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Keep busy this autumn half term with our nine things to do in Suffolk and north Essex

PUBLISHED: 08:31 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:31 24 October 2017

The Bavarian tastes of Oktoberfest will soon be coming to Castle Park, Colchester. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

The Bavarian tastes of Oktoberfest will soon be coming to Castle Park, Colchester. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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The autumn half term is approaching as quick as the leaves are falling, so make sure you’re one step ahead and get your days planned with our guide.

The Marks Hall garden in autumn. Picture: JERRY HARPURThe Marks Hall garden in autumn. Picture: JERRY HARPUR

Half Term Halloween Hunt, Marks Hall

October 21-October 22

Take the children to enjoy a walk around the beautiful Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum while they learn all about some of nature’s darker secrets.

The halloween hunt is full of scary facts and gruesome details all about the nature around the site, and visitors will gets to see Marks Hall’s Screaming Oak.

At the end of the hunt you will be rewarded with a munchkin pumpkin to take home, so don’t forget to collect it from the kiosk when you finish.

Admission for adults is £6.10, over 60s cost £5.50, children between five and 16 cost £2.75, family tickets are £14.50 and the trail leaflet is an additional £1.50.

For more information visit their page.

Colchester Zoo will be holding Fright Nights across this autumn half term. Picture: VISITESSEXColchester Zoo will be holding Fright Nights across this autumn half term. Picture: VISITESSEX

Fright Night, Colchester Zoo

October 21, 24, 26, 28 and 31

The brilliant Colchester Zoo will be keeping its doors open until 9.30pm for a Fright Night for those who dare to stay after dark.

There will be special late night attractions to get your hair standing on end, along with great lighting effects around the zoo and after dark feedings.

Access to the park on their Fright Nights is included in the standard admission price, but the special attractions will require a wrist band for £5 per person.

Standard adult tickets cost £22.99, children between three and 15 years cost £15.99, over 60s are £20.99 and disabled guests and their assistants cost £11.50 each. E-tickets are available for 10% cheaper, and 20% after 5pm.

For more information visit their page.

A foal grazes in the sun at Easton Farm Park.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA foal grazes in the sun at Easton Farm Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Half Term Fun at Easton Farm Park

October 21-October 29

Take the family for a fantastic day out to the Easton Farm Park over this half term for half the normal price.

You and your family are spoilt for choice on activities, whether you enjoy a family train ride, hug a bunny, horse rides, meet their Suffolk Punch horse and other animals, explore the green trail around 35 acres of river and so much more.

You can either sit down and enjoy a meal at the farm park’s Barmy Barn Cafe, or bring your own picnic and relax in the sheltered picnic barn.

Tickets cost £4.50 per person.

For more information visit their page.

Learn all about potions and make your own wands at Kentwell Hall. Picture: RICHARD MARSHAMLearn all about potions and make your own wands at Kentwell Hall. Picture: RICHARD MARSHAM

Halloweenies: Kentwell’s School of Sorcery, Kentwell Hall

October 21-October 29

Calling all witches and wizards this October half term, get on your broomsticks and fly to the Tudor mansion for a magical experience.

Take your children for a morning or afternoon to make their very own wands, meet magnificent birds of prey, witness The Great Edmundo’s magic show, attend potion class and test your broomstick skills around their own obstacle course.

Kentwell Hall’s moat house building cannot accommodate pushchairs and has limited disability access.

Online booking begins at £7.45 for children up to six years, ages seven to 13 cost £8.45 and everyone else costs £9.95, prices on the day will be slightly more expensive.

For more information and to book tickets visit their page.

Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park, near Lowestoft. Picture: James BassPleasurewood Hills Theme Park, near Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass

Pleasurewood Chills, Lowestoft

October 21-October 29

Get into the halloween spirit as you join Pleasurewood Hills’ Woody and friends to make your half term one to remember.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the fantastic rides they have to offer, as well as a whole array of free spooky activities.

Attractions include Woody’s Spooktacular Shows in the Castle Theatre each day, trick or treat, mask making, pumpkin carving and Woody’s Spooky Parades.

Fancy dress is encouraged and they will be picking winners for the spookiest dressed.

The park opens from 10am-4pm and admission for over 12s cost £22 (£20 online), 11 and under cost £19 (£17 online and over 65s cost £16 (£15 online).

For more information and to book tickets visit their page.

Jeremy Bulloch as Boba Fett, who will be at the Sci-Fi & Action Exhibition 2017 at Moyse's Hall, and David Prowse as Darth Vader with Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDJeremy Bulloch as Boba Fett, who will be at the Sci-Fi & Action Exhibition 2017 at Moyse's Hall, and David Prowse as Darth Vader with Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Sci-Fi & Action Exhibition 2017, Moysey’s Hall Museum

October 21-November 26

The Hollywood red carpets meets the market town of Bury St Edmunds as visitors get to see real screen-used costumes and props.

Actor Jeremy Bulloch, Star Wars’ most feared bounty hunter, Boba Fett, will be at the exhibition launch on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22.

Props such as Wolverine’s ‘adamantium’ claws worn by Hugh Jackman in X-Men: The Last Stand and Halle Berry’s Storm costume and much more will be on display throughout the exhibition.

There are also drop-in workshops on October 24 and 27 from 11am, and visitors can meet a storm trooper on October 25 from 11am. The exhibition finishes on Sunday, November 26, and more activities will be confirmed.

Adult tickets cost £5, children cost £3, family tickets are available for £15 and heritage ticket holders can go free.

The Colchester Mercury Theatre will be holding the jurassic Dinosaur World over half term. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe Colchester Mercury Theatre will be holding the jurassic Dinosaur World over half term. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

For more information visit their page.

Dinosaur World, Mercury Theatre Colchester

October 23-October 24

Take the family and come face-to-face with everyone’s favourite giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex in this brand new interactive show.

Visitors will join an explorer across undiscovered territories and meet a whole range of jaw-dropping creatures.

Other favourite pre-historics such as the Triceratops, Giraffatitan and Segnosaurus and more will be coming out of extinction for this Jurassic live show.

The shows will take place on Monday, October 23, at 2pm and 4.30pm, and Tuesday, October 24 at 11am and 2pm for people aged three and up. Tickets cost between £12 and £16.

Do you fancy staying the night at Layer Marney Tower this half term? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDo you fancy staying the night at Layer Marney Tower this half term? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

For more information and to book tickets visit their page.

The Big Halloween Sleep Over, Layer Marney Tower

October 26

The Long Gallery at Layer Marney Tower hasn’t been slept in since the Tudor times, but now the public have the chance to stay the night. 
Arriving at 8pm on Thursday, visitors will be taken to their sleeping quarters before enjoying a dinner of burgers and sausages in the nearby courtyard.

Afterwards, you will make your way to the top of the tower where you can listen to stories, play apple bobbing, carve pumpkins and then go for a night walk, sit by a bonfire and toast marshmallows.

Tickets cost £25 per person and only 35 are available.

To book, call: 01206 330784

Experience the tastes of Germany at Oktoberfest at Castle Park, Colchester.Experience the tastes of Germany at Oktoberfest at Castle Park, Colchester.

Oktoberfest, Colchester

October 27-October 28

The famous Oktoberfest will be bringing the taste of Germany to Colchester’s Castle park for the first time.

People will be able to enjoy the fantastic tastes of Bavarian food and drink, as well as heaps of traditional entertainment.

It will take place in one of the largest beer tents in Europe and will be joined by some of the best oompah bands that will be sure to get you thigh slapping and foot tapping.

The sessions will take place on Friday evening between 6pm and 11pm, Saturday afternoon between noon and 5pm and in the evening between 6pm and 11pm.

Standing tickets cost between £10-£15, seated tickets cost between £15-£20 and VIP tables for 10 people cots £375.

For more information and to book tickets visit their page.

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