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Half Term Highlights - Days out ideas for the school holidays
At Moors Valley Country Park...
FANS of the popular children's character Stick Man can enjoy their own Stick Man adventures by following a new activity trail at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest from October half-term until January next year. Created by Julia Donaldson, who also wrote The Gruffalo, Stick Man lives, perhaps not surprisingly, in a tree with his wife and three children. Forestry Commission England has teamed up with the popular children's character to create a special adventure trail to encourage children and families to get out into the forest. The Moors Valley trail is one of thirteen that Forestry Commission England has created around the country where children can engage in imaginative play and find out more about forests and the importance of wood and trees to their daily lives. Families can have fun and learn about Stick Man's forest home by following the special Stick Man trail, complete with activities for all ages. The trail winds through the Park and into the Forest with 10 activity boards to help children and adults make their own Stick Man to take home, identify tree patterns and shapes, build a twig tower and explore the sights and sounds around them.
At Exbury Gardens...
THE Exbury Ghost Train takes to the rails again this half-term for hair-raising and rib-tickling family fun. With skeletons, scarecrows and other ghoulish characters en route, we dare you to ride and experience a Halloween week 'Phantomime"!
The Ghost Train will enter a pitch-black tunnel and, provided it comes out the other end, will continue on its one and a half mile journey with interesting stories, dreadful puns & even more terrible jokes. Your hosts for the groan-inducing trip are the spooky Napoleon Bone-aparte and his sidekick Batty the Vampire!
But things are not always as spooky as they seem, as many of the weird and wonderful Halloween characters to be seen around the track are in fact played by Southampton scouts aged between 13 and 18 years old.
Children who come in Hallowe'en fancy dress receive a free treat bag, whilst there is a Halloween chocolate or candy for all children who ride the Ghost Train.
And, after a brush with all the things that go bump in the night, there'll be time for a walk around the Gardens, which will be near their autumn best.
At New Forest Wildlife Park...
THERE'LL be shocks, shrieks, howls, growls and owls this October half term as visitors to New Forest Wildlife Park get to enjoy some Halloween fun.
The park will be doing a Spooks Trail Halloween Quiz every day of October half term and Hobbit the baby Barn owl will also be meeting the public at special Owl Days on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
As well as enjoying the park's two Go Wild! adventure playgrounds - one for older children and adults and one for toddlers - visitors will also have the chance to see the animals set against the backdrop of the park's glorious autumn colours.
Autumn is the start of the deer rut, so Morris the red deer stag will become frisky and protective of his females, even to the extent of viewing the nearby European bison and his male keepers as a threat.
At Mottisfont, near Romsey...
JOIN National Trust experts as they teach you how to make traditional besom brooms, ready to sweep up falling autumn leaves, or (more importantly) to fly off into the night sky on!
Also run around Mottisfont's huge gardens and challenge your senses to discover fun and disgusting facts about your body!
At Winchester City Mill...
POP into this atmospheric medieval mill on Thursday and find out how to make delicious Halloween-themed baked treats.
The team at the Mill use their own freshly milled stone-ground flour, combined with other local produce to make seasonal and fun biscuits and buns.
Taste the results after the demonstrations and take home free recipe cards.
At Winchester Discovery Centre...
A WEEKEND of storytelling will introduce this year's mix of authors, illustrators, festival fun and workshops.
Tomorrow, four storytelling sessions take place, including children's favourites Spot the Dog and the Very Hungry Caterpillar, whilst Sunday's storytelling is more theatrical with CBeebies' superstar Cerrie Burnell performing her own Magical Playroom show to delight children.
At Southampton's Wool House...
ELEMENT Arts presents The Haunted Wool House, a day of spooky activities for families on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
This Hallowe'en you can go on a themed trail, make your own scary monster in clay, create a spooky mummy and see a performance of The Slow Ogre by Theatre in a Bag, adapted from Terry Jones' fairy tale.
Find out what happens when a tall and rather smelly ogre knocks on someone's door, offering to do hosuehold chores.
Dress up and show off your own Hallowe'en costume and you might become part of the story! This fun-filled show will be followed by the chance to make your own ogre, or scary monster to take away.