Halloween Chessington Things to do in October

13 awesome things to do in October

13 awesome things to do in October

From theme park frights to leaf peeping, here’s our picks of the best of the month in London and Surrey

As the nights draw in and Autumn leaves are falling, there’s a host of frightfully fun things to do in October. From new season theatre to Halloween fun and October Half term entertainment. There is a new look London marathon to enable athletes and participants to compete safely and socially distance. Following COVID-19 guidelines is key to these events so please wear your mask when you support your local events. After all, they will be all the rage come 31st October!

Things to do in SW London and Surrey


Family fun at Chessington

Chessington World of Adventures is hosting Howl’O’Ween from 17 October – 1 November, with tricks and treats at the much-loved theme park. Wander into the Forgotten Forest and encounter enchantment in a new attraction, which joins the Creepy Caves. Enjoy rides at dusk, plus watch some of them come alive, including the Vampire and Tomb Blaster. (pictured top)


Mortality mysteries

London Month of the Dead aims to shed light on all aspects of mortality. The festival is smaller than previous years but there’s still 22 events being hosted at several of the capital’s fascinating cemeteries with guided walking tours and candlelit concerts as well as a range of talks being held online.   


Live theatre in Barnes

OSO Arts is back for an autumn programme with a socially distanced theatre. Highlights for October include This Is Your Trial (23 – 24 Oct), an interactive and improvised comedy show where the OSO becomes a courtroom. You decide on your level of participation and if you are facing charges, you’ll be provided with the best legal defence your ticket price can afford!


Cheers to London Cocktail Week

This year’s celebration of mixology has been extended to a month to help support an industry that has been so badly hit by the lockdown. Buy a festival wristband and rock up to some great venues including the London Cocktail Club in Clapham and Fulham’s Little Blue Door. Wristbands cost £15, giving you access to £6 cocktails in participating venues. There’s also digital events and a cocktail delivery service if you prefer a night in.


Support the elite runners in the London Marathon

This year’s marathon looks very different, with the elite races held on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park. You can watch the races live on the BBC on Sunday 4 October. Other participants in the marathon will have 24 hours to complete the 26.2 miles. They can run, walk, take breaks and log their race on a London Marathon app.


Piaf Remembered

An intimate musical cabaret featuring celebrated French jazz & Cabaret singer Oriana Curls presenting many of the iconic French singer Edith Piaf’s timeless classics such as “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” & “La Vie En Rose”. A unique mixture of spoken word and French song, the show debuted to great acclaim at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival. Eventbrite. George IV, Chiswick. 1 October.  


The Great Gatsby is back

The UK’s longest running immersive production is set to re-open at West End venue IMMERSIVE | LDN and has been re-imagined as an Art Deco Masquerade Ball, with audience members wearing compulsory face coverings to complement their costumes! A bespoke face covering will also be available to purchase at the venue with some of the proceeds going to The Theatre Artists Fund.


The Rose returns

The Rose Theatre Kingston makes a much welcome return this month, kicking off with the 40th anniversary production of Willy Russell’s Educating Rita starring Stephen Tompkinson and Jessica Johnson. Playing from 28 October – 14 November.


Sin in art

The first exhibition in the UK exploring sin in art will be staged at the National Gallery this autumn. Sin will bring together paintings from the National Gallery’s collection dating from the 16th to the 18th century with loans from private and public collections including modern and contemporary works by Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin, and Ron Mueck. 7 October 2020 – 3 January 2021


Treasure-seeking at the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair

More than 140 specialist dealers in British and European design, decorative and fine antiques and art will gather at London Evolution, the double-height marquee in Battersea Park. All necessary social-distancing and safety measures will be in place, and timed tickets will need to be pre-booked. 22 – 25 October.


Spot a Gruffalo at Kew

Families can enjoy the autumn landscape at Kew Gardens while on a trail of the Gruffalo, and pals Fox, Owl and Snake, with a special trail through the Kew Gardens Arboretum, following the tracks of each animal. 17 October – 1 November


In for a fright

Thorpe Park is hosting its Halloween special (recommended for ages 13+). The Fright Nights Fearstival will have five new live-action experiences to get you in the mood before taking on some terrifying rides in the dead of night. There’s also deserted railroad horror maze Platform 15 and the Screamplexx Cinema will be opening its doors for a movie marathon. Running side by side, Luna Cinema will offer its drive-in experience with early screenings including Ghostbusters, and scarier flicks later such as The Shining.


Leaf peeping

Watch the leaves turn into a kaleidoscope of colours as we head into autumn proper. Best places to see the fall foliage in all its glory include Winkworth Arboretum (booking in advance essential via the National Trust website), Richmond Park, Chelsea Embankment and Kew Gardens (do book in advance).