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October half term: play time in the forest

The October half term holidays are almost upon us.  It’s time for a few days in the forest; boots on, bug catchers at the ready, camera poised to capture the memories.

It seems we have only just sent the children back to school, with their slightly too big uniforms, their shiny shoes and their air of nervous anticipation. The routine has just about been dusted off and Sunday nights are once again a flurry of signing letters, ironing uniform, last minute homework and lost reading books. And now it’s half term. Already.

Send the children out to play

Wondering how to fill the days with half term activities that limit the inevitable screen-time? Here’s a suggestion: head for the forest and rediscover the pleasures of the great autumnal outdoors. At Forest Holidays 8 UK locations half term is full of exciting possibilities. Enjoy an activity holiday where most of the activities are simply about putting on your jacket and wellies and getting out there. It’s a natural environment, where children can be children…and so can adults. Climb trees, collect conkers and play hide and seek during the shortening days.  Get cosy in the evenings and eat pizza, watch movies, and have fun in the hot tub.

Half term feature 2

Meet the Forest Ranger

Every Forest Holidays location has a dedicated Forest Ranger who knows all that is worth knowing about the forest life. Learn woodland skills, from den-building to fire-lighting and woodland survival. During the day the children can go on bug catching expeditions, treasure hunts and nature trails, and by night, join the Forest Ranger for Dusk Watch and Night Watch walks, where night vision goggles will reveal the secret life of the forest.  They’ll go back to school with a month’s worth of education and they won’t even realise it.

The ultimate activity holidays

Hire bikes and follow the forest trails, pack a picnic; even in October the kids will enjoy eating outdoors. If you dare, take to the water. Canoeing down the river Wye next to our Forest of Dean location is an experience the children will remember for the rest of their lives. Or how about fishing on the loch at Argyll, or gorge walking the River Croe at Strathyre? At Blackwood Forest and Keldy try Great Big Tree Climbing. Getting up there is a challenge, coming back down by zipwire is thrilling. And don’t forget for most of us, Halloween falls during the October half term break; every Forest Holiday location will have spooky goings-on to scare and thrill kids and parents alike.

Family nights in a cosy cabin

Long days, out in the fresh air and constantly on the go, should knock the children out. Back at your cabin, the hot tub will be a hit, but not necessarily relaxingly so, at least until the children are safely tucked up in bed. Slow the pace down with a movie night. Choose from over 100 films, order pizzas through your TV to be delivered to your cabin door and cuddle up on the sofa for a great family night. Then, of course, when the kids have gone to bed, reclaim the hot tub and spend an hour simply relaxing beneath the stars, congratulating yourself on what a great parent you are….

The forest experience

They say that if you buy your children things, the pleasure depreciates from the moment they receive them; give them experiences and the value continues to grow, long after the experience has finished. This October half term break, choose to give them experiences on a Forest Holiday. We’ve still got some space at most of our forest locations so book some time with your children. It will nourish their souls – at least until Christmas!

Half term feature 1

Did you know?

  • Recent studies suggest that “playing out” time has halved in a generation.
  • Outdoor play reduces children’s stress levels, allows them to be independent, and is even good for their eyesight

Five useful links to the great outdoors