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Top five things to do in Gloucestershire this weekend

October half-term has arrived and there's plenty going on in and around Gloucestershire this weekend and into next week to keep you busy.

1# Racecourse hosts Cheltoberfest to kick off new season 

The wait is almost over! The home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse, kicks off the 2019/2020 season this October with its traditional Showcase fixture commencing procedures.

The two-day meeting takes place on Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26.

Each raceday will host seven races, where the UK's top trainers and jockeys will return to Cheltenham after the six-month summer break. The action on the track is sure to be competitive as trainers target their horses to try and claim their place in the famous Cheltenham Winners' Enclosure.

In addition to all the exciting racing to enjoy, the racecourse will be hosting its first Cheltoberfest, which will take place in The Centaur both days. October is the month that is synonymous with OctoberFest, a beer-themed event which takes place around the country and the racecourse's very own is sure to be hugely enjoyable.

There will be a range of local real ales and Magners Cider available for purchase on the day, as well as live music from the Bierkeller Boys and a racing tipster before the action commences. Think of lots of tweed, lederhosen and bunting aplenty to fully embrace the Cotswolds / Austrian theme!

Gates open at 12 noon on both days, with the first race at 2pm.

Visit the Cheltenham Racecourse website for ticket details.

2# 'Serenade and Sandwiches' with a difference in Lechlade

Two distinguished musicians of international renown will be taking part in a 'Serenade and Sandwiches' event with a difference in Lechlade next week.

Massimo Di Trolio (clarinet) and Maiko Mori (piano), who are both in great demand, will be performing at St Lawrence Church at 12 noon on Friday, October 25.

Their programme will include music by Debussy, Finzi, Gershwin, Lovreglio and Poulenc.

Having held the position of principal clarinet with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta (2006- 08), Massimo returned to the UK to pursue a busy schedule of orchestral, chamber and solo engagements. He has established himself as a freelance clarinetist in high demand.

Massimo performs regularly with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the Aurora Orchestra, the London Contemporary Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Maiko Mori has enjoyed acclaim at prestigious venues and festivals such as the Purcell Room, the Bridgewater Hall, West Road Hall, Kings Place, and the Cheltenham Festival.

She is currently piano professor at the University of Chichester and is also an official accompanist at Goldsmiths University, London. Maiko has played at several Serenade and Sandwich concerts and her return is welcomed.

A light lunch will follow the recital and "The Difference" is that the audience is asked to bring a sandwich lunch, on a platter to share with others if you wish.

Massimo and Maiko will chat to the audience over lunch. There will be a licensed bar offering wine and soft drinks.

This noontime recital has been organised to support The Church Restoration and Maintenance Appeal, for which a generous donation is requested.

3# Celebrate Halloween at the Museum of "Ghoulster" 

There's all sorts of Halloween fun to be had at the Museum of Gloucester this October half-term.

The museum is hosting a fun Halloween pumpkin trail from Saturday, October 26, to Saturday, November 2, from 10am to 5pm. Simply find the 10 pumpkins hidden around the museum and crack the 'spooktacular' code to win a small prize. £1 per child.

Then on the big day itself, Thursday, October 31, the museum is holding a Halloween Fancy Dress Day.

Celebrate Halloween in style by wearing your spookiest fancy dress to the museum and win a small prize. Everyone is welcome.

4# Frighteningly good half-term fun for your little monsters! 

Visit Taurus Crafts this October half-term and get spooky with a range of activities that will be running every day from Saturday, October 26, until Sunday, November 3.

The programme offers a great selection of activities which will be frighteningly fun for your little monsters.

You'll be able to get set for Halloween with real pumpkin decorating and create an original costume with Cooper Art in her spooky costume activity where you can make either a witch or wizard hat, mask and broomstick or make your own Halloween cupcakes with Isabel's Bakehouse.

There are also some new additions to the programme - skeleton puppet and monster sculpture making.

Not to be missed are the centre's original activities - Arnie Kazzam the wizard man, puppet show, fairy & dragon houses, rock painting, slime making, a free trail, stone carving, pottery painting, chocolate making, jewellery making and candle making.

The centre is open daily 10am until 5.00pm and is free to get in with a large free car park. Located just outside Lydney town on the A48.

For more information, call 01594 844841 or visit Taurus Crafts' website at www.tauruscrafts.co.uk or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TaurusCrafts/.

5# Zombie Walk set to be the biggest and best yet 

The Gloucester Zombie Walk is one of Café René's first and favourite city-wide events, bringing a little Hallowe'en magic to Gloucester city centre and raising awareness and money for local charities at the same time.

As well as the main walk, the route of which takes in most of Gloucester's historic city centre (with a few surprises along the way), attendees and their families can expect plenty of spooky activities to keep kids young and old entertained before and after.

And there's also a best-dressed zombie competition, with prizes for the best costumes.

The main walk sets off from Café René at 3pm on Saturday, October 26, and with a "Zombie School" beforehand on the green and Eastgate Shopping Centre providing face painters to help you get your Zombie on, there's no excuse not to join the fun!

This year organisers are collecting for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Hospice, and working on some fiendish plans behind the scenes to make it the biggest and best yet!

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