5 Halloween week activities we loved in & around Exeter
We had a full madcap October half term with some fantastic Halloweeny adventures and I have rounded them up here for you in chronological order.
We had some free passes from a blogger event we had been to a while ago for Crealy so we headed along over half term to check out their Halloween offering.
Crealy is very good at themed events and part of the draw is that you can make a day of it in the park, by going on the other rides.
For Halloween they had a few special activities, one of which was the haunted house where each room had it’s own actor and scene and we moved in a group from room to room trying to solve the mystery.
They even had singing pumpkins!
The queues were a bit long for some of the rides and our big boy decided he wanted to go on the Maximus rollercoaster, we queued for a good 40 minutes. When he was on the ride he was terrified! I thought he might be sick on me, the photo was a classic (not included to save his future embarrassment. He vowed there would be no more rollercoasters (until the next one).
We had a lovely day pottering and going on the rides, it’s made us consider an annual pass.
We LOVE Wildwood Escot, this was our second visit and for the second time I was very impressed. As well as all the usual activities Wildwood had put on a range of Halloween activities to get involved in including apple bobbing (with the apples on strings) and decorating wooden talisman.
In the Saxon Village (which is our favourite bit) there was pumpkin carving and a witches brew and our girls enjoyed making a potion with the witches in their wattle and daub Saxon house.
The children also did some whittling and carving with Mat and Richard, the guys who build and maintain the villages so that school groups and people like us can come and learn how to make things.
We had a lovely day and we finished it off getting completely lost in the maze (it was not us jumping over the fence, honest)
We hung out in the softplay area and went to the top of the absolutely terrifying drop slide…only to go back down the stairs because it was far too scary!
I made a little video of our day here:
3. Exeter’s underground passages (adults and over 14s only)
Since moving to Exeter I’ve wanted to visit the underground passages but we hadn’t got around to it because we couldn’t take both kids (it’s over 5s)
For Halloween the staff at the tunnels planned a night of Gory Stories “a departure from our normal fare, as our guides lead you through the blacked-out passages, recounting true but very gruesome tales from Exeter’s past”.
My friend Amelie and I were excited to check it out.
Upon arrival we were asked to wait in the shop / museum where the full history of the tunnels is written on the walls, we looked through the books and waited until we were invited into a room to sit in the dark and listen to a story setting the scene for what was to come.
We were then invited to put on hard hats and enter the tunnels which were pitch black (we were reliably informed that usually the lights are on). Our guide moved pretty quickly and I was very glad for my hard hat because the ceilings were very low.
The tour was fast paced and included stories about the witches of Exeter, the great plague and the Blitz. Astonishingly, parts of the tunnels date back to Medieval times!
The staff were very knowledgeable and we had a fantastic time and I am looking forward to coming back with my son and writing a full history blog! Thanks to supervisor Gina Kennedy for organising.
4. A party at Shillingford Organics
The last Sunday of half term my daughter and I were invited to a Halloween themed birthday party at Shillingford Organics.
We hadn’t been before so I was quite excited. Shillingford is a rather lovely Organic farm that delivers veg to your door and also runs farm schools and other events.
We painted faces, carved pumpkins, went on a skeleton hunt, ate pumpkin cake and watched the sun set over the farm. It was a beautiful Autumnal day and I felt very grateful to be in such a beautiful place.
Shillingford have a stall outside of the farm containing their produce, you pay by putting money in the honesty box.
When the sun had set we had a pumpkin parade taking them into the barn and enjoying them in the dark. The kids squealed with excitement! Perfect end to a perfect party.
5. Trick or Treating in Exeter
On the 31st we invited some friends over for tea and went trick or treating in our local neighbourhood.
The street felt perfectly safe and the houses that made the effort really went to town!
Last week reminded me very much of my stay in New Hampshire, USA, which is renowned for it’s colours and beauty in the Fall, personally I think that Autumn in Devon is a pretty good alternative and Halloween is almost as celebrated!
We loved our halloween week in Devon!
Tags: autumn, children, crealy, Devon, devon life, Exeter, exeter tunnels, family, fun, halloween, new hampshire, party, shillingford organics, spooky stories, trick or treat, USA, wattle and daub, whittleing, wildwood escot