By Rhonda Carrier
‘We’ll be away for Halloween?! Mum!'
I wasn’t prepared for my three boys to be quite so horrified when I broke the news that we were going to be away for Halloween. I tried explaining to them that it was a trade-off – that seven days in the Mediterranean sunshine, enjoying all sorts of fantastic activities, was surely worth more than a couple of hours' trick and treating in the neighbourhood with their mates in cold, wet, dark Manchester. But they weren’t convinced. I ended up promising them that I’d pack their Halloween costumes and that we’d do some kind of trick or treating in the hotel if at all possible.
'The highlight of the week for my two eldest boys (then 11 and 9) was waterskiing for the first time, with my youngest (5) excited to ride in the speedboat with me. But they tried out the full range of activities offered by the brilliant kids’ clubs, including sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, table tennis and beach games galore.'
I didn’t want to mention it to them in case of disappointment, but I was fairly sure that the kids' clubs at the five-star Levante Beach Resort on the Greek island of Rhodes (then run by Mark Warner, now by Neilson) would include some Halloween activities in their schedule. And sure enough, when we got there we found that our week was to culminate in a spooky show, and the children’s activities during the week included rehearsals building up to this.
The show, involving both the children and the kids’ club's brilliant staff, was a blast, with everyone coming to watch. It wasn’t trick or treating, but there were plenty of sweets involved and it was enough for the kids to feel that they weren’t missing out on the event. And frankly, given everything else that they did that week, they certainly came to feel that the ‘trade-off’ was worth it.
The highlight of the week for my two eldest boys (then 11 and 9) was waterskiing for the first time, with my youngest (5) excited to ride in the speedboat with me. But they tried out the full range of activities offered by the kids’ clubs, including sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, table tennis and beach games galore. Everything that’s available in high season is also feasible in half term, so you don't miss out by coming late in the year.
In terms of the weather, it was warm enough to sunbathe without roasting – which the kids and I prefer in any event. The outdoor pools were on the chilly side, and if we were to go again at this time of year, or in the May half term, I’d take light wetsuits for all of us so that we could appreciate them more fully. The sea temperature was fine, though, and Levante also has a heated indoor pool that makes for a handy fallback if you really can’t brave the outdoor ones.
Half terms can be tricky when it comes to holidays with kids – they’re not really long enough to go far, but if you’re stuck at home and the weather’s grim, as it so often is, you can quickly get cabin fever and regret not going away. The Mediterranean may not be an obvious choice for the October half term, but prices are very keen at this time of year and the resorts less crowded. For us, it was a welcome blast of warmth and seaside fun before winter began in earnest.
Find out more about the Levante Beach Resort, now run by Neilson Active Holidays, and book with our specialist agent.