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  • Writer's pictureThe Parents' Guide to

Things you and your teen can do this October half-term - 2023

It can be tough knuckling down to school after the long summer holidays, but October half-term is nearly here and it'll be time for a break. Want to spend some time with your teen while they’re off? We’ve got some ideas to inspire you.

Go to the cinema

If the weather's bad, it can be lovely to cosy up at the cinema and watch something on the big screen. New releases planned for October include Killers of the Flower Moon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, The Great Escaper and Trolls Band Together.

Pumpkin Picking

What better way to celebrate Halloween than by finding a local farm to go pumpkin picking? It’s a great way for your teen to find out that pumpkins don’t just appear washed and cut on supermarket shelves! Search google and you’re bound to find a local farm offering Pick Your Own Pumpkins. There might be a small fee, but it won’t break the bank and you can all enjoy fresh pumpkin food afterwards – such as pumpkin soup, pumpkin rice, pumpkin pie or pumpkin curry. Don’t forget to make Jack o’Laterns with the pumpkin shells afterwards.

Dark Arts season at The Making of Harry Potter – Hertfordshire

It’s pumpkins galore as The Great Hall is themed with flickering and flying Jack o’Laterns in honour of Halloween. Running 15 September until 5 November.

Adrenaline junkie?

If you can bear the thrill of the ride, when not make it a family outing to a local theme park? There’s bound to be somewhere near you that offers the chance to let loose for the day, and many are family-themed if you want to include younger siblings too.

Go zip lining

If your teen’s a bit of a daredevil, they’ll love soaring tree to tree and taking in the views below. Go Ape has locations all over the UK, and there are other aerial adventure parks too. As well as the adrenaline rush, they’ll enjoy terrific views of the turning trees at this time of year

Go out for a coffee

Creating special times doesn’t have to be expensive or dramatic. An hour or so, sitting together without interruptions can be a real joy. Speciality teas and coffees are also a treat, especially if you don’t have a coffee maker at home. And why not indulge in a luxurious slice of cake while you’re there?

Dive into a book

Reading for pleasure is a wonderful way to escape without moving anywhere at all. Any type of reading helps improve vocabulary and communication, so maybe your teen could dive into a book this holiday. For those that don't like to read, listening to an audiobook or podcast could offer an alternative with similar benefits.

Many books (free eBooks)

Shop together

If shopping’s your bag, a day out at the shopping centre could prove a good bonding experience with your teen. Whether it’s window shopping, getting ahead with Christmas gifts or treating them to some new autumn outfits, it’s a day out they’re bound to love. With eateries and entertainment on site, there are other distractions too - and maybe even some early Christmas decorations to admire!

Interests and hobbies

If you’re wondering what other things your teen can do over this academic year and beyond that they’ll enjoy and that will help them develop key skills, we’ve compiled plenty of ideas, whether your teen’s the adventurous sort or prefers quieter activities. Do take a look at:

Inspiring ways for your teen to stand out from others

If you’d like to know how your teen can build their character, develop skills, stand out from others and improve their chances of success at interviews, all while doing things they enjoy, read our suggestions in The Parents’ Guide to Standing out from the crowd. It includes sections on:

  • Self-development and increasing confidence;

  • Getting work experience (including virtual placements);

  • Benefits of research and how to take a different approach;

  • How different hobbies impact mental and physical health;

  • Which hobbies hone different transferrable skills

  • Recommendations for non-curricular online courses


We always love to hear from you, so do let us know if there are any subjects you’d like us to chat to you about. Stay safe and keep happy, Vanessa and Darius -


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