When my daughter was little, Halloween was so easy. There were so many places to visit that offered pumpkin carving, spooky trails, Halloween crafts and ghost stories. We did it all and had great fun; Whitehouse Farm, Adventure Valley, Souter Lighthouse, Thornley Woods, Brockbushes, Down at the Farm, West Boldon Lodge, 3D Mummy ride at Centre for Life etc., etc., etc. But now that is she 12 going on 21? Not quite so easy to find stuff to do. It’s either too young and therefore not cool, or over 14 years old and too scary. So here are my Top 3 for Hallotween fun if I am not alone in finding this the most difficult age ever!!

Frightwater Valley

Always good fun at this park but especially so at half term leading up to Halloween. It all starts off innocently enough, kids turn up all different ages dressed in their outfits, but its not compulsory. Some adults join in the fun a bit too, with the odd spooky accessory. It’s a fun day on the rides with some Halloween extras thrown in – Spooky Character Meet and Greets, a Scary Magic Show and Trick or Treat Doors. There is a Halloween Fancy Dress Competition too towards the end of the day. Most of these are frightful fun for all the family. For the older kids (and adults) there is a Live Scare Maze and Scare Maze Walkthrough. It’s all spine-tingling hilarity until this point and not quite dark when there is a park announcement that Frightwater is about to begin. Most parents with very young kids head towards the front of the park at this point as within seconds there are a whole host of characters creeping out to greet you. Killer clowns with chainsaws and all manner of gruesome undead. There is good interaction from the characters, it’s scary but not terrifying, and perfect for our young adults. The rides stay open until the grand Frightwater Firework finale by the lake, which is one of the best displays I have seen. This year Frightwater Valley runs from 27th-31st October.

Hexham Spook Night

A great event if you’re not the sort of person to plan ahead, as there is no ticket to buy and entry it free.  The event runs from 3pm-9pm in Hexham centre and surrounding streets. There are fancy dress competitions for all ages and a best pumpkin competition, ghost stories, ghost walks and dancing ghouls in the band stand in the adjacent park. Lots of food on offer, the local cafes stay open and there are plenty of street food kiosks. Then there is the funfair! A definite thumbs up from my daughter, turns the whole event into something she can attend and still feel cool (apparently). I don’t know a tween who doesn’t like at least one of these rids and they pack quite a selection into the street too. All in all, Hexham Spook Night is a good choice of event if you’ve not managed to bag tickets for anything else, with enough screams and thrills thrown in. This year it’s on Saturday 26th October.

Halloween Evenings at Beamish

This is one for the organised as it sells out every year, the most popular nights selling out almost as soon as tickets are released – Halloween itself and the weekend nights. I’ve always found it incredibly busy, so if you can eat before you go it definitely leaves more time for ghoulish fun. There’s always the old fashioned sweet shop if you get too peckish!!

We usually start with a walk through Birch Wood, this is good fun and a bit spooky but younger kids may find it a bit too scary. For my tween and her pals it was just right. We always try to do the trick or treat cottages and a visit to the dentist is gruesomely horrible but a real tradition for us now!! There’s a bubbleologist, a fire eater, scary stilt walker, the ghostly Grey Lady Walk, tarot card readers and no visit would be complete without trying the vomit soup!! Halloween evenings at Beamish run on 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th and 31st Oct, 6.30pm – 9.30pm but are all sold out for this year, so if you have a ticket already, enjoy the devilish thrills.

We love Halloween in our house so we will be doing all three of the above events this year. Hopefully we’ll have a scream. 🙂