Spooky castles, pumpkins and haunted houses: Halloween fun in the district
Last updated Oct 14, 2022

Halloween is creeping up, with the celebrations and events across the district becoming bigger, better and more ghoulish each year.

This year it falls just after October half-term, so there is plenty going on for little witches and wizards – and big ones too!

So whether you fancy some pumpkin picking on a farm, spooky trails, or haunted houses, we’ve put together a list of five places to enjoy some Halloween fun.

Birchfield Farm Pumpkin Festival – Summerbridge

Birchfield Farm’s Pumpkin Festival is a firm favourite amongst families in the Harrogate district. Is it even Halloween if you haven’t taken a selfie with a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins at the picturesque Summerbridge farm?

You don’t need to book for this one and there are plenty of pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colours to go around and you can visit everyday until October 31.

There are also lots of activities to do on the farm so you can make a morning or afternoon of it.

After you have picked your pumpkin from the patch – and there really is a huge selection of all shapes and sizes – you then have the option of visiting the farm for £5.95 per person. Then take your kids for a homemade ice cream at the farm’s café.

Activities include:

  • A huge carving barn where you can create your pumpkin masterpieces
  • Bouncy castles
  • Play equipment
  • A 6-acre maize maze
  • A spooky woodland walk
  • Animals
  • A giant bale mountain
When: Everyday until October 31 from 10am until 4pm
Where: Birchfield Farm, Summerbridge, Harrogate, HG3 4JS
Price and booking: No booking is required for this event and the pumpkin patch is free to enter. Pumpkins are priced by size from £1 up to £12.The farmyard area is £5.95 per person, however this is optional. Under twos are free.

Creepy Castle: The Spooktastic Halloween Trail – Knaresborough

Soak up the spooky atmosphere at Knaresborough Castle – the setting of the new Creepy Castle Spooktastic Halloween trail.

Set in the grounds of the ancient monument, expect to see see wizard magic shows and spooky characters along the way. There will also be face painting, stories in the castle, cookie decorating and more scary surprises.

When: October 27 – 29
Where: Knaresborough Castle, Castle Yard, Knaresborough, HG5 8AS
Price and booking: Tickets are £3.75 for both children and adults (under 2s are free) with time slots available from 3pm – 7.20pm on Thursday, October 27 to Saturday October, 29. Book your trail tickets for a specific event day and time here.

Stockeld Park Halloween Adventure – Wetherby

Stockeld Park is another firm family favourite and the Halloween festivities are always magical.

This year The Enchanted Forest will be transformed into an explosion of colour for a Day of the Dead Fiesta. Interact with the enchanting ancestors as you venture round the forest and look out for friendly skeletons.

Little ones will love exploring the pumpkin patch and will be able to pick their very own pumpkin to take home. Every paying child will get to choose a free pumpkin.

The Playhive will be open to explore and you can salso ee the family-friendly Monster Mash show.

There’s something suitably scary for all ages.

When: October 22 – October 30 from 9.30am until 5.30pm
Where: Stockeld Park, Wetherby, LS22 4AN
Price and booking: Prices vary. Online pre-booking is essential – click here to book

Halloween Trail – Swinton Bivouac, Masham

Are you brave enough to follow the spooky Halloween trail?

Head up to Swinton Bivouac, part of the 20,000 acre Swinton Estate, and follow the ghoulish clues to help you find your way through the eerie woodland.

Dogs are welcome and fancy dress is encouraged!

When: October 22 – October 31
Where: Bivouac at Druid’s Temple, Masham, Ripon, HG4 4JZ
Price and booking: £5 per trail sheet with prize upon completion. Trail sheets are available from the Bivouac Café from 10am daily.

Stately Superstitions: Eerie Encounters at the Castle – Castle Howard, York

An experience for adults, venture a little further outside the Harrogate district and explore the uncanny on this behind-the-scenes tour of the house where not all is as it seems.

If you were to venture beyond the visitor route, below stairs, you’d encounter a labyrinth of dark cellars and never-ending corridors.

Long since servants walked the halls and a fire ripped through the now empty wings, these parts of Castle Howard have remained largely unchanged.

Those interested in the history of the house may revel at the chance to explore these quarters, but a stay longer than necessary provokes a sense of unnerving discomfort causing the imagination to try and make sense of the darkness.

Flickers of light, footsteps, and the unexpected sounds of a servant’s bell can pierce the silent eeriness of these spaces, making this grand house feel somewhat awry.

You are encouraged to stay close to your guide as they lead you through these ghostly cellars, dark passages, and fire-damaged rooms, revealing stories and surprises that will make those childhood beliefs you thought you’d grown out of suddenly seem very real…

Calm your fears with hotdogs and refreshments at the Fitzroy Café before your experience begins.

When: October 21 -23, 28-31.Tours will depart at 6pm, 6:45pm, 7:45pm and 8:30pm.
Where: Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA
Price and booking: Adults from £20. Book tickets here. Unfortunately, this experience uses narrow staircases and so is unsuitable for wheelchair users.

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