Now, if you’re a horror film fan like me, Halloween is a pretty magical time of year. But let’;s get serious shall we? Drunk nights out aside, the real winner at this time of year is young whippersnappers right? From sizing up to sharks to climbing the O2 Arena (!), here’s our rundown of the best things to do for Halloween in London with kids. Get ready to trick or treat!
Now if you’re looking for something fun to do for Halloween in London with the kids, then this one ticks all the right boxes. Hobbledown Heath is London’s largest indoor and outdoor adventure playground, with four villages set in picturesque woodland close to Hounslow, where kids can climb towers, crawl through tunnels, and safely explore an expansive play area! With a mini farm featuring goats, alpacas, meerkats, lemurs, highland cows and plenty more exotic and traditional animals, this is the ultimate day out that’s sure to create lasting memories for the whole family.
Plus, they’ve got pumpkin patches and plenty of Halloween activities for kiddies this year, so the whole family is guaranteed a good time. They’ve even got spooky science workshops conducted by Einstein so young whippersnappers can get their hands dirty and concoct all kinds of fun things! Get involved here.
📍You’ll find Hobbledown Heath at Staines Road, Hounslow, TW14 0HH.
🚇 Nearest station is Feltham.
2. Get creative at the Pumpkin Warehouse at Seven Dials Market
Speaking of pumpkins, Seven Dials Market is gearing up for a thrilling Halloween celebration like never before. From October 20 to November 1, KERB’s legendary indoor street food market will be undergoing a bewitching transformation – from banana warehouse to pumpkin warehouse – inviting Londoners to embark on a spine-tingling adventure of tricks, treats and flavours.
As if that wasn’t enough for the little devils, ‘The Kids’ Table’ also returns with Halloween-themed arts and crafts in the Market Bookshop from Monday October 23 to Friday October 27 from 12 to 4pm. Crafts are designed for children aged 3+, who can make hanging bats, paper roll ghouls and more, whilst getting their face painted. Sounds like a winner to us!
📍You’ll find the Pumpkin Warehouse at 35 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LD.
🚇 Nearest station is Covent Garden.
3. Listen to spooky ghost stories atop the mighty O2 Arena
Got a head for heights? From the legend of Jack the Ripper to a host of haunted cemeteries, sinister smugglers and grisly executions – London has always been a city deliciously rich in creepy tales. Thrill-seeking climbers will get the opportunity to hear a bone-chilling tale under the cover of darkness on top of the world’s most popular music, entertainment, and leisure destination.
Before they submit to these eerie tales, the intrepid climbers will have to scale The O2’s mighty roof, which stands at a whopping 52 metres. This will seem a mere trifle when compared to the real heart-thumping stuff however: because there, a mysterious storyteller will recount the bone-chilling story of the city they see below, including the 360° panoramic views of Greenwich, Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park near Stratford. Climbs are available for those aged 8+ on October 30 and 31 and it’s suitable for all fitness levels.
📍You’ll find Up at the O2 at Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX.
🚇 Nearest station is North Greenwich.
4. Enjoy an extraterrestrial dance party at the Canteen Food Hall
Sticking around Greenwich? Well you might as well make the most of it right. This Halloween, look no further than Canteen Food Hall for an out-of-this-world week (October 23 to October 31) of extraterrestrial fun. The ever-popular street food hall in Greenwich has put together a calendar of events that has something for everyone – whether it’s other-worldly dancing to DJ sets at their Halloween House Party, testing your knowledge at a pub quiz or bringing the kids along to a spooky pottery painting session for all the family.
The hall itself is being transformed into an extraterrestrial planet, where you can dine on Halloween dishes and sip on alien-inspired cocktails for adults – and mocktails for kids – from their futuristic bar. Don’t miss coming to ‘Ray & Cici’s Extraterrestrial Dance Party’, where the resident partystarters will play a whole array of spooky tunes and all members of the family will be able to play interactive games and find out what’s in the ‘mystery box’. Just make sure you come in fancy dress as prizes are available for the best dressed!
📍You’ll find the Canteen Food Hall at Soames Walk, London, SE10 0AX.
🚇 Nearest station of North Greenwich.
5. Try a range of tasty mocktails at SOUND
Speaking of mocktails, if you’re looking to sample some more, you best make your way to SOUND at The Cumberland in Marble Arch. Available from October 20 to November 1,the limited-edition menu of toxic tonics is sure to have something to suit all ghosts and ghouls out there!
Ideal for families during the half term and Halloween period, all kids under-12 who purchase a spooky mocktail such as the ‘smoking cauldron’, ‘hocus pocus’ or ‘black widow’ will receive a surprise trick or treat gift and what’s more, kids eat free all day every day! All cocktails will be two-for-one during happy hour, everyday from 5-7pm, and there are plenty of options for adults too!
📍You’ll find SOUND at The Cumberland, Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7DL.
🚇 Nearest station is Marble Arch.
All year round, the legendary London Zoo is a great family day out in London. Founded in 1828, it’s the world’s oldest scientific zoo, and houses almost 20,000 different animals, making it one of the largest collections in the entire United Kingdom. Plus, it’s home to the UK’s only ‘spider walkthrough’ – where nothing stands between you and mighty golden orb spiders and Madagascar weavers in their beautifully-intricate webs.
As well as these fascinating species, you’ll come face-to-face with some other pretty amazing arachnids, including the venomous black widow, the mighty huntsman, the rare fen raft spider – one of the UK’s most endangered animals – and the mammoth goliath bird-eating spider, the world’s biggest tarantula. Plus, this year the zoo is also doing a special Halloween week of events, which includes pumpkin carving, face painting and even a lesson in sorcery! Get your tickets here.
📍You’ll find In With The Spiders at London Zoo, Outer Circle, London, NW1 4RY.
🚇 Nearest station is Camden Town.
7. Delve into British history with a visit to the infamous Tower of London
“This way to Traitor’s Gate!” Ok, so thankfully this is no longer a thing, but pay a visit to the Tower of London and you’ll have some inkling of what Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and other famous prisoners may have experienced on the way to the chopping block. Poor them!
Founded in 1066, this infamous UNESCO-listed building has been used as a historic palace, a fortress and a prison. Get up close to the Crown Jewels, meet the legendary Yeoman Warders and be regaled with tales from the Tudors and beyond, as you explore this magnificent place. Plus, this Halloween, there’s even a spooky ghost trail tour around the castle grounds… who knows, you may even come face to face with Anne herself!
📍You’ll find the Tower of London at Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4AB.
🚇 Nearest station is Tower Hill.
8. Experience the rides and attractions at Chessington’s ‘Howl’O’Ween’
The beloved Chessington World of Adventures is a theme park, a zoo and a SEA LIFE aquarium all rolled into one and is, in their own words, ‘Britain’s wildest family adventure’. Rides here include the ‘Dragon’s Fury’ roller coaster, the ‘Tiger Rock’ log flume and the thrilling 25-metre-tall ‘Croc Drop’ which plunges riders into the jaws of a mythical crocodile. They also recently opened ‘Mandrill’s Mayhem’ – the UK’s only Jumanji-themed rollercoaster with flips you right upside-down!
As with their slightly more ‘adult’ neighbour Thorpe Park, they also offer you the chance to get involved in Halloween activities, this time billed as ‘Howl’O’Ween’, which features rides at dusk, fancy dress competitions, spooky shows and a brand-new trick or treat experience called the ‘Enchanted Hollow’ – a recently-unearthed underground town right at the heart of the theme park.
📍You’ll find Chessington World of Adventures at Leatherhead Road, Chessington, KT9 2NE.
🚇 Nearest station is Chessington South.
9. Take a ride aboard the ghoulish ‘Ghost Bus’
Now this one firmly deserves its spot on this roundup of the best things to do for Halloween in London with kids. A London ghost tour with a difference, this fun 75-minute tour bills itself as the ‘world’s only comedy-horror theatre show on wheels’, and throughout the duration of it, you’ll pass by some of the capital’s most iconic spots and attractions.
You’ll enjoy your ride on an elegantly-refurbished 1960’s Routemaster bus – billed as the ‘necrobus’ – and actors and on-board technical trickery are designed to conjure up ghastly tales of murder, execution and hauntings throughout the whole experience. You’ll pass by landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and the famous Tower Bridge. Don’t worry yourself though – this one is kid-friendly and also runs in Edinburgh and York too.
📍You’ll find the Ghost Bus Tours at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY.
🚇 Nearest station is Charing Cross.
10. Tuck into a Halloween-themed afternoon tea in Richmond
The prestigious Richmond Hill Hotel’s traditional children’s Halloween afternoon tea returns this October for families looking for spook-tacular activities to enjoy together. The luxury Georgian hotel, which is only moments away from the Royal Richmond Park, is set to launch its popular themed afternoon tea from October 23 to October 30.
All members of the family can tuck into devilish delights such as finger sand-witches (sorry), hauntingly good vegetable dippers and Halloween themed cakes and treats. Located within their award-winning restaurant, 144 On The Hill, this spook-tasctic event can be enjoyed by everyone, and kids can even also dress up in Halloween costumes for the chance to win best-dressed and take home a fang-tastic prize. Sounds good to us!
📍You’ll find 144 On The Hill at 149-150 Richmond Hill, Richmond, TW10 6RW.
🚇 Nearest station is Richmond.
11. Discover ‘tricks and treats’ at the Sealife London Aquarium
Home to more than 500 different species in 14 different themed zones, a visit to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium is a must if you’re looking for things to do for Halloween in London with kids. There’s everything from gentoo penguins to red-bellied piranhas here, and it’s a great spot to teach your little ones about the underwater world and the marine creatures which reside within it.
Come face to face with the ocean’s most feared (and misunderstood) predators at the jaw-dropping ‘Shark Walk’, catch some rays – well, not literally – at the ‘Ray Lagoon’, tickle a sea anemone in the ‘Rock Pool’ and dodge the mesmerising jellyfish at the aquarium’s stunning ‘Ocean Invaders’ exhibit. This Halloween, they’re also running ‘Tricks and Treats’ – a challenge-driven trail through the aquarium where you’ll discover creatures like the wolf fish and the octopus while bagging yourself some tasty treats too. A perfect thing to do for Halloween in London with kids we’d argue!
📍You’ll find the Sealife London Aquarium at Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB.
🚇 Nearest station is Waterloo.
12. Get scared ‘Shrekless’ with everyone’s favourite green ogre
This half-term, Shrek’s Adventure! London is inviting guests to join Shrek, Donkey and the rest of the Far Far Away gang for a Halloween hullabaloo at its new seasonal event, ‘Scared Shrekless’.
Launching just in time for the half-term school holidays, from October 27 to November 5, young guests and their families can get a fun fright on a journey through Far Far Away and maybe even snap a photo with the witch before she flies away! The fun begins as young guests and their families enter the attraction and embark on a mesmerising journey where magic, mayhem, spooky adventures and waffles await.
They’ll then be invited to board a ‘magic bus’, from where they’re whisked away to a realm of enchanted dreams, all while enjoying 12 lively fairytale-themed shows featuring beloved characters from the Shrek franchise including Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, the Muffin Man (“not my gumdrop buttons!“) and many, many more. The adventure culminates in an unforgettable meet and greet with the one and only Shrek, a memory to cherish forever – and a spooky witch before she flies off on her broomstick. Yikes!
📍You’ll find Shrek’s Adventure at Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB.
🚇 Nearest station is Waterloo.
13. Enjoy your face being painted while you tuck into ice cream
Rounding off this list of the best things to do for Halloween in London with kids is the latest offer from beloved gelateria Badiani’s. On Halloween itself – Tuesday October 31 – they’re offering spook-tacular face painting at four of their London gelaterias: Angel, Balham, Chelsea and Notting Hill.
From 3-5pm, you can bring your little goblins and ghosts to any of the four stores listed above, and with every purchase of Badiani’s delicious gelato, your child can be transformed into their favourite Halloween character.
📍You’ll find Badiani’s at various different locations in London. You can find out more here.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best things to do for Halloween in London with kids. From spooktacular pottery painting to hearing gruesome ghost stories from atop the gargantuan O2 Arena, there is something for everyone here. Whippersnappers included!