31 things to do during half term and Halloween in the North East

Families enjoying Sunderland Illuminations.
Families enjoying Sunderland Illuminations.

Can you believe we’re this far through the year already?

If you're already on the look out for things to do with your children during the week off in October, for Halloween or just to celebrate autumn, there are plenty of events on across the North East to keep your family busy.

The Customs House, South Shields.

The Customs House, South Shields.

Take a look at just some of what's on in the coming weeks. From theatre trips to spooky workshops, there'll be something to whet your appetite.

Halloween Creatures Trail at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Saturday, October 6 until Sunday, November 4: Get on the hunt for creepy creatures including wolves, spiders and bats. Trails can be purchased from the museum's reception, and entry costs £2.50.

Sunderland Illuminations at Roker Park - Thursday, October 18 until Sunday, November 18: Bigger than ever before, pack up the family and enjoy one of the brightest events of the Sunderland season. The park will be open every Thursday - Sunday, and every night at half term.

The Glass Ceiling - Periplum, Church Square, Hartlepool - Friday, October 19: Inspired by the Suffragettes and Suffragists, this special show will celebrate activists from the Tees Valley region. Admission to the inspiring theatre performance, which runs from 8.30pm until 9.30pm, is free.

Ward Jackson Park, Hartlepool.

Ward Jackson Park, Hartlepool.

Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel: Little Monsters Spooky Tea Party - Friday, October 19 until Sunday, October 21: Starting at 6pm, take the kids along for a party tea with a difference. £15 for children and £24.95 for adults.

SMILE: Augustus The Tiger at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Saturday, October 20: A delightful tale for children aged between three and six told through beautiful music. The performance is free but donations are welcome.

Spooky half-term fun at the Life Science Centre, Newcastle - from Saturday, October 20 until Sunday, November 4: One free child admission is on offer this half term with every full-paying adult. There's plenty to choose from at the centre, including potions workshops and an exciting alien planetarium show.

Hardwick Park - The Gallery of Monsters Park Trail - Saturday, October 20 until Sunday, October 28: How many monster portraits can you spot during this trail?

The Word, South Shields.

The Word, South Shields.

Swan Lake by The Russian National Ballet at The Customs House, South Shields - Monday, October 22: Beautiful dance and breath-taking music. Performances are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm/

Halloween arts and crafts at The Word, South Shields - Monday, October 22 until Thursday, October 25: Make some spooktacular crafts to celebrate Halloween. Sessions will run twice daily between 10am and 11am, and 2.30pm until 3.30pm. Admission is £1 and booking is essential.

Broomstick making workshop at Jarrow Hall - Tuesday, October 23: The ideal finishing touch for your witch or warlock costume this Halloween! Admission to the session is included in the general entrance price. Runs from 1.30pm until 3pm.

Wizard School at West Boldon Lodge - Tuesday, October 23: Join a new intake of witches and wizards to make the best of your magical skills. Sessions last two hours and are running at 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Tickets cost £10 per child.

Are you brave enough to visit Scream Factory?

Are you brave enough to visit Scream Factory?

Apple Day at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Wednesday, October 24: Try your hand at apple-related arts and crafts. Suggested donation of £2.

Hocus Panto at The Customs House, South Shields - Wednesday, October 24: The witches are back and they're more magical than ever! Tickets are £11 and £9 for concessions. Family tickets are also available. The show is on from 1.30pm until 3.30pm.

Spooktacular Halloween Stories at The Word, South Shields - Wednesday, October 24 and Wednesday, October 31: Suitable for children under seven and their families - enjoy an immersive storytelling experience to get you into the Halloween spirit. Three sessions are taking place on October 24 at 10.30am, 12.45pm and 2.15pm. A one-off session takes place on Halloween at 4.30pm.

Children's Halloween Banquet at Lumley Castle - Thursday, October 25: Enjoy a three-course banquet while you're entertained my the great ghosts of the castle. There will also be a fancy dress competition, and each child gets a goody bag.

Scream Factory - The Extreme Tour at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar - Thursday, October 25 until Wednesday, October 31: This is one for the older kids in your life, 14-year-olds and over, only. If you're in the mood for a scare, this is the place to be! Entry is £15.

Spooky Family Fun Day at The Bowes Museum - Thursday, October 25: Halloween excitement for the whole family with arts, crafts and other fun. Normal admission charges apply.

Museums at Night: Spooky Science Parties at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26: Celebrate Halloween with a science twist and have a go at some spooky experiments! Don't forget your best Halloween costume to stand a chance at winning a prize! £6 per child, and tickets must be pre-booked.

Halloween t-shirt making at The Word, South Shields - Thursday, October 25: Looking for something different to wear for trick or treating? Learn how to make your own devilish designs at this special session. Session runs from 1pm until 4pm.

Monster Laser Fun at The Word, South Shields - Friday, October 26: A Halloween special - have some monstrous fun designing your own accessories. Suitable for nine to 16-year-olds.

Boo! Spooky Science Workshop at South Shields Museum - Friday, October 26: Explore the spectacular world of witches and magic with this museum session. 11am until 12pm.

Diwali Delights at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - Friday, October 26: Make your own lanterns and decorations to ring in the festival of light. Suggested donation £2.

Cooking Up A Fright at The Word, South Shields - Friday, October 26: Carolyn from the Canny Kitchen hosts a special session to make tasty treats for Halloween. Two sessions will take place from 10am until 12pm and 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Yum!

Scream Factory - The Twilight Tour at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar - Friday, October 26 until Sunday, October 28: A family-friendly session at a truly spooky location! The Mad Hatter's Halloween Party returns to the Scream Factory, with all children over the age of 3 invited. Wander along the pathway and see who you spot. £8 for children and £4 for adults.

Tom Thumb at The Customs House, South Shields - Friday, October 26: Tickets start at £8 for this family-friendly showing starting CBeebies' Patrick Lynch.

Halloween party at The Place in the Park Coffee Shop, Ward Jackson Park, Hartlepool - Saturday, October 27, Sunday, October 28 and Wednesday, October 31: Fun for your little monsters! Tickets are £5.95 and the event includes a disco, hot dog and juice. The disco will be held between 4pm and 6pm on the weekend dates, and 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Halloween.

Rainton Meadows: Creatures of the Night - Saturday, October 27: Take part in a spooky night-time walk. Who can you spot in the dark? Running from 7pm until 8.30pm.

Zombie Night Run at Souter Lighthouse - Saturday, October 27: You better run fast to escape these creepy characters! Get scared and get fit all in one as you take on this 5k run. Booking is essential.

Crook Hall's Little Horrors - Sunday, October 28 and Monday, October 29: Celebrate the scariest night of the year with a trick or treat treasure hunt. £10 for children and £8 for adults, running from 3.30pm until 5.30pm.

Cosplosion! at North East Land Sea and Air Museum - Sunday, October 28: An action-packed day with your favourite heroes, and some villains too. Eyes peeled for Spider-Man, Harley Quinn and even some wizards too. Adult tickets are £5, concessions are £3. Family tickets are also available.

Villains Ball at The Customs House, South Shields - Sunday, October 28: Fun, games potions and laughter for the whole family at a fabulously frightening night. Tickets are priced from £16.

Halloween afternoon tea at Crook Hall - Sunday, October 28 until Wednesday, October 31: Running from 12pm until 2.30pm, you may get a few spooky surprises at this tasty tea. Costs £24.50.

And for your diary at a later date ...

Horrible Histories at Sunderland Empire - Wednesday, November 21 until Saturday, November 24: Bringing the past to life with the Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians - a real treat for the whole family!