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Events in October

Children in halloween costumesChildren in halloween costumes

As summer says goodbye and autumn starts to take hold, the nights are lengthening... which means it's a great time to celebrate our dark skies or be brave, there's lots of spooky goings on in October too!

Find challenge walks, cycling and mountain biking, and fell and road running events listed in our Enjoy Outdoors pages.

This month we've partnered up with the experts from Hardmoors to hold our fourth MoorsRun (7 October), a family-friendly trail run in the heart of the Moors, for beginners and athletes alike. Sign up for the Rabbit Run (5k, minimum age 14 or 7 if accompanied by a parent or guardian) or the Turnpike Trot (10k, minimum age 16) and experience our fully marked and marshalled trail runs, with prizes and medals for all. Find out how to enter online here

Foodie fans should check out farmers' markets in and around the North York Moors, and Food & Beer Festivals. You can also search for events by date here, which includes a list of our free guided walks for the month or book online.

Starry skies and Halloween happenings - Dark Skies Festival Fringe

Join Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society (SARAS) as their regular stargazing events return for 2018 in Dalby Forest on 5 October. Held the first Friday of most months between October and March from 8-9.30pm, these are free to attend (charitable donations welcome). The Forestry Commission will charge £3 per car on exit.

Also in Dalby Forest, there's a chance to explore not only our own solar system but objects from deep space on one of Hidden Horizon's two-hour Stargazing evening events (13 and 26 October). Booking is essential (Adults: £12; Under 16s: £8 inc. hot chocolate/snacks). Plus Go Ape will be running a number of Night Zip Wire Adventures for those aged 10+ (27-28 October), just don't forget to bring a head torch!

Whitby Astronomical Society will be sharing their love of Dark Skies at Danby, a stargazing evening at The Moors National Park Centre (27 October 6.30-8.30pm). Expect to see planets, moons, stars, nebulae and galaxies through a range of telescopes. Soup and hot drinks will be available to purchase too.

Whitby Abbey Illuminated Credit English HeritageIs there a better way of exploring the gothic splendour of Whitby Abbey than after dark? Head there for The Illuminated Abbey (25-31 October) to admire Bram Stoker's inspiration in a new light, illuminated by coloured floodlighting. Costumed characters will talk of grave robbing and witch trials and experience a live performance of Dracula. This time of year, Whitby is also the natural home to the legendary biannual Whitby Goth Weekend autumn gathering (26-28 October), when thousands of Goths descend on their favourite haunt, and pay homage to Bram Stoker. 

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has fangtastic Halloween Trains (27-31 October) with scary storytelling, and spooktacular characters as they tell ghost stories and frightful tales along the way! Fancy dress encouraged (suitable for aged 5-12).

Just north of the National Park, enter the Scream Factory at Kirkleatham Museum (12, 13, 19-21, 24-31 October) and be prepared to be scared! The Twilight Tour is for families (aged 3+) but as night-time falls, the atmosphere becomes more sinister for the Extreme Tour, a heart pumping, stomach-churning trail of fear. Or why not try the Isolated Tour, where you walk the Extreme Tour all by yourself in the dead of the night!

There's also special late Fright Night! Adults only ghoulish ghost tours around Nunnigton Hall (31 October) and hear haunted tales of the house.

Look out for more details of next year's Dark Skies Festival which will return 15 February - 3 March 2019!

Other great events and exhibitions

The spectacular North York Moors Coast is one on which dinosaurs have well and truly left their mark; and one of the best ways to discover it is on a Hidden Horizons Dinosaur Coast Discover Breaks hosted at Cober Hill (8-10 October). Expect to visit Runswick Bay, Saltwick Bay and Robin Hood's Bay in the search for fossils and dinosaur footprints.

Turn the clock back to the 1940s for Railway in Wartime (12-14 October), North Yorkshire Moors Railway's biggest event, with street parades, vehicle displays and re-enactments along the line. They'll be special events at Pickering Castle and Beck Isle Museum too.

As the autumn colours peak, drop into Nunnington Hall for its Autumn Festival (18-21 October) for nature displays, apple tastings and garden tours with the experts. Helmsley Walled Garden also celebrates the English apple and more than 100 apple trees, at its fourth Apple Day (20 October), where you'll be able to taste, sample and find how to train apples to fit a space. Children gave have a go at apple bobbing and follow the family-friendly Apple Trail, plus enjoy apple-themed dishes in The Vine House Café. 

Enjoy the gorgeous colours at Yorkshire Arboretum too, including Meeting with Trees: Autumn Glory (21 October). Autumn also means fungi and if you'd like to find out which ones are edible, get yourself booked onto a Fungi Foray at the Yorkshire Arboretum (30 October).

The last major music festival of the year is Musicport (19-22 October), held in Whitby Pavilion and it just happens to be the UK's biggest indoor world music festival. Swiftly followed by Musicport on Tour (22-26 October), including a gig in our own Inspired by... gallery (23 October), when selected musicians from the main festival will bring a selection of sounds to other venues. Don't miss it!

We welcome Leeds Fine Artists back to the Inspired by... gallery on 20 October for Time and Place, running through until 13 November. One of the oldest regional arts bodies in the UK, expect a direct personal response to Yorkshire landscapes especially the North York Moors – whether abstract, figurative or sensory.

If that all inspires you to have a go yourself, there’s plenty of workshops to choose from. Our gallery hosts artist James McGairy's popular small-group painting workshop (21 October) while you can get ready for Christmas and make an alternative 'Christmas tree' with willow expert Anthea Firth (27 October). Elsewhere there's a chance to Carve your Initials into a stone (13-14 October), under the expert guidance of sculptor Fiona Bowley in Dalby Forest that will become part of the world's largest dry stone wall maze.

Burton Agnes Hall's annual Michaelmas Fair runs 27-28 October, and will be filled with seasonal craft and food stalls, entertainers and fairground fun.

Half-term fun for children

The National Trust are marking the Mammal Society's National Mammal Week with lots of activities for all the family, from visiting Ravenscar's seal colony with a ranger (21 October) to carrying out a small mammal survey (27 October) and building hedgehog houses (28 October).

It's all about Halloween this holiday! Drop in for spooky characters and creepy crafts at Whitby Abbey, join #TeamPirate or #TeamZombie at Castle Howard, or follow the Alien Bugs and autumn activity trails at Yorkshire Arboretum (all 27 October - 4 November). There's ghoulish and ghostly going-ons at Nunnington Hall on the Haunted Happenings trail (23 October - 4 November). The Old Coastguard Station's Hallowe'en Trail features chilling clues and spooky prizes or explore the Spooky Woodland Trail from Ravenscar Visitor Centre (both 27-28 October). There's a Spooky Woodland Trail at Burton Agnes Hall too (27 October - 4 November) if you're brave enough!

Over at Sutton Bank, there'll be strange things happening (27 October - 4 November) with seasonal crafts, trails and family activities on the theme of 'Creatures of the Night'. Drop in anytime. They'll be going Bonkers About Bats too (31 October), booking essential. Combine a visit with a spot of biking too, including round 4 of Sutton Bank Bikes' Kids Time Trial (26 October), with five categories starting from balance bikes and Halloween fancy dress; £6 per person and prizes for winners.

There's plenty going on at The Moors National Park Centre in Danby this week too, including Super Spider Treasure Hunt (29 October), Rotten Witches and Fireworks and Lanterns (both 30 October). Have a browse here to find our other events. Take part in quizzes and trails to get closer to nature and discover fun facts about this amazing place. 

Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs at Runswick Bay and Boggle Hole on one of Hidden Horizons fossil hunting trips (various dates tbc, booking essential).

Enjoy Halloween Holiday Fun at Guisborough Priory and Woodland Gardens (28 October), explore the witches den, make a scary spider or listen to spooky stories. Beck Isle Museum is running one of its popular Rural Craft Days too (31 October). See traditional skills such as printing on the beautiful Columbian letterpress, butter making, and rag rugging.

Head to Dalby Forest or Guisborough Forest and take a journey with the Highway Rat and all the characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s story. Packs are available from the visitor centre for £3.