High spirits for Halloween half-term

Full moon with tree branches in foreground

Halloween is nearly upon us and on Saturday 28 October 2023 we will witness a very timely Hunter’s Moon, which happens once a year and is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. Traditionally, the early evening moonlight provided by the Hunter’s Moon aided hunters during a crucial time for storing up food, just like the Harvest Moon provided extra light to farmers bringing in the harvest. Also around this time (according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac) animals were drawn to the scraps left over from the autumn harvest and the cleared fields made them easier for hunters and other predators to spot.

Meanwhile, in Ross-on-Wye, there are lots of other spooky goings on in and around town for adults and children alike so get fully in the spirit and check out our guide to some of the best events in the area.

1. Halloweenfest

Poster of Halloweenfest in Ross-on-Wye

This year’s Halloween festivities at the Market House in Ross-on-Wye town centre are going to be fangtastic – so get ready to pick, carve, potter, paint and then parade your spooky fancy dress outfits for the judges! From 10am you’ll find a pop-up pumpkin patch where you can select your own pumpkins and have a go at carving them ready for the judges later on. Yat Pottery will also be onsite with their drop-in spooky skull and prickly hedgehog clay workshops, plus a host of other activities including a magician, balloon modelling, face painting, circus skills and lots more fun for the kids. Judging of the best carved pumpkin and spooky fancy dress (kids and adults) will start at 4pm with prizes on offer for the winners.

Halloween scarecrow

Also taking place in the town centre, the Scarecrow Trail is a free fun trail for families to follow and enjoy throughout the half term week (28 Oct to 5 Nov). Pick up an entry leaflet from the Made in Ross gallery (upstairs at the Market House HR9 5NX) and follow the trail around town at each of the listed retailers, searching for spooky scarecrows in the shop windows. Completed entries which are posted into the special Halloween postbox at the Made in Ross gallery will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky winner will receive a £40 gift voucher from Toybox.

  • When: Tuesday 31 October, 10.00-16.30
  • Where: The Market House, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5NX
  • Further details: click here

2. Halloween at the Hope & Anchor

Aerial view of Hope and Anchor

Calling all little witches & wizards, princes & princesses, ghosts & ghoulies! Get ready for the Hope & Anchor’s Kids’ Halloween Party for all ages by the riverside on Sunday at 3pm with fancy dress disco, apple bobbing, colouring, face painting plus delicious spooky-themed cupcakes and shortbread. And for the big witches and wizards, there will be plenty on offer at the bar to keep you refreshed.

  • Where: The Hope & Anchor, Rope Walk, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7BU
  • When: Sunday 29 Oct, 15.00-17.00
  • Further details: click here

3. Little Pandas Halloween Special

The lovely Little Pandas Play Café just outside of the town centre is the perfect place for parents to socialise together over a latte, safe in the knowledge that their little ones are being kept busy and enjoying some creative play. If you’re staying in Ross-on-Wye over half term, the regular play sessions will be Halloween themed and will include lots of arts and crafts workshops on a spooky theme plus a spooky disco and fancy dress – book your place online and sit back, relax and watch their little ghoulish creations take shape! 

  • When: Tues 31 Oct (9.30am, 11.30am & 1.30pm)
  • Where: Enterprise Centre, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5NB
  • Further details: click here

4. Coco – film with spooky hot chocolate

If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids where you can also relax for a couple of hours, pop down to the luxury Gateway Cinema and enjoy a film viewing of Disney’s Coco, a story inspired by the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ and an extraordinary adventure where Miguel pursues his love for singing despite his family’s ban on music. He stumbles into the Land of the Dead, where he learns about his great-great-grandfather’s legacy. Have a coffee or glass of wine or beer from the bar whilst the kids can enjoy a spooky themed deluxe hot chocolate included in the cost of their ticket. With a PG rating and starting at 11am, that should keep them suitably occupied whilst you can sit back and relax in one of the bucket seats.

  • When: Tuesday 31 October 11.00-12.45
  • Where: The Gateway Cinema, Labels Shopping, Ross-on-Wye
  • Further details: click here

5. Halloween at Goodrich Castle

Just a few miles out of Ross-on-Wye, you’ll find Goodrich Castle which is the perfect backdrop to Halloween shenanigans! Enjoy a day out with the kids, listen to spooky storytellers, learn about the creepy castle, hear about the ‘Legend of Halloween’, discover the Book of the Dead and take part in their Halloween fancy dress competition. The castle’s Halloween Quest runs until Sunday 5 November where you can complete their ghoulish trail and win a prize for the spookiest snap!

  • When: Saturday 21 October to Sunday 5 November
  • Where: Goodrich Castle, Goodrich, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6HY
  • Further details: click here