Originally celebrated some 2,000 years ago when Celtic people in Europe celebrated the end of the harvest, Halloween has gained more and more traction over the years in the UK as a key calendar celebration – and it’s no wonder why: a chance to celebrate together (with plenty of sweet treats), relive your youth a little, or get seriously spooked at some of the Halloween festivals which are cropping across the UK at visitor attractions.
Although Halloween in the UK is celebrated on 31st October, events are spread throughout October and are an ideal opportunity to transform your visitor attraction, or extend your hours to take advantage of people venturing out into the darker nights. We’ve put together 5 top ways to utilise the space you have and your EPOS and ticketing system to transform your visitor attraction into a spine-tingling, spooky wonderland for guests this October.
5 Ways To Get More Visitors at Your Visitor Attraction During Halloween
Good old pumpkin picking – you can’t go wrong! This one is fun for all ages and can take place across the entire month of October. If you’ve got the space, then building a pumpkin patch is a great way to get families involved in Halloween celebrations. Charge your day ticket so people can enjoy your park and for those looking for a seasonal celebration, charge an additional fee for pumpkins (and carving kits if you’d like to give the option).
We love Wellington’s Country Park’s Hallo’Welly’Ween. Alongside plenty of spooktacular family fun events, they’ve got their pumpkin patch. Avoid making a mess at home and carve a pumpkin with them instead. Each pumpkin comes with your very own carving kit!
This one is a classic when it comes to Halloween festivities, plus it’s relatively easy to do. If you have a suitable indoor space then it’s a great way for your team to get creative this spooky season. The only cost is the decoration and the reward is an increase in footfall in what would typically be a quieter month. Go the extra mile and hire actors or give your staff the chance to play dress-up and really give your guests a fright with some live-action theatrics.
Drusilla’s Park host their Shriek Week in the October half-term, which offers the perfect place to bring the kids for a family-friendly, fun-filled, and spooky Halloween week. Included in the price of their tickets, venture through the creepy cobwebbed corridors of Haunted Heights – Drusilla’s live action haunted house experience – into the terror-tory of sin sisters, hocus and pocus as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public.
Nothing draws a crowd quite like the threat of being thrilled. Enter the Scarefest. This one will probably be aimed at the older guests of your visitor attraction, but is perfect for really getting the adrenaline pumping this spooky season. You can charge anything from £20-£30, depending on the sort of show you put on – so there’ll be a quick adjustment needed to the pricing of your EPOS and ticketing system.
We love ROARR!’s PrimeEVIL event. Norfolk’s biggest multi award-winning scare experience has five terrifying haunts full of scares, street performing actors, bar, street food vendors and plenty of entertainment on what is their 13th year, 13 nights of terror. Their haunts promise to entertain you with surprise rooms, obstacles, corridors and non-stop twists and turns and jumps around every corner!
This is one of our favourite ways to get involved in the Halloween festivities at a visitor attraction, perfect if you have a wooded or forest area. Lantern walks are a really cost-effective way of taking advantage of the great space you have available to you and you can charge anywhere from £11 upwards for adults and children over a certain age. They’re a perfect way to get families with young children to your attraction and can take place outside of your usual operating hours as the evening draws in and it gets a little darker.The Eden Project have a great example of how to create a really great experience with a lantern walk at their Halloweden event. You can join them through October half-term for their all-new Halloweden adventure. They open late into the night so that, as the sun sets, you can keep warm by the light of the fire and follow a trail of magical lanterns through the Rainforest… if you dare…
Late Night Opening
Extended opening hours are easily the most cost effective and simplest ways to get people to your visitor attraction this Halloween and requires no real need to adjust your EPOS and ticketing system either. Simply open your visitor attraction in an evening as the nights draw in and let visitors ride in the dark so they can the dark side of your park.
Paultons Park offer the same all day ticketing costs, plus an additional 2.5 hours of opening times during the Halloween season. A really clever, simple way to increase footfall in those chillier months.