Ideas & Inspiration
Halloween activities in North East England 2023
Halloween activities in North East England 2023
Halloween is great fun and can be a fantastic sensory experience for children, young and old. Various accessible events are held across Newcastle, Durham and the North East, from story telling to craft events to performance shows. We have spent some time researching what’s on this spooky season and listed various events below which may be suitable for our Useful Vision families. Have a spooktacular time!
1. Useful Vision Halloween Arts & Crafts
10, Sunday 29th October 2023 (Pop Recs, High Street West, Sunniside, Sunderland, UK)
Useful vision are delighted to be returning to The Art Room for some seasonal arts and crafts. Join us for a morning of Halloween themed creations along with some light refreshments.
2. Belsay Hall Halloween Half Term
Alongside their spooky walk, they also have various half term events taking place, including spooky story telling. Belsay Hall has recently been developed, with a fantastic new play area outside for children.
Accessibility: If you tie in a visit to the Hall alongside the halloween events, they have hand held devices for an audio – described tour which is great for older children. Tactile map booklets and large print booklets are also available at the door.
English Heritage have accessibility information for all their visitor venues, which you can find in the plan your visit section of each location. The link below guides you through Belsay Hall’s accessibility:
3. Tynemouth Priory & Belsay Hall – Spooky Halloween Walk
Sat 28th – Tues 31st October 5.30pm, 6.30pm & 7.30pm. Hosted by English Heritage.
As the days shorten and the evenings grow darker, join our ghost-hunting storytellers on a family-friendly walk through the shadows of Tynemouth Priory. With well-told tales full of strange and spooky goings-on, this Halloween walk is sure to get you into the spirit of the season.
This is an outdoor, early evening tour. It’s ideal if you’re after a more light-hearted Halloween event for children aged 5-12. Please wear suitable shoes, and be sure to dress for the weather.
Accessibility: Halloween Walks are not ideal for wheelchairs
“As this tour takes place outside, within our gardens and woodland areas, some of the route may be off of the main pathways and instead on grass and/or uneven terrain. It may be difficult to navigate buggies and wheelchairs over this ground. The tour will take approximately 45 minutes and will have 3-4 stopping points where our guides will tell a story, each lasting approximately 5 minutes. Please also be aware that there is likely to be no seating on the route.Accessible toilets and blue badge holder parking is available at our properties. Please check directly with our Customer Services team by calling 0370 333 1181 for further details of the route at each property.”
4. The Bat with No Bite Performance (Northern Stage)
Performances between 28th October and Saturday 3rd November 11am and 2pm
BSL Interpreted performances on 2nd November 11am and 2pm and 4th November 11am. All performances are relaxed performances & Northern Stage is a step free accessible venue, with wheelchair spaces in all stages.
Perfect for children aged 7 and under
Northern Stage, Barras Bridge Newcastle Upon Tyne NE17RH
“In a cobweb covered attic, above a dark and dusty house, a series of spooky surprises unfolds and the coffin lid is lifted on a secret that is best kept out of the sunlight… because you can count on vampires to keep their mouths shut… or can you?
A fang-tastic Halloween treat for little vampires who are losing their milk teeth, aged 7 and under, with music and puppets. From the team that brought you The Gingerbread Man this is a Halloween treat you can really sink your teeth into… Ah ha ha…”
5. Warkworth Castle Halloween Half Term
Grab your broomsticks and get ready for a bewitchingly brilliant day out. Gather round for tales from our spooky storytellers and solve creepy clues in our Halloween Quest. Find out how to kill a monster and discover if you have what it takes to be a Ghost buster!
From Saturday 21 October to Sunday 5 November, you can take part in our Halloween quest and discover magical potion ingredients. Complete the booklet’s activities and solve its creepy clues to become a wonderfully wicked witch’s apprentice!
Accessibility: Unfortunately large print and textured booklets are not available for the castle, though there are accessible toilets and guide dogs are welcomed.
6. Beamish Museums Halloween Evenings –
27th, 28th and 31st October 2023, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. (Limited availability, some events are sold out)
This looks a great sensory experience – “Join us for a special spine-tingling experience as Beamish is transformed into The Un-living Museum of the North. Our cobbled Edwardian street is home to more than just our townsfolk at Halloween, meet the newest inhabitants and enjoy some enthralling entertainment.”
Accessibility: Suitable for wheelchairs. Free wheelchair hire is available at the reception desk.
7. Discovery Museum Halloween Disco’s & Craft Days
31st October – Hartbeeps Toddler Silent Disco
31st October – Spooky silent disco aged 4+ with costume competition and spooky crafts
31st October – Spooky silent disco ages 9 years + Spooky Silent Disco
30th October – Visit the museum and enjoy a range of spooky crafts (audio guided tours are available on request)
1st November -Room on the Broom and Gruffalo Storytime & craft sessions. 3-5 year olds (limited spaces available)
13 top tips for a fun and safe spooky season
Reposted from our blog October 2022
Have a frightfully fangtastic Halloween with Useful Vision’s top tips for visually impaired children, to make sure the scariest night of the year is full of treats, not tricks!
- Plan Your Route
If you’re gearing up to go trick or treating this year, decide on a familiar route so there are no nasty surprises. Consider trying out assistive technology such as the new Door Detection feature from apple so your child can tell exactly which house they’ve reached.
- Extra Lighting
Make sure to stock up on torches and batteries, especially if your child’s vision worsens in low light. You could even incorporate extra lighting into their costume with portable LED lights, as a bonus, they’ll be easy to spot in the dark!
- Go Trick or Treating Earlier
If noise or darkness makes trick or treating at night inaccessible, try going in the afternoon instead. Maybe plan to visit relatives or friends rather than strangers houses for a guaranteed treat!
- Ask family and friends to be mindful
Costumes can make it challenging to work out who’s in front of you and Halloween masks often muffle people’s voices, which can be very disorientating for visually impaired children. Ask your friends, family, or other trick or treaters to introduce themselves clearly, or take off their masks, when greeting your child. Make sure to let your child know if there will be any sudden loud noises, such as fireworks.
- Noise Cancelling Headphones
Following on from our last tip, have a pair of noise cancelling headphones at the ready. Visually impaired children, or those with additional needs, can be extra sensitive to noise and Halloween is often chaotic and loud. Making sure you have a pair of noise cancelling headphones can help your child relax and enjoy the festivities.
Crafts and Games
- Tactile Costumes
Making a costume at home is a great way to encourage kids to get creative and incorporating interesting textures includes visually impaired children in the fun. Transform into a werewolf or witches’ cat with faux fur, wrap up as a toilet paper mummy, cut up old clothes to make a tatty scarecrow costume, or stick cotton wool balls onto a black t-shirt to make ghastly ghosts.
- Face Painting & Hair Braiding
Wearing masks or wigs can limit vision so consider trying out some spooky face paint or creating hair-raising hairstyles instead. Applying face paint and braiding hair can also be a relaxing sensory experience.
What’s better than the smell of freshly baked cookies? Introduce your child to exciting seasonal tastes and smells through baking together. From spider biscuits to meringue monsters, you can find some ghoulishly good baking ideas here.
- Listen to Scary Stories
There’s a wide range of stories to get your fangs into this Halloween. Storyberries have produced a list of spooky stories, suitable for a variety of ages. Webster’s Witches Ugly Potion is a seasonal sensory story, aimed at making storytelling more accessible by incorporating all the senses. You can access more sensory stories and podcasts here.
- Make a Squelchy Sensory Box
Making a hands-on squelchy sensory box is a fun way of incorporating Halloween into a sensory activity. You could mix noodles in a bowl and add spooky accessories such as spiders or eyeballs to feel around for. You could even swap the noodles for even more squelchy materials such as jelly or custard! For those children not keen on using their hands, try turning a wooden spoon into a witch’s ladle to stir the mixture.
- Host a Halloween treasure hunt
If trick or treating isn’t your thing, but you don’t want to miss out on the fun, try hosting a Halloween treasure hunt. You could record audio clues, use scents, or try tactile markers to make a fully accessible trail for treats around the home!
- Make a Halloween Wreath
Collecting fallen leaves, acorns and twigs can be a fun sensory experience and a great way to get out in nature. You can then take your autumnal foliage home and get crafty by making a Halloween wreath. Hobbycraft have an easy step-by-step guide for inspiration!
- Blindfolded Halloween Games
Halloween games where every participant is blindfolded are fully accessible for visually impaired children and great fun for the whole family! Check out this list from our friends at Victa for some inspiration.