Eight places in Suffolk where Hallowe'en will cast on a spell on you this autumn
Time to dust off your witch’s hat, fire up your broomstick and have some spellbinding fun.
October has arrived and we all know what that means... Hallowe’en.
Now, while Covid-19 is doing its darndest to stop us enjoying lots of events, nothing can stop us getting our homes Hallowe’en ready.
And with half term approaching, if you’re looking for something to entertain the young ones, take a look at these events taking place this month.
Maize Maze at Undley Pumpkin Patch
This year, Undley is celebrating NHS staff and key workers, as well as the legendary Captain Sir Thomas Moore, with its maze.
They are all represented in the maze which has also been specially designed with wider pathways to make social distancing easy.
The event is now its 21st year and for the first time, booking is essential as daily numbers will be limited and government Covid guidelines implemented.
The event will also be fund-raising, with 50p from every person’s entry fee going to the NHS, along with £1,000 usually offered in a prize draw.
Open weekends throughout October, starting Saturday, and for half term (Monday-Friday,October 26-30), youngsters and oldies alike will have great fun choosing their pumpkins from the 75-acre site, with 30 varieties of pumpkins and 50 different varieties of ornamental gourds and squashes.
Add to that the family entertainment on offer – from donkey rides to a straw bale pyramid to climb, pumpkin carving demonstrations to a magician, walking pet balloons to lucky dip. . . and more – it can be a great day out.
Undley Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, IP288BX. See undleyfarm events.co.uk
The Moreton Hall Pumpkin Trail
Residents, schools and businesses will be showcasing their pumpkin carving talents for a special trail being set up in Bury St Edmunds.
So why not pop along to see how well they’ve done when The Moreton Hall Pumpkin Trail takes place on October 30 and 31, between 10am and 4pm.
Plus, if you live on the estate, why not enter your own pumpkin? Organisers are looking for the scariest, funniest and most original designs that can be displayed outside homes.
Each of the three categories will be judged at the event, with the winner of each getting a £10 book bundle.
Schools and businesses in the town are also being invited to submit pumpkins which will be displayed outside a house on the estate.
Maps for the trail will be available on the Moreton Hall Voice Facebook page from October 29. For more details and to register your pumpkins, contact organiser Michelle Frost on 07810 456512.
Siam Hall Spooky Pumpkins, Boxford
Back for its third year, you can expect a spooktacular array of pumpkins and squashes of all shapes and sizes to choose from when Siam Hall opens its farm gate during half-term week.
Running from October 24 to 31 every day from 10am to 4pm, it’s free entry and there is no neeed to book.
Located between Sudbury and Hadleigh, there will also be a pop-up café providing refreshments or take along your own picnic to enjoy.
All Covid government guidelines will be followed, but to keep up to date check their website siamhallpumpkins.co.uk.
Siam Hall, Boxford, CO10 5LA. See siamhallpumpkins.co.uk or Instagram @siamhallpumpkin
Fright Nights at the Museum, National Horse Racing Museum, Newmarket
Due to Covid-19, Hallowe'en just won’t be the same this year - no apple bobbing, trick or treat on hold - but there's still fun to be had.
The museum is planning two separate events – a family friendly Fright Night from October 28-30 in Palace House (once the horseracing home of King Charles II during his visits to Newmarket), and for those looking for an altogether scarier experience it will be hosting Fright Nights at the Museum on Friday and Saturday, October 30-31, 6-9pm.
For the event at Palace House, families and young children are invited to dress up and take a tour by torchlight to watch history come alive. There will be five bats to find to win a goody bag and craft kits for families to enjoy at home will be given away. Tickets cost £5 adults (or £3 if in fancy dress), and entry is free for children under 16.
Those braver souls visiting the Fright Nights at the Museum (October 30-31) will find the five-acre site dressed like the set of a horror movie. Tickets cost £15 adults (or £10 if in fancy dress), £2.50 for children (or free to children under 16 in fancy dress.
Visitors will be able to relax with a warming mulled wine or boozy hot chocolate and enjoy a barbecue.
Crafty Foxes hallowe’en workshops 30 and 31 October 30-31
Join The Crafty Foxes for a spooky hallowe’en workshop at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday, October 30, when children aged seven plus can paint a pumpkin. Parents can drop and shop as space is limited, collecting their child and the decorated pumpkin after the session ends.
The next day’s family spooky hallowe’en workshop is a fun session for children under seven accompanied by one parent or guardian. Youngsters can try their hand at making a spooky bat, ghostly treat or monster lantern.
All children will be kept apart as much as possible on separate tables, spaced according to the Covid-19 guidelines, unless coming with siblings or people in their bubble, in which case two tables can be moved together.
Tickets for both workshops are £15 per child, including a cold drink and biscuit. Old clothes or Hallowe’en fancy dress recommended. Accompanying adults on October 31 can attend for free but must book a space and wear face coverings. Book online at theapex.co.uk or call 01284 758000.
Spooky Saxons, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, October 24-November 1
Find some half-term horrors lurking behind corners for unsuspecting visitors and take part in the Spooky Saxons fun family activities, including quizzes and stories and dare you be brave enough to cast the last rune in the Witchy Workshop?
The site of an early Anglo-Saxon village, occupied from AD 420-650, over 400 years before the Norman Conquest, West Stow is one of England’s great archaeological sites. Explore the recreated Anglo-Saxon village surrounded by 125 acres of countryside and discover more about village life some 1,500 years ago in the indoor galleries. Watch a film, dress up as an Anglo-Saxon and ‘meet’ the rare breed pigs and chickens.
West Stow will also be hosting The Real Middle-Earth Tour on Sunday, 25 October starting at 1pm. Find out about the links between Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxon world on a guided tour from a member of the Tolkien Society and a Middle-earth enthusiast.
Open 10am-5pm. Admission: adult £6; child £3 (5-16 years); family £16 (up to 5 family members, maximum 2 adults). Tel 01284 728718, see weststow.org/Anglo-Saxon-Village.
Face coverings are required inside the museum, but not outdoors in the Anglo-Saxon Village. Social distancing will be observed but advance booking is not necessary.
Ghostly and Macabre Guided Walks, from October 30
Discover ghostly secrets and uncover spine-tingling tales about Bury St Edmunds’ eerie goings-on by joining the Ghostly and Macabre guided walk around the town held on various dates on dark autumn and winter evenings between October 30 and the end of March.Lasting 90 minutes, the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides will take you on a haunted journey with ghostly stories of murder, riots, plague, witchcraft and a mummified cat, with chills and thrills galore.
The walk starts at Moyse’s Hall Museum; once a workhouse and gaol, the medieval building has been the focus of ghost tales for centuries. The oldest dates back to 1328, when a woman is recorded as saying she saw ‘a most horrible devil’ in the building’s cellar. In 1828, shrieks and apparitions were reported after the hanging of the infamous Red Barn murderer William Corder. These only stopped when Corder’s skull was duly buried.
Your guide will lead you through the darkened streets telling stories of screaming skulls, mysterious ‘monk’ like figures appearing in cellars, burnings and hangings and more, finishing up in the dark and deserted Great Churchyard cemetery. Book a place if you dare. . .
For details about the Ghostly and Macabre tour, priced £7 per person, and how to book see burystedmundstourguides.org or call 01284 758000; due to the content of the tour, participants must be aged 14 years or over.
St Edmunds 12th Sci-Fi and Action exhibition, Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury
St Edmunds, October 24-December 20
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, the exhibition features a display of props and memorabilia from the movie that introduced to Yoda, AT-AT walkers and a shocking family revelation that set the world talking.
In addition, it marks the 40th anniversary of Galactica’s landing in homes across the globe. This classic series was a spin-off to 1978’s Battlestar Galactica; displays will explore the franchise’s impact upon popular culture. There will also be small-screen action from the Tom Baker era of Dr Who plus used screen props and a chance to meet a real Dalek. The final highlight will be a rare opportunity to come face-to-face with a used Gremlin film prop from the mid-1980s cult classic.
The exhibition for all ages is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sundays noon-4pm.
Admission: adult £5, concessions £3; child £3 (5-16 years), family £15 (up to 5 people). Tel: 01284 758000, see moyseshall.org.
Face masks will be required and numbers limited to observe social distancing.