oct half term (1)

Fun-packed half-term in Reading for families this October

  • Free and low-cost activities on offer this October half-term across Reading
  • Live theatre, arts and crafts, workshops and more to keep the kids entertained

FAMILIES can look forward to a host of free and low-cost creative activities and events across Reading for the October half-term.

Reading Museum is hosting a range of Halloween-themed trails, family activities, and crafts celebrating local history.

Can you spot all the bats hiding in the museum galleries? Come along to the Brilliant Bats Trail between 10am and 4pm for £1 and learn all about the world’s only flying mammal. Or drop in on Thursday 27 October to Make and Take a fun, flappy bat. Families, half-hour sessions 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm, £1.

Join the Museum sewing volunteers to learn some sewing basics and craft your very own fishy applique picture. For children ages 7+, places must be booked in advance for £2. Visit: www.readingmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/make-fishy-picture-with-fabric.

For young visitors with SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disabilities), the free Museums, My Way sessions will return to The Museum of English Rural Life on 24 October. Developed with Autism Berkshire, sessions provide a safe environment to explore the museum at quiet times, with sensory backpacks and ear defenders, break out rooms, and reduced gallery noise. More information is available at: www.merl.reading.ac.uk/event/museums-my-way.

For full details of half-term activities at Reading Museum, click here: www.readingmuseum.org.uk/holiday-fun-reading-museum.

The crafting fun continues with Reading Libraries. Join in with the spooky Halloween crafts at Southcote Library, suitable for children 4-10 with their grown-ups.

  • Saturday 22nd October 10.30 - 11.30am
  • Saturday 29th October 10.30 - 11.30am

At Central Library, children of all ages are invited to join Spooky Spaghetti Skeletons and Spooky Stories on Monday 24 October, 10:30-11:30am.

For budding artists, Caversham Library’s spooky craft sessions are aimed at children aged 4-8. Drop in on Thursday 27 October, 2.00 - 3.30pm.

There is a £1 charge per participating child and no need to book, just drop in.

Why not rediscover the Library Service’s Rhymetimes at Central, Battle, Tilehurst and Southcote Libraries? All sessions last for 25 minutes and are free to attend. To find out more, visit: www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/rhymetimes.

The Big Draw Festival returns to New Directions College on Tuesday 25 October, with an inspiring programme of free activities. The Big Draw is a worldwide celebration of drawing as a tool for learning, expression, and invention.

The morning session runs from 10am until 12 noon, with an afternoon session running from 12:30 until 2:30pm. Everyone is welcome to participate free of charge, children under-16 must be accompanied by an adult. To book your free places and find out more: www.newdirectionsreading.ac.uk/the-big-draw-festival-2022_23/

For families looking to get out and about, there are many beautiful parks and gardens in Reading with play areas and space to play games. The new Ranger Station at Prospect Park now offers an accessible 9-hole mini-golf and low ropes activity course for children under 7: www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/active-reading/

In celebration of Black History Month, Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO) is hosting a free steel band workshop for kids, 25 October at CultureMix Music and Arts Centre, Queens Walk, Reading. Find out more at: https://culturemixarts.co.uk/entertainment/events-showcases/steel-band-workshops/.

Rise and Fall, a poetic and intriguing performance for young audiences about holding on and letting go, comes to South Street on 19 October. Meet all manner of balloons from small floating moons to vast bouncing orbs, suitable for children aged 2+. For more information and to book, visit: www.whatsonreading.com/venues/south-street/whats-on/page-one-theatre-present-rise-and-fall.

A children’s pop concert with a big difference comes to the Hexagon on Wednesday 25 October. Pop Princesses is a musical spectacular starring four fabulous Fairy tale Princesses who just love to sing. Featuring a soundtrack of top pop hits from artists such as Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift. Meghan Trainor and Miley Cyrus, plus all the best songs from all your favourite Films and Musicals. Tickets from £19.50, for more information and to book, visit: www.whatsonreading.com/venues/hexagon/whats-on/pop-princesses.

Enjoy a new take on an old favourite with Rapunzel & The Tower of Doom from Theatre of Widdershins. Suitable for audiences aged 4 and up, this enchanting show promises plenty of body, volume and loads of highlights. South Street, Wednesday 26 & Thursday 27 October, 11.30am & 2pm, to find out more and book visit: www.whatsonreading.com/venues/south-street/whats-on/rapunzel-tower-doom.

The Reading Family Information Service (FIS) has created a dedicated page for Activities in Reading during October Half Term 2022 - including SEND Local Offer Short Breaks this page will be updated regularly as more information comes through.

General Holiday Activity information can be found at: Search Results | Reading Services Guide

For parent carers who need information on childcare, holiday clubs, childminders etc for the school holiday – www.readingfis.org/childcare

Reading’s SEND Short Breaks Offer for half-term is provided by Make Sense Theatre and Reading Football Club Community Trust. From basketball and judo to soft play and theatre workshops, there is something to suit every child’s needs.

For full listings and to book, visit: https://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/family.action?familychannel=3-7.

Our children’s centres, operated by Brighter Futures for Children, will be running a fun-packed programme of activities throughout the half-term week. Special sessions include Spooky Autumn Fun, Little Pumpkins Messy Play, Spooky Sensory Play and Halloween-themed Rhyme and Song. Find full details at: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/for-parents-carers/under-5/childrens-centres/  and on Reading Children’s Centres Facebook page.

Booking for Reading Play’s half-term play clubs is now open. Running at The Hill Primary School, Caversham, from 24 to 29 October, with a cinema trip planned to watch Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, a spooky party, and lots of exciting activities planned. Book your place online at: http://www.readingplay.co.uk/holiday-playclubs/, or email reading.play@reading.gov.uk.

Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, Lead Councillor for Leisure, and Recreation said:

“Keeping children busy and entertained over the holidays without breaking the bank is always a challenge, so I am very pleased we’re able to offer such an exciting low and no-cost programme of events for our young people and their families.

“The Brilliant Bats trail and sewing sessions at Reading Museum sound like enormous fun. Budding musicians can try their hand at a free steel band workshop, or take your seat and enjoy a new spin on an old favourite with Rapunzel & The Tower of Doom at South Street.

“There is also a wealth of activities and support on offer for families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. From theatre workshops to judo, there is something to suit everyone in Reading’s SEND offer.

“If you are looking for an outdoor activity, I’d encourage families to make the most of our family adventure accessible mini-golf course at Prospect Park. Open 10am to 6pm weekdays and 10am to 4pm weekends, just turn up and pay to play!”