Top 12 things to do this October half term

Published: 20 October 2022

Child climbing over soft play

Children on a mat at Springwood Gymnastic Club

  1. Assemble: Derby’s Making Festival
    Half-term is the perfect time to get creative as the city’s making festival returns to the Museum of Making.  Produced by Derby Museums, Assemble is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, which aims to celebrate making in all its shapes and forms. Try weaving, coding, origami, jewellery-making, clay-modelling, woodworking, electronics, sewing, puppetry, building, printing, robotics and more.

    Activities include Aardman Animations workshops which can be booked online. For details of all the events check out the Derby Museums website.

  2. Free fun at Derby Libraries
    There’s a huge range of children’s activities taking place at Derby’s libraries during half-term. Families can visit AlvastonMickleoverNormanton or Riverside Library, where there will be craft and story-based fun at various times throughout the week. Workshops need to be booked in advance. Check out the Derby Libraries events page for details.

  3. Activities at Markeaton Park
    Markeaton Park is a fun day out for all the family with a host of activities to keep the children busy for hours. Mundy Play Centre has a fantastic free play area, with other attractions including pitch and putt, foot golf, disc golf, mini golf and tennis. Activities are subject to weather conditions.

    Elsewhere in the park, enjoy one of the walking trails or visit the Craft Village and Orangery. See the Markeaton Park page for more details, including opening times.

  4. Try Family Track Cycling at Derby Arena
    If you’ve always fancied trying track cycling, now is the time. Derby Arena has track cycling family taster sessions on October 26 and 27. For anyone aged 9 years and above, these sessions are the perfect chance to give this exciting sport a go!

    See the Derby Arena website for details and to book your session.

  5. Get on you bike with Cycle Derby
    If you would rather be out in the fresh air when you get on your bike, there are some wonderful cycle routes in Derby for a family bike ride. Cycle Derby has details of the routes on its website.

    There will also be a holiday club at Markeaton Park for children aged 6-12. All sessions must be booked in advance through the Cycle Derby website

  6. Try Racket sports
    Do you want to try badminton, table tennis or squash? Why not come along as a family to Derby Arena or Springwood Leisure Centre this half term and have a go for half price. No need to bring equipment, you can hire at the leisure centre. 
    To book contact Derby Arena on 01332 640011 or Springwood Leisure Centre on 01332 640333.

  7. Get outdoors at Derby Parks
    Aside from Markeaton Park, there are many fantastic parks and open spaces right on our doorstep in Derby. Try the BMX track at Osmaston Park or the outdoor gym equipment at Chaddesden Park. Or just reap the benefits of the great outdoors with a bracing walk through the crisp autumn leaves.

    Don’t forget to stop for a bite to eat or warm up with a hot drink in one of the many cafes located in Derby Parks, see our Food and Drink page for a full list of cafes and opening times.

  8. Explore Derby Museums
    Derby Museum & Art Gallery is putting the spotlight on some of the incredible women who have made history with its History Makers Puppet Trail. Explore the galleries and find them proudly standing amongst the collections in puppet form. Trails are £1 or free to DM Family Friends.

    Families can get their creative juices flowing and make a toy theatre with a spooky twist at Pickford’s House. The Crafty Tuesday drop-in session on October 25 is suitable for families and free of charge – just Give What You Think. For details of all events see the Derby Museums website.

  9. Bounce off that energy at Springwood Leisure Centre
    Families can get active at Springwood with soft play sessions for both under 5s and Big Kids (aged 4-10) and SpringTots gymnastics for under 5s.To find out more visit the Springwood Leisure Centre page or call 01332 640333. 

  10. Be an explorer
    Do you like a challenge and want to explore outdoors? Why not try out the free Love Exploring app for a little walk on the wild side and see what you can discover? Love Exploring trails are available at Markeaton Park, Alvaston Park, The Arboretum Park and Allestree Park, find fairies, planets and dinosaurs.

  11. Make a traditional lantern
    A series of workshops will be held over half term where families can make their own traditional lanterns ahead of Derby Lantern Parade on November 12. The workshops are part of the Derby Season of Light festival, spearheaded by Derby’s South Asian arts organisation Surtal Arts, and will take place at different venues including the Museum of Making, Kedleston Hall, St James Centre, Derby Cathedral Centre and Derbyshire Chinese Welfare Association. For full details and to book go to the Surtal Arts website.

  12. Catch a family film at QUAD
    Cine Kids will be running at QUAD throughout the half term break, with two family-friendly films on offer: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and – for older children – Wendell and Wild. All tickets are £4 per person for Cine Kids Club members (which includes the whole family and their guest) and membership is free.

    On Friday, October 28, QUAD will host the KidsQUAD: Cartoons and comic strips! workshop for children aged from 7 to 11 with Harry Venning, as part of the BIG DRAW. Booking is essential. For full details of what’s on see the QUAD website.
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