (aged 7-11yrs) including park entry. Visit www.disneylandparis.com or call 08448 008 111.
Cook up a storm London's Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel is running a "Tasty, Not Terrifying" children's cookery class on October 23 when they will be making scary cakes, bone bread and chocolate worms. While your little ones cook you can watch and enjoy brunch for £39 per head (reductions available for teenagers and children.) The kids get to take home mini-aprons, wooden spoons and chef's hat and if you can't get to this class, there is another "With a tap of my wooden spoon..." class on November 27th when the mini-chefs will be making cheesy broomsticks, edible wands and owl biscuits.
Cookery class costs £10. To reserve, call 020 7318 8563.
Spend a night in a haunted forest. An evening of frights and things that go bump in the night awaits anyone brave enough to step in to the mystical Guisborough Forest, Tees Valley, where actors dressed as ghosts and ghouls are ready to jump out and scare you. Who, or what is lurking behind those trees, swooping down from the skies, or crouching behind that rocky outcrop – find out as you get closer, but remember they may also be BEHIND YOU! Be prepared to be scared ! Not suitable for very young children. October 31st meet at the Forest Visitor's Centre at 5pm. Adults £3, Children £2. www.visitteesvalley.co.uk.
SeaWorld, Orlando. A Sesame Street "Spooktacular" is being held every Saturday and Sunday throughout October – join Count Von Count for Breakfast, go Trick or Treating for over three million sweets among the sea creatures and guide Abby Cadabby through a 4000-square foot pathway to find her magic wand. You can also create your own Halloween cookies at a decorating station. Seven nights' accommodation, flights and park entry for two adults and two children costs from £3,011 departing October 22 with Complete Orlando. Visit www.completeorlando.co.uk or call 0800 294 8844. For more on SeaWorld Parks visit www.seaworldparks.co.uk.