Hosting any holiday party is quite an undertaking, and parties designated for the day all about ghouls, goblins, and ghosts require something a little more...spirited. So, the right Halloween party game ideas will capture the Halloween vibe, keeping your guests entertained and amused. Your Halloween party is sure to be the spooktacular hit of the season.
Halloween Party Game Ideas for Kids
So long as you can keep kids' attention, they're easy to entertain. Whether you're hosting a Halloween party with only your littles or with a massive group of their friends, it won't be difficult as long as you have a handful of Halloween-themed party games to keep the fun going. These ideas for kids' Halloween party games will help you wrangle a roomful of 7-year-olds hopped up on sugar.
Bowling is a great way to work on kids' hand-eye coordination without putting your windows at risk. This Halloween, you can create your own bowling pins from empty two-liter bottles. Decorating the bottles as ghosts, witches, vampires, or other scary creatures adds to the fun, and it's a great project to get your kids involved in the party planning. Depending on the age and strength of your guests, you may want to weigh the pins down with a small amount of sand, water, or pebbles to make them more difficult to knock down. Get a little more use out of the pumpkins piling your front lawn, and use a small one as the bowling ball. Make sure to set up a bowling lane in a safe area (preferably outdoors) where a wayward (or enthusiastically smashed) pumpkin won't damage household objects.
Charades is a game made for all ages, so it's a go-to that holds younger kids' attention for a while. Make up your own game of charades using words related to the Halloween season. Write down words on pieces of paper (or for pre-readers, draw pictures). Allow each guest to randomly choose one to act out, and have the others guess what it is. To keep things on-theme, use festive words such as:
The only supplies you need for a game of Mummy Wrap are rolls of white toilet paper and some spooky music. To begin, divide guests into teams of two and give each a roll of paper. One person is in charge of wrapping the other in the paper to make them look like a mummy. While the teams compete, play the music, and don't forget to tell remind team that they have to use the entire roll of toilet paper. The first team finished wrapping their mummy is the winner.
Everyone's favorite fall festival activity just got the Halloween twist. Instead of using cakes for this confectionary walk, put together an array of Halloween candies (think king size candy bars, bags of fun-size treats, and so on) as well as a Halloween playlist. Then, decorate sheets of paper numbered 1-30 (or more depending on the size of the group) and set them in a circle. Write the corresponding numbers on slips of paper and drop them into a bowl.
To begin, everyone starts on one space and walks clockwise around the circle while a song plays. Then, cut the song somewhere in the middle and draw a number from the bucket. The kid standing on that number gets to pick out some candy from the delicious pile!
Inspired by the Price is Right's famous game show challenge, Pumpkin Plinko is a super fun game that'll occupy kids of all ages. Simply, spray paint a wooden board and hammer in a series of nails across its face, leaving enough space for a hockey puck to fit in-between. Make sure to paint a series of squares at the bottom with score numbers, increasing in size as they go towards the middle. Next, paint a hockey puck (or something similarly flat) to look like a pumpkin and line kids up to drop the puck (resting along the board) down the nails to see how many points they can get. The kid with the most points after a few rounds wins the game.
A quick way to keep your kids entertained before they head off to trick-or-treat is playing a round of witchy limbo. Basically, it's limbo but using a fall broom as your limbo stick. Full-sized cinnamon brooms that you can find at your local grocery stores make for the perfect, rustic-looking witchy limbo stick.
Black Widow Bite
For a Halloween spin on the popular kids game, duck, duck, goose, try replacing the words with Black Widow, bite. With the kids sitting in a circle, pull one out to start the game as the designated black widow. The black widow then taps the other kid's heads saying, "black widow, black widow, black widow" eventually tapping one and shouting "bite." The kid that's bitten should jump up and try to bite the black widow back (by tagging them) before the black widow sits in their spot. If they fail to bite back, they become the new black widow.
Rattle My Bones
Rattle my bones is an awesome game that helps kids practice their dexterity, fine motor skills, and anatomical knowledge all at once. To play, take black (or painted black) tupper ware bowls with lids and cut a small hole in the center of each lid. Then, put the same amount of fake, small skeleton bones in each one and seal them tight. Have the kids shake their container to remove the bones, and whichever one removes all of their bones first wins!
Halloween Party Game Ideas for Tweens
That tenuous 3 to 4 years between adolescence and teenagedom where nothing's cool for more than five minutes can make hosting holiday parties impossible. The key to keeping a room full or thirteen-year-olds entertained is picking activities that feel adventurous enough to stimulate their urge for independence while also youthful enough to grip the last vestiges of childhood still running through their veins. A few great options are:
Spin the Bottle / Kiss a Ghoul
Just like truth or dare, spin the bottle continues to be present at every tweens birthday party, but Kiss a Ghoul will have them thinking twice about putting it on their itinerary. To play, all you need is an empty bottle and the ugliest full-faced Halloween mask you can find. A party helper is chosen in advance to wear the mask for the first time. The game participants take turns spinning the bottle and the winner (loser?) has to run away from the ghoul's kiss of death. An exaggerated smack on a child's cheek from the ghoul's printed lips signals that they've been axed and have to sit out a round.
What's In the Box?
What's in the box has been played on too many late night talk shows for it not to be a big hit with your party goers. To start, prepare cardboard boxes in which several items, the ickier the better, are sealed. Cut a hand-sized hole in the side of the box, so that a representative from each of the two teams can put their hand through the hole and guess what they're touching. For every item that's guessed right, the team gets one point, and teams with the most items correct win the game.
Some suggested items for the box are:
- Peeled grapes
- Cooked spaghetti
- Jiggly gelatin
- Vampire fangs
- Halloween wig
- Candy apple
Donut Decorating and Eating Contest
A hilarious way to watch your kids and their friends embarrass themselves is letting them go buck wild creating the perfect Halloween themed donut (plain glazed donuts decked out with sprinkles, edible googly eyes, oozing blood icing, and so on) and then fight for the best time to down it with their hands tied behind their backs.
Bobbing for apples is old school - tie a string to the kids' donuts and hold it above their torsos, making them reach for it without using their hands. Best part is it's just as entertaining for them to try as it is for you to watch.
Fun for younger kids and tweens, balloon pop is a really easy game to play and perfect for Halloween parties overflowing with guests. Simply, line the kids up in even numbers (about five or six to start with), making sure their feet are spread a part. Hand the first child a balloon, and each kid bops the balloon through their own legs to the person behind them. Once it reaches the last kid, they have to pop the balloon by sitting on it. Then, the last kid runs to the front of the line and it starts all over again. You can even turn it into a competition by seeing which team can pop the most balloons in a certain amount of time.
Tweens want to have a little freedom, and this play on flashlight tag gives them just enough space to feel a little grown-up. Paranormal tag is just like flashlight tag, except with a different guiding premise. There's a small team of paranormal investigators who're trying to hunt down the unruly ghosts said to haunt your backyard. Equipped only with their flashlights, the paranormal investigators have to 'tag' each ghost with their light beams and convert them into investigators themselves.
What's That Smell?
Put your tween's olfactory senses to the test by making them guess what each scent they smell is. The easiest way to do this is by buying a bunch of distinctive fall/Halloween-scented candles and lighting each one individually for the kids to guess. Have them write their best guesses on a white board or on slips of paper and tally up everyone's answers. The person with the most correct guesses wins the game.
Halloween Party Game Ideas for Teens
If you want to get your teens off of their phones for just one night, take a look at some of these frightening Halloween game ideas:
Halloween 'Who Am I?'
To begin playing this game, pin a name of a famous person or character to the back of each person. For Halloween, choose characters from horror movies, TV shows, and mysteries or horror tales as well as famous criminals. Players give each other hints about their identities without giving away any part of the name. With horror and true crime on the rise, there's so many characters to choose from, such as:
- Freddie Krueger
- Lizzie Borden
- Michael Meyers
- H.H. Holmes
- Edgar Allan Poe
A super simple (and PG) way to transform your old college beer pong table is to take your ping-pong balls and draw a black circle in the center of it. If you're really artistic, you can color in the veins and irises of this 'eyeball.' Once you've got the eyeballs complete, your teens can put together their own nonalcoholic version of beer pong using Halloween colored solo cups and themed punch.
Bobbing for Rotten Apples
One way to put a grotesque spin on the classic bobbing for apples game is by turning your apples into a rotten bunch. Of course, you shouldn't give your teens an actual bucket of rotten apples, but using pumpkin carving tools, you can carve small circles out of them and shove candy worms inside. Give yourself a rotten to good apple ratio of 2 or 3:1, and then challenge your guests to not only bob for apples, but to grab the most ones that aren't filled with worms.
This unusual texture will give your teens the heebie jeebies, and add a layer of difficulty to an otherwise average game.
Suckin' on a Straw Candy Corn Style
Give your teens a frustrating challenge with only a few materials. Using a bowl of candy corn, a few empty cups, a straw, and your kid's determination, tell them to move as many pieces of candy corn out of the bowl and into the empty cups in 1 minute. What's the catch? They can only move the candy corn by picking each one up through sucking on a straw and using the suction to hold it in place long enough to move it from one bowl to the next.
Fear Factor: Fright Night Edition
A great way to really kick-start a teenager's Halloween party is to put together a few Fear Factor-inspired challenges for the kids to conquer. Blending a bunch of different Halloween candies up together and asking them to eat it or watching them have to untangle themselves from a spider's web (made out of cut-up hammocks) will bring back all of your Y2K memories of the popular game show.
Horror Movie Telephone
Long before TikTok dances took over teenage parties, they were occupying themselves with games like Telephone. Turn the classic game on its head by choosing horror movie characters and stories to pass along through the telephone line. The teens'll end up in stitches after listening to each other try to replicate the iconic voices of characters like Freddie Kruger and Ghost Face.
Slice and Dice
If you've got a group of responsible young adults, then you can supervise them as they play a few rounds of slice and dice. Using the same standard rules of axe throwing, where everyone stands behind a certain line and waits for each person to complete their throw at the target, you can let your kids practice their aim on the many pumpkins you've bought for the season. If you really trust your kids, you can let them use an actual small hatchet, but if you want to ensure your lawn gets the least amount of damage, try smaller projectiles like darts or screw drivers. Of course, safety is the most important thing in any game, so make sure every kid understands the rules before starting.
Halloween Party Games for Adults
Hosting a Halloween party for your adult friends might sound like a piece of cake, but putting together a list of activities to keep everyone entertained for the long hours on Halloween night doesn't come easy to everyone. One surefire way to have the best Halloween party is to fill it with a variety of game types, and intersperse them with periods of cool-down. Something like a costume contest or Thriller dance off will fit great in-between these over 18 Halloween party games.
Party Long Into the Night
If you want your party to last 'til the witching hour, then you should have a plethora of games and activities at the ready. After all, Halloween is the holiday for over-consumption, and more is more when it comes to things to do.