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Celebrate Half Term and Halloween In The Whirligig Woods

witch in Whirligig Woods
12 Oct 2021

Head to The Whirligig Woods this October half term and Halloween for lots of Autumn fun from Wild Rumpus. 

The award-winning outdoor event producers Wild Rumpus, creators of Just So Festival and Lanterns at Chester Zoo are opening up their woodland for a series of special family events.

The events range from October half term activities to spooky films and even a theatrical Halloween adventure for families, all taking place in the atmospheric woodland of The Whirligig Woods near Kidsgrove. 

The eclectic programme takes activities that would normally happen inside into the great outdoors, asking audiences to look at the world differently and question their relationship with nature. All of the events are affordable for families, with all tickets costing less than £10. 

The half-term activities will including a Drawing Day on Monday 25 October, where everyone aged 7 and over can release their inner artist and be inspired by the woodland around them. On Tuesday 26 October, green-fingered families can build their own terrarium, the perfect ecosystem for plants, and learn all about plant identification.  

Writer Bernadette McBride hosts a Nature Writing for Children Workshop on Wednesday 27 October, in which kids will get the chance to write their own story inspired by the woods and take part in lots of nature-inspired activities around boosting self-esteem. Families can unwind in an Introduction to Mindfulness class on Thursday 28 October, where they will explore the art of mindfulness and learn some practical tools which can be integrated into daily life.  

And the whole family can let their imaginations loose in a Puppetry Workshop with Mike from acclaimed street arts company Dizzy O’Dare on Friday 29 October, where they’ll create their own traditional Japanese Bunraku puppet and learn a few techniques to breathe life into their creations. 


Along with the half term activities , Wild Rumpus will also be hosting some fun Halloween events.  

Families can go on a spooky Halloween adventure to meet Baba Yaga, the Witch of the Whirligig Woods, on Sunday 31 October. They can explore the magical woodland and encounter a host of strange characters on their quest to stop the witch’s evil spell for another year – and maybe get a treat in return! Baba Yaga’s Halloween Adventure is a 30 minute theatrical exploration through the woods, suitable for children ages 5+ and their families. See here for details and how to book. 

Film fans can also experience two spooky film screenings in Wild Rumpus’ woodland cinema. Families can enjoy Tim Burton’s acclaimed musical Corpse Bride (PG) on Saturday 30 October at 3pm – fancy dress encouraged! And older film fans can watch a night-time screening of the original handy-cam chiller The Blair Witch Project (15) with the woods as the perfect scary backdrop, on Saturday 30 October at 8pm. 

Audiences are encouraged to bring a pillow (to snuggle up with or hide behind!) and a blanket to keep cosy. The screenings will take place under cover but audiences are asked to wear sturdy shoes and warm, waterproof clothing. 

See here for more details about the screening see here. 

Rowan Cannon, Co-Director of Wild Rumpus, said: 

‘It’s wonderful to be opening up The Whirligig Woods again this autumn after the success of our events last year. We love seeing people’s faces when they come to the woods for the first time – it’s such a magical place to be and it’s wonderful to be able to share it with our audiences. Families have spent so much of the past 18 months indoors and we can’t wait to welcome them to have fun in the woods! I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Baba Yaga in our Halloween Adventure for families and to snuggling up to watch Corpse Bride in our outdoor cinema.’  


Sarah Bird, Co-Director of Wild Rumpus, said: 
‘We’re passionate about the great outdoors and believe that when people take part in arts and culture outside, something quite amazing can happen. We’re all about creating events that inspire awe and wonder, and we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to the woods this year for more workshops and activities. I’m really excited to build a terrarium and take part in the introduction to mindfulness workshop in the half term workshops with my family.’  

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