The RHS has come up trumps yet again in providing perplexed parents with some means of distraction for the boisterous youngsters tearing around the house this October half term. In particular, there are attractions for all the family at the four major RHS gardens around the country.
Wisley has introduced a Halloween themed venture this year that includes a spooky scavenger hunt for witch’s fingers along the wilderness trail, a crafts workshop for building your own horrible spiders at the Clore Learning Centre and finally, on the eve itself, there will be a collection of scary story telling sessions. Later on in the evening families are also invited to don fancy dress and make their own wands from materials found within the gardens.
Continuing with family frivolities, Hyde Hall offers possibly the most complete integration of horticulture and festivity with its pumpkin-carving extravaganza, exhibiting also the lifecycle of the vegetable from inception to its final fright on All Hallows night. There will also be a chance to carve your own witch-like candles and listen to more ghost stories, not to mention prizes for those in fancy dress. Crafting your own twiggy spider is another activity on offer, as well as decorating bird nest boxes.
Harlow Carr also has the birds in mind, and visitors can make tasty treats for our feathered friends, or learn more about the birds who call the garden home from a local group of ornithologists.
There will also be the chance to make your own ‘boggart’ – a mischievous spirit in old English folklore – using bit and pieces found around the gardens.
Rosemoor invites children to come and make their own wild beast from seeds, berries and autumn leaves, while for older children we have autumn promises, which include a herb and flower garland workshop where one can learn how to craft one’s own, very individual Christmas presents. The Pregnant Fish Theatre Company also brings Devonshire folklore and ghost stories to life for your children’s entertainment.
Keep tuned in for more half-term ideas!
By Josh Ellison