October Half Term 2019 Activities

October Half Term 2019 Activities

October half term is just upon us. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking there’s still plenty of time to plan your days out and activities for the busy week off.

I am always on the look out for fun activities and days out, forever scrolling Pinterest and lately Instagram too. We have recently been enjoying a lot of park and woodland walks, collecting conkers and leafs to take home, kids play with them for hours while enjoying a nice hot/warm chocolate, although its me that mainly has the hot chocolate.

In this blog I will be sharing with you some great places to visit and some fun autumn activities you can enjoy with your little ones at home.

Activities we are currently enjoying at home

With so many activities, arts, crafts and baking ideas out there. I’m sure there’s plenty for you to choose from to enjoy this October half term. It can be overwhelming when you are searching for things to do. So I thought I’d include a small number of fun ideas that we are trying out this autumn ourselves. Every year I do try and do something different. 

Leafy friends

This has to be one of my favourite activities, I’ve come across so far. The “Leafy friends” are just adorable.

We’ve always loved picking leaves and bringing them home, painting them or making leaf bowls.

Creating “Leafy Friends” is just an amazing idea by Wee Gallery, whom have some lovely make your own ideas on their Instagram page and create some amazing baby/toddler sensory and other products that help your babies development. You must check them out.

All you need for this activity is a paint brush, black and white paint. Some leaves and twigs that you can collect pretty much anywhere this time of year.

Conker Alphabet

This is the first year my little boy has really got into conker picking. He loved it. We came back home with around 100 conkers.

He is also into learning the alphabet. So we decided to paint the letters onto the conkers. It’s his current favourite thing to play with.

Next year we might paint something different. There’s 100s of ideas on Pinterest but if you’re little one is into learning the alphabet this might be just a great idea for you too.  

‘Pumpkin’ pizza

Pizza has to be my kids most favourite food, alongside chocolate or sweets.

When I came across this ideas in Tesco magazine, I thought it was genius. Making a pumpkin out of their favourite food, easy and fun to do. If you would like to have a go, they have a step by step guide on how to make it online

Autumn/Halloween Treats

Baking, although a messy activity, it can be so much fun getting creative in the kitchen. The easier the bakes are for the kids the more fun and stress free it usually is. I do always try and get kids involved in cooking, baking and trying new things from scratch. 

The recipes of the halloween biscuits and cupcakes are actually plant based (apart from the Nutella spread that my kids love). We are not vegan in this household but I have learnt that it’s so much quicker to make plant based treats and they are super tasty.

For the gingerbread biscuits check out Bo’s kitchen Instagram page and look for squirrels, her food is not only incredibly beautiful but delicious too. I did have to substitute plain flour for oats but its still as delicious. 

The chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes are also a hit with my kids and I can’t get enough of peanut butter icing. The recipe is by Ella at Deliciously Ella, you can find this particular recipe on her YouTube channel. We decided to add an extra autumn flare with some chocolate leaves. We did these in one day and it took very little time.  

 

 

 

Pumpkin carving ideas

We usually create the standard scary pumpkin face with the kids, when it comes to carving. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but me being me, I like to do more.

This year we are definitely trying the hedgehogs, I love the stacked up pumpkins. The glow in the dark pumpkins would also be amazing in the window on halloween night. You just need some glow in the dark paint.

You can never have too many pumpkins to carve 🙂 and there’s so many to choose from.   

 

Places to visit this autumn half term

 We have a few favourites that we will visit every year during October half term. I will be sharing these with you and some new places that we have come across.

 

 

Babyccinos

Babyccinos is like a second home for the times when you just want to get out of your house with the little ones. A place where you know they are playing safe in an entertained environment while you are actually able to enjoy delicious food and drink.

With weekly events for the little ones such as Teddy Bears Picnic, Toddler Disco and more, there is plenty for you and the kids to enjoy.

I would absolutely recommend this place any time of the year. The food is delicious, the staff are friendly but professional and you definitely feel totally relaxed while your children are also having fun. 

 

Crafty Kids

Crafy Kids is a fantastic craft venue for children, providing a big amount of amazing activities such as paint a pot, messy sessions, stuff a teddy and fun outdoor activities too. 

This October join them for a halloween party. Enjoy painting a spooky ceramic pot, making scary masks, halloween themed arts and crafts, frightening play dough and more on 27th October, pre booking is essential. 

You can also enjoy carving a pumpkin, spooky slime, sweet treats and handprint art from 28th October – 1st November, pre booking is also essential. 

Cannon Hall Pumpkin Festival

Cannon Hall always put on fantastic events every month. Their pumpkin festival is amazing, you’ll have someone on hand helping you carve the perfect pumpkin lantern. You’ll be able to complete challenges at the Forbidden Forest and enjoy regular shows. Make sure to book in advance to secure a space and avoid on the day admission prices.

The event takes place from October 19th to 31st.

Pumpkin Trail at Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire

Enter at your own risk through the giant spooky gates at the start of Strid Wood. Follow the trail of over-sized pumpkins through Strid Wood and discover the mystery doors hidden among the trees. Behind each door is a clue to help unravel the witch’s magical spell. With a fun surprise awaiting you at The Strid, it will be worth the journey to get there!

This event takes place from 19th October – 3rd November. This is a FREE event but the estate’s usual admission fee apply. 

Farmer Copleys Pumpkin Festival

Farmer Copleys is another fantastic place to visit during the October half term. With thousands upon thousands of pumpkins of all different shapes, sizes and colours to choose from you’ll not be disappointed. You can then enjoy carving your pumpkin with some onsite helpers and even enjoy eating some pumpkin.

With Witches story time, face painting, live music, fancy dress competition, pumpkin pot painting and lots more you’ll have an amazing family day out.

Tickets MUST be purchased online. This event takes place from 5th – 31st October.

Northwood Trail

The Northwood Trail is England’s Fairy Sanctuary and a beautiful woodland attraction.

It’s a place where you can foster a true connection with nature and see the forgotten History of Northwood yourself. Finding original fairy doors, discovering the fairy hamlet and the mushroom fairy ring.

This halloween the Northwood Trail are celebrating with the fairies. Join them for a magical evening lantern walks and a storytelling of a short tale in their autumn grotto.

The event runs from the 25th of October to the 3rd of November.

Tickets cost £12.50 per person (under 3’s are free) and include a glass of alcoholic or non- alcoholic warm punch.

If you head up earlier in the afternoon you can also join in a lantern workshop (this is a seperate event), creating beautiful lanterns using foraged woodland bounty and make a day of it. 

For more details and to book visit Northwood Trail here. 

Halloween at Skelf Island, Castle Howard

At Castle Howard, across the dormant water of the Great Lake lies the new adventure playground, Skelf Island and the naughty Skelves. If you are brave enough to join Corvus the Crow to find out the seasonal secrets of his hidden world you must visit the Skelf Island.

This event takes place from 26th October – 3rd November. The event is included within the garden tickets.

Hocus Pocus – Halloween at Eureka

Eureka are putting a fun Hocus Pocus event on for magicians aged 0-11 years. You will enjoy a series of tasks before the Witches and Wizzards pledge allegiance while mystical characters from Black Knight Historical will be conjuring up some truly magical classes in the Eureka. Come dressed up in your spooky halloween costumes. 

The event takes place from 19th October – 3rd November. 

Pumpkin Party at The Den, North Case

The Den Pumpkin adventure is full of spooky delights. The little ones can pick their own pumpkins, create a pumpkin masterpiece before the pumpkin party time.

You’ll enjoy a pumpkin photo booth, broomstick racing and a frozen treat from the Ice Cream Scream.

Not forgetting all the adventures to be had in the indoor den and outdoor play areas.

Save by booking online. The event takes place from 21st – 31st October. 

Halloween Ghost Train at Kirklees Light Railway

Dare you join Kirkless Light Raiwlay for a ghost train ride? The fangtastic trains are not for the weak at heart. Please be aware of this when booking for you and the children. The Half Term Horrors may be more suitable for the smaller ones.

This event runs on 31st October, 1st and 2nd of November. Booking is essential and fancy dress is certainly encouraged. 

Half Term Horrors – Kirklees Light Railway

Enjoy some spooktacular fun with your little ones at Kirklees Light Railway. Join in with creepy craft activities and spooky stories that are totally FREE with a valid day ticket for the railway.

All the children getting into the halloween spirit and dressing up in spooky fancy dress will ride for HALF PRICE.

The event takes place from 26th October – 3rd November. Head on over to Kirklees Light Railway for more information.

 

Frightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley is transforming to Frightwater Valley as a part of it’s spooky Halloween celebrations from October 26th – 31st.

You will enjoy a series of spooktacular events and activities for all ages.

From meeting spooky characters and scary magic shows for the little ones to Live Scare Maze for the big ones and lots more. There’s something for everyone.

Head over to Lightwater Valley for more information or to book your spooky adventures.

 

Witches and Wizards at Tropical Butterfly House

Enjoy some frighteningly good family fun.

The little ones can join a magical school of witchcraft, follow activity trail around the park and try on an enchanted sorting hat to find out which wizardry animal house they belong to. They can try their hand at broomstick training and dare to dabble in a potion class before graduating and receiving a certificate.

The kids can then wonder through the haunted house, find the storytelling witch, enjoy a spooky tractor ride and more.

At Tropical Butterfly House you can be sure to have a day full of halloween fun.

26th October – 3rd November. 

Nostell Priory – October Half Term

From pumpkin tales and pumpkin carving to toasting marshmallows on the campfire while listening to stories, there’s plenty fun to be had at Nostell Priory this October half term.

Head over to the National Trust page for dates and times of the events.

October Half Term, FREE fun activities at IKEA Sheffield

IKEA at Sheffield are putting a FREE event on for all the kids where they can enjoy fabric ghost making, colouring competitions, plate making and face painting. Enjoy something for all the family.

19th October – 3rd November.

Halloween at Pit, National Coal Mining Museum

With odd things happening at National Coal Mining Museum, from strange noises and sensations to disembodied voices and rumours of a strong spirit haunting the mine.

You can join Mary and Peggy, to look for clues and get to the bottom of the ghostly going ons.

This day out is recommended for children 7+.

29th and 30th October, 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

I Want My Mummy, A Halloween Spectacular, Family Musical at Montgomery, Sheffield

If you want to do something different with the kids this year, A musical Halloween Treat by Far Far Away Theatre is a great alternative to pumpkin picking.

More information is available on The Montgomery.

 

Halloween at The Forbidden Corner

At The Forbidden Corner you can join in on the halloween fun with a halloween quiz, prizes for finding lost bones and fancy dress competitions on 31st October. 

12th October – 3rd November. 

Tickets must be pre-booked. 

To book visit The Forbidden Corner here.

Halloween at Clifton Park

Halloween at Clifton Park presents: The Wizard of Roth. You will start by picking your pumpkin in the Land of Oz, meet Dotty, the Lion, the Steel Man, Scarecrow and the Wizard of Roth.

Enjoy crafting your own pumpkin with which ever design you like. Then take a trip round the park on the train to the amusements for one full hour of unlimited rides.

The event will run Saturday 26th – Thursday 31st October. 

Head over to Clifton Park Events to find out more.

Spectacular Bonfire Nights around Yorkshire

Cannon Hall Bonfire Spectacular

Enjoy a full day at Cannon Hall seeing the animals, shows, the reptile centre, indoor and outdoor play area as well as a tractor ride.

The bonfire fun then kicks off with a disco by CopyCat Party Company in the Marquee followed by the bonfire at 5pm and firework display at 6.30pm.

Tickets are £11.95 and must be pre-booked online. This event sells out really fast so make sure you book soon.

For more information and to book visit Cannon Hall website here.

The Fairway Pub, Dodworth, Barnsley

Enjoy a night of fantastic firework display a huge bonfire and good food and drink. Incuding burgers, hotdogs, Hog Roast and traditional pie and peas.

1st November at 6pm.

Barnsley Round Table Charity Bonfire and Firework Spectacular at Locke Park 

Have some fun at the funfair starting at 6pm, fire lighting at 7.15pm followed by a fantastic firework display at 8pm. 

All tickets are bought on the gate.

Family Ticket (2 x Adults, 3 x Children): £15
Individual Ticket: £5
5’s and under free
Parking: £3

Saturday 2nd November

Travellers Inn Oxspring

Enjoy some delicious pub food, from burgers to chilli and curry with a sweet treat for afterwords including toffee apples and parkin.

The fire will be lit at 6pm and fireworks at 7pm.

Tuesday 5th November from 5pm. 

Notton Bonfire and Fireworks Spectacular

Notton Bonfire and Firework Spectacular is one of the largest in West Yorkshire. Enjoy some fun rides, amusements for the kds, food followed by a fire lit at 7pm and fireworks start at 8pm. This is year is set to be bigger and better.

Tickets can be bought online for £5.

Please make sure to arrive early as parking can be some what of a problem due to it being such a small village.

Saturday 2nd November.

To book click here.

Bolton Abbey Bonfire Night, Skipton, North Yorkshire

Bolton Abbey Bonfire Night is returning again this year with its annual bonfire event by the banks of the river Wharfe in the shadows of the Priory Ruins. You’ll be entertained by the fire eaters, glow in the dark jugglers and traditional fairground rides. You will finish the evening off with a dazzling firework display.

£12.50 Adult

£8.00 Child 4 – 16 (children aged 3 and under are free of charge and do not require a ticket)

Saturday 2nd November.

Gates open at 4pm

Fire lit at 6pm

Fireworks at 7pm

For further information and to book visit Bolton Abbey.

Doncaster Racecourse Firework Display

Doncaster Racecourse are putting a fantastic Firework Spectacular on, in conjunction with Heart FM.

You can be sure to have a fantastic evening, with some fairground rides that kids and adults can enjoy. From 4-5pm you can enjoy a Fairground Happy Hour where all of the rides are discounted (£1.50 for small rides and £2 for large rides).

Furthermore the kids can enjoy a disco, face painting, fire tricksters.

Have fun in a Circus Workshop and learn how to spin a plate and walk a tight rope……..

Enjoy a 15 minute fireworks display at 7.30pm from a covered viewing area ensuring you have a great time whatever the weather.

Food and drink is available from the Food Court and concession stands.

Saturday 2nd November.

The evening will start at 4pm and finish at 8.30pm.

 Advance Ticket Prices

Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children) – £15.00

 Adult Ticket – £6.00

Child Ticket (up to 14) – £3.50

Under 3’s – Free

On The Day Ticket Prices

Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children) – £20.00

Adult Ticket – £7.50

Child Ticket (up to 14) – £4.50

Under 3’s – Free

For furhter information and to book head over to Doncaster Racecourse website. 

Leeds Bonfire Nights

Bonfire nights are celebrated on a grand scale in Leeds. There will be fantastic firework displays, huge bonfires and entertainment across parks in the city including Roundhay Park, East End Park, Woodhouse Moor, Springhead Park, Middleton Park and Bramley Park.

Click here and search for your most desired park to find more information on their bonfire nights. 

I hope this blog has been helpful in planning your October half term. If you have any more questions or want to suggest some more places that I should add just leave a comment below.

Anna x

Autumn Wardrobe – What to Wear to Your Photo Shoot

Autumn Wardrobe – What to Wear to Your Photo Shoot

In this “Autumn Wardrobe – What To Wear To Your Photo Shoot” blog, my aim is to help you understand how to choose what to wear that is comfortable, practical and still looks great. This question does arise all year round and I will be doing a separate blog post for different seasons.

As we start October, the nights are getting longer and the leaves are turning beautifully golden, this is my favourite time of the year. Especially now, with the kids, we love pumpkin picking, halloween, as well as all the outings and activities that come with it. 

I get even more excited about photographing families in autumn. There are just so many beautiful and colourful locations around. With the addition of a stunning autumnly light, you can achieve some gorgeous family photographs. Not to mention, all the fun the kids have, searching for conkers, finding crunchy leaves to jump in and take home for some fun craft activities. 

Below are some tips to help you out when searching for an autumn wardrobe with the family photo shoot in mind. 

 

WHY CHOOSING A COLOUR PALETTE IS IMPORTANT?

The first thing I always recommend is start off with a colour palette. You can choose from 2-4 different colours, they must compliment one another. 

The colours that always work well are cream, blue, mustard yellow, brown and burgandy. Sometimes teal or red could also work well if you want a little more colour pop. You could also use a more neutral colour palette. I have created a Pinterest board here with some great palette examples and autumn wardrobe ideas.

LAYERING UP

During all my shoots, being comfortable and dressed for the weather is essential. No one wants to be outside either freezing or sweating.

With the British weather being so unpredictable, planning what you are going to wear and layering up is an essential part of putting together an outfit. Plus it can be so much fun trying out what you already have with something new. As long as your colour palette works together across all the layers, you’re on the right track. You can then be sure if its too warm you could take your coat off and maybe just have a chunky sweater or a drench coat with a nice top/dress.

Don’t forget you can also layer up using scarfs and hats if its too warm for a winter coat but cold for just wearing a jumper or a drench coat. 

WHAT DO I NEED TO AVOID?

Your family is the main focus in all the photographs we create, therefore its important to ensure there is nothing there that would take the attention away from that.

There are two things you need to avoid when looking at what to wear to your photo shoot, in autumn and all year round.

Any clothing with big prints, texts and logos. They are hugely distracting.

Secondly, any miss matching colours or bright/neon type colours, particularly during autumn shoots.

I hope this blog has been helpful to you. Further down I have put together some clothing inspiration for children using three different retailers as an idea. 

For any more information or if you would like to book an autumn mini photo shoot just leave a comment or drop me a message I would be very happy to help.