Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts

Halloween Lakeside Light Trail Review

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Disclosure - We were invited to enjoy the trail for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

Last week we visited our very first Halloween Light Trail. We have done lots of light trails over the years around Christmas time but we have never done a spooky one before. We were all really excited as we do like a light trail, we had no idea what to expect we just knew to wrap up warm and prepared for a spooky walk. 

lights projecting across a lake

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9 Pumpkin Patches Close To Liverpool

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Picking a pumpkin is so much fun. Before little J was born we would usually pop to the local supermarket to buy pumpkins but then we found out about pumpkin patches and pumpkin picking. Pumpkin patches have popped up all over the North West with most of them being within a 30 minute drive from Liverpool. Some patches go all out with fairground rides, maize mazes whilst others are just patches that you choose your pumpkin. Whichever you choose, Pumpkin Picking is definitely a must especially with little ones, they will love it. 

a pumpkin patch

Pumpkin Patch High Town

Orrell Hill Lane, L38 5DA

Famous for their huge, perfect and fabulous varieties of pumpkins, squashes & gourds  Pumpkin Patch High Town has lots to offer pumpkin pickers. 

Opening Times
Open 9am til 6pm every single day from 1st October through to 31st October 2023

Anything Else To Do While We Are There?
Free Maize Maze
Picnic area 

How Much?
Pumpkin Patch High Town is free and no need to book

a variety of pumpkins

Paul's Farm Pumpkin Patch

382 Dunkirk Lane, Leyland PR26 7SY

Pick your perfect pumpkin, fresh from the field. 

Opening Times
Open 10am till 4pm on 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd 28th and 29th.

Anything Else To Do While We Are There?
Free tractor and trailer ride to the patch
Face Painting
Spooky Shop
Photo Opportunities

How Much?
Paul's Farm Pumpkin Patch is free and no need to book

a row of pumpkins

Kenyon Hall Farm

Winwick Lane, Croft, Warrington WA3 7ED

The Kenyon Hall Farm Pumpkin Festival is back for 2023 with countless displays of pumpkins & squashes of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Opening Times
Open from Sat 23rd Sept to Tue 31st Oct. Check specific dates for opening times as may vary

Anything Else To Do While We Are There?
Small children's playground
Pumpkin-tastic photo opportunities.
Refreshments available

How Much?
​Entry tickets cost £2.95 for adults and children; infants under 18 months go free. No pumpkins are included with the entry ticket and booking is essential

a pumpkin sitting on leaves

Birchall's Pumpkin Patch

Reeds lane Rainford WA11 7JP

Pick your own pumpkin at Birchall's Pumpkin Patch

Opening Times
The pumpkin patch is open from 1 October to 31 October. Monday to Thursday 10am to 5pm. Friday and Saturday 9am to 6pm. Sunday 10am to 5pm 

Anything Else To Do While We Are There?
Enjoy sitting on the tractors and combine
Take a walk in the maze searching for the Gruffalo and his friends. (This is available between 7th to 26th October) 
Refreshments served with a brand new food menu including  a range of breakfast barms served until mid morning. 
A marquee where you can sit and enjoy drinks and food after choosing your perfect pumpkins. 
Plenty of opportunities for photographs. 
Take a walk in their spooky maze designed for families. The spooky maze is available from Friday 27th October to Monday 30 October. 

How Much?
Birchall's Pumpkin Patch is free and no booking is required.

a pumpkin patch

Grange Farm

Lowton, Stone Cross Lane South WA3 1JU

A vibrant showcase of all things pumpkin.

Opening Times ​
Tuesday - Saturday 9:30am till 3:30/4pm, Sunday 10:00am till 3:30/4pm and Pumpkin Picking activities available on the 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, and 21st-31st October 2023

Anything Else To Do While We Are There?
Fun Fair 
Maize Maze
Children's Entertainment and Games (not available on the 7th or 8th)
Enjoy the Animals of Grange Farm 
Pumpkin Carving 

How Much?
Tickets are priced at £3.50 and booking is essential

A pumpkin

Sandy Lane Farm

Sandy Lane WA8 3XP

Pumpkins are ready you just need to pick your favourite. 

Opening Times
Daily 10am to 4.30pm

Anything Else To Do While We Are There?
The spooky maze will open on Saturday 30th September 
Miniature railway (weather depending)

How Much?
Just pay for what you pick

a carved pumpkin

The below are pumpkin patches however I cannot find any details on their opening times or whether they offer anything else. Will keep updated

Catchdale Moss Farm / Rainfords 

Ln, Eccleston, Saint Helens WA10 5QG

Pumpkin Alley

Delf Lane, Ormskirk L39 7JJ

Church View Farm Shop

Southport Road, Lydiate, Merseyside L31 4HJ

Are you planning on visiting a Pumpkin patch this year? Which one is your favourite? 


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Halloween Light Trails In The North West

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Over the years light trails at Christmas time have become so popular however we are now seeing light trails for Halloween too. I love a light trail so any excuse to visit one is fine by me. There are a few popping up in the North West already and I'll make sure I update if any others get announced too.
lights in the trees

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25 Halloween Events In Manchester 2023

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post. 

We try to find as many fun things to do around Halloween as possible and each year our list of places to visit gets bigger and bigger. The North West definitely gets in to the spooky spirit with so many Manchester Halloween events to enjoy. If you are looking for family fun this Halloween then you need to check out our ever growing list which I will keep updated.

Halloween Events In Manchester
people dressed in colourful monster costumes

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The Best Pumpkin Picking In The UK

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Updated for 2022

A few years ago we went Pumpkin Picking for the first time and it was so much fun. We went to Kenyon Hall Farm in Warrington and it was really good. We wanted to choose somewhere close by, so I asked some of my friends and Kenyon Hall Farm was the most popular. Being popular means you usually have to book your tickets early and we have already secured ours for this year. If you are looking to pick a pumpkin this year, I have asked some friends from all over the UK to tell me their favourite places to Pumpkin Pick so check out their recommendations below.

boy in pumpkin patch


A popular choice amongst us is Kenyon Hall Farm

Emma from A Farmers Wife and Mummy visited too. We loved it so much last year I think we will be visiting again this year too.

pumpkin patch
Laura from Little Ladies Big World visits Adventure Farm in Staffordshire

Emma at Mrs Shilts visits Essington Farm in Wolverhampton

boy in pumpkin patch
Sian from quite frankly she said recommends The Pop Up Farm in Hertfordshire. 

Victoria from Verily Victoria Vocalises visits Bailey ridge in Dorset

Katy from Katy Kicker recommends Cammas Hall in Essex/Hertfordshire

Laura from Dear Bear and Beany - Millets Farm in Oxfordshire

Emily from Emily and Indiana enjoyed Pick Your Own Pumpkin in Sevington, Ashford

Jenny from The Gingerbread House - Farrington's Farm Shop, Somerset

girl in pumpkin patch

Lauren from Dilan and Me gives us a round up of the best in Norfolk

boy in pumpkin patch

Are you planning on going Pumpkin Picking this year? If you have any other recommendations I'd love to hear them.

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Visiting Disneyland Paris During Halloween Season

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Last Updated - September 2023 

Halloween season is lots of fun and even more special if you are heading to Disneyland Paris. We have always enjoyed visiting Disneyland Paris during Halloween and there are lots of tricks and treats to enjoy at the hotels and the parks to keep you busy. If you are planning a trip this Halloween season then I've gathered some information to make the most of your visit. 

Happy Halloween Sign at Disneyland Paris

What To Expect During Disneyland Paris Halloween Festival

Disneyland Paris Halloween Festival is back for 2023 and begins on the 1st October right up until 5th November. 

Disneyland Park

From the moment you head in to the park you will be greeted with pumpkins and Halloween decorations as they line the streets with tricks and treats ready to pop up anywhere to give you a spooky surprise.

Main Street is one of our favourite places to take photographs as it is always decorated perfectly for the Halloween season. There will be lots of Mickey pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls ready to be snapped. 

The decorations and music at Disneyland Paris really add to your whole experience and they do it so well.

Disneyland Paris

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris
Maleficent at Disneyland Paris

What Characters Are In Disneyland Paris For Halloween?

Halloween brings out the villains and you will definitely spot a few of your favourites. Halloween season is the only time you can spot some of the villains so you won't want to miss them.

Maleficent will be lurking around Sleeping Beauty's Castle so make sure you check out Fantasyland.

If you fancy seeing Captain Hook head to Adventureland and look out for the Jolly Roger.

Also meet the Mischief Makers - Chip, Dale and Goofy.

pumpkins at Disneyland Paris

Jack Skellington at Disneyland Paris

Mickey's Halloween Celebration

Disneyland Paris wouldn't be the same without a parade and this Halloween join in with the Mischief Makers as they entertain you during Mickey's Halloween Celebration.

Little boy with Mickey at Disneyland Paris

Nightfall With Disney Villains

As the sun sets, Disney Villains bewitch Sleeping Beauty Castle with projections, music and water fountains for a freakishly fun moment.

Hollywood Studios

From 1 October, evil villains and other mischievous characters are invading Studio Theatre for your goosebump-inducing pleasure. A screamingly good time awaits those courageous enough to spend time in the presence of these rebellious rapscallions.

tower of terror at  Disneyland Paris

The Tower Of Terror

Welcome to the dusty remnants of the once-glamourous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Going up? Hop inside the service elevator and discover the surprises that lie on the upper floors - we’re sure you’ll fall quickly for this old Hotel’s quirky charms. Oh, and make sure you strap in, you never know what can happen in a rickety old lift.

As well as all the spooky shenanigans you can enjoy all your favourite rides. 

Opening times and ride closures are updated on the Disneyland Paris website under plan your visit so make sure you check that out before your visit so you can plan your days. 

disneyland paris

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways

Have you visited Disneyland Paris during Halloween season? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 


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How Scary Is Scarefest At Alton Towers?

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This post was updated September 2023

You all know we love Alton Towers. I have been visiting since I was a little girl and I love how the park has developed and expanded over the years just getting bigger and better every year. A few years ago Alton Towers announced lots of events that would happen over the year including Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest and our personal favourite Scarefest. We often get asked how scary is Alton Towers Scarefest? What I love about Alton Towers is they cater for all ages and you can make it as family friendly or scary as you want as there is so much going on. 

Scarefest sign at Alton Towers

What To Expect When Visiting Scarefest, Alton Towers 

Alton Towers really do get their spook on when it comes to the Halloween event and you can expect all kinds of tricks and treats. 

Open till 9pm every night you can experience your favourite rides in the dark, 4 scare mazes, family fun and new for 2023 Daz Games - Panic 

Scarefest at Alton Towers

How Scary Is Scarefest At Alton Towers?

The park itself isn't scary however like I said early it can be as scary as you like with 4 scare mazes and new for 2023 Daz Games Panic. These chargeable attractions are not for the faint hearted, trust me I've done a few. Whilst they make you jump and scream (I did both) the actors inside these mazes don't touch you they are just there to give you a scare. 

What Is Daz Games - Panic?

This is a new attraction for 2023 and it claims it will take you on the first adrenaline-inducing escape room meets live action scare maze for the ultimate horror experience.

I do love an escape room however you are plunged into darkness and have just 7 minutes to complete a series of tests that will challenge the mind and body as you try to locate the symbols and escape…. all whilst evading capture from the inhabitants within.

Racing against the clock you'll have to think fast and stay calm as you take on an AI-themed assault of the senses… all before the game strikes back and traps you within. Forever

What Scare Mazes Are Available This Year?

New for 2023 - Altonville Mine Tours - Tiny's Revenge

Rumours are afoot that the old Altonville Mines are alive with activity once again. Following a breakthrough from local law enforcers, the notorious Skin Snatchers have been detained...but for how long? The ironically named Tiny, however, has evaded capture and is believed to still reside within the Mines. Explore at your peril and risk the adventure, if you dare.

The Invitation 

The Lakeside Cemetery invites you to join them for a grave experience that will live with you for eternity. Their friendly funeral director is dying to assist you as you descend in to the burial chamber, where you can choose your final resting place. Some caskets have already been filled while others are empty, waiting for you. Recommended 12+

The Attic: Terror of the Towers 

In Alton people talk of the Governess – how she’s haunted by the death of young children. She wants revenge, and she will do it by seizing the spirits of the living in retribution. They say her ghost haunts The Attic and that’s where you’re headed. Recommended 12+

Darkest Depths

Enjoy some extra-spooky swashbuckling aboard ‘The Mutiny’, a notoriously spine-chilling ghost ship. You’ll truly earn your golden Piece of Eight by venturing into the darkest depths, avoiding the hazardous calls of the treacherous Sirens, dodging the swords of terrifyingly ghoulish pirate mutineers and coming face to face with the Kraken – the legendary monster of the seas! Recommended 12+

We have done a few scare attractions over the years with Altonville Mine Tours our most recent and I can confirm they are very scary.

How Much Are The Scare Mazes?

Each maze is chargeable and can be pre-booked online. 

Daz Games - Panic

£10 or £8 for Merlin Pass Holders

Altonville Mine Tours - Tiny's Revenge, The Invitation, The Attic: Terror of the Towers  and Darkest Depths

£34 for all 4 or £27.20 for Merlin Pass Holders. All 4 must be completed within 2 hours. 

I think on the day you can purchase single scare mazes as we have done that in the past.

scarefest at alton towers
What Attractions Are Suitable For All The Family?

Alton Towers do try to make it suitable for everyone and over the years we have seen new attractions introduced which make it a family friendly event too.

New for 2023 - Burial Grounds

Burial Grounds is a free-flowing outdoor scare zone shadowed by the mighty Wicker Man where you'll encounter the rejectors of modern-day society fulfilling their terrifying primal instincts.

Trick O'Treat Town

Suitable for all ages Trick O'Treat Town is an interactive walkthrough where you must pluck up the courage to knock on doors. The residents of Spooky Avenue up to Witchy Woods love Trick or Treating so be prepared for plenty of treats and tricks too.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. 2 adults can accompany a child without a purchase of a bag (£12 or £9.60 for Merlin Pass Holders)

Alton Ancestors

On Arrival you will usually bump in to the Alton Ancestors. They have left their gravestones behind and are back from the dead. One thing you should know about the Ancestors is they love to dance so make sure you check them out and even join in.

CBeebies Land Monster Ball

Join the CBeebies characters live in Big Fun ShowTime as they dance and play games. the show features Bing, Ubercorn, Peter Rabbit and many more of your favourite CBeebies friends, you can even dress up in your favourite costume.

Freaky Fun Zone

You won't want to miss the Freaky Fun Zone on the front lawns.  The five super-freaky Halloween characters put on the most spook-tacular shows, with meet and greets and photo opportunities. Little ones will love this as the characters are so much fun and very colourful. 

scarefest at alton towers

scarefest at alton towers

There are also many other reasons to visit Alton Towers during Scarefest including the Alton Towers Dungeon

Alton Towers Dungeon

As Scarefest descends on the Towers, enter The Alton Towers Dungeon for a little less laughing… and a lot more screaming! Will you be found guilty by the Bishop of Stafford, survive a visit to the Plague Doctor and make it out of The Witch of Burslem’s Cottage? Enter The Alton Towers Dungeon this Halloween, as we celebrate the most hideously horrible time of year with your delightful peasant screams… If you dare!

Recommended for guests age 10+ and a charge is applicable. Pre booking is advised. 

scarefest at alton towers
scarefest at alton towers

As well as as this scary fun you can enjoy your favourite rides in the dark as the theme park is open till 9pm every night during Scarefest. 

Also if you want to make the most of your visit to Scarefest you can stay over at the resort where the spooky fun continues. 


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Best Family Halloween Board Games

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Disclosure - we received the games below for the purpose of this post. Any thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links. 

October is finally here and I am now allowed to get in spooky mode as I start to decorate the house for Halloween. October is one of my favourite months as it starts the countdown to Halloween, Fireworks and then Christmas. We are always so busy filled with days out around this time of year so it's nice to have time at home chilling watching movies and playing board games together. We have a lovely collection of board games and these are our best family Halloween board games that are perfect for perfect for the spooky season including Disney's Villainous, Hocus Pocus and Ghosted. 

a selection of best family halloween board games

Disney Villainous

Disney's Villainous

Disney's Villainous is a great choice of board game to get you in a spooky mood. The game has six main characters to choose from Captain Hook, Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula, Queen of Hearts and Prince John. 

Each character comes with their own guide. You need to use your characters guide to to learn their objectives and goals.and the guide will help you come up with strategies and tips to come up with an evil plan to win. 

We found the instructions really easy to understand. So far I have played with 3 characters Ursula, Queen of Hearts and Jafar. As each character is completely different they each have their own strategies on how to win making it different for the player each time. 

In the box you’ll find 6 Boards, 6 Villain Movers, 180 Villain Cards, 90 Fate Cards, 84 Tokens, 1 Cauldron, 6 Reference Cards, 6 Villain Guides, and Instructions. 

Although this is a Disney branded game you don't have to be a Disney fan to enjoy the game. It is suitable for 2-6 players and recommend age is 10+.

disney hocus pocus board game

Disney's Hocus Pocus

You must play together during this game to protect Salem’s children and stop the Sanderson sisters from completing their wicked potion before the sun rises.  

Follow the step by step rule book to learn how to play potion ingredients, match all the colors or ingredients. Binx will offer a helping hand, while Winifred, Mary, and Sarah cast spells to thwart your plans. Use tricks like Burning Rain of Death and Billy Butcherson to help you along the way!

Halloween is definitely the perfect time to play Hocus Pocus especially with the release of Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+. We did have to play this game a few times before we fully understood the rules. 

Each game comes with one cauldron board, 50 Ingredient cards, a Witch board, 13 Spell cards, a Sun token, 4 trick tokens, a rulebook, and one black cat Binx.

Hocus Pocus Board Game is suitable for those aged 8+ and for 2-6 players. 

zombie kittens card game

Zombie Kittens

This pack is perfect for fans of exploding kittens card game. Zombie Kittens gives the game an undead twist on the original Exploding Kittens. Zombie Kittens will keep every player involved in the game, dead or alive, until the very end. The last player alive wins.

Once each player has their cards play continues clockwise giving each player the chance to play cards from their hand to determine their next move. Once completed they must then pick up a card from the deck and hopefully avoid the exploding kitten card. Don't worry if you do as you may not be dead for long, you can use a zombie kittens card or hope another player resurrects you from the grave. 

There are so many ways to play Zombie Kittens. Depending how confident you are with the game you can start off basic and build up so you're playing a more complex game. You can also combine this with Exploding Kittens card packs to increase the number of players and fun.

Each pack contains 61 cards and an instruction manual. Suitable for 2-5 players aged 7+.

ghosted board game


You’ve come to an untimely end, been offed, put to rest, kicked the bucket, fatally finished. You've been GHOSTED! Your restless spirit won’t be calm until you solve your own demise from the great beyond. Identify which suspect had it in for you, what wacky weapon they used, and why they wanted you out of the picture. Be the first to figure it out in this spirited game of Boo-Dunnit!

Roll the dice to find out what question you can ask any other player to help you use the power of elimination and find out who killed you and why. You can use your dry wipe marker and board to help you log the answers and when you're confident and you know who done it then you can go in for a guess. If you're right you won the game but if you're wrong you will be eliminated. 

Ghosted is similar to other 'Who Done It?' games however each player has their own killer, motive and weapon. 

6 x evidence boards, 36 x cards, 1 x die, 6 x markers, 6 x tokens and 1 x instructions guide. Instructions were really easy to follow and the game is suitable for those aged 10+ and ideally 3-6 players.

These are just a few of our best family halloween board games and we can't wait to add to our collection this year. Do you have any recommendations?

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