Mid- term breaks

Whether it’s a spooky ghost trail or be­ing tucked up with treats, there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one this Hal­loween, writes San­dra O’Con­nell

The Irish Times Magazine - - TRAVEL -

In the sa­cred space be­tween Back to School and Stop Here Santa, the an­cients cel­e­brated a very spe­cial fes­ti­val, midterm. Hon­our that tra­di­tion this Hal­loween and give your kids the gift of a fun- filled fam­ily break from their phones. They’ll be ter­ri­fied. Here are 20 sure to do the trick, or treat.

a howl in Ken­mare

Ken­mare’s Hal­loween Howl prom­ises to be a scream this year with all man­ner of fam­ily friendly events planned for around the town. These in­clude spooky story telling ses­sions, a ghost bus and a haunted for­est walk. There are choco­late and cup­cake workshops, a tra­di­tional Hal­loween pa­rade on the big day it­self, tra­di­tional games in the square and a su­per spooky night time ori­en­teer­ing event which older kids will love. Stay at the Park Ho­tel Ken­mare which, if you squint, has a cer­tain Harry Pot­ter­ish­ness to it – and magic views – from ¤ 165 per per­son shar­ing. Parkken­mare. com

in in Dublin

There’s loads of fam­ily fun on of­fer in the cap­i­tal this midterm, in­clud­ing great city break pack­ages at the Marker Ho­tel on Grand Canal Dock, per­fect for tak­ing in Shrek the Mu­si­cal at the Bord Gáis Theatre next door. Fam­ily pack­ages at the ho­tel are avail­able from ¤ 249 per room per night and in­clude com­pli­men­tary trick or treat goodie boxes for kids. There’s an in- room tee- pee op­tion too, large enough for two small ones to sleep in, with fluffy pil­lows, blan­kets and a torch, per­fect for spooky sto­ries around the imag­i­nary ( please) camp­fire. There’s a milk and cookie turn­down and, be­cause they’ll be in the tee pee, no creepy crumbs in your bed. the­mark­er­hotel­dublin. com

or treat train in Gal­way

Who needs Hog­warts when you can hop aboard the Wizard Ex­press at Glenlo Abbey in Gal­way? On Oc­to­ber 29th it’s of­fer­ing a Hal­loween- themed af­ter­noon tea in its at­mo­spheric Pull­man Train car­riages, fol­lowed by a screen­ing of more wiz­ardry at its Abbey Movie Theatre. Tick­ets for the event cost ¤ 35 for grown- ups and ¤ 20.00 for kids. It’s also a good base for en- joy­ing the Gal­way Aboo Hal­loween Fes­ti­val, the an­nual Mac­nas Hal­loween Pa­rade, Carnevil, the West’s first scare at­trac­tion and Fear­fest at Lough­well Farm Park in Moy­cullen. Don’t miss the Salthill Zom­bie Chase on 27th Oc­to­ber, when a crowd of ter­ri­fy­ing zom­bies is re­leased onto the prom. Your mis­sion, should you be mad enough to ac­cept it, is to stop them get­ting to Salthill Park. B& B for two adults and two kids around ¤ 200 a night. Glen­loabbey­ho­tel. ie

in Mon­aghan

Fam­i­lies with exam stu­dents this year might like to give them time to chillax with a stay at Hil­ton House, an el­e­gant Blue Book prop­erty in Co Mon­aghan. Guests can en­joy a two- course late din­ner on the Fri­day ( tak­ing sit­tings up un­til 9.30pm) fol­low it up with a leisurely late break­fast and en­joy a four- course can­dle- lit din­ner on the Satur­day evening. Au­tumn is par­tic­u­larly lovely in Hil­ton Park, so get them out in the fresh air for walks around its 400- acre es­tate, bike fur­ther afield, take out a row­ing boat or en­joy a round of golf. From ¤ 565 for two peo­ple shar­ing. Hil­ton­park. ie & Ire­lands­blue­book. com

treats, no tricks in Fer­managh

Five- star Lough Erne Re­sort is run­ning Fri­day Night Fright Night pack­ages through­out Oc­to­ber, where kids can trick or treat round the grounds with bowls of sweets pro­vided to guests in its lodges who wish to par­tic­i­pate. Prices start from £ 299 for a fam­ily of four, plus up to £ 70 re­sort credit to be used across its din­ing, spa and golf fa­cil­i­ties, when booked Sun­day to Thurs­day un­der its Au­tumn Re­wards pack­age, which starts at £ 119 per room in­cludi ng break­fast. Al­ter­na­tively book a one- night Sun­day Slum­ber B& B, which in­cludes cosy cook­ies and hot choco­late on ar­rival, from £ 59.50 per per­son shar­ing. Lough­ernere­sort. com

corker in Cork

Stay two nights at swish Hay­field Manor Ho­tel in Cork and get a full Ir­ish each morn­ing plus din­ner on one evening for a fam­ily of four. Adults get a four- course meal with full choice from its bistro menu

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