The River & Rowing Museum celebrated Halloween last Thursday with their spooky family fun day. ‘Wild Wood on Halloween’ saw skeletons, mummies, and other creepy, costumed children descend on the museum for a day packed with arts, crafts, and Halloween-themed activities. The one-off half term event focused on autumn, winter and nocturnal animals, putting a natural spin on the October 31st festival.
Scattered throughout the museum was a mysterious pumpkin trail, which visitors could follow in search of Halloween facts. As well as learning more about pumpkins and the age-old traditions of All Hallows’ Eve, the eagle-eyed explorers who managed to find all the pumpkins were rewarded with a pumpkin or ghost shaped marshmallow.
In true family day fashion, the team at the RRM put on a tremendous array of crafts for the children to take part in. The Thames Room became the artistic centre of activity, where guests could make bat finger puppets, pom pom spiders, hair-raising hedgehogs, eerie owns, autumn crowns, and more. Upstairs in the galleries, the young artists could make their own lanterns, inspired by the tradition of lighting fire lanterns in winter to ward off evil spirits.
Mr Toad made a much anticipated appearance on the day to greet and sing with the children, many of whom had come dressed in their trick-or-treating attire. From Willy Wonka lookalikes to cute skeleton suits, there was an impressive array of costumes on parade.
Helen Cook, Head of Learning at the River & Rowing Museum, said on the day, “We’ve been really busy, which has been great. A lot of children have come dressed up for Halloween which is really fun, and it’s been lovely to see all their costumes.”
The event was organised with the help of The Henley College Travel & Tourism students, who were on hand to help with the arts and crafts. Helen explained, “They helped us develop all the activities and come up with the ideas and make the examples, and they’re helping us deliver them. It’s something we’ve been doing for a number of years and it’s great to work with the local college and support their courses.”
With its natural world twist and copious crafts, the River & Rowing Museum’s Wild Wood on Halloween family day was a chillingly cheery way to celebrate the holiday.