My kids and I love the spookiness of Halloween. In fact, from January straight through October 31, my kids yak and yak (and yak) about what they want to be for Halloween and what their costumes will look like from head to toe. Dressing up is their THING. What’s extra cool for us is because we’ve moved a few times over the years, my little ones have celebrated Halloween in major cities in an apartment complex and in the suburbs where door-to-door trick-or-treating is commonplace. They’ve even gone trick-or-treating store-to-store when we lived in Manhattan and participated in Halloween street parties and trunk-or-treats. It’s safe to say we know something about Halloween: creative costumes, candy, parties, and spooky-themed games and activities.
If you’re looking for some Halloween game and activity ideas for everyone in your crew, dorm room, block party, or classroom, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a round-up of Halloween party games and activities for all ages and interests. Have fun, but remind your kids to be safe and stay out of trouble!
16 Halloween Games and Activities for Kids
If you’re hosting a home, block, or classroom party, here are some Halloween game ideas for the little ones. We’ve got a mix of our faves and some recommendations from parents, teachers, influencers, and educators.
1. Pumpkin Decorating
Halloween is synonymous with pumpkins. A simple but enjoyable idea is to hand out tiny pumpkins — many farm stands, supermarkets, and fruit stands sell them — along with thick paints and Sharpies and have kids decorate a pumpkin. Of course, bigger pumpkins are also an option and can be carved, but mini pumpkins and Sharpies are the way to go for a large group of children. Encourage kids to go that extra mile by adding glitter, feathers, googly eyes, and more to their minis. Local pumpkin patches generally carry small ones you can buy in bulk.
2. Slimy Bat and Spider Counting
According to Maria Moon, associate vice president of curriculum at The Learning Experience, you can fill a bowl of safe, homemade slime (using corn flour and water) and turn it into a Halloween STEM game. After making homemade slime, hide several plastic spiders and bats in the slime mix. How many spiders and bats can your child find blindfolded in one minute? Moon says you can extend this game by adding various items for children to guess what they are. For instance, you can also put other types of Halloween items in the slime, such as mini plastic pumpkins or skeletons.
3. Halloween Bingo
A classic game is bingo. It’s great for all ages, passes the time in the classroom, and teaches little ones about listening closely, spelling, counting, and matching. I always turn to bingo to teach my kids about vertical, horizontal, and diagonal directions. Here’s a cute bingo board to print out; use mini erasers or orange and black construction paper to cover the squares. We’ve also spotted pre-made bingo boards at Target.
These soft, Halloween-themed board games make a nice gift for little kids in your classroom or at your party. Bond with the kids in your life by showing them how to play tic-tac-toe and keep the felt game in your bag for a quick “I’m bored” activity. This set contains 16 packages of Halloween party favors in four styles: spiders, skeletons, ghosts, and pumpkins.
5. Hat Ring Toss
Ring tosses are popular at carnivals, and your spooky party needs one. It’s a classic game that’s engaging for kids and adults alike. Set up witch hats at different distances around the yard and have kids take turns tossing rings onto the hats. Whoever lands on the most hats wins!
6. Monster Freeze Dance
My kids love making up silly dances, and I have no doubt many kids worldwide do, too. Is there anything better than shaking your sillies — or, in this case, ghoulies — out to some music? Moon recommends playing Halloween-themed music and dancing with a group of costumed cuties. You can pause the music randomly to make it into a game. Moon says, “When the music stops, everyone must freeze in their spooky dance pose until the music starts again.”
7. Pumpkin Piñata
A piñata is a colorful papier-mâché container often found at special events in Latin America. They’re usually in the shape of an animal, such as a donkey, but we found a pumpkin one online. Filled with candy and little toys, the piñata is suspended from a ceiling, tree, or pole, and kids take turns hitting it with a bat or stick to knock all the goodies out of it. The goal is to crack it wide open and grab the items as they land on the ground. There are tons of Halloween-themed piñatas on the market — and they add pizzazz to any celebration.
8. Halloween Pancakes
Start Halloween morning with a yummy and spooky breakfast! “Make some ghostly pancake face treats,” says Moon. “Gather some suitable candy or foods and see who can make the funniest face on a pancake against a one-minute timer. Be prepared for ghoulish giggles and fun.” Or, if you want to make some good ol’ Halloween pancakes, you can use some pumpkin pancake mix and a pancake mold to make a delicious jack-o-lantern.
9. Pin the Spider on the Web
Draw an intricate spider web on poster board, then use black paper to cut out spider shapes. Add tape or sticky tack to one side of the spider. (Or, you can use spider-shaped stickers.) Instead of playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey with the spiders, play “Pin the Spider in the Center of the Web.” Use a bandana or scarf to blindfold each child, spin them around, and cheer them on as they try to hit the spider web bullseye with their spider sticker.
10. Bobbing for Apples
Some may argue this game is antiquated and hard to set up. It is — but it’s a classic that even our grandparents played as kids. Fill up a huge tub or bucket with water, and add some apples to the water — they float! The goal is for participants to grab an apple from the tub with their mouths only. Whoever grabs the most apples or grabs an apple the fastest wins. Remember — no touching with hands. Prepare for lots of splashing and dripping wet faces, so keeping paper towels nearby is a good idea.
11. Cauldron Sensory Surprise
As recommended by Moon, fill a variety of cauldrons with sensory materials such as flour, Jell-O, rice, apple sauce, and more. “What can your child find buried deep in these sensory experiences?” says Moon. This activity will provide a fun and spooky sensory play experience with all the different textures for kids to mix and squish. Have fun engaging your child’s curiosity and creativity.
12. Broomstick Races
This is such a great idea, and even making the broomstick from sticks in your yard is an enjoyable bonding activity for parents and kids. “Have broomstick races: Who has the fastest broom?” says Moon. Collect a variety of brushes (yard brush, sweeping brush, hairbrush, etc.), and see who can fly across the finish line the fastest. Moon suggests extending the activity by making it an obstacle course and using a timer.
13. Spooky Bowling
Halloween party activities for elementary-aged kids don’t have to be intricate — consider using items you already have at home. If you have a toy bowling set, set up a game of ghost bowling. Set up the pins in your yard or driveway, and draw a ghost face (black eyes, wide mouth) on each pin. Then, instead of a Wiffle ball or small plain ball, use a mini pumpkin as the bowling ball and see how many ghost pins your kiddos can knock down for a prize.
14. Halloween Puppet Show
Moon recommends putting on a spooky-themed Halloween puppet show for kids. “Gather some popsicle sticks and creative materials to make your own monster puppets, and once you have the popsicle cast, tell your own stories by the flashlight,” she says. I loved making puppets as a kid or using my hands in a spotlight to create shapes, and here, you can add a super spooky twist. Use your phone to add music to enhance the story.
15. “Web-Tastic” Pictures
Drizzle glue over black paper and make a spider web by sprinkling glitter or placing cotton wool. Moon recommends this activity for youngsters. “You can also try and create your own googly-eyed spider to inspire more creativity,” she adds.
16. Funny Faces Game
I already purchased this sticker collection for my 6-year-old because she LOVES creating silly faces on paper. You can buy this kit via Amazon for your kids. Or, if you prefer, print out or draw pumpkins, ghosts, and witches on paper and have kids decorate them with markers, crayons, paints, and more.
8 Halloween Party Games and Activities for Tweens
Check out these Halloween party games and activities specifically for tweens. Whether they play a game like Mummy Wrap or choose a food activity like Donut Do-It, there are many entertainment options here for Halloween.
1. Scavenger Hunt
For a scavenger hunt, write out a list of Halloween-themed clues and hide them around your yard, classroom, or backyard. Prizes go to the person who solves the most clues or finds the most Halloween items you hid. You can also set a time limit for this activity for added pressure!
2. Mummy Wrap
My middle-school friends and I played this game at birthday parties; just remind participants to NOT use toilet paper to “TP” the trees in front of someone’s house. (A popular prank in the 1980s!) For the game, split guests into pairs and give them toilet paper rolls. Take turns wrapping each other up like mummies; make sure the person can still breathe under the wrap. The best mummy wins a prize!
3. Halloween Charades
Teens today are so into TikTok, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Instagram that some may not even know what charades are. It’s a non-verbal game in which one player acts out a word or phrase without speaking, and everyone must guess what they’re “saying” within a minute. For example, one person places their hands on the side of their face and pretends to scream, representing the horror movie series “Scream.” Whoever guesses correctly first wins. Everyone takes turns using a Halloween reference as the word or phrase to guess.
4. Donut Do-It
From a tall pole or rack, hang Halloween doughnuts off a string in a row — but not too high. Every tween has to bite their chosen doughnut as it sways above their mouth. It’s much harder than it looks and also a ton of fun. Whoever eats their doughnut first is the winner. Play the classic “Monster Mash” song while happy chaos ensues.
5. Guess the Number
This is your typical guessing game, but you can make it more tween-appropriate by awarding a bigger prize or using a bigger jar. Fill up a large, clear jar or glass bowl with gumball “eyes” or candy corn, and have everyone guess how many are in the jar. The winner wins the jar of candy AND a nifty Halloween prize, such as an Amazon gift card. (FYI — I found these creepy candy eyes online, which would be ideal for this game.)
6. Costume Contest
You can award a prize to the most creative Halloween costume with a costume contest. I have seen some awesome ones over the years. Get creative by adding categories such as “Best Couples Costume,” “Funniest,” “Scariest,” and so forth.
7. Campfire Stories
The ultimate sleepaway camp classic is telling horror stories around a campfire. Gather around a campfire, and every tween or teen takes turns sharing spooky ghost stories. While not a direct game per se, the group can vote on the spookiest story.
8. Food Games
You’ll need about five paper lunch bags for this game; label them “Worms,” “Teeth,” “Eyes,” “Spider Eyes,” “Brain,” etc. Fill each bag with items that FEEL like what’s listed on each bag. Example: Tweens will reach into a bag you labeled “Eyes” filled with grapes. Candy corn represents teeth, cooked linguine represents worms, and so forth. Whoever guesses each food accurately — no peeking — wins.
8 Halloween Party Games and Activities for Teens
Teens will likely want more mature games and activities for Halloween, such as doing an escape room or watching horror films. Here are some fun ideas to share with your teen.
1. Horror Movie Marathon
There’s an endless array of famous horror movies out there. Show some clips from famous horror movies (you can find many on YouTube) and have partygoers guess what movie the fright scene is from. Whoever guesses correctly the most is the winner.
2. Pumpkin Carving Contest
Pumpkin carving is an activity the whole family can enjoy. But since it involves holding a long, sharp knife, we’ve added it to the teen activity category. Provide guests with pumpkins of all sizes and carving tools and host a pumpkin-carving contest. Teens can work in teams or individually.
3. Escape Room Challenge
If your clever and witty teens are into escape rooms, set up one that’s Halloween-themed. Just add puzzles and clues to help them “escape” the scary room in a set amount of time. This blog post has great escape room ideas, such as adding balloons to your room, Nerf guns, and more. Spooky music can also help enhance the vibe.
4. Play Clue
Go for an all-out game night dedicated to the board game Clue. Purchase a few versions of the classic board game (players guess the killer, weapon, and room by distributing clue cards to their opponent) and set the board game up at each table. Clue can be played with two or more players or in teams. End the evening with a screening of the cult-classic movie version of Clue, which is more slapstick than scary.
5. Candy Corn Relay Race
This old-school game can be played with kids of all ages, but even teens will love it. Split teenagers into teams and have them race each other. Each teen has to balance candy corn on a spoon, walk across a field carrying the spoon, and pass it to their partner without dropping the candy. Their partner then walks across the field, balancing the candy. Whoever doesn’t drop it wins!
6. Potion Making
Set up a potion-making station with colored liquids and ingredients (soda, juice, gummy worms, gummy spiders, etc.). Teenagers can create their own “witch’s brews” and taste-test them. They probably won’t taste very good, but it’s the creativity that counts, right?
7. Face Painting
Face painting isn’t just for little kids. Set up a safe assortment of non-toxic theatrical makeup or face paint, and let the hijinks begin. Teens can take turns painting each other’s faces; they can express emotions, craft clever designs, and write funny or spooky expressions on their friend’s faces. Add wigs and hats into the mix for an extra touch of amusement.
8. Pom-Pom Prize
Shove a mini, black pom-pom (representing an eyeball) into an un-inflated balloon of any color, then fill the balloon with water until it’s about the size of a golf ball, tie it up, and freeze it. Repeat this with several balloons, but use an orange pom-pom instead of black for one balloon. Once they’re all frozen solid, hand the balloons to each guest and have them cut the tied part of the balloons off. Now everyone has frozen water balloon eyeballs; whoever has the balloon with the orange pom-pom “eyeball” wins a prize. Then, place the frozen eyeballs inside a cooler to give your drinks some extra cold spook.
9 Halloween Party Games and Activities for Adults
Don’t forget the grownups. Here are some fun games and activities for adults to try on Halloween.
1. Costume Contest
Just like with teenagers, organize a costume contest for adults. Even if you think you’re too old or tired to dress up as an adult, I can promise you you’re wrong. Add categories such as: “Best Couple Costume,” “Most Terrifying Costume,” or “Funniest Costume” and offer prizes for the winners. This activity is great for friends or a school full of clever teachers.
2. Halloween Trivia
There’s always someone in your friend group who is a horror movie buff. (Didn’t we learn that in the movie “Scream”?) Have them create a Halloween-themed trivia game with questions about old-school and current horror movies; go with a variety of flicks such as “The Birds,” “Psycho,” “The Exorcist,” “Paranormal Activity,” and so forth. Compete as a team or individually.
3. Halloween Beer Pong
Go old school and stir up college memories by playing family-friendly beer pong with a Halloween twist. You can use orange ping-pong balls and cups with a Halloween-themed design or this fun glow-in-the-dark, light-up set. You can also use soda or juice for this family-friendly version. (Save those orange balls to play a round of spooky ping-pong if you happen to have a table tennis arrangement at home.)
4. Horror Movie Marathon and Drinking Game
Adults can watch a series of horror movies and create a drinking game with specific rules related to a theme within each movie. Example: Take a sip every time Chucky from “Child’s Play” runs, or drink whenever someone in a movie screams. Offer non-alcoholic options as well.
5. Halloween-themed Pictionary
Pictionary was made famous by the classic rom-com “When Harry Met Sally” and for good reason. If playing in a group setting, it’s hard not to laugh hysterically, especially if you’re a terrible artist like myself. Each team or individual takes turns guessing what the other team (or person) is drawing on an easel or notepad. Pre-write index cards with a spooky word or phrase on each so participants can easily grab a card and draw what’s written on it for the team to guess correctly.
6. Forbidden Word
Create a forbidden word and let everyone in your group know it. (Example: candy.) Hand every party guest three orange or black tickets, and during the entire party, if they hear anyone say the forbidden word, the guilty person must hand over one of their tickets. Whoever collects the most tickets at the night’s end wins a prize.
7. Kiddie Puzzle Contest
You can purchase a collection of mini Halloween puzzles for your kids or your adult party guests. Lay them out on a table in a row to see who can set up the most puzzles and do it the fastest. After a few drinks, adults setting up a puzzle isn’t as easy as it seems.
8. Would You Rather
I think we’ve all played the game “Would You Rather” at some point. It’s a game that presents players with two scenarios, and they must choose which one they would rather do. It’s a lot of fun, and this is the spooky edition! We love how this version of the game features questions and challenges that are suitable for players of all ages, making it an excellent choice for family gatherings and parties. They also have an edition for just adults too. Make sure everyone has a full cup of punch when you begin playing!
9. Pick Your Poison
I saw this one on TikTok and thought it was cute and clever. Wrap mini whiskey or vodka bottles in white tissue paper to turn them into ghosts (draw eyes and a mouth on them, then add a rubber band to keep them in place). Put each ghost in a large bucket and tell guests over 21 to “Pick Their Poison.” Turn it into a game by explaining that the person whose drink has a Halloween sticker or orange paint on the bottle wins a prize, such as a gift card or box of candy.
With these games and activities, you can make this Halloween one you and your family will never forget. Take tons of photos, enjoy the moment — and be safe!