This article about things to do in October was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 1 October, 2019

Here we are at the start of a new academic year. Where did the summer go? Whilst your days might be packed with lectures, don’t forget to take some time off!

Here’s our pick of what’s on in October to get you out and about.

Frieze Art Fair

Photo of a woman doing yoga at Frieze
Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

Where: Regent’s Park, London

When: 3-6 October

Cost: Student tickets start at £27.95

Into modern art? Go to Frieze Art Fair! The event is named after Frieze magazine and is held every year in Regent’s Park in central London. It started out as a place to buy and sell contemporary art, but over the years it’s developed into massive outdoor gallery where more than 60,000 people go to check out what’s new and cool.

Each year the Fair is housed in a bespoke temporary structure that makes good use of natural light to bring out the best of the exhibitions and live performance.

World Conker Championships

Photo of a man and a woman playing conkers
A competitor prepares to strike

Where: Shuckburgh Arms, Southwick, Northamptonshire

When: 13 October

Cost: £5 per adult

It wouldn’t be possible to study in the UK and never hear about playing conkers in autumn. It is a historic and somewhat strange game.

A conker is the name given to the seed of the horse chestnut tree. They’re beautiful things: shiny, dark brown and extremely hard. Players thread a conker onto a piece of string and take turns swinging it at their opponent’s conker until one of the seeds breaks. Sure, it’s not sophisticated but the game has fascinated generations of British schoolchildren (and quite a few adults too).

The annual World Conker Championship is homage to this game and attracts players and spectators from around the world!

Diwali Leicester

Photo of neon lights on a street packed with people on Diwali in Leicester
Diwali lights in Leicester. Photo credit to Leicester City Council

Where: Belgrave Road, Leicester

When: 13-27 October

Cost: Free

Diwali is the “festival of lights” celebrated by people of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain faiths. It is one of the biggest festivals in India.

Leicester is home to one of the largest South Asian communities in the UK. Every year in October, the city sparkles with over 6,000 multicoloured lights as the city enjoys a party.

Leicester hosts one of the biggest Diwali festival outside of India. The festivities go on for two weeks with performances, music and plenty of delicious South Asian food. This year the famous Diwali Lights Switch will be on 13 October.

Museums at Night

Ipswich Museum at Museums at Night
Photo credit to CIMS

Where: Nationwide

When: 25th – 27th October

Cost: Varies

October is considered the spookiest month of the year. Why? First off there’s Halloween, and second as the days get colder and darkness falls earlier some believe the transition brings out ghostly spirits! Are you daring enough to embrace the darkness and visit a museum after dark? Some will be conducting tours by candle light. Spooky!

MCM Comic Con London

A cosplayer dressed up as Doctor Strange at London MCM Comic-Con
A cosplayer dressed up as Doctor Strange. Photo credit to Paul Boyling

Where: Excel Centre, Royal Victoria Dock, London

When: 25-27 October

Cost: Single day tickets start at £17.50

Geeks rejoice – MCM Comic Con London is a massive three-day gathering of cartoon and comic fans from around the world. Hard-core fans will dress up as their favourite character. Dr Strange, Yoda, Harley Quinn… you name it, they will be there! The event is a sensory and visual overload and you’ll be able to pick-up the latest games, films and merchandise as well as the chance to meet the actors and creators behind your favourite films, TV shows and video games.

Flame & Thunder Show

Where: Santa Pod Raceway, Bedfordshire

When: 26 October

Cost: Tickets start at £25

If you love high-tech cars, drag racing, BMX biking, American wrestling and/or copious amounts of fire, you will love the Flame & Thunder Show. This annual event is an action-packed day full of motorsport stunts and drag racing. Bring ear protection – it’s going to get loud.