VISIT Marwell Zoo this October half term for some frightful fun as its enchanting Halloween event returns.

Included in the price of admission, Boo at the Zoo offers a programme of exciting activities from October 20 until October 28.

Marwell Hall will become a magical Haunted Hall where Esme the spooky witch will welcome little guests into her unique Halloween grotto for interactive storytelling sessions at 11am, 1pm and 3pm daily.

Meanwhile take part in creepy craft drop-in sessions from 10.30am until 3.30pm (£1 fee applies) where visitors can create their very own wands.

Marwell’s resident wizard Lowedalf will put trainee flyers through their paces to earn their Level 3 Broomstick Licence. The sessions last 20 minutes and take place each day in the ‘flying arena’ on the front lawn outside the Haunted Hall on a first come first served basis at 10.40am, 11.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.20pm and 3.45pm.

Halloween would not be the same without a freaky fancy dress competition so Marwell is asking little pumpkins, skeletons, witches or wizards to dress up in their scariest Halloween costume for the chance to win a spooky cuddly toy from the gift shop.

Esme the witch will award two prizes daily inside the Haunted Hall at 3.30pm for children five years and under and over five years.

There will also be a team of face painters on hand at the giraffe house (fee applies) ready for youngsters to pose for frightful photographs at the hall’s medieval stocks.

From ring-tailed lemurs to majestic giraffes, and curious meerkats, to stunning snow leopards, the 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species.

Plus, Marwell’s biggest ever exhibit, Tropical House: Energy for Life is now open! This marks the second phase of a £17m investment programme for the zoo over the next 8-10 years, creating improved habitats for animals and more immersive experiences for guests. The £8m exhibit spans two levels offering fantastic vantage points across a lush, tropical canopy and the opportunity to experience the captivating life of the forest floor. Share the habitat and enjoy uninterrupted, close-up views of new, colourful and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects.

Visitors can enjoy a range of daily animal talks, plus, with five adventure playgrounds, a free road train and rail train, there is plenty to occupy your little ones whilst you relax and soak up the surroundings.

Marwell Zoo, home to more than 150 species, is owned by Marwell Wildlife, a global conservation charity leading programmes in the UK, Africa and across the world. The charity engages with over 40,000 school children through curriculum based education programmes and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year to its 140 acre site.

For more details and for a full list of park events visit the charity’s website www.marwell.org.uk