How to improve holidays with children

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The Independent Travel

IS IT ME or does Hallowe'en get more elaborate every year? I don't remember doing much more than apple-bobbing when I was a little ghoul, but times have changed. These days there are even Hallowe'en mini-breaks.

Take Dublin, for example. This year's Hallowfest (hallowfest.ie) kicks off on 28 October with lots of bloodcurdling events: fancy dress parades, mask making, drama workshops and fire juggling, as well as spooky walks and storytelling. Stena Line (08705 747474; stenaline.co.uk/ autumnbreaks) is offering a two-night Hallowe'en package, with accommodation at the Castle Hotel.

Edinburgh, too, has plenty of grisly activity on offer. The Bonham Hotel (0131-274 7400; thebonham.com) has joined forces with Mercat Tours (0131 225 5445; mercattours.com) to create a Chiller Package, featuring a number of eerie ghost tours of the Old Town, including the haunted South Bridge Vaults.

But for an all-out ghoul fest, head for Ostend. Between 26 October and 4 November, the Belgian town becomes one big gruesome party venue, with ghost shows, ghoulish menus and lots more. Check out the Hotel Imperial (00 32 59 80 67 67; hotel-imperial.eu), which is offering family discounts, or find a hotel through Ostend Tourism (00 32 59 70 11 99; toerisme-oostende.be).

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