Happy Halloween guys!

I'm typing this while listening to Thriller - to get me in the mood...

Now below are two things I've visited recently, both have received glowing reviews from myself, 
for no other reason than they were BRILLIANT.

So apologies I've only covered Essex and London here, but maybe these will give you inspiration 
to make the schlep to Essex - and save ££'s on ridiculously expensive London hotspots.

Also I discovered the Essex Pass - which gives you 50 per cent off on loads of activities, 
days out and restaurants - at £9.99 it's well worth it.


£10.00 for Adult £9.00 for Child Under 2's Free
£1.50 for Pumpkin Carving Kit

Annual Pass £52.00
(better deals online)

Spooky nights 30th and 31st 

Pumpkin Sheep!

From pumpkin orange-sprayed sheep, boo! biscuit making, pumpkin carving, spooky decor and funky halloween tunes  – I really loved our experience at Barleylands farm (where Albie is having his 2nd birthday party).

We queued up for about 20 minutes (it felt like eternity as he kept running away) 
for the miniature train, which was really cute and well worth it.

On entrance to the park, you get a free pass for one train ride. I would have liked the train to have been themed and  few pumpkins/ghosts/ghouls dotted about - perhaps they will do this for their evening events but the day was the standard train ride, which was really enjoyable anyhow.

On doing a bit of research I can see the spooky nights go the whole hog with scary haze maze, witches walk, boo barn, triple decker ghost train, helter skelter & tots rides - it sounds amazing.
I think it'll probably best for 3 years and upwards (haze maze 12a!) so we'll definitely try this next year.

Too much choice....pick your own pumpkin

The pumpkin carving was in a separate area with hay bales, some spooky games 
(bowling and hoopla) they'd decorated the area perfectly.

The stench of stinky pumpkin guts (which isn't too bad, but quite pungent) wafted around the room.
The carving sets couldn't cope with the little tough pumpkins - but I managed to get the lid off anyway - then we both got fed up and decided to head back the farm (not their fault, mine - I'm a crap carver).

Biscuit making was fun, although Albie seemed to just want to eat and not decorate (he's not yet 2).
The entire park had made such an effort and I thought it was a great day out - we stayed from 1.30 to 5pm (he did have an hour nap though!)

Barleylands low-level noise fireworks sell out the minute they advertise, and their christmas event 
is popular too - if you can get tickets to either, I'd highly recommend.

Biscuit eating...*cough* making

Miniature Train Ride

Audley End Halloween Train Ride

Finishes 1st November 6.20pm

Adults/Kids £8.00
Under 2's free
30/31st £10

I couldn't believe that everyone, including the adults, had made an effort to dress up!
I've never been to the Audley End experience, but wow - it was well worth it. Feeling a bit lacklustre in my black skinny jeans and no effort whatsoever - I felt I'd let the side down, but I'll definitely join in next year.

It took us around 45 minutes to get there, parking was fine - it was busy, no extra cost. As soon as you get there the entire walkway is decorated with Halloween paraphernalia and has a buzzy atmosphere despite the miserable, rainy weather. There's no dampening the spirits here!

Trotting to the entrance, there's a warm witchy welcome. Your little one receives a Halloween felt bag which can be doubled up for trick and treating - from the off the experience is positive.

Seeing ghosts & witches pushing along prams (the adults) and tiny little monsters waving 
as you went past was kinda surreal! It must be all down to the venue encouraging all their clients, who seemingly come back year after year.

One of the things I really loved was the warm welcome. The staff were young, all dressed up and really personable and couldn't have been any more helpful - huge kudos to them.

An outdoor hut where food & drinks were offered was warm and welcoming. For £6 you could get a kids meal deal cold or hot. Hot consisted of a monster portion of chips, sausage roll, petit filous, bottle of water (or fruit shoot), crisps and fruit. Hot choccy and cakes were on offer for the adults.

The train itself was a good 40 minutes, the 'witches'  in the forest put on a fun show, and keep the the kids occupied with sweets, there's zombies and ghosts running at you as you go along 
(laugh-a-minute for the adults, poop-your pants for the kids). 

The train whizzes through dark tunnels and the entire forest is decorated to a halloween high standard - you stop every now and again to catch up or wait for another train, but it all adds to the anticipation of what happens next. Even the naughty zombie drinking his energy drink and keeping spirits up made us chuckle ;)

Off we go - Choo Choo!

Mummy keeping warm with Albs

Amazing Audley End Train 

I won't spoil the experience for you, but highly recommend you try it.
If you can't make the Halloween event, there's plenty of time to book for Christmas, 
which I can only imagine will be even more magical and I can't WAIT to experience.

The venue/house is absolutely beautiful, and used a lot for weddings - I've yet to experience it but 
I'm sure I will soon. It still looked so inviting (despite it being a rainy day).

The main event is in the field in front of the house. There's no rubbish floating about, it's clean throughout (despite gloopy mud) the train drivers and everyone dons outfits  and they even wipe it down before you get on - wellies are a must though!

You start your journey just behind the food tent - don't be late or they'll start without you 
(but will probably stick you on the next if you did miss your slot).

If your little one wants even more 'choo-choo' experiences, there's a miniature steam train 
which goes around the smaller field for £1, or under 2's free.

The Christmas special is on sale now and starts from the 28th November, don't worry if 
they've sold out - as they hold back a number for on the door walk-ins.

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