Halloween Party Games & Activities

witch hatMake your Halloween party a big hit with some fun games and activities that will get everyone into the spirit. First of all, you will need to consider the age of your guests and find activities that they will find interesting enough to keep them occupied. Fun games with simple instructions are appropriate for children while adults may prefer more of a challenge.

If your party will have guests of all ages, you may want to consider a single activity that will be enjoyed by everyone and then splitting them up into groups for individual games (with adult supervision.) This will keep the kids from getting lost in the shuffle, or getting frightened by more mature activities.

Pin the Tail on the (Black) Cat

Who says you need a donkey? Kids love these types of games and most of them already know the rules. To prepare, draw and cut out a large black cat (without the tail) from cardboard or poster board. Use a large piece of the scraps to make a tail. Color or paint the cat black and attach it to a large cork or bulletin board.

Also needed are a blindfold, push pins, and prizes. Each child is spun around and pointed in the direction of the cat. From there, he or she is to try to pin the tail on the proper place on the cat. The one who gets the tail closest to where it should be, wins the game.

Scavenger or Nature Hunt

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year to get out and see the brilliant colors of changing leaves. There's no better time than this to have a scavenger or nature hunt. You can find ideas, rules, and lists on our scavenger hunt page that will make this contest one to remember.

Pumpkin Painting & Decorating

Decorating pumpkins (and gourds) is fun for children and pre-teens and is much safer than carving jack-o-lanterns. You will need to find the proper amount of pumpkins. Small to medium-sized ones work well and are easy to transport. This activity should one of the first ones on the list. This will give time for the paint and glue to dry before your guests take their decorated pumpkins home.

You can provide elaborate patterns or stencils, or allow your guests to draw and paint freehand. Whatever you choose, it will be helpful to supply some pictures for ideas. If you're worried about the paint chipping off or preservation, you can treat the pumpkins with a paint sealant several hours before your party. Make sure they're clean and dry before you begin.

Different colors of acrylic paint will help your guests paint faces, hats, and clothing on to the pumpkins. You can also supply craft glue, glitter, beads, candy, and stickers to help them adorn their pumpkins. Make sure to protect the surface of the table with newspapers or paper sacks, which will make clean up easier.

Spooky Stories

Wind things down a bit by sitting everyone down for some spooky stories. Dim the lights to set an eerie atmosphere for the scary tales that are soon to come. Let the guests take turns telling the story that scares them the most. Or, play "Finish the Story" and let each guest take turns creating a local urban legend. 

Costume Contest

What's a Halloween party without a costume contest? This is an activity that everyone can participate in and is usually the game with the grand prize. If your party is large, you may need to divide the contest into categories (ex: creepiest, cutest, scariest, most original) or age groups to make things fair.

You should hold the costume contest near the end of the party. This strategy builds anticipation and gives everyone a chance to see what everyone is dressed up as. Allow sufficient time for the contest itself (which can be time-consuming if there are many participants) and time for proper congratulations and winding down of the party.

If possible, find a platform to use as a small stage, so that everyone can see which costumes are under consideration. Prizes need not be elaborate but the best one should be saved for first place. Candy, Halloween figurines, gift certificates, and cash prizes are all desirable rewards for the best costumes.