Holidays are meant to be celebrated, and childhood is meant to be an adventure. With that in mind we set out to create a Halloween activity checklist for our family to do in the month of October. Then, we thought we would share it with our readers so other families could make this Halloween an epic one with plenty of family time making memories. As a mom of five kids I understand how tough it can be to get everyone in one place together, especially as children get older. What better excuse than to plan activities that revolve around this kid-geared holiday. We’ve also included a FREE printable checklist for you and your kids to check off as many of our Halloween activities as you can.
The List of Halloween Activities
Family Outings & Events
Visit a pumpkin patch
And I don’t mean one of those places set up in the mall parking lot that claims to be a pumpkin patch but is really just for you to shell out your money so your kids can get a pass for the “haunted” bouncy house and the “petting zoo” that has a goat, a bunny, and a parakeet. Not to mention those overpriced pumpkins. No, I mean a real pumpkin patch with a big field where your kids can run from pumpkin to pumpkin, climb hay bails, and possibly even find their way through a corn maze. Find one in your area, even if you have to drive a bit to get there, and make an afternoon of it.
Host a Halloween movie night.
This can be something you do with just your family, nice and cozy in your living room. Or, open up your home to your extended family, neighbors, or friends and make it an event. To make things easy, have people bring snacks and drinks to share, and anything they want to cozy up with: blankets, pillows, bean bag, etc. Check out this list of kid-friendly Halloween movies to watch.
Attend a local event.
Check your city, church, or school website for any Halloween happenings that are scheduled. These could be a dance, costume parade, truck-or-treat event, or carnival. You can also attend a family friendly costume party that one of your friends are throwing, or put on one yourself if no one else is.
Visit a haunted house.
This may not apply to you if you have younger kids who may get too scared, but when I was growing up it was the thing to do for anyone 12 years and over. There was usually an admission to get in but sometimes they would have a donation drive and offer free or discounted entry for anyone who brought a certain number of canned goods. You may even live close to a theme park where you can go to a gigantic haunted house, like Knott’s Scary Farm.
Take a trip to Starbucks for the pumpkin spice latte.
I don’t know what it is about Starbucks but my kids love it. I can’t say that I am a regular but every once in a while I like to go, and at least once during the fall I get a pumpkin spice latte just because its festive. Your kids might pick something different but the point is you are there and can spend some time talking over your various warm beverages.
Make “boo baskets” for neighbors or friends and leave them on their doorsteps.
This is one of my kids’ favorite things to do in October. If “booing” is a new concept for you here’s how it goes. You fill a basket, bucket, or goody bag with treats, favors, snacks, or other items. Next you sneak over to your friends’ houses after dark, quietly place the basket on their door step, ring their doorbell, and run like you are being chased by a ghoul. Now in today’s society, and with the introduction of the Ring security camera, you may have to get creative with your approach. I would encourage a super hero masks or in the very least a stick on mustache. Check out our Ultimate Boo Basket Idea List and get your boo on!
Pick out fall candles.
It’s the best when you can make your house smell like the the season or holiday by burning scented candles, and for some reason my kids really enjoy going to Bath & Body Works with me to sniff them. The trick is to make it a special trip, even if you are just going to Target to smell and pick out candles. Perhaps you can combined it with your Starbucks trip to really make it fun.
Halloween Themed Games
Glow stick hide and seek.
This game came from Not Consumed and there are two ways to play. The first is to give one person all of the glow sticks to hide in a room (or around the whole house) and the rest of the family finds them. The second option of play is to make glow stick necklaces to wear while playing traditional hide and seek, in the dark of course. Find glow sticks HERE.
Finish my phrase- Halloween edition.
This game is played with partners. Each player fills in the blanks to finish the phrase with what they think their partner will write. Points are earned if their answers match. You can buy the printable HERE or create your own.
Play spider tic-tac-toe.
Try Halloween word scramble.
See who can unscramble the words the fastest, or work on them all together. Make it more challenging by hiding the word bank. Get your free printable HERE.
Make spooky slime.
I know, you are probably sick of your kids making slime at this point, right? Well, you may have to allow it once more and join in the fun like you are a 10 year old. Your kids will love it. Here are three recipes to choose from: witches’ brew fluffy slime, pumpkin guts slime, or green witches’ brew slime.
Make pumpkin stress balls.
I’m all about easy and these are as simple as they come. Plus it never hurts to have a stress ball around as a parent. All you need are balloons, flour, a sharpie, and a funnel. Find the full instructions HERE.
Construct a pumpkin catapult.
This one is for a the nerds out there and a great STEM activity. It’s fun to launch the candy pumpkins, and eating them is an extra perk. Get the blue prints HERE.
Fill a sensory bin with spiders.
Ok, so they are fake spiders in a sea of colored rice, but if you have toddlers or preschoolers this one is perfect. They will also love exploring with mom, dad, and siblings around. Take advantage of Amazon’s deal on plastic spiders and find the full how-to HERE.
Halloween Activities at Home
Read a Halloween book.
Take some time to sit and read to your kids or have them read to you. There are plenty of Halloween books you can find at your local bookstore. Also, if your kids’school partners with Scholastic Book Club you can order through their forms, just ask a teacher. Otherwise, here are a few of our favorites: Trick or Treat Little Critter, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch, How to Catch a Monster, Hurry Up, Houdini (Chapter book), Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt (chapter book).
Roast pumpkin seeds.
Bake pumpkin bread.
You can use the canned stuff to make your pumpkin bread. Or, if you want a learning experience buy an extra pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin puree. If you are not a fan of pumpkin, try making one of these other treats together: candy corn popcorn, monster candy bark, caramel apples, or give your kids a breakfast so good its scary and make monster cinnamon rolls.
Mix up Halloween themed drinks.
Listen to Halloween music.
Here’s a Halloween playlist you can have playing in the background while you bake your pumpkin bread or make your Halloween crafts.
Learn the ‘Thriller’ dance.
I know I could have included this in the music category, but I think this is an activity all on its own. Laugh til your face hurts while you teach your kids the iconic dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Need a tutorial? Check one out on YouTube.