October Half Term and Halloween in Dorset

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling and October Half Term is just around the corner.  

If you want to find out what’s going on this spooky school holiday in Dorset, you’ve come to the right place! We've got some gruesomely ghoulish Halloween events too for monsters big and small.

Be bewitched by Autumn

Just because the summer has drawn to a close, it doesn't mean the fun has to end! Pack your chunky knitwear and head on down to Dorset for a few days away this half term holiday.

The quieter beaches means the children (and dogs) will be free to run and play, our countryside looks gorgeous as the leaves change colour and shorter days mean you can curl up for some quality time together in the evenings. Plus, there are some great family-friendly events taking place too. Your perfect autumn escape is here waiting to be discovered.

A trip to Brownsea Island is almost like a rite of passage at this time of year. Enjoy a woodland walk, test your balance skills on the adventure play area or take part in some Forest Bathing. And not forgetting the chance to see the Island's rare red squirrels busy hoarding their food ready for the winter.

Sherborne Castle and Gardens host their annual Autumn Colours event on 23rd and 24th October. Saunter around the gardens and enjoy something tasty from their café by the lake afterwards.

Exbury Gardens are extending their opening hours until 14th November to make the most of the autumnal shades of golden yellow and ruby red throughout their magnificent landscapes.

For a few more ideas about where to visit this season, check out our Awesome Autumn Colours blog.

Fang-tastic family events

In the run up to Halloween, Nothe Fort is becoming the spookiest place to be this season! With spooky magic shows, hunt the bat, spell school and much, much more, there is something for all the family in this Halloween extravaganza.

All aboard the Halloween Ghost Train to Exbury Gardens. Gruesome characters will be guiding guests through the gardens on their ghoulish ghost train, entertaining visitors with their panto-esc comedy. You might also hear some ghastly singing and see some dreadful dancing along the way.

Take a step into the creepy deep at SEA LIFE Weymouth this Halloween and navigate the A-scarium. Help find the Sea Witch's missing potion ingredients and solve a riddle to earn a special Halloween treat (if you dare!).

If you're after some Halloween fun for your tiniest family members, the Boo Crew will be on hand to entertain your little pumpkins at Farmer Palmers Farm Park. The Hen House will be serving up gruesome treats, you can take a ride on the Spook and Soak Tractor Trailer and new for 2021, there will be a Pumpkin Pick at the farm. Get to choose your very own pumpkin to carve (or cook) later.

Join in the Halloween Children's Trail at Durlston Country Park and see what spooky creatures you can find lurking in the trees. There's a reward for every child who takes part.

Combine a murder mystery trail with getting some exercise and fresh air in Weymouth. Trails are done in your own time, at your own pace. It's about 2 miles long and takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete. It's suitable for ages from 6 years old and there is a chance to win some treasure at the end.

Spine-tingling tales

There's nothing like a good ghost story to scare everyone at Halloween and Dorset has its fair share of spooky goings on.

Join an entertaining Ghost Walk around Dorchester to hear about some of the places, people and events that have contributed to the town's 6000 year story. They take place every Thursday during October, as well as Tuesday 26th October during half term and of course on Halloween night too.

We dare you to visit some of Dorset's most haunted locations this Halloween! Can you hear the ghost of the ape at Athelhampton House? Are you brave enough to walk along the Roman Road at Thorncombe Woods or wander the Whistling Gunner's tunnel at the Nothe Fort? For more terrifying tales and places to visit, read our Haunted Dorset blog - just don't turn off the lights! Mwah ha ha...

Bats not all, folks!

Halloween and October half-term events are still busy brewing and more details will be added soon - watch this space for up to date info!

Don't forget to check out our things to do guide for a huge range of attractions, activities, shopping and more. Make sure you're following our lively Social Media channels for up to date info, holiday inspiration, competitions, picturesque Dorset imagery, events and everything else in-between.

Boo-k your break to Dorset

Now you've read about all the spook-tacular events taking place this half term, next on your list is to choose where to stay. 


• Hotels
• B&Bs
• Self Catering
• Farmhouses
• Pubs & Inns
• Caravan and Holiday Parks

Half Term Events

The Trendy Tudors Trail Oct 01

The Trendy Tudors Trail

Travel back to 1572 - the year that Corfe Castle was bought by Sir Christopher Hatton from Elizabeth I. Learn about fashionable Tudor clothing of the time, discover what a Tudor mealtime might have...

Pick Your Own Pumpkins & Halloween Maize Maze Oct 09

Pick Your Own Pumpkins & Halloween Maize Maze

For Autumn 2021 we have a fabulous range of activities for you all to enjoy at Fordingbridge. For the budding pumpkinologists there is 10 acres of pumpkins to pick, for the crafty, lots to create,...

Purbeck Film Festival Oct 22

Purbeck Film Festival

The Purbeck Film Festival is the longest running rural film festival in the UK, supported by over 5,000 people annually.  All our film events offer more than just a visit to the cinema, we offer...

Margo & Mr Whatsit Oct 25

Margo & Mr Whatsit

Do you have an imaginary friend? A little piece of mischief only you can see? Sophia's imaginary friend is called Mr. Whatsit. No matter where Sophia finds herself living, he's always there...

Margo & Mr Whatsit by Paddleboat Theatre Oct 25

Margo & Mr Whatsit by Paddleboat Theatre

Do you have an imaginary friend? A little piece of mischief only you can see? Sophia's imaginary friend is called Mr. Whatsit. No matter where Sophia finds herself living, he's always there...

Tales of Robin Hood by Angel Heart Theatre Oct 26

Tales of Robin Hood by Angel Heart Theatre

Join England's Greatest Outlaw as he and his Merry Friends take on the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham! Be swept along in the adventure as dynamic puppetry and colourful acting bring these...

Tales of Robin Hood by Angel Heart Theatre Oct 27

Tales of Robin Hood by Angel Heart Theatre

Join England's Greatest Outlaw as he and his Merry Friends take on the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham! Be swept along in the adventure as dynamic puppetry and colourful acting bring these...

Tales of Robin Hood by Angel Heart Theatre Oct 27

Tales of Robin Hood by Angel Heart Theatre

Join England's Greatest Outlaw as he and his Merry Friends take on the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham! Be swept along in the adventure as dynamic puppetry and colourful acting bring these...

End of the Pier Show by Jonny Fluffypunk Oct 28

End of the Pier Show by Jonny Fluffypunk

At the end of a soon-to-be-closed-down pier in a forgotten seaside town, Pierre the pier handyman spends the last weeks as he always does: catching fish for his old bedridden mother and making strange...

End of the Pier Show by Jonny Fluffypunk Oct 29

End of the Pier Show by Jonny Fluffypunk

At the end of a soon-to-be-closed-down pier in a forgotten seaside town, Pierre the pier handyman spends the last weeks as he always does: catching fish for his old bedridden mother and making strange...

End of the Pier Show Oct 30

End of the Pier Show

At the end of a soon-to-be-closed-down pier in a forgotten seaside town, Pierre the pier handyman spends the last weeks as he always does: catching fish for his old bedridden mother and making strange...

Museum By Torchlight Oct 30

Museum By Torchlight

Dress up and bring your torch for a spooky time in the galleries. Join us for this special event where the Museum will be open out of hours and in the dark. Find out about the witches marks on the...