If you’re visiting Snowdonia during October half term, how can you keep the children entertained with a bit of spooky Halloween fun? Here are ten suggestions.
The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, and before long Christmas will be with us again. But in the meantime there’s Halloween, a favourite time of year for children and young-at-heart adults alike.
If you’re planning to visit Snowdonia in the few days leading up to Halloween, it’s handy to know where you can take the family for a spot of spooky silliness. Here are ten ideas for fun Halloween activities in Snowdonia, at some of the region’s best-loved attractions.
1. Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway
Ride the haunted Halloween steam trains from Porthmadog or Caernarfon. On the former, you’ll ride a ghostly train to Tan-y-Bwlch, the “little station in the big dark woods” and enjoy supper at the creepy cafe. On the latter, you’ll ride a ghostly train to Waunfawr and have fiendish finger-bites at the Snowdonia Parc Brewpub. Make sure you wear fancy dress!
29-31 October 2014 – Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, Porthmadog and Caernarfon
2. Plas Mawr
Visit a historic house whose history dates back to the 16th century – it has seen its fair share of spooky goings-on over the centuries! Enjoy a Halloween-themed day of fun and games, including a pumpkin carving session.
31 October 2014 – Plas Mawr, Conwy
3. Cae’r Gors
Cae’r Gors is a Grade II listed quarryman’s cottage in Rhosgadfan, near Caernarfon. The childhood home of the ‘Queen of Welsh Literature’, Kate Roberts, Cae’r Gors was renovated in 2005 and converted into a small museum and community centre celebrating Kate Roberts’ life. Visit in October for a Halloween-themed trail and day of fun, with a prize for the first 40 children to take part.
31 October 2014 – Cae’r Gors, Rhosgadfan, Caernarfon
4. Criccieth Castle
Is there any building more spooky and atmospheric than a medieval castle? Criccieth Castle is one of many such castles in Snowdonia, and many of them hold Halloween-themed events in the autumn. At Criccieth Castle there’s a spooky Halloween trail, full of chills and thrills, with a prize for the first 50 children taking part.
5. Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle is another atmospheric medieval masterpiece, overlooking the ancient town of Harlech. Visit with the kids at Halloween and enjoy a day of fun, including a Halloween trail with a prize for the first 100 children taking part and activities including pumpkin carving in the cafe of the Harlech and Ardudwy Leisure Centre.
Segontium was an important Roman fort during the first century AD, and some of the many ghosts said to roam the nearby ancient town of Caernarfon include Roman centurions in full battle dress. At Halloween your children can have bone-chilling fun on a Halloween trail – there’s a prize for the first 40 children taking part.
1 November 2014 – Segontium, Caernarfon
7. Penrhyn Castle
Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, also has a resident ghost – will it make its presence felt during your visit? Penrhyn Castle offers a jam-packed Halloween, with creepy crafts, ghoulish games and scary face painting for the kids, and plenty of interesting things for the adults to see too.
28-31 October 2014, Penrhyn Castle, Bangor
8. Llanberis Lake Railway
Llanberis Lake Railway takes you on a stunning journey around Padarn Country Park on a steam train – a five-mile round trip. It’s a great attraction all year round, but at Halloween there’s double the fun – dare you ride the ghostly train through the Witches Woods to seek out the spirits and spooks?
9. GreenWood Forest Park
We all know and love GreenWood Forest Park as home to the world’s only people-powered rollercoaster and other fun but eco-friendly activities such as den building. At Halloween, GreenWood is a fun place to be if you have children; there are tons of activities to enjoy, including ghostly trails, creepy crafts, freaky face painting and a Halloween show.
25 October to 2 November 2014, GreenWood Forest Park, Y Felinheli
10. Bounce Below
As if bouncing on giant net trampolines in an underground cavern isn’t scary enough, at Halloween the ghosts and ghouls of the old disused slate cavern will haunt your every jump, climb and slide! This eerie adventure is suitable for the whole family (subject to some health restrictions), with both children and adults guaranteed a scream or two!