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Autumn activities for families


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Autumn is here but a lot of our usual plans may have had to be adapted in the current times. For those of you with families it is coming up to half term and it is probably more of a struggle than normal to find events which have not been cancelled to keep the children entertained. But don't worry, I have some fun autumn ideas for you to enjoy in our local area which still Covid-safe and socially distanced! [Disclaimer - at the time of writing all events were still on!]

Go to a pumpkin patch 

I took my children to Undley Pumpkin Patch and Maize Maze at the weekend and they loved it. Free to enter, you do still have to book tickets for this event to ensure they provide a safe environment for pumpkin patch staff and visitors to enjoy. Open at weekends and October half term, this 75-acre area has more than enough room to allow for social distancing. Wander round the fields of pumpkins and gourds and pick the ones you want to buy - we ended up buying nine! Even the wheelbarrows are sanitised in between use. There is a maize maze, which is 25 acres big. For every paying person entering the maze, 50p is donated to the NHS. My kids loved the walking magician to entertain the crowd and giant hay bales to play on, as well as donkey rides and face painting. My top tip though it to take wellies as it can get very boggy!

Watch a film under the stars

At the end of October Helmingham Hall is showing various films for a ghostly evening screening, including Stardust, The Addams Family, The Joker and more. These spooky events will feature outdoor cinema and the gardens will be open for a little candlelit stroll. Bring blankets, bring sleeping bags, wear gloves, wear hats, wear scarves and make sure you put your thermals on! Fire pits and hot water bottles can be hired, food is available and mulled cider, hot chocolate and snacks from the bar. Picnics are not allowed. The events are covid-safe; social distancing measures will be in place and in the event of a lockdown they are happy to refund ticket purchases.

Visit a creepy castle

The English Heritage is holding a spooky event at half term for kids at Framlingham Castle this half term, Sat 24-Sun 1 Nov 2020. Follow the trail to solve creepy clues and gather round to listen to spooky stories. There’s a frighteningly fun fancy dress competition every day – just come in your scariest outfits to be in with a chance of winning. They are also holding halloween events at Audley End House and Gardens.

Take a colourful autumn walk

Suffolk has a wealth of beautiful places to explore where you can spot wildlife or enjoy a beautiful forest walk away from the crowds - perfect for recharging your batteries and being alone. From parks and countryside to fields and heaths. Christchurch Park or any of the Ipswich parks are gorgeous at this time of year, head to Rendlesham Forest or visit the sea at Felixstowe, Southwold or Aldeburgh. I love to walk my dogs at Bawdsey or Shingle Street beaches. Why not try a National Trust property such as Sutton Hoo or Ickworth. There's a number of walks to choose from if you're visiting Dunwich Heath this autumn. Look out for birds on their annual migration and listen out for the bellowing call of stags, as we approach the deer rutting season.

Get some exercise

Whatever the weather, you can still get out. Go for a bike ride, jog or long walk with a hot chocolate to warm up afterwards. Perhaps you could hire a rowboat at Dedham or Thorpeness, or a kayak or paddle board at Iken Canoe or Alton Water. Alternatively go swimming or do an at-home fitness class with your friends via Zoom! Get those endorphins making you feel less stressed and more energised.

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