These Durham October half term events are a great opportunity to enjoy some time with all the family. Here's what's on.
Our county is full of family-friendly venues all busy with activities, and the October half term is no exception. The Durham half term dates run from Saturday October 26 to Sunday November 3 2019. So how will you be spending the week the school holidays?
Halloween falls during the October half term so we've pulled those events into a separate story - if you want to see what's on, see our Durham Halloween family events.
October half term events in Durham #1: Discovery Club, Bowlees Visitor Centre
The Bowlees Visitor Centre in Teesdale (DL12 0XF) holds a Discovery Club on the last Saturday of the month, and in October it's on the 26th. Annual membership is £5 or it's £1 per session. Booking is advised. This month's theme is stardom. Call 01833 622145 for more details.
See more Teesdale events on our Teesdale page.
October half term events in Durham #2: Bell Chamber Open Afternoon, Durham Cathedral
A rare opportunity to see first hand how the bells of Durham Cathedral are rung and see the bells themselves. It's on October 26 at 1.30pm and is run by the Durham Catherdral Guild Of Bellringers. Usual tower charges apply of £5 adults and £2.50 children eight to 17.
October half term events in Durham #3: Diwali Late Night Opening, Durham Oriental Museum
The Durham Oriental Museum is holding a special late night opening on October 26 from 6-8pm, to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. There'll be a shadow puppet show, traditional puja prayers to the goddess Lakshmi, food tasting, games, and dancing.
The first 100 children will receive a free flower garland. It costs £7 for tickets including food, or £2 without. Book on the Eventbrite page.
Also on at the Durham Oriental Museum on October 26 is Mummy Masks, from 1-3pm. See the Ancient Egyptian mummy masks on display and decorate your own mask to take home. Call 0191 334 5524 for more information.
Read next: Durham Cathedral launches new exhibition
October half term events in Durham #4: Fly, various venues
Fly is a puppet theatre about the circus. Arthur and Marta are two very old puppeteers, who have been together for life. The poor orphan boy Max, is being bullied – and is always longing to fly, even when he starts travelling with a circus. But one day he meets the giraffe woman Lily, and the great love that might give him wings.
It's part of TakeOff Festival, England's leading festival of theatre for children from October 22-26. Fly is on at Blackhall Community Centre on October 25 at 1pm and the Joachim Room, College of St Hild and St. Bede on October 26 at 4pm. It lasts 40 minutes. Tickets cost £10 adults and £7 children (adult tickets £7 when booked with a child ticket), family ticket £24. Go to the Theatre Hullabaloo booking page to buy.
Also as part of TakeOff Festival is Is this a Dagger? at Gala Theatre, which takes audiences on a thousand-year journey from fact to fiction and back again, in a telling of Shakespeare's classic tale Macbeth. It's on October 26 at 10.30-11.30am and 2-3pm. Book on the booking site.
Another TakeOff event is Jabberbabble, at The Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College. Four birds and one nest. Nobody understands their jibber jabber lingo. What if we don’t speak the same language, but still manage to understand each other? Maybe, before long, we won't be strangers anymore. It's on October 25 and 26 and the same ticket prices apply - book here.
October half term events in Durham #5: Locomotion family fun
There's lots to do at the railway museum Locomotion in Shildon for the Durham half term. Become the next Stephenson or Gresley by building an icon of the National Collection, or explore the collection through word searches, crosswords and picture trails. It's on every day and entry is free.
October half term events in Durham #6: Celebrate Science, Palace Green
Head to Palace Green in Durham from October 29-31 for Durham University's Celebrate Science event. This free event includes children's events, activities, workshops and experiments. Head to the programme to see what's on.
October half term events in Durham #7: The Big Drawer, Auckland Project
Part of the Big Draw Festival 2019, these creative sessions will be based on 'Taking Flight', an idea put forward in community consultation sessions with artist Alison Curry in response to The Big Draw's #DrawnToLife theme.
It's on October 26 to November 1, 10am to 4pm at the Auckland Tower, Bishop Auckland Market Place, DL14 7NP. Phone 01388 743 750 for more information.
October half term events in Durham #8: Teesdale Art Net Art Day, TCR The Hub
This art day at the TCR Hub in Barnard Castle (DL12 8TD) is run by Teesdale Art Net, on October 26 10am to 4pm. There are taster art workshops provided by experienced artists, and lunch is included. Tickets cost £30 adults, £10 students. Contact Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01833 631531/07786 602619 to book.
October half term events in Durham #9: Kids Go Free Days, Killhope Lead Mining Museum
On Mondays during school holidays, children go free to Killhope Lead Mining Museum. For more details call 01388 537505.
October half term events in Durham #10: Battlebus Gaming, Lanchester Garden Centre
Climb on board the Battlebus to take part in multiplayer gaming, including Xbox and PlayStation. It's on October 28 2.30-3.45pm; it costs £10 per child including refreshments, and is advance booking only, from lanchestergardencentre.co.uk/events