What’s on in October

We’re heading into that period between the summer and the festive season, but there is still plenty going on across North Yorkshire, from cheese appreciation to great jazz performances to family Halloween fun.

If you are organising an event, please let us know and we’ll do our best to include it in a further issue. Just email the details to yny@northyorks.gov.uk

Until 15 October

Harrogate Comedy Festival continues at various venues in the town until 15 October. Now in its 13th year, the festival brings the biggest comedy acts to the town.

6 to 9 October

Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival takes place at businesses around the Dales from 6 to 9 October showcasing food from the famous Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese to a plethora of artisan cheese producers, ice-cream, meats, bakeries, preserves and a vast array of gins and ales.

7 October

Whitby Supercar Saturday takes place on 7 October, from 10am to 4pm. Experience some of the most impressive collections of supercars you'll see in one place as they roll into the Whitby Harbour for the 80-vehicle event.

A supercar in Whitby with the Endeavour ship in the background

Whitby Supercars Saturday

7 October to 5 November

Put on your cloak, grab your broomstick and head out into the Arboretum at Thorp Perrow on the Halloween trail in search of spooky creatures. You’ll stumble across tombs and skeletons and many more Halloween frights.

9 October to 15 October

Visit Harrogate Restaurant Week is back this autumn, and this time there is even longer to enjoy discounted dine-outs in the Harrogate area.

Between Monday, 9 October, and Sunday, 15 October, participating restaurants and food outlets will offer special set menus and great deals on food and drink.

The first Restaurant Week took place in February. October’s event coincides with the Harrogate Music Weekender organised by Harrogate BID. The weekend of 13 to 15 October will see an array of live performances, street entertainers and special offers.

Find full listings of where, when and how to enjoy the delicious deals on offer during Restaurant Week.

Two friends at a table eating

Visit Harrogate Restaurant Week Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October.

14 and 15 October

The Filey Food Festival returns on 14 and 15 October, based in the Evron Centre gardens and Crescent Gardens. The festival is home to more than 70 stalls showcasing the best of Yorkshire foods as well as fantastic produce from outside the region. The festival is open daily 10am to 5pm and admission is free.

14 October to 2 November

Halloween at Bolton Castle offers a family Halloween trail with pumpkins, witches, skeletons and all things Halloween from 14 October to 2 November. Storytelling is at 1pm on 21, 23, 24, 25, 27 and 28 October. Go to the ticket booking calendar page to reserve places, which are included the usual admission prices. There are also two Castle by Lanternlight tours on 23 and 27 October, 6pm to 8pm. Tickets cost £30 and include a hot meal with a glass of wine or soft drink.

19 October

Reeth memorial Hall will host a number of musical events this autumn, with artists such as folk artists Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman on October 19, and American Roots musician Guy Davis on 16 November. See details of all the events.

19 to 22 October

Leyburn Jazz Festival presents a wide variety of performers at venues across the town from 19 to 22 October.

19 to 22 October

Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival takes place at the Crown Hotel, Harrogate, from 20 to 23 October with a stellar line-up of literary names in intimate settings.

20 October to 5 November

Enjoy Crowe’s Wood Halloween Trail at Kiplin Hall and Gardens. Look back at scary tales and torments from Yorkshire folklore and legend. Boggle the Hobgoblin, the Cottingley Fairies, Dracula and Guy Fawkes are just some of the spooky stories and real-life encounters rooted in Yorkshire.

23 to 31 October

Hawes will be a hive of activity during the October half-term holiday, with a programme of events including:

  • Paint a sheep, 23 October, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Dales Countryside Museum, Station Yard, Hawes. Art afternoon for families, led by Bev Parker of Cum-Bye Arts. Drop in and get creative with paints and crayons. Cost £3
  • Drawn to t’ Dales – sheep in portrait, 26 October, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Dales Countryside Museum, led by Bev Parker of Cum-Bye Arts, come and paint expressive portraits of sheep. Suitable for older children, teens and upwards. Cost £10.
  • Haunted Castle Halloween bike ride with hot chocolate and cake, 28 October, 3pm to 5.30pm, Stage 1 Cycles, Station Yard, Hawes. Haunted Castle ride finishing at Castle Bolton, Halloween outfits and lights are welcome. Suitable for older children. Cost £5.
  • Mini Halloween Pumpkin Bike Trail, 30 October, 1pm to 2pm, Stage 1 Cycles, Station Yard, Hawes. Suitable for beginners and in a traffic-free area. Bikes are available to loan. Ideal for balance bikes and beginners. Safe fancy dress is encouraged. Parents are asked to accompany children and wellies may be helpful. Cost £5.
  • Halloween Biscuit Decorating, 31 October, 1pm to 4pm, Dales Countryside Museum. Have fun decorating your own Halloween biscuit to take home or eat on the spot. Drop-in family activity.

27 October

Join award-winning tour guide Tina Brown for a walk around Thirsk this Halloween and listen to creepy tales. The family tour is at 5pm, followed by an adults’ tour at 7.30pm. Call 07876 010835 for tickets.

27 and 28 October

The Cavern of the Lost Souls event at Stump Cross Caverns is a creepy descent for those souls brave enough but booking is advised for the two events on 27 and 28 October.

27 to 29 October

The latest Whitby Goth Weekend takes place across the town from 27 to 29 October.

Friday 27 October to Monday 30 October

Creepy Castle Spooktastic Halloween trail at Knaresborough Castle Grounds with an addition of the ‘Tween Scream’ event for the slightly older children. 

Join Dr Tricks on Friday 27 October at the ‘Tween Scream’ trail for his Halloween magic show, watch the amazing Golden Wizard with his mesmerizing spectacular LED Buugeng show, and come into the castle for the scary interactive story time where you may also see a few ghosts and ghouls too…but will you dare to put your hand in the mystery holes? Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for LED Tick Tock dancing characters in the distance too.

For the slightly younger children the original spooktastic Halloween trail (aimed at 4-10 years old, under 2’s go free) from Saturday 28 to Monday 30 October. Along the way you’ll see wizard magic shows, spooky characters, face painting (no face painting for adults or children under 2 years old), stories in the castle and more spooky surprises. There’ll also be chance for some trick or treating along the trail and to get some amazing photos with those monsters and spooky characters too.

All children must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder, maximum 4 children per adult. Please book child tickets prior to adult tickets as child spaces are limited to 8 per time slot.

  • Tween Scream (8-14 years) Friday 27 October 6pm – 9pm
  • Creepy Castle (4-10 years) Saturday 28 – Monday 30 October 2pm – 8pm

Online bookings only.

28 October to 5 November

How about the creepy carnival from 25 October to 5 November at Old Mother Shipton’s Cave in Knaresborough? There’s bound to be a spooky tale or two at England’s oldest tourist attraction.

30 October

Join the Halloween Family Fun Day at Allerton Waste Recovery Park on Monday, 30 October, from 10am to 3pm. The North Yorkshire Rotters will be on hand to help make your own mini wormery, along with pumpkin carving and upcycled crafts. A tour of the waste site is available to everyone over seven years old.

More Halloween events

Forbidden Corner at Coverham is celebrating Halloween in style with activities including fancy dress competitions and quizzes, and down at Monk Park Farm, Thirsk, there’s a lot going on. For the little ones, there’s everything from pumpkin painting to witches' potion making. For older kids, try a spot of pumpkin carving or a spooky farm tour. And if the kids want to do the Monster Mash, Carlton Towers, near Selby, has a fabulous spooky disco for them.

Throughout October, the Kinsmen Activity Centre at Riccall is offering over 12s some Halloween fun with a spot of axe throwing, archery and air rifles. Join the spooky fun this half term at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, with activities for all the family to enjoy. From making magic wands to creepy Halloween crafts; animal encounters and your chance to become a garden detective.

The Castle Howard Garden Centre Pumpkin Patch is back for the third year running. Explore the patch and choose your perfect pumpkin. There’s also a great line line-up of Halloween films planned for October for all ages.

Lightwater Valley, the popular adventure park near Ripon, is hosting Frightwater Valley - Halloween Spooktacular! And over at Stockeld Park, you can be amazed at the Halloween activities available - there’s everything from pumpkin picking to scary theatre.

Visitors to Flamingoland, near Malton, can enjoy twilight rides, the Trick or Treat Trail, Spooktacular pyro-musical fireworks and drone swarm displays, street entertainers, a pumpkin mini maze and carving, and the Carnival of Horrors Production.

If you want to see something enchanting rather than spooky this half term, North York Moors Railway has a light spectacular which is definitely worth checking out. Departing from Pickering Station the Voiceover Man, from the X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent, will entertain you on your journey alongside a DJ mix of music that will get you in the mood for a party the whole family will enjoy.

The Sea Witch is back for 2023 at Scarborough Sealife. Will you be brave enough to step up and help them by solving the 'spook-splash-tic' challenges and fill in your activity sheet as you go? Scarborough Castle is also perfect for the kids with their Halloween trail and there are some creepy ghost tales for over 16s.

And Filey Bird Garden has family-friendly, spooky-themed areas and a Halloween Treasure Hunt. You even get a free bag of animal food if you’re wearing a full Halloween fancy dress.

1 November

Autumn Daze Festival will take place in the oriental-themed Peasholm Park on Scarborough’s north side on Wednesday, 1 November. It will feature a range of free, autumn-themed activities set against the colourful seasonal backdrop of the park's impressive woodland. From bush craft demonstrations to storytelling, marshmallow toasting to primitive fire-starting and craft activities to a scavenger hunt, there will be fun, adventure and a feelgood factor for all the family.

A family group around a fire pit toasting marshmallows

Autumn Daze Festival

2 November

Enid Blyton: Noddy, Big Ears and Lashings of Controversy, a new play about Britain's biggest selling children's author, comes to Selby Town Hall on Thursday, 2 November.

Virtually everybody of a certain age has read an Enid Blyton book. She was loved by children (except her younger daughter, who hated her) but vilified by the BBC, teachers, critics and librarians.

She sold more than 600 million books, despite all her work being banned by the BBC - and many libraries and schools - for more than 30 years. She was accused of being racist and of using such limited vocabulary that it actually hindered children’s reading progress.

Liz Grand plays the author. The performance begins at 7.30pm and tickets are available here.

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton: Noddy, Big Ears and Lashings of Controversy, a new play about Britain's biggest selling children's author.

30 Until November

Discover the history of North Yorkshire’s railways in an exhibition at North Yorkshire County Record Office in Northallerton. From the 1830s, railways had a huge impact, significantly improving travel and allowing people to travel further than ever before for business, transporting goods, and daytrips to the coast. See the original plan for Whitby and Pickering Railway from 1832, as well as historic photographs, railway maps, posters, timetables, anniversary magazines and much more.  On Friday, 24 November, Wensleydale Railway representatives will give a lunchtime talk about the Wensleydale Railway and its Heritage Programme and will bring to life the story of the 1920s station master's wife, Elizabeth Newton. Discover more about the exhibition.

And there’s more…

We can’t include everything that is happening, but you can find more events – including activities for half-term and Halloween – on these council-supported websites:

If you are organising a major event in North Yorkshire, please tell us and we’ll do our best to include it in a future issue. Just email yny@northyorks.gov.uk. The next issue is scheduled to be published on 3 November.