Plenty of half-term fun

Spooky Halloween fun, family theatre shows and activities that make the most of the last autumn sun. There is lots to do this half-term. SIMON PARKIN offers a guide to the highlights.

Children's Open Day

North Norfolk Railway, October 22, �10.50 (�9.50 cons), �7 children, under-5s free, �35 family, 01263 820800

The Poppy Line's first Children's Open Day. At the line's halfway station, Weybourne, children will have the chance to meet the stationmaster, visit the signal box, and tour the railway's locomotive and carriage workshops for close-up views of giant steam engines.

Halloween Half-Term

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Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, October 22-23, 1am-5pm, normal admission charges, 01328 851465

Take a chance along the screamingly spooky Bug Walk where all sorts of creepy crawlies are waiting to be found, find the clues to Norfolk's scary natural history facts, with pumpkins and lanterns adding to the Halloween atmosphere.

The Big Botanic Draw

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, October 22, 11am-2pm, �2 for materials, 01603 270449

Are you a Constable, Picasso or Hirst? Have a go at drawing the plants and wildlife at Fairhaven with pastels and charcoal. This drop in event is part of the national campaign The Big Draw.

Apple Day

Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, October 23, 10am-5pm, �8.90 (�7.70 cons), �5.90 children, 01362 860563

A celebration of Norfolk's proud apple history. Stroll around Gressenhall's orchard with it's traditional varieties, bring those 'mystery' apples from your garden for identification, or find just the right tree for your own garden.

Halloween MagiMation

Norwich Puppet Theatre, October 23-24, 10.30am, �55 for both days, 01603 629921

Working with Tim Edwards – Puppet Theatre's master of animation – this workshop, aimed at ages 10+ is a chance to create a spooky short film.

Stock Car Racing

Yarmouth Stadium, October 23, 5.30pm, �12 (�10 cons), �6 children, under-4s free, �35 family, 01493 720343

Thrills, spills, crashes and smashes mean a trip to Yarmouth Stadium is a must for all young petrolheads.

Post-Apocalyptic Comic Strip

Dragon Hall, King Street, Norwich, October 24-25, �30, 01603 663922

Join artist Kel Winser on this two-day comic strip workshop for 12-16-year-olds. Learn about the history of King Street, then create your own storyline of this historic street in a post-apocalyptic world.

Watch the Birdie!

Sainsbury Centre, October 25, 10.30am-12.40pm/2pm-4pm, �8 (�6 cons), 01603 593649

This children's studio includes the opportunity to work with artist Kate Munro to develop skills. Make your own special bird-watching glasses fand see what birds you can spot in the galleries.

Creatures of the Night

Ranworth Broad, October 25/27, 6pm-9pm, �6.50 children, �4.50 adult, 01603 270479

Are you brave enough to visit Ranworth after dark? Join wardens for a unique opportunity to see and hear the wonderful nocturnal wildlife.

Season Finale

Great Yarmouth Racecourse, October 25, �14, 01493 842527

Don't miss the last opportunity to enjoy the races at Yarmouth. Half-term entertainment provided for children (under-16s enjoy free admission). First race at 2pm, last race at 5pm.

The Pea, the Bean & the Enormous Turnip

Norwich Puppet Theatre, October 26-27, 2.30pm, �7 (�5.50 cons), �5 children, 01603 629921

Rod Burnett weaves together a glorious tapestry of tales. He tells of a pea which finds a real princess; he tells of the biggest turnip in the world; and he tells of a bean which runs away to make its mark. It's a journey into the extraordinary world of the imagination.

The Twelve Wild Ducks

Norwich Arts Centre, October 26, 2pm-3pm, �7 (�5 cons), �20 family, 01603 660352

Be careful what you wish for. That's what the Queen discovers when after having 12 sons she wishes for a daughter in this family friendly theatre show.

Jelly Architect

Sainsbury Centre, October 27, 10.30am–3pm, �18 (�14 cons), 01603 593649

Ever wanted to know what an architect does? Here is your chance to have a go. Using jelly as your building material, explore ways to create structures and experiment with colour, light and scale in your design. You could even join your jelly to others to make a jelly city! For children aged 8–12.

Go Batty!

Holkham Hall, October 27, 11am-4pm, free admission, 01328 713111

An afternoon of all things batty and take part in our bat-related craft activities and find out about the bats that live on Holkham Estate. There is also a dusk bat walk, 5pm-6.30pm, �3, �1.50 children.


Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade, October 27-31, 6pm-11pm, �8.95, 01603 876312

Four seriously frightening attractions for Halloween in one. DinoHaunts is aimed ages 5 and over. House of the Living Dead is zombie fun not recommended for anyone under-12. Circus of Terrors, also ages 12+, are not for the faint hearted — or vegetarians.

Halloween Horror Hunt

Salhouse Broad, October 28, 10am-3pm, �3 (2 for �3), 01603 722775

Follow the pumpkin trail around Salhouse Broad. Find all the clues to win a prize! Educational fun for all the fam-ily, plus autumnal crafts, Halloween games, food and drinks will all be available.

Halloween Witches and Wizards Workshop

Whitlingham Country Park, October 28, 4pm-5.30pm/6pm-7.30pm, �10 family, 01603 756094

Try your hand at pumpkin carving and Halloween arts and crafts. Lots of other spooky fun and games too. The first session is suitable for under-8s.

Geology Rocks!

West Runton Beach, October 28, 1.15pm-4pm, �3, 01263 513543

North Norfolk has fascinating geology - and archaeology - and the geology walks at West Runton have established a strong public following over the past 20 years.

Elmer the Elephant

Norwich Arts Centre, October 29, 2pm, �7 (�5 cons), �20 family, 01603 660352

Based on the best-selling children's book by author, David McKee, this brand new, fun-filled version of 'Elmer' bursts to life with jungle characters, catchy songs, and beautiful hand-crafted puppets.

Real Halloween

Holt Hall, October 29 (12.30pm-6pm) and October 30 (11.30am-5pm), �4.50 adv/�6 day, under-3s free.

The Fairyland Trust's Real Halloween has ever popular workshops, Witches Pets, Wizard Shields and Magic Potions and pumpkin carving to take home. Other activities include lantern making, The Halloween Olympics (apple bobbing, broomstick javelin, sugar beet shot put), and a magical trail through the woods. Each day ends with a lantern parade and the telling of the Real Halloween story by candlelight

Spooky Halloween Maze Trail

Somerleyton Hall, October 30, 11am-5pm, �5.50 (�4.50 cons), �3.50 childen, 01502 734901

Can you solve the riddles in the spooky maze and find out who is haunting us? Free trick or treats await you if you dare to try.