Spooky half term fun for children this Halloween
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
Halloween this year falls at the end of the school holidays so why not spread the fun throughout the week?
Here we have 10 top ways to enjoy the build up to the big night with your children - why not try one a day and keep them busy for the whole of the half term break?
Make your own movie
If your children love to dress up, and revel in the drama of Halloween, why not let them create their own adventure? Get them to storyboard their ideas, plan out the story line and then film their very own scary movie.
You don’t need anything more sophisticated than a camera phone - and no need to worry about a shaky hand because it will just add to the atmosphere.
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There are plenty of free apps and web-based software programmes including iMovie and YouTube which will allow you to edit the scenes, insert title cards and even run credits at the end.
And then, on the big night, you can hold your very own fancy dress screening.
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Invite the neighbours in
Instead of handing out sweets on the doorstep, why not get your children to invite their friends over for some Halloween fun.
Bob for apples, plan a Halloween treasure hunt around the garden and serve up some witches blood to drink (more commonly known as blackcurrant squash).
And if they still have energy to burn, divide them into teams and get them to Mummy-wrap one volunteer with toilet roll - a prize is in order for the best-wrapped.
Other games could include a doughnut eating race, skeleton relay and pin the tail on the black cat.
Shriek Week at Colchester Zoo
Are you brave enough to visit the zoo after dark?
Throughout half term week the zoo will take on an eerie persona. You can listen to tales from the crypt, solve the Scarecrow’s riddles and complete his trail, mix up your own potions and spells and take a tour of the ‘Hotel of Hell’ in the haunted mansion.
The day-time activities are designed for children of all ages, but for those feeling extra brave the zoo’s fright nights are back.
On October 24, 26, 28, 29 and 31 the zoo will remain open until 9.30pm and there will be some bone-chilling delights on offer.
Scare the living daily lights out of your dinner guests with some spooky food.
Halloween cupcakes are always popular, or turn homemade sausage rolls into severed fingers with a squirt of tomato ketchup to boot and meringue ghosts are fairly simple to achieve.
For a healthier option, give your kids a bowl of fruit and a selection of cake toppings such as chocolate chips, writing icing and gems, and see what they create!
Take a ghost walk
The team at Ipswich Tourist Information Centre have adapted their Horrible Histories walk for Halloween - giving you the chance to find out more about Ipswich’s blood curdling past.
The walk is family-friendly and takes place on Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31, starting at 6pm.
Places must be booked in advance by calling 01473 258070.
Watch a scary movie
Okay, so they might not be ready for a hide-behind-the-sofa zombie-slaying thriller movie, but there are plenty of family-friendly Halloween films such as The Addams Family for you all to enjoy.
For younger children, turn it into a real experience by drawing the curtains, making cinema tickets and getting one of them to act as the usherette. You can make your own popcorn, offer ice cream sundaes midway through and why not serve their drinks in paper cups - which you could decorate yourselves before the film.
Glue, scissors and inspiration
There are lots of crafting sets available from hobby stores or even bargain retailers to suit various ages but you could save some money and raid the cupboards on a wet and miserable afternoon. Can you make a black cat from an old bin bag? Can you create a spooky night sky using some black card and left-over glitter from Christmas? Or for older children, try painting a glass jar white, add hollow black eyes and pop a candle inside to make a chilling Halloween-night decoration. Try making spiders from pipe cleaners or 3D paper pumpkins, or for younger children try cotton wool ghosts on black paper.
Carve a pumpkin
If you have exhausted the gummy strips and crepe paper, why not make the real thing? First get your children to draw out their designs on paper, then tack them to the front of the pumpkin as a template.
Be careful with sharp knives - and remember to save the carved pumpkin to make a delicious warming soup to serve when everyone returns from their Trick or Treating.
Ipswich Scouts have opted for a themed firework display this year.
Their Spooky Fireworks in the Park takes place at Christchurch Park, Ipswich on Saturday, October 31.
Tickets will go on sale soon, so snap yours up, dust off your Halloween costumes and head down to the park for a frightful but fun night for all the family.
Funfair, food and more on offer throughout the evening.
Break with tradition
If fancy dress, devils delights and home-made ghouls are not for you, try something completely different and take a trip to Portman Road.
Ipswich Town take on Cardiff at home on Saturday, October 31. The 3pm kick-off is perfect for families, and childrens seats are available from £8.50.
Don’t miss our promotions teams who will be selling goody bags containing papers, drinks, snacks and more.
And let’s hope there are no horrors here!