ALL kids love dressing up and most delight in everything slimy and yucky so Halloween should be a brilliant time for youngsters to go wild.
But if the idea of trick or treating doesn’t appeal there are lots of other ways to mark one of the country’s oldest celebrations.
Just pulling on spooky outfits, adding a dash of face paint and telling mildly scary tales is great entertainment, costs hardly anything and can be done without causing any offence.
There are also many great - or gross - dishes that families can create for a truly disgusting Hallowe’en tea.
Adding splashes of food colouring to anything from spaghetti to buns makes all the difference if you want to feast on fearsome food.
A recent survey found that the average British family spend only 49 minutes a day together so just doing something as a family is all it really takes.
Sheffield is well-known for the enormous Fright Night which takes over the city centre on Sunday.
Attractions for this year include street theatre, ghost tours, Daleks, Star Wars Stormtroopers, a fancy dress catwalk, funfair rides, stilt walkers, fire spinning, children’s activities – and thousands of Sheffielders wearing full fancy dress.
But if you want to head out over half term for some seasonal games during the day there are plenty of options:
The ghosts and ghouls of West Bar’s Fire and Police Museum are coming out to play today and tomorrow from 10am to 2pm.
There will be spooky goings on in the Victorian police cells when youngsters can try to solve the crimes of some of Sheffield’s most wanted criminals, get themselves locked up and go through the fingerprint process.
It is labelled one of Yorkshire’s most haunted buildings but there will also be a chance to meet the very friendly PC Lenny the Lion.
Visit www.firepolicemuseum.org.uk or call 0114 2491999.
Fright Night comes to Millennium Gallery from 5pm to 8pm on Sunday and is suitable for children aged between five and 12.
Families can drop in on Fright Night in the city centre and create your own ghoulish lantern or creepy spider to take home.
It costs £3 per child and there is no need to book, just drop in.
A Halloween Spooktacular is tbeing held at the Tropical Butterfly House every day until Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Carved pumpkins and swedes have been placed in many of the animal enclosures so visitors can see the meerkats, Marmoset monkeys, prairie dogs and farm animals playing with their Hallowe’en treats.
Animal presenter Ben Coulson said: “We opted for a fruitier alternative for our parrots and provided them with carved apples, oranges and pomegranates and both visitors and staff are finding it very entertaining to see the parrots exploring and tucking in.
“This provides the parrots with a new and exciting form of enrichment too and they are clearly enjoying these tasty Hallowe’en surprises.”
Staff will be doing their best to give visitors the heebie-jeebies with ghosts, ghouls and monsters wandering the centre.
Dare to visit the Witch in the Wood, take a ride on the Haunted Hayride through the Freaky Forest and explore the Haunted House and Creepy Castle.
A variety of crafts, games and activities are also available for all ages including the chance to carve and decorate your own pumpkin or search for clues around the centre in the Pirate Treasure Hunt for a share of the chocolate treasure.
There will also be a pirate-themed display featuring the birds of prey and parrots in the Swashbuckling Bird Show.
The spine-chilling It’s A Scream will be theld in Rotherham from 7pm on Monday when Far Out Theatre will host a ghost trail around the town centre.
The tour is aimed at all ages and will take in nearly 2,000 years of history filled with war, intrigue, famous faces and historic architecture and the odd supernatural experience.
Tickets for the walk are now on sale from Rotherham Visitor Centre priced at £5 or £3 for concessions. Booking in advance is essential on 01709 835904.
Chatsworth will be doing its own tricks and treats with family activities taking place every day until Sunday.
There is the Chatsworth Halloween Trail which showcases for the first time a 500-year-old Latin spell book to summon spirits, an autopsy report for the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire 1777, Catherine Cavendish, former librarian Sandford Arthur Strong’s death mask and a model of Madame Langhan’s haunting tomb depicting her bursting through the slab clutching her baby.
Visitors can also see the house after dark on one of the popular Torchlit Tours which takes visitors on a eerie exploration into dark corners.
Other spooky sights in the garden include pumpkin hunts, a scary secret tunnel, a pumpkin maze, scarecrows in the kitchen garden.
Avid Harry Potter fans can try their hand at broomstick-making.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park will be welcoming children and adults of all ages to enjoy their collection of winter wildlife until Sunday.
Every day there will be pumpkin fun with all the animals at feeding time as well as a pumpkin trail for children to follow.
One of the latest additions is the Land of the Tigers - the world’s first and only reserve of its kind.
It houses endangered Siberian Amur tigers amongst stunning waterfalls and lagoons.
Brave guests can tour Magna Science Adventure Centre’s recently discovered bunker - but watch out for things that go bump in the night.
This spine-tingling trip uses a combination of live actors and state-of-the-art special effects.
It is open until Monday.
Exploring the dark facility is only suitable for over-12s and exclusive dates are set aside for over-18s.
For people who want to avoid the spooky side of Halloween, there will be rocket workshops as well as the usual four indoor pavilions and two large outdoor play areas.