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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

30 things to do in the October school holidays

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

We're getting organised this year for the October school holidays as before we know it the kids will be coming home at the end of this half term with bags full of conkers and demands for hot chocolates...

  1. The changes to the 'going overseas rules' are giving us whiplash, so we're playing it safe this October school holidays by keeping the vacays closer to home, so we've already rustled up guides on the Lake District, narrowboating with kids, the best hotels for a staycay in London AND the best hotels for a nationwide staycay with the fam.

  2. With the October school holidays comes Halloween, and for that you're going to need a pumpkin... hop into our guide to where to pick your own in and around London.

  3. Once you've made your pumpkin pie, it will be time to turn your mind to these other Halloween spooky snack recipes.

  4. Entertain the kids with a ghoulishly good movie fest starting with these fam-friendly Halloween movies. Eat the snacks you made while you're watching.

  5. Witches and wizards go hand in hand with Halloween, so hop on your brooms (or the London Underground) and check out Wands & Wizard Exploratorium for an activity with a difference.

  6. While we can guarantee fun during the October school holidays, we can't guarantee the weather: try these activities around London that the rain can't ruin! And if the sun does put in an appearance then surprise the kids with one of these quirky kinda days out in London. Brunch in a toilet, anyone?

  7. We love heading to Museum Mile and beyond to check out these top notch London museums. Lots of them are free and all of them are awesome.

  8. Download one of our free, printable scavenger hunts: it's amazing what children can find when they actually want to find things.

  9. Combine good deeds with the chance to meet around 500 different critters and creatures at donation dependent Hopefield Animal Sanctuary.

  10. It's official we reckon: it's hot chocolate season! Whip up some of these heavenly, choccie creations to get you in an autumnal mood.

  11. More free fun! Get into London and check off these free activities with the kiddos.

  12. Discover Geocaching: family fun in the great outdoors at its best, and another freebie to add to your list of free stuff to do.

  13. Go conkers with these autumn craft ideas.

  14. More learning through play fun: this time at The Clink Prison Museum! A gruesomely fun adventure perfect for Halloween season.

  15. And if it's gruesome that floats your boat, then you definitely need to know about the terribly good brand new river experience: Horrible Histories' Terrible Thames Tour! Packed with horrible but fun facts, this is a Thames boat trip with a difference, and it's sailing until 31st October.

  16. Raid the recycling bin and turn all those old toilet rolls into craft opportunities. And when you're done with those, turn toilet rolls into something Halloween-themed.

  17. Get yourself into the Surrey countryside to hang out with alpacas and send the kids down a zipline at Hobbledown Adventure Farm.

  18. For a high speed adventure that is sure to make a splash with the family, a Thames Rockets experience will launch you into 'cool parent' stratosphere. Use the discount code TRinsta20 and you'll bag yourself 20% off the total price.

  19. Make your own playdough, and then make your own slime, turn plastic bottles into pencil cases, plant pots and more and have an all round squidgy, squelchy, sensory play day.

  20. Paint some rocks using our guide for some inspo, and then place them around your local park for people to find.

  21. Have a family competition to see who can come up with the best smoothie recipe. Cheat sheet right here...

  22. Head for the skies and take your kids age-8-and-older into the clouds for an Up at The O2 adventure. And yes, parents, you totes deserve the glass of champagne on offer when you get to the top...

  23. Banish boredom with a board game: hop into this guide for some of our faves.

  24. Take a wander around London's best country parks. And if you don't live near London, discover the ones in your area.

  25. Whip up some DIY Halloween costumes;

  26. Then creep it real with some DIY Halloween decor.

  27. Check out our guide to the Tower of London, and then get yourselves over there to check it out for real: it's supposed to be super haunted so another perfect Halloween hot spot.

  28. Spend some time ticking off all the ideas from our bumper school holiday craft list.

  29. Snuggle up and read all of your favourite picture books together. Bonus points for funny voices.

  30. Last but by no means least why not start planning ahead for the Christmas holidays by choosing and booking a magical ski holiday. We might not have made it to tropical beaches this year, but we're really hoping to get to the slopes!

Still looking for more inspo for school holidays and beyond? Then these reads might just help...

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures and things to do in London with kids over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

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