Family activities for October

Our pick of the bunch of stuff for families to do in the next month

Various dates Halloween with the kids 

Things are getting spooky over at Wandlebury Country Park on 28 October, when you can join in with a fancy dress candlelit walk, hear stories and have a go at pumpkin carving. Round it all off with hot drinks and marshmallow toasting by the fire. Runs 4-7pm. 

Go on a gruesome tour of some of history’s most grisly bits this month at Audley End House and Gardens, where you’ll travel back in time and discover some of the most painful punishments through the ages (which your history teacher was too timid to tell you about!). Expect ghastly gallows and terrifying torture aplenty. Gruesome Goings On runs 23-29 October from 11am-4pm and costs £10.50 per child (5-15 years), and £17.50 per adult. 

The Skylark Maize Maze and Funyard, at Wimblington, will host a whole week of wickedness (21-29 October) in honour of Halloween. Pick pumpkins and carve them suitably ghoulish faces, catch a comedy and magic show, and most excitingly of all, explore the Dark Side Maze: a special Halloween edition of the maize maze. Entry is £9 per child and £10 per adult. 

Create your own spooky masterpiece by carving a pumpkin at Wimpole Home Farm from 21-29 October (11am-4pm). Normal farm admission applies plus minimum £2 charge for the pumpkin (prices vary dependent on the size of each pumpkin).

8 October Your Toys  

Slot Machine Theatre present Your Toys at The Junction, an adventure created by real toys brought along by the audience. Kids can bring along their favourite toy – a teddy, doll, dinosaur or something else – and watch as they’re brought to life using an innovative blend of puppetry, music and humour. The show takes place on 8 October at 11.30am and 2.30pm and tickets are £10 per adult and £6 per child.

14 October Apple Day

Burwash Manor in Barton is gearing up to host its fabulous annual countryside celebration, which puts apples at its core (sorry). A fun-packed family event taking place on 14 October, there will be yummy treats to eat, rides on a miniature steam train, traditional fairground rides, and displays of many traditional activities like basket weaving and chainsaw sculpting. 

You can bring along your own apples to get them identified, as well as getting them juiced and pulped. All the fun is in aid of an excellent cause too, with the Apple Day helping to raise money for Sick Children’s Trust. Over £5,500 was raised for this wonderful charity at last year’s event, and they’re hoping to make even more this year. Entry is £3 per adult; children under 12 are free.

20-28 October Cambridge Pumpkin Festival

The annual Cambridge Pumpkin Festival returns 20-28 October, bringing with it a huge range of fun events for the whole family over the course of the October half term holiday. Organised by Cambridge Sustainable Food in collaboration with local charities, community groups and businesses, there are more than 14 events in total, including Kids’ Disco Soup on 23 October, where you and your little people can dance along to DJs and enjoy some scrummy pumpkin soup. Another highlight will be the Feed the 1000 launch event, where you’re invited to help reach a goal of feeding one thousand people using food which would have otherwise gone to waste. Expect a nutritious free feast and plenty of food saving tips. There’s also a pumpkin decorating workshop for kids at Co. 15, plus a pumpkin picnic at St James’s Church, complete with face-painting, baking, pumpkin carving and more. Bring along some food to share and join the fun. There’s plenty more happening throughout the course of the festival, check out the website for the full programme. 

22 October Tales of Birbal 

How can you survive a night in a freezing lake? How many crows are there in a kingdom? Only Birbal knows... as puppetry, humour, music and the occasional fake beard are used by Mashi and Bhanji in Tales of Birbal.

The enchanting, mythical world of King Akbar and witty advisor Birbal is brought to life by Mashi Theatre at The Junction on 22 October. It’s part of the India Unboxed series of events this year in the city, supported by University of Cambridge Museums.

Suitable for ages six and above, shows are 11.30am and 2.30pm. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £6 for children.