As the October half-term and Halloween creep closer, it can be difficult to think of things to do to keep the whole family entertained, especially as Halloween is set to be very different this year.
While trick or treating may be off the cards due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still some safe, family-friendly activities taking place along Plymouth’s historic harbour. Some of our favourite Halloween events and trails are back this year, although running slightly differently to ensure social distancing, as well as some new ways to mark the spooky season.
The Halloween Trail
Hunt for the 15 Halloween characters displayed in 15 different shop windows throughout the city this half-term to be in with the chance of winning £100 to spend in Footloose and Fancy Dress.
How do you enter? Once you have located all of the creepy characters just scan the QR code to complete the entry form – these can be found on posters in all of the shop windows.
The Plymouth Halloween Trail will run throughout half-term, starting on Saturday 24th October until Sunday 1st November. Find out more on the Visit Plymouth website.
And if that wasn’t enough, you could be in with the chance of winning even more prizes this month thanks to Plymouth Trails’ #Trailtober. When you walk one of the routes on the Plymouth Trails app, including the Sutton Harbour Heritage Trail, and offer your feedback you will be entered into a prize draw.
Prizes include entry to a range of attractions and experiences such as tickets to the National Marine Aquarium, The Box membership and a tour of Plymouth Gin Distillery. Find out more here.
Scary sea creatures at the National Marina Aquarium
The National Marine Aquarium is home to over 4,000 sea creatures, including some of the most scary and deadly animals in our ocean. The aquarium is the perfect place for a family day out where children can learn more about our underwater world and the creatures who live there across a range of exciting exhibits. Tickets need to be booked in advance online and come with a complimentary annual pass.
During half-term the aquarium is hosting an after hours Quiet at the Aquarium event, designed for families and people with autism and sensory needs to enjoy the exhibits without the noise and distraction of daily shows. This special two-hour event is taking place on Monday 26th October from 5:30pm-7:30pm.
You can find out more on the NMA website.
Frighteningly good food and drink
Cafes and restaurants along the harbour are offering a range of fa-boo-lous Halloween themed treats – let’s just hope there are no tricks involved! From pumpkin spiced lattes to scrumptious seasonal cakes, enjoying an afternoon warming up in a cosy café is a favourite for this time of year.
Or if you’d like your drink to go, many venues in Sutton Harbour are offering takeaways including a range of al fresco eateries along the harbourside such as Alfresco, Cap’n Jaspers and Louise’s Coffee and Donuts.
Do you have a favourite place to visit in Sutton Harbour? You can share your recommendations on social media as part of the Share a Smile campaign.
Sutton Harbour-based accountancy business PFK Francis Clark has launched a Share a Smile campaign which aims to support leisure and tourism businesses and attractions in the South West during these tough times. The campaign encourages people to recommend their favourite places to visit on social media using #ShareaSmileSW. Recommend your favourites and see where other people love to visit too.
Find out more about the cafes and restaurants along the harbour here.
Petrifying pottery painting
Get creative this Halloween and paint your own pottery at ClayArt. With a full range of pottery products available, from traditional pieces to unique and bespoke products, painting at ClayArt offers a great way to have some fun with the family and do something a little different. Your boo-tiful creations can be part of this year’s Halloween decorations, a treasured keep-sake or even a gift for someone special.
You can even have a go in the comfort of your own home thanks to ClayArt’s new Pottery to your Porch service. They deliver the pottery and equipment to your door, pick them up the next day to be glazed and then deliver the finished product back to you.
Find out more on the ClayArt website.
Haunting Halloween Cruise
Take a cruise from Plymouth’s historic harbour with Plymouth Boat Trips and enjoy a range of spook-tastic activities including a Halloween-themed children’s disco, games and a fancy dress competition. The cruise runs from 5pm-6:30pm on Saturday 31st October from the Barbican Landing Stage.
There’s also a Halloween Party Cruise for adults only running on the same night from 7:30pm-10:30pm with the resident DJ on-board playing all your spooky party favourites. Tickets include a free drink.
Find out more on the Plymouth Boat Trips website.