Activities for the October Holidays

Published on: Oct 11, 2021

Activities for the October Holidays

We can hardly believe it is the October holidays already! Here are some activities to do in Northmavine or at home to keep the whole family entertained.

1. Visit the beach Viewof old pier at Heylor covered in sand with Ronas Hill in the background

Northmavine has lots of beaches to visit. Here are some ideas for things to do!

  1. Build sandcastles – use things you can find on the beach to decorate your creation
  2. Make a mermaid – Draw an outline in the sand and then decorate with seaweed and shells.
  3. Go on a beach scavenger hunt - Why not download our scavenger hunt and see if you can find them all?
  4. Games- Gather your friends and have a game of rounders
  5. Wildlife watching – see if you can find any wildlife at the beach. Check out the Shetland Community Wildlife Group website for some handy tips!
  6. Beach Clean – Take a bag with you and gather any marine litter you find to help keep out beaches clean.
  7. Find a mermaid’s purse – Take part in the Great Eggcase Hunt run by the Shark Trust. You can find out how to identify and record your finds here.

2. Sound walk at Stenness

Head up to the former fishing station at the Stenness Beach in Eshaness and learn all about the history. By downloading the Satsymph app before you head out, you can listen to local folk reading extracts from archival material as you walk around the beach.

Head to to learn more about the project.

3. Visit a Woodland Trees with a blue sky behind

There are two woodlands in Northmavine found in Sullom and Swinister. Here are some ideas to do on your next visit.

  1. Bark and leaf rubbings – Take some paper and crayons to do some bark and leaf rubbings. You can then use them to create new pictures.
  2. Nature art – gather things from the woodland floor like rocks, leaves and twigs and make a picture from them.
  3. Play Hide and Seek
  4. Woodland Scavenger Hunt – Download our scavenger hunt list and see if you can find everything.
  5. Sounds – sit completely still and see how many different sounds you can hear. Why not try and make a map from the sounds?
  6. Collaborative Story Telling – As you walk through the woods, take turns to tell a story inspired by the woods and your imagination!
  7. See how many different kinds of trees you can find. Check out the Woodland Trust for handy ID guides that you can print to take with you!


4. Play in your Garden

  1. There are lots of fun things you can do in your very own garden. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
  2. Create a bug hotel. The RSPB has a handy guide to get you started
  3. Make some seed cakes to hang up for birds. Check out this step by step guide from the RSPB
  4. Make a paper windmill – here are a couple of tutorials for making a windmill and
  5. Make a garden diary – write down or draw about what you have planted, found or wildlife you have seen
  6. Plant bulbs – Plan for the spring by planting some bulbs in the October holidays. Try crocuses, snowdrops, bluebells, hyacinths or alliums.
  7. Make a compost heap – While tidying up the garden, why not create a compost heap so that you have homemade compost for potting up in spring. Check out the Eden Project for some tips.
  8. Create your own fairy garden. Check out this youtube video about how to create your very own fairy garden 

5. Playparks

You can find play parks at the North Roe and Urafirth Primary Schools, Stucca and Valladale in Hillswick and Runnadale in Ollaberry. There is also a multi court at the Ollaberry School, great for a game of football!

Check out Promote Shetland’s map for locations

6. Stargaze

Now that the nights are drawing in, it is a perfect time get outside and look at the night sky. The Royal Observatory Greenwich has lots of helpful resources

Here are some cool star gazing crafts to do too!

Things to look out for

You should be able to see Jupiter, Saturn and Mars this month with Jupiter being especially bright!

9th October: Full Moon 

21st /22nd October: It's the peak of the Orionids meteor shower

25th October: Don't miss the partial solar eclipse

Head over to the Royal Museums Greenwich for more information and tips on stargazing 

If it is a clear, still night you might see the merrie dancers. Merrie Dancers also called the Aurora Borealis has been attributed to goddesses, dragons and even warriors in the past. You can learn all about them here

7. Bruckland

At Bruckland we have lots of books, DVDs and toys – great for a rainy day! Or why not have a go at upcycling something from the household section? Bruckland is open Sun, Mon and Tue 2-5pm. 

8. Nort Trow Gardin Nort Trow Gardin with church in the background

The Nort Trow Gardin in North Roe is a great place to visit all year round. Located next to the former Church of Scotland, the garden is fairly sheltered and there are lots of toys to play with and benches to have a picnic. Download our Nort Trow Garden scavenger hunt and see if you can find everything.


9. Halloween Baking

BBC Good Food has lots of Halloween recipe ideas that you can try out over the holidays

10. Halloween Crafts Carved pumpkin with the oogie boogie man, lit up in the dark

There are lots of craft ideas on the internet. Check out Country Living who have a whole gallery of ideas!

11. Writing Contests 

The Young Walter Scott Prize – Competition for anyone age 11-19 interested in writing historical fiction. Open until the 31st October Halloween Ghost Story Contest – Have a go at writing a spooky story. Different categories for different age groups. Open until the 21st October

12. Get out for a Walk View of the sea from the walk to the Back of Ollaberry with a man wearing yellow boots in the distance

There are lots of great places to go for a walk in Northmavine. Have a look at our website for some walks you can also look at the Shetland Island Council website to discover core path routes.

13. Film Afternoon at the Weaving Shed

You can book the Weaving Shed in Hillswick for a film afternoon between 3-9pm on a Wednesday or Saturday. There is a large selection of films to choose from and projector with screen and sound system. It is for individual family use of up to 6 people. If you are interested in booking slot, get in touch with Iain Davidson:

14. North Mainland Leisure Centre

Although not strictly in Northmavine, the North Mainland Leisure Centre in Brae has lots of activities on over the holidays. You can download their brochure here.

15. Collafirth Brig

There are picnic benches covered in lots of great photographs as well as a boat house to play in and information boards all about the history of the Brig.

16. Some more ideas for things to do at home

Check out the natural history museum website for lots of activity ideas

The National Museum of Scotland also has lots of activities to do at home

Eden Project activities for home

Shetland Museum and Archives