How does a family that does not celebrate Halloween cope with the mayhem and madness that surrounds this spooky annual occurrence? By taking ourselves to someplace that does Halloween, of course!
Confused? Let me explain. We are celebrating Roald Dahl 100 this year. My son has been learning all about Dahl’s brilliant works at school and is absolutely taken by his fantabulous stories. We even speak Gobblefunk at home most days. Well, he does, and then translates it into plain English for my benefit.
Tatton Park, a beautiful National Trust property in the North West of the UK, has joined in with the year-long festivities to mark Roald Dahl 100. We explored the trail of the Enormous Crocodile and Fantastic Mr. Fox over the summer. But there is so much more to see and do, that we headed back over this half-term to experience some more of Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures in Tatton Park.
Turns out, the Park has been bewitched! Dahl’s The Witches is the inspiration behind Tatton’s transformation for Halloween this season. We were greeted by The Twits as we made our way into The Gardens. Not before J had posed with his favourite BFG in the courtyard.
Witty tombstones, dangly skeletons and rows of pumpkins lined the walls to the ticketing counter. Once in, it was a game of spotting all the Roald Dahl installations in the garden, while avoiding the witches that lay hidden around the trails.
J had a laugh clambering into The Giant Peach in the middle of a flower meadow and pretending to be James. He then went off to find the caravan and garage from Danny The Champion of the World and was delighted to encounter the gamekeeper warding pesky kids off his property. Trust a five year old to laugh in the face of authority!
Our favourite part was spotting a replica of Roald Dahl’s writing hut. I love how much the author has captured J’s imagination – he now talks about having his own writing area at home. The funniest part was spotting the witches dotted around the garden and pretending they were real. We screamed, ran and in the end, posed for selfies with some of the ghouls.
After a quick ice-cream stop in the Courtyard, we headed to The Mansion, where Matilda is in residence at the moment. We followed a trail around the rooms trying to spot Matilda’s favourite books. We also had a go at completing a Halloween trail around the house. It was fun trying to count all the mice and all the sweeties that lay scattered around. We ended up with 3 fewer mice and 3 too many sweeties!
There was no time to head over to The Old Hall to see its Halloween transformation. Word has it that it has been transformed into Hotel Magnificent and is hosting a smashing Halloween party. Guests are encouraged to dress up for the occasion.
The Halloween festivities continue at Tatton Park till 30 October, but Roald Dahl 100 carries on till the end of the year. We are looking forward to a glorumptious Dahl Christmas at Tatton, and can’t wait to head back in a few weeks’ time.
In the meantime, check out this easy 3-step Halloween paper pumpkin craft if you are looking for some last-minute inspiration.