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October Half Term Fun 2012
Walk on the wild side
Even though the chainsaws have stopped, there’s still a buzz around South Oxhey. Families can now appreciate the beautiful wood carvings along the new Sculpture Trail in Oxhey Woods Local Nature Reserve. To celebrate the opening there will be a host of fun events, and the highlight of the week is a Celebration Day and Autumn Woodland Harvest where visitors can forage for edible foods from the ancient woods, meet the chainsaw artist and play rangers, plus enjoy music, woodland activities and a guided walk.
Oxhey Woods Local Nature Reserve, Oxhey Drive, South Oxhey. Thursday, November 1, 11am-4pm. The official ribbon cutting ceremony takes place at 2.15pm.
Get in on the act
"Bright eyes, burning like fire" – it could only be Watership Down. Hertfordshire County Youth Theatre presents the touching and loveable story of a group of bunnies looking for a place to call home. Join Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig, Pipkin and Holly in this environment friendly adventure.
Watford Palace Theatre, Clarendon Road, Watford on November 2 and 3 at 7.30pm (plus Saturday matinee at 2pm).
Details: 01923 225671
A light-hearted family performance, Coppelia is the enchanting story of an eccentric toy maker who makes a wonderful, lifelike, mechanical doll. In fact she is so convincing that she unwittingly stands in the way of true love – but only for a while. Presented by the Vienna Festival Ballet, this production is set in traditional style to the music of Delibes.
The Watersmeet Theatre, High Street, Rickmansworth on Tuesday, October 30 at 7.30pm. Details: 01923 711063
Dance along to your favourite TV shows with High School Rocks!, a high-energy, foot-stomping, interactive production featuring all the very best hits from High School Musical 1, 2, and 3, Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and Glee!
Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford on November 1 from 3pm. Details: 0845 075 3993
St Albans based am dram group Breakaway Theatre Company present The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. Dramatised by Lee Hall, this adaptation of the classic 19th Century tale, follows the original story more closely than the well-known animated version. It has much comedy yet is dark in places, so is probably not suitable for very young children.
The Maltings Arts Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans from Tuesday, October30 to Friday, November 2 at 7.45pm. Details: 0844 8700 887, www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo
At Harpenden Public Halls young visitors can enjoy the delightful story of The Selfish Crocodile. Children’s theatre company, Blunderbus brings its new production of the heart-warming tale in which the grumpy reptile gets his come-uppance when a kindly mouse comes to his aid. There will be songs, music and a host of beautiful puppets in this gentle show for ages three to seven.
Harpenden Public Halls, Station Road, Harpenden. Tuesday, October 30 at 11am and 2pm.
Details: 01582 762880
Older children aged nine and up can join the Travelling Light Theatre Company for The Mysterious Vanishment Of Pobby and Dingan, based on the prize-winning debut novel by Ben Rice, which celebrates the enduring power of the imagination.
Trestle Arts Base, Russet Drive, St Albans on Sunday, November 4 at 2.30pm.
Details: 01727 850950
A musical rendition of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Cole Porter’s light-hearted show Kiss Me Kate follows the fortunes of a divorced pair of actors who closely resemble the on-stage characters they play and so indulge in bouts of legendary on-stage sparring. This production by NODA award-winning St Albans Operatic Society promises glorious sets and sumptuous costumes.
Alban Arena, Civic Square, St Albans, Oct 30 to Nov 3 at 7.45pm (Saturday matinee at 2.30pm). Details: 01727 844488, www.alban-arena.co.uk
Children can watch, make and create at the Old Town Hall Theatre. On Saturday, October 27, 11am and 2.30pm, Lempen Puppet Theatre presents a medley of acting, puppet, shadows and music, Ugly Beauty, which is suitable for ages from five. On Sunday, October 28 the Hemel venue opens its doors to the High Street’s Halloween Party. Then it’s time for ages 11 to 14 to get hands-on with the Light Animation Three-Day Workshop running October 29-31, 10am-3pm and featuring an introduction to light animation techniques, story boarding, production, sound recording, editing and screening.Younger visitors aged from seven to 11 can also get to grips with stop motion plasticine animation in the 2012 Plasticine Olympics Two-Day Workshop on November 1 and 2, 10am-3pm.
Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead. Details: 01442 228091
Book yourself on to a free Halloween craft session at Watford Museum. Workshops are suitable for all ages but older children can also join in on the Ghosts and Legends High Street Trail at 4pm where you can discover the gruesome and ghostly tales from Watford's past.
Watford Museum, Lower High Street, Watford on Saturday, October 27, 11am and 3pm. Details: 01923 232297
Get crafty in Rickmansworth with the Family Fun Spooktacular, Family Learning Festival. Three Rivers Museum will be open during the morning for families to visit and enjoy ghostly goings-on while the library is hosting spooky activities, stories and crafts for all the family.
Rickmansworth Library/Three Rivers Museum, High Street, Rickmansworth on October 29 from 10am. Details: 0300 123 4049
Raise your voice and join new choir director and organist Jill Knight for an interactive singing course at Christ Church in Radlett. The course is non-auditioned and open to ages seven to 11.
United Free Church, Station Road, Radlett from October 29-31, 1.30pm-4.30pm daily. Details: www.jillknightmusic.co.uk
Film and fun
Halloween comes to Welwyn’s RollerCity with a themed fancy dress event on the spooked up rink. There are two skating sessions for all ages at 1pm and 3pm, and an over-18s session at 8.30pm. The on-site cinema is showing a series of films starting with Ghostbusters (PG) at 10am, followed by Back To The Future (PG) at 12.15pm and then Jaws (PG) at 3pm. Older children can hang around for the Spanish frightfest Rec 3: Genesis (15) at 5.45pm and recent chill-orama The Possession (15) at 7.45pm. Also back by popular demand is the wackiest fairy tale of them all: Tom Beard’s Fairy Tales of the Unexpected, a high energy, modern reworking of popular children’s favourites such as The Three Little Pigs, The Pied Piper, Goldilocks, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood for ages three to ten.
Halloween at RollerCity and Hawthorne Cinema is on October 31. Fairy Tales of The Unexpected is on Thursday, November 1 at 3pm. Details: 01707 357117, www.hawthornetheatre.co.uk
Art of Halloween
This year, annual art campaign The Big Draw’s theme is Lines so whatever age you are its all about making your mark. Saturday, October 27 see a number of activities at the pop-up shop at 37a Market Place, clay-based craft at the Old Town Hall, build a willow labyrinth in Verulamium Park and enjoy wildlife sessions with students from Marlborough School at Inn on the Park.
St Albans city centre, Saturday, October 27 from 10.30am. Details: www.stalbans.gov.uk/bigdraw
Out and about
Bug your parents to take you to Herts Inclusive Theatre’s Creepy Crawly Puppet Workshop at Aldenham Park. Sessions are for ages up to 15 of varying disabilities. Children can make their own creepy crawly puppets and learn how to bring them to life through movement before performing to a small audience of family, friends and carers.
Aldenham Country Park on Wednesday, October 31, 10.30am-12.30pm (book in advance). Details: 07857 986364
Bats and witches’ hats are among the ghostly arts and crafts items you can create at Frogmore Paper Mill’s drop-in sessions during half term week.
Frogmore Paper Mill & Visitor Centre, Fourdrinier Way, Apsley from October 28 to November 2 at 11am-1pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm. Details: 01442 234600, e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org or www.thepapertrail.org.uk
See things that go bump in the day on this afternoon stroll through the woods in Berkhamsted. The Family Halloween Walk is part of the National Trust Walking Festival 2012.
Ashridge Estate Visitor Centre, Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Berkhamsted on October 31 at 2.30pm. Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
At the Willows Farm Village Pumpkin Festival, visitors can enjoy pumpkin carving, arts and crafts and the Willows Pumpkin Olympics, including an obstacle race, relay races and pumpkin rolling competition.
Willows Farm Village, Coursers Road, London Colney
October 27 to November 4, 10am-5.30pm
Details: 0870 129 9718, www.willowsfarmvillage.com
Butterfly World in Chiswell Green offers a host of creative workshops where you can carve pumpkins, handle creepy crawlies or have a go at sand art. Herts Inclusive Theatre is hosting an Ugly Bug Ball for ages four to ten of all abilities to make and perform with puppets. The workshop will end with a short performance to family, friends and visitors. Book on 07857 986364 or email: email@example.com
Butterfly World, Miriam Lane, off Noke Lane, Chiswell Green. Workshops run October 27-November 3 with Big Draw art sesssions on October 31 at 11am-12.30pm and 1pm-3pm. Herts Inclusive Theatre Ugly Bug Ball is on Thursday, November 1 from 10am-12.30pm. Details: 01727 869203
Hatfield’s Galleria is transforming its Go Wild! play area into a world of spooky fun this half term. Children can crawl, run, swing, slide, play and climb through an assortment of slides, tunnels, rope walks and climbing frames. There’s also a separate soft play area for younger visitors. Look out for wizards and witches on stilts and roller skates leading fun activities from 11am to 4pm, horror make-up, Zombie Zumba dance workshops and The Spell School – where children can learn to perform hair-raising magic tricks.
The Galleria, Comet Way, Hatfield. 27 October to November 4, weekdays 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. Details: www.thegalleria.co.uk