12 Fun-Filled family things to do this October in Nottingham and Derby


We LOVE autumn. We LOVE the beautiful, vibrant colours, the stunning sunrises and the misty mornings. We also LOVE how much there is to do in and around Nottingham this autumn. Here is our breakdown of just some of the fun filled activities going on for all the family.


October is festival month in Nottingham - there's so much going on and so many ways to celebrate autumn! So get out and enjoy all the colours of autumn!

Nottingham's Goose fair always provides amazing spectacles - we LOVE the colours and the lights!

Nottingham's Goose fair always provides amazing spectacles - we LOVE the colours and the lights!

1. Nottingham Goose fair

Wednesday 3rd - Sunday 7th October 2018, Forest Recreation Grounds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

We LOVE the Goose Fair. What's not to love? 500 attractions, from white knuckle rides through to children's old time favourite and then of course there's the food - candy floss, burgers, ice cream. Did you know the Goose Fair dates back more than 700 years?!

And yes, Dave's one of those few guys you see walking around with a tripod trying to take pictures of the rides!



2. Maxey's P..P..Pick up a Pumpkin Festival

Saturday 6th - Tuesday 31st OCTOBER 2018, Maxey's Farm, Kirklington, Nottinghamshire

Maxey's is going one step further and putting on a full festival celebrating all things pumpkin! In it's 6th year, the festival has a range of activities for all the family. From the 'Troll under the bridge' and the 'Spooky Woodland walk' through the local woods (beware of the Wicked Witch!) to the Bouncy Pumpkin Castle and the delicious homemade burgers cooking on the BBQ this festival has it all! For more information visit their website.


3. Mayhem Film Festival

Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th October 2018, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Looking for something a little different? Broadway Cinema, Nottingham's Mayhem Festival is into it's 14th year and will once again contain premieres, previews, special guests and midnight screenings. They will be showing the best in horror, sci-fi and cult cinema, a range of feature films, short films and special events.

This year, Mayhem Festival will feautre Shinsuke Sato’s Inuyashiki, Anna and the Apocalypse and The Field Guide to Evil plus many more. More information can be found from their website.

4. Pumpkin Picking

Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 October  10am – 3pm, Saturday 20  – Wednesday 31 October – Daily, 10am – 3pm Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire 

Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire will once again open it's pumpkin patch for you to pick your own. Entry is free you only pay for what you pick - prices range from £2 to £8, with Munchkin pumpkins at £1 and squashes, only available from the farm shop, priced at £2.50 for large or £1.50 for small. There are recipe ideas available in the Farm shop and don't forget your wellies!


5. Twinlakes Lil park of Horrors

13th October - 4th November 2018, Twinlakes, Leicestershire

As well as the usual fun at Twinlakes, they also have a huge range of Halloween fun on offer - there will be over 20,000 pumpkins to be carved, wicked Halloween workshops,  children's crafts and even a broomstick flying masterclass! There will be creepy critters, Marty the friendly Monster and find the ghosts and ghouls on the Halloween trail.


Autumn is the perfect time to go foraging in Nottingham but you've got to be sure you know what you're doing.

6. Wild food forage

Sunday 14th October 12 am - 12:30pm, Shipley Country Park, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Have you ever been strolling through the woods and wondered what of it you could eat? Well a walk around Shipley Country Park in search of useful trees, plants and fungi could be for you. This walk will concentrate on exploring seasonal wild food, medicine and craft materials in the area. It will be lead by local experts and will also look into other bushcraft basics such as fire lighting. The walk will cover approximately 2-3 miles, meet in Mapperley Car Park and the tour will cost £5 per person.


7. Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival,
Wednesday 17th - Saturday 20th October 2018, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Due to major redevelopments at Nottingham Castle, the Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival will be moving home for the next three years and will be setting up shop at the Motorpoint Arena. The festival will still feature 1000 real ales and over 200 ciders, there will of course be lots of food on offer as well plus a large selection of entertainment spread across locations both inside the main arena and backstage areas as well.

This is a great way to let the hair down if you've got a kid free evening or weekend.

Admission prices:

Wednesday evening - £10.80
Thursday - £16.20
Friday & Saturday - £21.60
Saturday evening - £10.80


8.  Hockley Hustle music festival

Sunday 28th October 2018, Various venues across Hockley, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Hockley Hustle combines street food, art and of course fantastic music! On top of all this they also raise a lot of money for local charities. With 300 acts performing across 30 venues throughout Nottingham's Creative Quarter, if you're a fan of music, you're going to love it!

Here's a fantastic little video showing off the highlights of the 2017 Hockley Hustle.


9. The Original Nottingham Ghost Walk

Every Saturday, 7pm, Meet at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham

The Original Nottingham Ghost Walk, running weekly on a Saturday evening, are a alternative way of exploring the city at night. Not only will you explore the Castle Quarter but you will also be regaled with story of ghosts and ghouls. On top of these weekly ghost walks they also run Halloween specials, on Saturday 27th October and Halloween night, Wednesday 31st October, with walks running at 6.30pm, 7.00pm & 7.30pm.


10. Halloween Spooktacular!

27th October 2018 to 4th November 2018 - 10am - 5pm (and every weekend in October), Tropical Butterfly House, Sheffield

Whilst the Tropical Butterfly House is slightly further afield, it's a great way to encounter the exotic and the scary! There will be loads of exciting activities; the Witch's Cottage, the Haunted House, pumpkin carving and a ghoulish tractor trailer ride through the Freaky Forest - with ghosts and monsters! Don't forget there's also a daily children's fancy dress competition and unforgettable animal encounters.


11. Family Halloween Nights at Conkers

Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th, Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st October 2017, Conkers, Derbyshire

Are you (or perhaps, your kids) brave enough Conkers' Annual Ghostly encounter at the Waterside Centre? Are you ready to follow into the footsteps of the haunted woods - with all its ghostly ghouls, witches and trolls? Are you excited for the “Ugly Bugs Disco” and the fancy dress competition with creepy prizes for the winners (Ages 0-3, 4-6, 7-10, 10 +, Adults)?

If so, then pop along to Conkers this Halloween.


12. Elvaston's Pumpkin Party!

Wednesday 31st October, 10.30am - 3pm, Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire

Head to the courtyards of Elvaston Castle, which will be transformed into a Pumpkin Parlour to carve your pumpkin before heading on to pick up a Halloween trail sheet to explore the gruesome grounds of Elvaston Castle- watch out for scary surprises and don't forget your spooky fancy dress! Costs £2 per trail sheet and charges will apply for the Pumpkin Parlour and other activities.


Since you’re here…

Have you been putting off getting a family portrait or updated photographs of your children? Autumn is now firmly setting in and with it's vibrant colours and soft lighting, it is certainly the best time of year for photography.

We've just released our Autumn Family Photo shoots - there are twelve slots available during the half-term holidays and each one includes £100 of FREE printing credit to spend on your beautiful images afterwards.

Don't let another year go by and miss that special opportunity to get a beautiful family photograph (not to mention you'll have a Christmas gift for the grandparents in the bag!)