Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Roald Dahl The Witches at Tatton Park - Halloween


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Last Saturday we went to Tatton Park for their Roald Dahl's Tremendous Adventures again, but this time it was for the Halloween fun!

We almost forgot that it was half term holiday (ours doesn't start until next week!), and left the house a little too late, so by the time we got there, there was a long queue for parking already.

We decided to go to The Old Hall first, where the Spooktacular Halloween Party is (read my previous post for the full Tatton Park Halloween event and our previous visit for other Roald Dahl activities that you can do as well). It was kind of a mistake, because by the time we drove back to where the Stable, Mansion and Farm is, the car park was already very full! And by the time we visited the Farm, the Conker Challenge was already over (at 12:30pm and 2:30pm).

So if you are visiting, make sure you can get to the Farm for the Conker challenge, and visit the rest of the attractions before their closing time.


When we heard about the Halloween event, we didn't think it was going to be really spooky. After all, it's based on Roald Dahl's book The Witches. A children's book. Surely it can't be that spooky right? Wrong! I think for younger children, you might want to reassure them with plenty of cuddles. Otherwise it really is a fun Halloween experience for families.

Abby seemed fine and we had lots of giggles (we were pushing each other to go first! For a laugh of course), although Clay was a bit quiet!


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
Heading to the haunted Old Hall!
Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
Warning tape all over the doors!
Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

The old hall is surrounded by an outer wall. When we entered, we found ourselves in a small shop, with the Old Hall's history on one side (decorated with Halloween decorations), and assorted snacks and drinks on the other side, as well as the entrance to the courtyard.

Your ticket (Totally Tatton Twit Ticket!) during this half term includes the entry to the Old Hall. Children will be given a check sheet and pencil on the way in, as well as wristbands.


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
Warning signs everywhere!
Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

There are a lot to do in the courtyard before you get to the Old Hall. For a small fee, you can do face painting, mask decorating, hook a SKULL, shoot (bow and arrow) the ghosts and funfair rides. Story telling and pumpkin activities are free.


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
This adds to the spookiness!
Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
Right: One of the ingredient for ther 

Gradually we made our way towards the main entrance of Hotel Magnificient (the Old Hall), and found one of the Witch Spotter Association member standing there. We were told that they will be very helpful, but he refused to go in with us! I don't blame him though, as soon as he opened the door, and we noticed moving shadows inside the dark hall, we said bye to Abby and attempted to bolt! Eventually we all went into the really dark and creepy hall, treading carefully, and nervously checked each shadow out, making sure that they wereen't real!


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

We then spotted a few live witches! Arghhh! We avoided one, but we couldn't go around the next one who stood there waiting for us to walk pass her. The good thing is that we were ready for her, and that they didn't jump scare us!

We had lots of nervous little giggles, but it got easier afterwards and the kids had the chance to go on their mission, to find all the ingredients that the witches use to make potions that turns children into mice!

I'm well impressed with the right amount of creepiness. It's enough to make it really spooky, but not so much that will frighten children away (although again, keep an eye on young children's emotions, they might be scared but not telling you). We had fun and enjoyed the tour inside the Old Hall.


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
Drove passed the really beautiful lake
Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

After the Old Hall, we drove back to the Stable, parked up and had our picnic in the Picnic Area. It happened to be the Food Lovers Festival as well, so we bought some freshly made Churros to go with our picnic.

Then it's time for seeking out unfortunate children who has been turned into mice in The Mansion!

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

The kids were given another sheet and pencil to write down the number of mice and sweets they've spotted in the Mansion, as well as gathering letters to complete a word.

Children can also follow Matilda's trail at the same time, and look at all the book covers of Roald Dahl's books around the world and through time. There was a school competition for children to design a new cover for Roald Dahl's books, and the winners' design were displayed in The Mansion:

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

We noticed that we haven't fully explored The Mansion during our last visit, and found more rooms to see! The Mansion itself is worth visiting, and the Halloween activity is quite fun to do too.


After that. we quickly walked to the Farm, which was close to closing! You can take a little train to go there, but it was quicker for us to walk from where we were.


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event
The kids named it Bacon!
Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

At the Farm, children and adults can pick a conker from the Witches' Tree, and use it during the conker challenge that starts at 12:30pm and 2:30pm. We missed the challenge, but the kids were happy by just getting a conker from the tree!


Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

Tatton Park, Halloween Half Term Family Day Out, Roald Dahl 100 event

There is quite a bit to see at the Farm as well. They have chickens roaming around, reindeer (ready for Christmas?), a pig that knows exactly where to go when she was let out, piglets, cows that has been moo-ing throughout our stay, etc. There is also a Pottery barn, which looked really cute, but was closed by the time we got there.

We didn't make it to the Gardens this time, but I heard that there are witches hiding there too!


Overall we had a fantastic family day out. We are all impressed with Tatton Park's Roald Dahl Halloween event, it has certainly exceeded our expectation!

If you and your children are interested in some proper children's spooky fun, do give Tatton park a visit this half term holiday. More information can be found at Tatton park's website.