This is the Milton Keynes Kids guide to cheap Halloween, pumpkin picking and October half term activities 2018. A few things to bear in mind… the first is that this is only a guide and I won’t be able to keep an eye on every place for changes, so before you visit please check their social media pages or ring ahead before travelling to check they’re open and for times; secondly, dates of October half term do vary hence you may find some activities are on when your children are at school; and thirdly, I’m continuing to add events as I see them, so do keep checking back. I’ve only included ones that I’d be interested in taking my children to – or know a bit about and those that I consider to be good value. If you’re looking for even more cheap ideas of places to visit please visit my new Ultimate Guides section which features our favourite days out as well as the best parks.
20th – 31st October – Pick your own pumpkins at the Pop Up Farm in Hertfordshire. Probably the biggest, closest pumpkin patch to Milton Keynes, you can go there for free and take lots of pretty pictures amongst the pumpkins. Kids can borrow wheelbarrows and choose which ones to buy. They are more expensive than the supermarket as you would expect but in part you’re paying for experience of picking your own. So don’t go if you’re expecting to just spend a couple of quid and get a massive pumpkin. I’m pretty sure last year they ran out before Halloween itself so don’t leave it until the last minute. Best to go in good weather as your pictures will look much better. AL3 8HT. Whatever you do don’t go unless you’ve checked their facebook page they’re open as sometimes they have to close due to bad weather. The farm is located literally just off junction 9 of the M1.
20th – 26th October – Pumpkin Trail at Dunstable Downs – Our favourite place go to fly a kite – one of life’s simple pleasures with children. They do sell them there if you don’t own one. We’ve bought two jellyfish ones from there – they were £10 each. There’s also a hidden natural play area in Chute Wood. You can visit any time – as long as it’s safe – the last I heard they were repairing bit of it. Apparently it’s all meant to be sorted for their pumpkin trail. The trail costs £2.50. Parking is £3 or free if you’re a National Trust member. 10.30am – 5pm.
20th – 28th October – Irchester Country Park in Northamptonshire has a really big play area as well as dinosaur bones in the woods and is well worth a visit if it’s dry. You just pay to park. You can see lots of photos and read our review here. NN29 7DL. During half term they also have a ‘ghost train trail’ which is self led and costs £2 – trail map available from the cafe 10am – 4pm.
20th Oct – 2nd Nov- various Halloween activities at Intu shopping centre (the new bit in central Milton Keynes) including Halloween hunt and colouring. On 27th Oct there’s pumpkin carving and on 27th and 28th Oct there’s the big trick or treat. Check their facebook page for all of the details.
22 – October – 2nd Nov 9.30am – 4pm – Halloween Spooktacular at Thrift Farm. Thanks to Rachel for the heads up. More details to follow. Activities include hunt the pumpkin, haunted photo booth, games. Additional charges apply for pumpkin carving and mysterious maze. Normal charges are £5 adult, £2.50 child making it one of the cheapest farms locally to visit. It’s much less commercialised than others and provides learning opportunities for people with learning disabilities so they do some fab work there. Best for younger children as it’s all about seeing the animals and playing on the ride-on tractors. MK17 0EQ. You can read my previous review of Thrift Farm here.
22nd – 26th October – Half term at Moggerhanger Park – 10am – 4pm – lots of different craft sessions lasting one hour each. They’re different each day and include Hanging Bats, Glittery Pumpkins, Lollypop Spiders, Spider Racers, Glass Lanterns, Owl Hangers. They recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Activities suitable for children aged 5+. We have been to Moggerhanger although I haven’t got around to blogging about it. It’s free to park from what I remember and there’s some good play equipment as well as a wooded area there. MK44 3RW.
22nd – 28th Oct – Various Halloween activities including a trail around the lake at Stanwick Lakes – this is one of our best cheapest summer days out because there’s so much to do there including a huge climbing frame, sand and water area, adventure trail and assault course. Definitely best if the weather is ok – take changes of clothes whatever the weather – if it’s wet then it’s a proper mud-fest – which of course the kids would love. You just pay to park. Additional charges will apply for the themed activities mentioned although I can’t imagine they’ll cost a lot. NN9 6GY. If you’ve not been before then do have a read of my previous review.
22nd – 28th October – Halloween trail at the Forest of Marston Vale – £3 per child, under 2s are free. Kids get a certificate and sweets. Parking charges apply. We like the Forest of Marston Vale, they have some good wooden play equipment which includes a train with a bell – a good bonus for toddlers. There’s a nice walk which take you up right up close to the wind turbine. MK43 0PR.
27th October – Caldecotte Ghost Train – There’s a miniature railway at Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes. You can ride on it for the normal price of £1 for 2 laps around the track but they encourage everyone to dress up. They’re starting earlier this year to accommodate younger ones so it’s running from 4.30pm – 8.30pm. We like the train – it’s probably the cheapest miniature train locally you can ride – it lasts a few minutes so you may want to incorporate a visit to the play area too.
27th October – Halloween family event – 9.30 – 12pm at Alban Hill nurseries in Sherington. MK16 9QP. All proceeds go towards learning experiences for the pre-school children. Games and fun activities, glitter tattoos, face painting. We’ve been to some of their other events – Alban Hill Nurseries is a garden centre located on the road on the way to Olney. They’re good fun particularly if you have younger children – I’d say we were there for about an hour when we’ve gone before and have previously paid donations for each activity. If you’re from outside the area and the weather’s ok I’d suggest you combine it with a visit to Emberton Country Park MK46 5FJ which is only a short distance away and costs £4 to park.
27th Oct – 9th Nov – Stony Stratford Fair Trail. Visit the Library to collect your map. There’s a simple question to answer, and you can enter the prize draw for a chance to win a fairy door, some sweets or one of the mystery prizes. More info on their facebook event.
28th Oct – One of our favourite places to visit over the last few years has been Rushmere Country Park. It’s a big woodland area with a huge slide, fairy doors and wooden sculptures and costs £3 to park (on exit). You can visit at any time but on 28th Oct they have a ‘feed the birds’ event as an extra. Activities include make a bird feeder, crafts including badge making, make a bird box, and a birds of prey display and talk at 12 noon. Apparently there will be a small charge for some activities.
29th Oct – 2nd Nov – Probably the best value day out in Milton Keynes is Milton Keynes Museum. You pay once and then can go all year even on their special event days – £9 adult, £6 child and under 5s are free. There’s loads of hands-on stuff to do including a telephone gallery and the volunteers are full of useful information and can show you how everything works. You can read all about one of our previous visits here. They are open Monday to Friday 11am – 4.30pm on the week from 29th Oct and extra activities include a pumpkin trail through the galleries, science shows and crafting Jack O’Lanterns.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.