HALLOWEEN draws an enormous spiderweb over stately homes, farms and country parks alike, this October half term.
There’s a special service on the Spa Valley Railway on October 29-30, with Dr Frankenslime journeying into insanity aboard the steam-hauled Trick or Treat Express service. He is trying to build himself a bride, but if you somehow manage to make it back to the station in one piece, the mad doctor’s experiments continue at Tunbridge Wells West Station, with the production of glow-in-the-dark slime. Samples available to take away! Halloween weekend in addition to weekday services over half term.
There’s fun amid the twisted trees, shadows and fleeting creatures of Bedgebury every day from October 22-31 (10am-4pm). Self-led activity sheets also available.
Groombridge Place and Once Upon a Wish Events throw open the doors to the other side from October 22-30. In ‘Witch and Wizard School’, your potions training work includes making your own bubble snake! Also on are the ‘Spooky Disco’, ‘Pumpkin Hunt’, ‘Pumpkins and Pixie Dust’ show, the ‘Halloween Show’ and more.
At Hever Castle, the costumes enter on child-back, galloping through a dead-zone of witches, zombies, skeletons and bats, searching for the hidden letters to spell out a mystery word. Meanwhile, if young visitors manage to escape the spell of the storytellers, they can preparing the ground for vampire EXCLUSION zones next year – by planting garlic bulbs.
At Penshurst Place & Gardens, the outdoor garden trail is structured around the story of ‘The Failed Witch Heist’, in which children search for clues to help coven elder Agnes Clara protect her spellbook from thieves (October 24-28). Indoors, draw close to the fireplace in the medieval Baron’s Hall for a ‘not-too-spooky’ tale from soothsayer Doctor John Dee (October 24-28).
The Hop Farm near Paddock Wood is offering children’s rides, tricks and treats, with a Halloween trail featuring themed arts and crafts, candle-making and pottery painting. Fancy dress encouraged.
On Stage & Screen
Screening at Trinity Theatre tonight at 8pm (September 28) Vanessa van Zuylen’s ‘Eiffel’ treats viewers to striking cinematography in this fast-paced film of forbidden passion. A contributor to the Statue of Liberty project, civil engineer Gustave Eiffel is under pressure from the French government to design something spectacular for the 1889 Paris World Fair, even though all he wants to work on is the Paris Métro. Everything changes when he crosses paths with a woman from his past who inspires him to change the Paris skyline forever…
Master of the one-liners Milton Jones arrives at The Assembly Hall Theatre next Monday (October 3), strangely without any disguise given that he plans to have a good gossip about his past career as a spy. He says: “Milton Impossible is a show about my career as a spy. Some people say that they really love it, others that they can’t believe the sheer number of stupid jokes in it, and one old man in Bolton said, ‘It’s just what we need at the moment.’ (None of them said these things to me directly, but I still own a lot of powerful listening equipment).”
The following night (October 4) at the Assembly Hall, Europe’s leading ABBA tribute group, Abbamania, play a sensational two-hour show of timeless hits from ‘Waterloo’ to ‘Dancing Queen’. So, dust off your platforms, put on your flares and come along and enjoy an unforgettable night!
Also on October 4 is the international award-winning smash hit ‘Bromance’ at the E.M. Forster Theatre. The five-star circus show has relationships at its heart, where handshakes become handstands and backslaps become backflips. Audacious, touching exhilarating, and with a great soundtrack, this performance of cutting-edge physical heroics combines the acrobatics of circus with the emotional punch of theatre.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to show off your talents or fancy an evening of music from up-and-comers, open mic nights at Even Flow on St John’s Road bring a new wave of entertainment to town. Join the family-run record store and coffee shop this Thursday (September 29) and the last Thursday of every month, as you enjoy a tipple or two and a bite to eat.
The Grey Lady Sessions have been going since August 2005, offering an intimate candlelit live music experience. This Friday (September 30), enjoy two of the local area’s finest original acts as Frances Yonge and Jennifer Lee Ridley perform. Doors open at 7:15pm and tickets can be purchased for £10. Arrive early at The Pantiles venue to enjoy the well-stocked bar and Mediterranean menu.
Internationally-recognised touring and recording artist and award-winning guitarist Ben Poole takes to The Forum on October 6. Nominated as one of the ‘Best Blues Guitarists in the world’, the singer-songwriter is very much at the forefront of the world’s blues-rock scene. Described as ‘the full package’ by Maverick Magazine, this night is not one to miss and tickets can be bought for £15.
Join Mr Tom Carradine on the ‘Ol’ Joanna’ as he presents an evening of timeless songs with audience participation on September 30 at The Green Duck Coffee House & Bar on Grosvenor Road. Let your host lead you through a traditional cockney sing-along, with classics from the music hall era, both World Wars, the West End stage and traditional songs from across the decades. Tickets cost £20 per person which includes an antipasti board.
As the air turns crisp and we say our final goodbyes to summer, pack your walking boots and head over to Hever Castle to enjoy autumn colour throughout October. Rich yellow, red, and orange leaves form the backdrop to the castle’s line-up of events and activities.
Autumn at Arty Farty Retreat in Southborough sees a host of fantastic workshops for all ages. From creative expressions to ceramics and watercolours, kids can be a part of a creative community. Join the Retreat on October 4 for the Kids Create weekly afterschool club, where children can express themselves, socialise and collaborate and enjoy different projects each week.
There are just three days left to take advantage of savings this September at Bewl Water. Book now and save up to 20 per cent on activities including children’s cycle hire, camping, laser challenge and the aqua park.