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Get set for a ghoulishly great day out in Paisley with the Monster Halloween Trail!

Kids can follow the free trail around Paisley town centre and name all of the monsters and ghouls for their chance to be entered into a spooktacular prize draw.

Each of the Halloween creatures will be on display inside shop and business windows, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled as you begin your mysterious mission around Paisley.

Running from 14 – 31 October, you can pick up a Monster Halloween map from the Piazza Shopping Centre or the Paisley Centre. Or alternatively download one here.

Dressing up is of course optional, but if you do head out in costume around Halloween weekend, don’t forget to tag Paisley First in your pics!

More Halloween events

Paisley Halloween Festival 2022 is just days away, and we can’t wait for you to see what this year’s ‘heroes, myths and legends’ Spooktacular has in store.

Without giving away too many spoilers, we’ve compiled our 5 must-see moments of this year’s festival.

But first, here’s a reminder of all the key event info:

  • 27 – 29 October, 6pm – 9pm each night
  • Paisley town centre
  • Free to attend, no ticket required

Head on over to our Paisley Halloween Festival page for full details.

5 Things not to miss at Paisley Halloween Festival 2022

1. Get as close as you dare to the giant spider’s lair…

A giant, 8-legged arachnid has woven an intricate web on Abbey Close, but watch out, she has glowing eggs to protect!

2. Marvel at the gravity-defying tricks of the All or Nothing crew

Good will clash with evil atop our two aerial performance spots; a 20ft high digital wall and on top of the Piazza shopping centre roof! All or Nothing will dazzle you with their mid-air gymnastics – just remember to look up!

3. Say hello to the madcap Dr Kronovator, head of the fire laboratory

Dr K and his assistants will guide you through the fearsome fire garden in this entirely flammable, interactive show.

4. Find all the monsters and ghouls hidden across Paisley town centre

Follow the Paisley First trail to shops and businesses throughout the town centre and discover lots of Halloween surprises.

5. Catch festival favourites deliver blistering street performances

Festival regulars Spark! LED Drummers and the flame-throwing PyroCeltica will take to the streets alongside some newcomers, including a fire-breathing dragon! Our street acts will roam around the whole event site all evening, giving revellers plenty of opportunities to see them!

Check out the full-line up for this year's festival

More behind the scenes at Halloween...

The Royal National Mòd will return to Paisley in 2023 and is set to bring thousands of visitors and competitors to the town.

This will be the second time Paisley has hosted Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic language and culture, and the town hopes to build on the success of the 2013 festival, which at the time was one of the best attended in the event’s history.

The festival will run from 13 – 21 October 2023 and will feature a range of competitive disciplines including: Gaelic song, poetry, literature, drama, instrumental, Highland dancing and sport.

The main venue will be Paisley Town Hall, currently being transformed as part of a wider investment by Renfrewshire Council in the town’s cultural venues. The reopened venue will keep the historic architecture the venue is known for but will add modern entertainment facilities, and the Mòd will be among the first big events it will hold.

This year the Mòd was hosted in Perth which saw around 2,100 participants from across the world take part in a total of 200 competitions. This included 34 choirs and 900 soloists, with a staggering 200 trophies scooped up over the course of the event.

Around 7,500 people are estimated to have visited Perth for the festival and its thought to have contributed around £1 million to the local economy.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron attended the closing ceremony in Perth to accept the Mòd flag and the official handover of the festival to Paisley.

She said: “It’s an honour to accept the Mòd flag, signalling the return of the Royal National Mòd to Paisley in 2023, exactly ten years after it was last hosted in the town.

“The Mòd promises to be a fantastic celebration of Gaelic culture and heritage and I’m really looking forward to welcoming competitors and visitors to our area.

“Renfrewshire has a rich Gaelic history. There are currently more than 1,500 residents of Renfrewshire who speak, read or write Gaelic, and recently we welcomed the first of many children to our new Gaelic school at West Primary.

“We’ve been working hard alongside An Comunn Gàidhealach and our Local Organising Committee to prepare for the event and further details about the programme will be announced soon.”

Angus Ferguson, Chair of the Local Organising Committee said: “As someone who was on the 2013 Mòd Phaislig committee I’m delighted that An Comunn and Renfrewshire Council have agreed to bring the Mòd back to Paisley. It’s a great honour to be part of the team delivering Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival and I’m confident Mòd Phaislig 2023 will be a fitting showcase of Gaelic language and culture.

“Paisley’s central location and first class transport links make it easily accessible from all parts of the country and the town’s growing reputation as a cultural centre means it’s ideally suited to host the Mòd.

“The town’s performance spaces – including the recently refurbished town hall and the iconic Abbey – are second to none and the proximity of venues to each other will enhance the event for competitors and audiences alike.”

Find out more information about the programme as it is announced at the Renfrewshire Council website.

The October school holidays are fast approaching and there’s lots of fun for the family to enjoy with the Wee Spree.

The popular festival takes place from 15 – 23 October with a packed line-up of theatre, film, music, dance and more to suit all ages.

See full details of the Wee Spree programme and purchase tickets here.

Tickets can also be bought in-person from InCube Shop, 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley.

But first, find out more about five great events the kids won’t want to miss below.

 

Spooktacular Animation Workshop

Halloween is just around the corner… and your kids can get creative ahead of the big day at the Wee Spree!

Imaginations can run wild at fantastic Halloween-inspired animation workshops from CineMor77. Kids will learn to storyboard, design sound effects and produce an animation using tablets and easy to use software.

 

Family Film Fun with Cinemor77

There’s lots of film fun at the festival as Ferguslie’s Tannahill Centre hosts low-cost screenings of popular family films.

Enjoy a singalong version of Encanto (17 October), as well as The Bad Guys (18 October), Lightyear (18 October), DC League of Super Pets (19 October) and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (20 October).

Plus, each ticket for the film events at The Tannahill Centre will include free face painting and popcorn.

 

Four Go Wild in Wellies

Four Go Wild in Wellies is a playful look at how friendships are built, broken and mended – a whimsical adventure featuring tents that have a life of their own, bobble hats, and of course, lots of fun in wellies!

This fantastic show from Indepen-dance, Scotland’s inclusive professional dance company, is perfect for ages 3-5 years.

 

Rocket Post

Experience a joyful mix of songs, storytelling and exciting visuals for everyone aged 6+.

Don’t miss Rocket Post – an acclaimed tale of miscommunication and the magical discoveries that can happen when everything goes wrong.

 

Unicorn Dance Party

The best dance party ever is taking place at the Wee Spree – and your family is invited!

Enjoy a Unicorn Dance Party with sparkling unicorns Melody and Luna. Perfect for ages 5+, this interactive show will see them join in with easy-to-follow dance moves and the ultimate playlist of favourite tunes, from Katy Perry to Queen.

See more at the Wee Spree

As part of the festive celebrations in Paisley town centre this year, and new for 2022, look out for the spectacular under-cover outdoor Ice Rink.

It’s Paisley’s Christmas from 30 November – 30 December but tickets are on sale now if you’d like to get your skates on and book in a session on the ice!

With a themed Bavarian bar, Christmas goodies and a selection of festive outdoor rides for the whole family to enjoy, it’ll be a great family festive day out.

Click here to buy Ice Rink tickets (Paisley’s Christmas website opens in new browser window)

Paisley’s Christmas is organised by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with Paisley First and Scotland’s Theme Park.

Find out more

Pictured above (l-r): Evolution by Joan Melville; Collage by Ruth Walsh; FOMO by Sperman Universe; new work by Caroline Gormley

Big Art Show is a large-scale public exhibition in Paisley – and it’s a must-see!

It runs from 26 August – 26 November and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm.

The Art Department is a former four-floor department store in Paisley now operated as a temporary (two years) arts centre by Outspoken Arts in partnership with other art organisations and art exhibitors.

Big Art Show will take place in a large, open-plan space over several floors. Most artworks are expected to be for sale to be for sale.

Children can sign up to Gadgeteers, the Summer Reading Challenge 2022, produced by the Reading Agency and delivered by OneRen libraries.

The theme this year is a celebration of the science and the power of books!

Sign up at the library and you will receive a starter poster which you can add stickers to as you read books to complete the challenge.

Find a fantastic range of books for all ages and interests – and you can also read or listen to books online using the Libby and Borrowbox apps!

There are special prizes as you go through the challenge including a free swim pass for any OneRen pool when you read 3 books and a certificate and a medal when you complete the Challenge. .

The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children ages 4 – 11. Younger children can also join in with the special mini challenge.

Click here for more information.

Plus, OneRen libraries will be running free STEM activities throughout the summer and the Skoobmobile, mobile library service will be visiting communities across Renfrewshire with fun crafts, digital play and reading adventures.

More great things to do this summer

There are few things better than packing a blanket, some sandwiches, drinks – maybe even a sweet treat or two – and heading out to enjoy a picnic in the sun.

Luckily, Renfrewshire is home to a host of great parks, green spaces and delightful hidden gems where you can unpack and unwind.

Take a closer look at these great places to spend a lunchtime or afternoon with friends and family. 

 

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park – Lochwinnoch

Castle Semple Trail in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

Looking for a chilled-out afternoon soaking up the sun and scenery or something more adventurous? Well, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park offers the best of both.

You’ll find lots of beauty spots to enjoy a leisurely picnic, with benches and tables handily located around the park.

You can also book a BBQ site at the park by contacting one of the park rangers. Remember, if you’re bringing your own portable BBQ, make sure to place it on bricks or stones rather than directly onto the grass or picnic table. You don’t want to be damaging the beautiful landscape.

Located in the regional park is Castle Semple Country Park and Castle Semple Loch. Here, visitors can launch their own kayak, canoe, windsurf or join one of the boating clubs to learn skills on the water with fully qualified instructors. The park offers a variety of courses to suit all levels.

Explore the range of things to do at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park here.

 

Boden Boo & Erskine Beach

Erskine-Boden-Boo

Enjoy a picnic on the edge of the River Clyde, under the impressive Erskine Bridge.

Boden Boo and Erskine Beach is a gem of a location, with sandy shores, grassy slopes and picnic benches for you to tuck into a tasty lunch.

The woodlands offer fantastic trails for a leisurely stroll or cycle. There’s also accessible paths ideal for buggies and walking your pet pup too.

Find out more about Boden Boo and Erskine Beach here.

 

Gleniffer Braes Country Park – Paisley

Gleniffer Braes

With outstanding views, Gleniffer Braes Country Park offers fantastic spaces for picnics surrounded by beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Among the serene spots found within the park is the stunning Craigielinn Waterfall. It’s a particular favourite with locals, visitors to the area and photographers.

Birdwatchers are in for a treat with skylarks, meadow pipits, kestrels, sparrowhawks and many more often spotted at the park. You’re also likely to see some Highland cows grazing the fields during a visit. You might even be lucky enough to spot some deer.

Fancy taking in more sights after your picnic? Renfrewshire Council’s Ranger Service regularly lead guided walks to help you find out more.

Get everything you need to know about Gleniffer Braes here.

 

Finlaystone Country Estate – Langbank

Finlaystone Play Area Boat

With around 140 acres of woodlands, Finlaystone Country Estate offers fantastic BBQ and picnic areas.

The attraction is managed by the family of the Chief of the Clan MacMillan, who welcome visitors with open arms to the estate’s beautiful gardens and range of walking trails.

Handy maps can be found at the visitor centre to ensure you don’t get lost around the grounds.

Have a spot of lunch beside trees that are well over 400 years old or take one of the many Ranger-led activities.

There are also brilliant adventure playgrounds to entertain the kids for hours on end.

The estate is open every day of the year from 10am – 5pm, April to September and 10am – 4pm in winter months. It’s located at Langbank, just 10 minutes west of Glasgow Airport.

Find out more about the estate and admissions here.

 

RSPB Lochwinnoch

Lochwinnoch-boats

Pack a picnic and spend a great day outdoors at the RSPB!

This wetland reserve is another great spot to enjoy some amazing wildlife with the family.

It’s located just 30 minutes from Glasgow city centre by car or train – and close to the Castle Semple visitor centre at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.

The reserve is home to an outdoor natural play area, accessible trails, hides, and events suitable for families. Plus there’s daily drop-in kids’ activities from April to October.

While you’re there, see how many different kinds of birds and ducks you can spot around the wetlands.

Find out more about RSPB Lochwinnoch here.

 

Barshaw Park – Paisley

View of Barshaw Park

Located near Paisley town centre, Barshaw Park has lovely scenery and range of great facilities for a fun afternoon out.

Visitors can enjoy children’s play areas, a BMX park, crazy golf and putting (seasonal). There’s a pond used by model boat enthusiasts, outdoor gym, peaceful walled gardens, café and fantastic miniature railway (seasonal).

Barshaw park also has accessible paths and wheelchair accessible swings.

Find out more here.

 

Fountain Gardens – Paisley

Grand Fountain in Fountain Gardens

Where can you enjoy a picnic with a view of a Category A-listed fountain containing statues of herons, dolphins and walruses? Paisley of course!

Originally laid out in 1797, Fountain Gardens is Paisley’s oldest public park. The current layout and name dates to the 1860s.

Lined with benches, picnic tables, grassy areas and broad walkways, the park is lots of fun.

All paths lead to the ornate cast-iron Grand Fountain at the centre of the park, which is a popular photo spot for visitors.

Find out more here.

 

Robertson Park – Renfrew

Robertson Park, Renfrew

With a beautiful pond and rich grassy areas, Robertson Park in Renfrew is a pretty location to unpack a picnic.

The park was opened in 1912 as an open space for the children of Renfrew. It was gifted to the Royal Burgh of Renfrew by William Robertson, a successful local businessman.

Today, it continues to offer great amenities and activities for families to enjoy.

Find out more here.

 

Thomas Shanks Park – Johnstone

Enjoy a picnic in a park steeped in history. Thomas Shanks Park is named after a leading industrialist of the 19th century who owned a company of heavy machine toolmakers – Thomas Shanks and Company.

Thomas’s daughter, Mrs J Polson, gifted the park to the town in the name of her late father for the recreation of the local people of Johnstone.

The park contains play areas, a skateboard ramp and two grass football pitches for visitors to enjoy.

Renfrewshire is the place to be for events and family days out this summer.

With the school holidays underway, there’s so much happening in the area to keep the kids entertained.

Take a look some ideas for great family events and things to do in the area below.

Renfrew Pipe Band Competition – Saturday 23 July

Get ready for the skirl of the bagpipes and the beat of the drum.

Renfrew’s Robertson Park will play proud host to its first ever pipe band competition on Saturday 23 July.

The event will also feature aerial workshops, a farmer’s market, food village and much more.

Find out more here.

 

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park – events across the summer

The beautiful Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park has an extensive calendar of family events and activities to enjoy.

This includes its Summer Kids programme every Wednesday during the school holidays.

Each week will feature different practical outdoor events, including a variety of guided nature and wildlife walks with park rangers.

The park also offers sailing courses and paddle sport sessions for varying levels of experience.

Tickets for all events can be purchased from the Clyde Muirshiel website.

 

RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve – events across the summer

The nearby RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve is home to stunning scenery and equally brilliant activities to go wild with the family.

A range of events are taking place at the reserve across a number of weeks this summer. Enjoy scavenger hunts, self-led activity trails and even a special dinosaur hunt!

Guided wildlife walks and pond dipping events will also take place on select days in July and August.

See the full list of what’s on at the RSPB Lochwinnoch website.

 

BRICKLIVE’s Fantasy Kingdom – Paisley – now until Sunday 14 August

This summer, Paisley First is bringing BRICKLIVE’s Fantasy Kingdom to town for a fun, free family day out.

Take the fantasy trail to spot amazing brick models located around the town centre, including knights, princesses, wizards and deadly dragons.

To take part, all you have to do is collect a trail leaflet and activity sheet from the leaflet racks at the Piazza Shopping Centre and the Paisley Centre.

The trail will run every day until Sunday 14 August. Find out more at the Paisley First website.

Funbox – Johnstone Town Hall – Saturday 16 July

Family favourites Funbox are bringing their Jungle Party to Johnstone Town Hall.

Full of classic singalongs from Anya, Kevin and Bonzo (formerly of The Singing Kettle), this show will be jumbo-sized join-in fun for all the family.

Two performances will take place on Saturday 16 July. Get your tickets from the OneRen box office.

Find more family day out inspirations

Renfrewshire is such a great place for wildlife spotting thanks to its many country parks and nature reserves.

Whether it’s somewhere to feed the ducks, do a bit of bird watching or ramble past fields with Highland cows, we’ve listed some popular wildlife spots in the area.

Each outdoor attraction also provides beautiful scenery and viewpoints. There’s no reason not to visit!

Tick off your wildlife checklist at these locations below.

Castle Semple Country Park – Lochwinnoch

Located beside the impressive Castle Semple Loch in Lochwinnoch, this country park is home to an abundance of wildlife.

You’ll be able to see a range of animals across the different seasons. Spot otters, roe deer, whooper swans and geese, blue tits and great tits. You may also see some fox and badger cubs in the summer months.

Before you visit, make sure to check out the park’s handy wildlife almanac which details what you might be able to see each month.

Plus, make sure to pop into the visitor centre to see its interesting wildlife and local history exhibitions.

Find out more here.

 

RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve – Lochwinnoch

One of the few wetlands left in the west of Scotland, Lochwinnoch is the perfect place to go birdwatching.

Spring is a particularly special time to see the elaborate displays of the great crested grebes.

In the summer, broods of cygnets and ducklings can be seen on the loch. You’ll also find a wide variety of butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies among the colourful displays of wildflower.

Catch sight of large gatherings of swallows, flocks of redwings and fieldfares, tits, goldcrests and treecreepers in the woodland during Autumn.

Then, in the winter months you can find whooper swans, wigeon and a variety of ducks.

Find out more about the reserve and what you can see here.

 

Gleniffer Braes Country Park – Paisley

Highland cows grazing in Gleniffer Braes Country Park

Paisley’s very own country park sits high above the town and boasts some of the best views in Renfrewshire.

Wildlife found here is typical of woodland and moorland. See skylarks, kestrels and sparrowhawks feeding in the treetops along with goldcrest and chaffinches.

Highland cows are regularly seen in the fields. Shy roe deer can also be spotted stepping from the shadows to graze as dusk falls.

Find out more here.

 

Jenny’s Well Nature Reserve – Paisley

Jenny's Well Local Nature Reserve

This nature reserve along the White Cart Water is a peaceful haven for wildlife, near Paisley town centre.

Formerly a quarry, the area has been landscaped and has a network of paths. Here, you’ll be able to spot dozens of species of birds, trees and flowers.

With its handy location beside the water, you might even see otters, eels or a kingfisher from the viewing platform overlooking the River Cart.

Find out more about this great location here.

 

Finlaystone Country Estate – Langbank

Finlaystone Woods

Finlaystone is home to approximately 140 acres of beautiful woodlands, including trees estimated to be well over 400 years old.

There’s no fear of getting lost in the varied landscapes as maps and further information is available from the estate’s visitor centre.

You’ll also find a calendar of ranger-led activities designed to promote the natural environment.

Look out for a host of wildlife, including roe deer, fox, grey squirrel, stoat, and a large colony of herons.

Plus, the neighbouring mud flats on the River Clyde are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is due to their national importance for wintering birds such as redshank, greenshank, oystercatcher, goldeneye and eider.

Regular sightings of birds at the estate include robin, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, blackbird, buzzard, jay, kestrel, sparrow hawk, chaffinch, thrush, swallow, house martin, sparrow and tawny owl.

Find out more about the estate and admissions here.

 

Paisley Moss Nature Reserve – Paisley

Paisley Moss Nature Reserve

Forming part of Glasgow Airport and bounded by motorway slip roads, Paisley Moss is a hidden oasis for wildlife.

The local nature reserve contains ponds, mossy marshes, reeds and sedge beds supporting hundreds of different animals and plants.

 

Barshaw Park – Paisley

View of Barshaw Park Sunset

Located not far from Paisley town centre, Barshaw Park has lovely scenery and range of great facilities.

Within the park is a lovely pond, which is used regularly by Paisley Model Yacht club today.

The pond is also popular with visiting swans and dozens can be seen in the water at any one time.

Find out more about the facilities at Barshaw Park here.

 

Robertson Park – Renfrew

Robertson Park, Renfrew

With a beautiful pond located within the grounds, Robertson Park in Renfrew is a perfect place to go and feed the ducks.

With great grassy areas, playgrounds, a BMX course and skatepark, there’s more than just wildlife to enjoy on a family trip here.

Find out more about Robertson Park here.