What do you do on the spookiest night of the year? Here are thirty-one Halloween activities to make your night fun and exciting, even without trick-or-treating.
What do you do on the spookiest night of the year? Trick or treat is the traditional Halloween activity, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only activity.
Whether your concerns are Halloween safety, candy, or boredom, we have plenty of options. Here are thirty-one activities that will make this Halloween fun and exciting, even without trick-or-treating. And maybe you’ll even find a new Halloween tradition.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to mix and match these activities to get the best Halloween tradition ever.
1. Trick or Treat at Home
Do you still want to trick-or-treat but without the safety concerns? Set up a trick-or-treat station at home where kids can go from room to room collecting treats or surprises. You could even set up challenges at each station to make the candy more rewarding.
2. Trunk or Treat
Trunk or treat is like trick-or-treating at home but with more people. Just join your friends, neighbors, or school community in a trunk-or-treat event. Decorate your car trunk in a fun and spooky theme, and kids can go from car to car collecting treats and enjoying the festive atmosphere.
3. Halloween Costume Party
You don’t have to trick-or-treat to dress up in a fun costume. Instead, host a costume party at home with family and close friends. Decorate the house, have a costume contest, and enjoy Halloween-themed treats.
4. Costume Dress-Up Parade
Sometimes just having a little costume parade is more fun than having a whole costume party. You can set up a costume parade with your community or just arrange a mini fashion show at home or in your yard.
5. Costume Swap
If you have friends with kids of a similar age, consider a costume swap, where kids exchange costumes for a new look on Halloween. You can have a whole dress up party, set up photo booths, and take pictures for your memory book.
6. Virtual Costume Contest
If you can’t get together with friends in person, host a virtual costume contest over video calls and have kids showcase their costumes.
7. Halloween Movie Night
Halloween movies are some of the best movies and are a great way to spend your Halloween night. Set up an outdoor or indoor movie night and watch Halloween-themed movies or cartoons (or scary movies if you dare). And don’t forget the popcorn and candy!
8. Halloween Game Night
If your kids like game nights, consider turning some of your favorites into Halloween games. Play games like “pin the spider on the web” or “musical chairs” with Halloween music.
9. Pumpkin Carving and Painting
Pumpkin carving is a great October activity, but have you ever done it on Halloween night? Get creative with your pumpkin carving and painting. Kids can design and carve their own pumpkins with the help of an adult. And then afterward, you can have a contest with awards like scariest, cutest, most creative, and so on!
10. Scavenger Hunt
You hunt for easter eggs in the spring, so why not pumpkins in the fall? Organize a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt in your backyard or around your home, where kids can search for hidden treats or clues.
11. Haunted House or Trail
Some haunted houses are still open on Halloween, but be prepared for crowds. If you’re not willing to risk it, create a spooky haunted house or trail at home or in your yard. This can be as simple or elaborate—as cute or spooky—as you like.
12. Baking and Cooking
The way to any ghouls heart is through its stomach. On Halloween night, bake Halloween-themed cookies, cupcakes, or other treats. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family, and your kids can also help prepare a Halloween-themed dinner.
13. Halloween Crafting
Do you want an activity where you get a cute keepsake? Organize a craft night where kids can make Halloween decorations, masks, or other craft projects.
14. Glow-in-the-Dark Games
The spookiest time is when the sun goes down. Play games in the dark using glow-in-the-dark items like glow sticks, necklaces, or paint.
15. Glow Stick Dance Party
Celebrations need dancing, and Halloween celebrations need spooky lighting. So turn off the lights, put on some spooky music, and have a dance party with glow sticks and Halloween-themed decorations.
16. Spooky Storytelling
Telling a scary story is just as good as watching one. Gather around a fire (real or fake) and share spooky or Halloween-themed stories.
17. Campfires and Marshmallow Roasting
The Halloween ambience is even better with a campfire and roasted marshmallows. Build a small campfire in your backyard for ghost stories and roasting all sorts of Halloween treats.
18. Pumpkin Patches or Corn Mazes
Some places offer pumpkin patches and corn mazes during Halloween, which can be a fun and safe outdoor activity. But again, keep an eye out for crowds.
19. Local Halloween Events
If keeping to yourself on Halloween isn’t your thing, check if your community or local businesses are hosting Halloween events like trunk-or-treat, costume parades, or outdoor movie screenings.
Encourage kids to donate to or volunteer for a charity, which can be a meaningful way to spend Halloween. They might even get treats out of it.
21. Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling or Mini Golf
Everything looks different on Halloween, including your local bowling alley and mini golf course. Some places offer special activities on Halloween, so be sure to check it out.
22. The History of Halloween
Take the opportunity to teach kids about the history and traditions of Halloween, which can be both fun and educational.
23. Halloween Science Experiments
24. Halloween Bingo
There are so many Halloween words, why not make a game out of it? Create Halloween-themed bingo cards and play a game with small prizes for winners.
25. Mystery Box Challenge
Fill boxes with various Halloween-themed items (like peeled grapes for “eyeballs” and cold spaghetti for “brains”) and have kids reach in to identify the spooky contents.
26. Halloween Charades
Play a game of Halloween-themed charades where kids act out spooky characters or creatures.
27. Halloween Karaoke
While there aren’t many Halloween songs, the few that we have are wildly popular classics. Just think of I Put a Spell on You and the Monster Mash. Sing Halloween songs or create your own spooky karaoke session.
28. Visit a Local Zoo or Animal Sanctuary
If your kids love animals and the zoo, maybe make a special trip out of it on Halloween. Some zoos and animal sanctuaries may offer special Halloween-themed events where kids can learn about animals and enjoy Halloween activities.
29. Halloween Puzzles and Riddles
Puzzles and riddles are a great addition to your Halloween night festivities. Create, buy, or find Halloween-themed puzzles and riddles for kids to solve together.
30. Halloween Art Gallery
Cute and spooky Halloween symbols are endless. Encourage kids to create Halloween-themed artwork and display it in your home like an art gallery.
31. Ghost Hunting
If your kids are older and ready for a small fright, go on a “ghost hunt” with flashlights, exploring dark areas in your home or yard. You could even raise the stakes and get someone to dress up as a ghost and hide. Whoever catches the ghost first—without screaming—wins!
Books to Inspire Your Halloween Activities
If You’re Scary and You Know It
Big Book of Family Games
Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.