Staycation Activities for Kids this October Half Term

Not going away?

Banish those dreaded words “I’m bored”  this half-term by visiting these great UK attractions!

Fair weather or foul, a bit of education by stealth never goes amiss, and fresh air and exercise becomes fun when there’s lot’s to see and do!



London’s latest attraction aimed at the 4-13 age group is also a parent pleaser, since it offer kids an opportunity to experience the world of work in the fun and safe environment of the child sized city of Kidzania, and also learn how to manage the money they earn!

They can choose from 60 possible careers, spend 4 hours discovering what their chosen profession entails, and be paid in Kidzos, which they can exchange for goods and services during their visit. Popular choices include firefighter, radio presenter, police officer, beautician, doctor, actor, engineer and chocolatier!

Wannabe X Factor contestants are catered for in singing and dance workshops, and they can also enrol as a student at Kidzania University.

Parents of kids over 7 years are free to shop and dine while the kids toil away – a very pleasing role reversal!


Sea Life Centre Brighton

The seaside resort of Brighton is home to the world’s oldest operating aquarium, and whilst the original Victorian architecture has been retained, the attraction has been given the SeaLife makeover, and now houses up to 3.5 thousand fascinating fish, crustaceans and deadly predators.

The latest addition is Jurassic Seas – an interactive, educational attraction featuring sea creatures that have outlasted dinosaurs, like mudskippers, horseshoe crabs, and the snake necked turtle, and thanks to the latest technology, kids can feed a deadly Plesiosaurus and meet a mighty Megalodon!

They can touch a real starfish or crab in a rockpool, discover how Green Turtles Gulliver and Lulu thrive on a healthy diet parents will approve of, and there are loads of fun fishy facts to learn, like why the resident octopus is a clever escapologist!

brighton sea life

Harry Potter Film and Movie Tours London

Harry Potter and friends may have graduated from Wizard Univesity by now, but the books and films still attract attract followers worldwide.

See the Harry Potter film locations like 12 Grimmauld Place, the Ministry of Magic and the entrance to Gringotts Bank, from a luxury air-conditioned bus and go walkabout at some of the famous sites, like Platform 9 3/4, and river locations from The Philosopher’s Stone, and visit the location of the Leaky Cauldron, Hogwarts sites and Godric’s Hollow.

Your guide will be a true HP enthusiast and fancy dress is encouraged!

You will also learn how the films were made, discuss the books and be tested on your knowledge with a trivia quiz and there will be plenty of magical photo opportunities along the way too!


Shrek’s Adventures

Board the Dreamworks Tour Bus with Shrek’s sidekick Donkey as the driver, and experience 10 4D fairytales in the Land of Far Away with a chaotic twist! Cinderella may be trustworthy, but Rumplestiltskin definitely is not, Pinnochio needs rescuing, and so will you – from the Poison Apple Pub!

Never fear, Puss in Boots will be there for you!

This walk and ride attraction has added extra craziness for Halloween Half term – the lovable grumpy green ogre has decorated his Swamp with pumpkins and cobwebs, created yucky dips for kids to try, invented some silly tasks, and has a treat for every child to take home!



Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley, Yorkshire’s  fun theme park,  has mini, mega and ultimate attractions to suit all age groups.

The clocks go back on Sunday 25th October, and darker evenings mean earlier Fantastic Fireworks displays!

Angry Birds Activity Park is always popular with younger children, and offers outdoor and indoor play, and Eagles Creek Farm has tractor rides and tame animals to meet.

At 2pm and 4pm all the family can watch the Birds of Prey show at the Falconry Centre.

There’s lots of pirate themed rides for the middle age group, and older kids will enjoy  the thrills of Whirlwind, Raptor’s Attack, Eagle’s Claw and The Ultimate – Europe’s longest roller coaster!

Lightwater becomes Frightwater from 30th October to 1st November, and don’t forget, kids in  Halloween costumes get a chance to win a prize!

kids themepark

London Zoo

“Boo at the Zoo” at Halloween has become a tradition at ZSL London Zoo, and this year’s event takes place between the 24th October until the 1st November.

Creatures associated with Halloween, like spiders, owls and bats are the star turns this half term, and there are plenty of kids activities going on to get them into the spirit of things! Not keen on Halloween?

London Zoo is home to over 760 species of animal, many of them endangered, and kids can learn about animal behaviour and the importance of conservation by listening to keepers’ talks.

See beautiful Sumatran Tigers and their 3 adorable cubs, watch curious meerkats watching you, and let the kids groom the resident goats and sheep at Animal Adventure children’s’ zoo.

In with the Lemurs is a new walk through enclosure where visitors can get really close to the animals, and feeding times at the recently enlarged Penguin Beach are very entertaining!


Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Chessington World of Adventure Resort celebrates Howl-o-ween this half term with the new Curse of the Lost Tomb  horror maze for the over 8’s and bewitching fun for young children at Trick or Treat Woods.

Spin and soar under the stars on rides spookily lit up for the night!

Chessington ticks all the boxes for a fun family day out – it has animals, sea creatures, live shows and rides great and small!

Visitors can travel through 10 themed lands, venture under the sea, and experience some air time – all the elements of a perfect holiday treat.

The Humboldt Penguins have a new walk through enclosure, there is a live Penguins of Madagascar show to see, and kids can burn off some energy at Amazu Treetop Adventure and meet some other little monkeys!

Chessington World of Adventures Zoo - Sealion Bay

Kate Quigley

Kate Quigley Travel Writer