Visit Winchester > Blog > October Half Term in Winchester

October Half Term in Winchester

City Walk advert
City Walk advert

With the Autumn Half Term and Halloween just around the corner, top attractions in and around Winchester are preparing a spooky line up of events for all ages. From wizard weekends and spooky science shows for little ones to Halloween tours, vampire talks and exhibitions for adults, there’s plenty of Halloween fun to enjoy this Autumn. For a full list of events click here or read on to find out more…

October Half Term in Winchester


Wizard Weekend 

26 – 27 October

Join Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line for their Wizard Weekend ahead of Halloween 2019. Take part in a variety of themed activities included within the ticket price, guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Enjoy unlimited rides on the Wizard Express steam train, walk in Harry Potter’s footsteps on the film’s real Kings Cross footbridge and watch a haunting owl and falcon magic show. Don’t forget to dress up as your favourite spooky character to enter the fancy dress competition.

Wizard Weekend

Spooky Wizard Weekend returns to Watercress Line


Spooky Science

28 October – 1 November

Head over to Fort Nelson this half term week to travel back in time and discover the weird and wonderful world of victorian science. Meet the madcap professor who will be demonstrating how scientific ideas helped the building of Fort Nelson.

There are opportunities to get involved in an array of interactive and super intriguing experiments as well as a Junior Navvy Challenge, craft activities, a tour and insight talks. This is a great free day out for little ones of all ages. 

Spooky Science at Fort Nelson

Spooky Science at Fort Nelson


Spooky Winchester

28 October – 2 November

Get involved in this year’s FREE Spooky Winchester word hunt that is taking place across the city throughout half term.

Just download a SpookyWinch activity sheet from the Winchester BID website or collect a copy from The Winchester Discovery Centre or the Tourist Information Centre from Monday 21 October 2019.

Simply search and find all nine Halloween-themed pumpkin signs displayed in the windows of local businesses across the city centre, before returning your completed activity sheet to either the Tourist Information Centre or Winchester Discovery Centre. At these two locations, you can then redeem a Halloween-themed goody bag and you can also be entered into a cash prize draw to win £50, £100 or £200.


Boo at the Zoo

26 October – 3 November

Marwell Zoo are getting into the spooky spirit this half term with a range of free Halloween activities for the whole family.

Track down 12 colourful illustrated beasts hidden on the monster trail, try your hand at broomstick flying with Marwell’s resident wizard Lowedolf and listen to spooky stories with Esme the friendly witch.

Boo at the Zoo

Boo at The Zoo


WinCon Prequels: Halloween Cosplay Workshop

31 October

Cosplayer and costume maker Juliette Cross will be at Winchester Discovery Centre this Halloween sharing her skills and techniques for creating the ultimate spooky look. Children aged 7 – 11 can get hands-on learning some simple face painting techniques, whilst those aged 12+ can get to grips with some effective cosplay makeup techniques. 


The Gruffalo, the Witch and the Warthog

31 October – 2 November

Beloved children’s author Julia Donaldson takes to the stage – with four others – to present a lively, fun show of six favourites – Room on the Broom, The Magic Paintbrush, The Ugly Five, Superworm, The Gruffalo, and The Cook and The King. Catchy songs and costumes bring the pages of Julia’s books to life, giving young – and old – fans of her stories the chance to meet her well-known characters face to face.

The Gruffallo, the Witch and the Warthog

The Gruffalo, the Witch and the Warthog

Plus check out the Theatre Royal website for more shows including Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass and some fabulous workshops to get the kids crafting over half term.


Something for the grown ups

Halloween Tour

31 October

Join this 90 minute adults-only Halloween Tour for a feast of ghosts and other ghastly goings-on. Although not essential, we encourage you to get into the full Halloween spirit by dressing the part for a spooky evening tour of Winchester. Purchase tickets online or from the Winchester Tourist Information Centre.

Halloween Tour Winchester

Halloween Tour

Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern

12 October – 5 January 

Brought to you by the Fashion and Textile Museum, London, experience the creative output of Keily’s iconic designs. With a unique presentation of her work, including a handbag wall and exclusive access to company archives, you can delve into the story of how humble beginnings became a global phenomenon.

Orla Keily: A Life in Pattern

Graphic by Orla Keily


Love to win a family day out?

It’s 200 years since Keats walked through Winchester’s water meadows and was inspired to write his ode To Autumn. There is no denying that Winchester is beautiful at this time of year and we want to see it through your eyes.

Send us your photos via Instagram to enter our Love Winchester Autumn photography competition!

Maybe it’s a photo of our beautiful city in a glow of colour, or your family and friends enjoying one of the district’s attractions or events this Autumn. We’ve got some great prizes to giveaway – to find out what you could win and how to enter visit our competition page.

Visit Winchester Photo Competition