There will be a host of spooky shenanigans and ghoulish goings on in Darlington with a packed programme of events and activities for all ages during the October half term.

Darlington Libraries will be leading the fun as youngsters who completed the annual Summer Reading Challenge can choose one of two, animal-themed events for free – a Cute and Fluffy Animal Show on Monday 24 October or a Feathery Friends Falconry Show on Friday 28 October.

There’s also a host of other activities throughout the week including Spooky Storytelling and Craft Activity with author Kay Wilson, who will be reading from her new Halloween Story followed by a spooky crafts session on Wednesday 26 October. Kay will be leading two sessions, the first 10.30-11.15am at Crown Street Library and the second 2-2.45pm at Cockerton Library. Sessions are free, but must be booked in advance.

On Thursday 27 October, at 10.30am, Crown Street Library will play host to Hey Presto! A theatre production with music, adapted from the popular children’s book by author-illustrator Nadia Shireen. Produced by New Writing North for Durham Book Festival, the carnival-themed show promises to bring all the fun of the fair to Darlington.

The story follows two best friends, Presto and Monty. Monty is great at singing, eating ice cream and pulling funny faces, while Presto is a brilliant magician. When the carnival comes to town, Presto and Monty decide to join up with their amazing magic act. The show is a huge success, but fame goes to Monty’s head.

Can the friends work out how to work together, before it’s too late? Families will have to come along to this musical, magical production at Crown Street Library to find out!  Tickets, price £4 per person, are available from the library.

The week’s events at Crown Street Library will conclude with a free, Halloween Super Saturday Film session featuring Hotel Transylvania on Saturday 29 October, from 2pm.

The Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum will also be getting into the spirit of Halloween as it is specially decorated to host two special events.

On Sunday 23 October, 11am-3.30pm, visitors, young and old, are invited to don their favourite Halloween costume to enjoy some spooky fun during a Halloween Little Boo Fun Day at Head of Steam. Activities will include spooky storytelling, balloon modelling, a treasure trail, face painting, mini train ride and arts and crafts. Normal entrance fee applies.

Family Arts and Crafts will follow on Thursday and Friday 27 and 28 October, 1-3pm, with Halloween themed activities for all the family included in the usual entrance fee and yearly passes.

Budding witches and wizards can join in the fun at a free, Sand Potions Workshop at the Cornmill Shopping Centre on Friday 28 October. Children will have great fun filling shaped bottles with layers of brightly coloured sand to produce their very own “magic potions”.  With each of the 10 colours labelled with the name of a “magic” ingredient such as “Sneezewort”, “Dragon’s Blood” and “Mandrake Root”. Potions are sealed into the bottle by a friendly Wizard!

There will also be children’s fairground rides in the town centre throughout the week, 22-29 October and on Monday 31 October the Dolphin Centre’s Under the Sea Soft Play will be hosting a Halloween Party including a monster mash disco and fancy dress. Tickets are £6.50, available from soft play, and include a pirate treasure box meal and goodie bag,

There will also be a host of Get Going activities from the Dolphin’s Move More Team during the half term. For details visit the website www.healthydarlington.gov.uk or call 01325 406411.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and the Environment, said:

“Our events team and other staff have once again come up trumps to put together a fun-packed programme for families to enjoy during the half term break. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible joining in the ghostly goings on and hope they’ll also take the time to visit some of the borough’s other shops, cafes and attractions.”

For more information about library services and events log onto the website at Darlington Libraries, visit the Facebook page, Bookstart in Darlington, pop into one of the lib