Come rain or shine there’s plenty of family fun to be had this October half term in Durham. Across the county you’ll find lots of family-friendly attractions, amazing activities and fun things to do to keep the kids entertained throughout the holidays.  

Stargazing event at Killhope Museum for the North Pennines Stargazing Festival

North Pennines Stargazing Festival: 23 October – 3 November

From pop up planetariums and astrophotography workshops, to family moon trails and night time bike rides. This year’s North Pennines Stargazing Festival, which promises to be out of this world with 30 dazzling events to choose from across 12 days – perfect half term treat for your little stars.  

Transport through time at Beamish Museum

Transport Through Time at Beamish Museum: 24 October – 3 November  

Join in with amazing transport-related fun at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North this half term. Enjoy a whole host of exciting transport-related hands-on activities, including the chance to build your own Meccano vehicle and have a go at making cotton reel tanks. 

Halloween Events at Wharton Park, Durham City

Fang-tastic Halloween events at Wharton Park: 24 October – 3 November 

Throughout October half term you’ll fine a spooky selection of family-friendly Halloween events taking place across Wharton Park including The Dead Good Trail – inspired by the Day of the Dead, search the park for hidden items. Create creepy crafts in the drop in workshop, sign up for Skeleton School and for a frightfully good time grab your tickets for The Gravest Show – a Halloween Circus Show with lots of tricks and treats the whole family will enjoy. 

Inside of Chapter House in Durham Cathedral

Afternoon Tea in Chapter House inside Durham Cathedral: 26 October 

All muggles will be in for a real treat as Durham Cathedral opens the doors of Chapter House aka Professor McGonagall's classroom for a magical afternoon tea. A fantastic treat for any potter mad fan (young and old) who would love to see the filming location used for Prof McGonagall's classroom in the first two Harry Potter films. 

Pirates, Pants and Wellphants at The Bowes Museum

Pirates, Pants and Wellphants at The Bowes Museum: open now until 3 November 

Are your kids a big fan of Tracy Beaker, Pirate Pete or Hetty Feather? Don’t miss Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants at The Bowes Museum. Immerse yourself in Nick Sharratt’s world at this interactive exhibition. Find out what inspired Nick to become an illustrator, try out fun crafts, enjoy storytelling and meet a host of his most beloved colourful characters. 

Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon Glow Trail at Hamsterley Forest

Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon Glow Trail at Hamsterley Forest: open every day! 

Lu-La's space ship has crash landed in Hamsterley Forest! Can you help her get home?
Join Shaun the sheep on his mission to help Lu-la get home by completing challenges and puzzles on the new self-led Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon Glow Trail. Download the app before you go and pick up a glow trail kit when you arrive. 

Little girl playing inside the Oriental Museum, Durham City

Diwali Celebrations at Oriental Museum: 26 October 

Celebrate the Hindu festival of lights at this a special late night opening at Durham University’s Oriental Museum. You’ll find lots of family-friendly activities to enjoy as the museum is transformed with vibrant colours, eye-popping decorations, twinkling lights and delicious food! And the first 100 children through the door will receive a free flower garland! 

Autumn view of Raby Castle

Myths, Legends and Grizzly Tales at Raby Castle: 31 October – 2 November 

Something wicked is coming to Raby Castle this Halloween. There’s lots of spook-tacular fun to be had from searching for clues in the walled medieval gardens on the Witch and Wizard Tree Trail to a terrifyingly good tour of the castle, where you’ll hear tales of myths and legends including  the beastly battle of Neville’s Cross and the Witch-Cat of Staindrop. 

The grounds and exterior of Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle re-opens: 2 November  

Follow in the footsteps of some of the most powerful and influential men in British history – The Prince Bishops of Durham as the 900 year old Auckland Castle re-opens following multi-million pound conservation work. Discover how these figures changed history, uncover their fascinating stories and the legacy they left behind. 

children collecting seaglass on the Durham Heritage Coast

Explore the Durham Coast on a Seaside Adventure 

Wrap up warm and enjoy some time exploring the great outdoors along the Durham Heritage Coast. See what wildlife you can spot on a refreshing walk along the rugged coastline, collect some world-famous Seaham Sea Glass or explore the mysterious denes along the coast including Castle Eden Dene. 

Derwent Waterside Park Play Park in the Durham Dales

Walk on the wild side at Derwent Waterside Park 

Discover lots of countryside fun at Derwent Waterside Park. Go wildlife spotting, enjoy a family bike ride, learn to fish or let the little ones let off some steam at the new interactive play park. Throughout the Durham Dales you'll find 5 fabulous Northumbrian Waterside Parks to explore including Balderhead, Cow Green, Hury and Selset. 

Family friendly accommodation in County Durham

Family Friendly Accommodation 

With so many incredible attractions to explore and amazing activities to enjoy, why not stay a little longer? From friendly B&B's and cosy cottages to quirky yurts and historic castles there's lots of child-friendly places to stay on a half term break in Durham. 

Click here to view more October Half Term events happening in Durham >> 




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