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12 October Half Term Events in Oxford

With half term and Halloween soon approaching it’s the perfect time to discover some of the events Oxford has planned for you and your family. October half-term events in Oxford range from spooky shows and storytelling to science witchcraft and wizardry. Expect to be creeped out and spooked at Oxford Castle and Prison, be wowed by the circus and explore the numerous walking paths throughout Oxford and the surrounding countryside.

Whether you’re looking for activities to keep the kids entertained, or want to discover something new,  you’ll find it all below. You and your family will love these ideas whilst making memories to last a lifetime. We’ve searched the length and breadth of Oxfordshire to provide you with a list of 12 October half-term events so you can start planning an epic half-term.

1. Visit the Science Oxford Centre

Enjoy family days at The Science Oxford Centre this half term. Explore woodland pumpkin trails, participate in some spookily fun science experiments, and play in the Exploration Zone. It’s the perfect family-friendly day out where children and grown-ups alike get to have fun experimenting with interactive exhibits, see the world change before their eyes, create and test flying ghouls, and magically send material through pipework. 

Check out our Half term at Science Oxford Centre events page for more details. 

2. Pick your own pumpkin

October is pumpkin season, so it’s only right that pumpkin picking features on our October Half Term events list in Oxford. Some people associate pumpkins with Halloween and whether you do or not, pumpkin picking has really taken off in the UK, with patches and pick-your-own farms popping up all over the country. It’s a great activity to do both on your own and with your family. Oxford is filled with places to go and some of our favourites include Millets Farm, Earth Trust Centre, and Rectory Farm.

The Oxford Magazine has plenty of information about pumpkin picking in Oxford.

3. Explore Science & Activities at IF Oxford

Every October IF Oxford puts on a science and ideas festival that brings together hundreds of researchers and thousands of people. From thought-provoking and interactive science to creative activities, there is something here for everyone. At last year’s event children under the age of enjoyed books, music and rhymes, families enjoyed plays at the Oxford Playhouse, and others enjoyed talks and demonstrations on the evolution of venom. This year promises to be just amazing. 

4. Visit the Circus

Roll up! Roll Up! It’s circus time. Every year John Lawson’s Circus pitches up at Millets Farm Centre for a thrilling, family-fun show of acrobatics, clowns, and more. With shows three times a day, you’re sure to catch at least one of them during the October half-term. 

Our John Lawson’s Circus events page will give you more details. 

5. Take a tour of Britain’s most haunted place

Are you feeling brave? Why not take a spooky tour of Britain’s most haunted place? Hear haunting stories of Oxford Castle and Prison’s 1000-year past and discover the tales that are far too dark to include on the daytime tours. This experience is sure to test your nerves of steel whilst providing glorious views of the dreaming spires as the city lights twinkle from the top of St. George’s Tower. 

Discover more information about this spooky tour on our Haunted Oxford Castle and Prison events page. 

6. Go see a show at The Oxford Playhouse

The Oxford Playhouse presents and produces a variety of high-quality live performances throughout the year. From British and international drama to contemporary dance shows and lectures, there’s always something going on that will suit everyone. Whether you’re looking to catch a family-friendly show or an adults-only comedy, take a look at the Oxford Playhouse website for more details on their October half-term events.

7. Enjoy a massive firework display

Let your evening go off with a bang at the Henley Spooktacular Bonfire and Fireworks events. This October half-term event in Oxford is billed as the UK’s biggest family-friendly, Halloween-themed, low-noise firework event. Enjoy a night of spooky spine-tingling fireworks, fancy dress, a light show, and fairground rides. Hosted at the Henley Showground, with free parking, it’s sure to be a night you’ll never forget. 

For a detailed list of ticket prices and event info, check out our Henley Spooktacular Bonfire and Fireworks event page.

8. Didcot railway centre

This Halloween, Didcot Railway Centre invites children both young and old to come dressed as ghouls, witches, ghosts, zombies, wizards, and skeletons for a spellbinding Hallowsteam event. Climb aboard a working steam train for a trip that takes you back in time to a spooky Victorian station that’s decorated with cobwebs, spiders, bats and more. 

Pick up a copy of their Halloween Trail and explore their 21-acre open-air museum. Visitors will get the chance to get up close and personal with various Locomotives in the engine shed and learn all about trains. It’s a family-friendly event not to be missed. 

For more information visit our Hallowsteam at Didcot Railway Centre events page.

9. Ride a miniature railway

Whether you’re a train fanatic or not, taking a ride on a miniature railway should be on everyone’s list of October Half Term events in Oxford. Cutteslowe Park miniature railway has two tracks within Cutteslowe Park that takes passengers on a little loop around the park. It’s the perfect way to pass a few hours and learn about miniature locomotives and the City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers non-profit organisation. 

Check out the COSME website for a timetable and more details about the miniature railway.

10. Take a walk through many nature trails

Oxford is filled to the brim with parks, woodlands, gardens, meadows, and historical streets. It’s a playground for nature lovers and if you’re looking for things to do in Oxford this half term, why not take a walk and get a little bit closer to nature? Whether you fancy a leisurely stroll through Oxford’s town centre or an escape through the picturesque countryside, Oxford has plenty of walking routes and trails to suit all fitness levels and abilities. 

Take a look at Oxford Walks for ideas on walks you can take around the city.

11. Wander through spooky rooms at the witch’s house

If you’re looking for a spooky October half-term event in Oxford then head to Cogges Manor Farm as it’s transformed into The Witch’s House for a Halloween-themed half-term. Enjoy Spooktacular lighting and sound effect wizardry as well as an array of potions, bats, spiders, and cauldrons of fire. It’s a sight to behold that promises to be great fun for the whole family. 

Visit the Cogges Website for more details about The Witch’s House.

12. Half Term at Blenheim Palace

As Halloween and half term creep ever closer, Oxford’s famous Blenheim Palace opens its doors for a “Horrid Half Term”. Enjoy spooky storytelling, petrifying pumpkin carving, incredible axe throwing, ghost trains, and fire performers as well as creepy crafts and gruesome games. It promises to be a blood-curdling, frighteningly fun half-term and Halloween weekend. 

Check out our half-term at Blenheim Palace events page for more details.

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