As the air becomes crisp and the leaves turn from bright green to burnt orange, we prepare for a holiday unlike any other—Halloween. Candy corn, carved pumpkins, haunted house decor—it’s these little details that get us in the Halloween spirit. Halloween marks the only time of the year when it’s not only acceptable to dress up in costumes and ask for free candy from neighbors and friends, but encouraged. It’s what kids’ dreams are made of.
This year, to celebrate all the chilling, thrilling, and sweet treats Halloween has to offer with the little ghouls and goblins in your life, take a look at our 25 haunted Halloween party ideas for kids.
How do you throw a Halloween party for kids?
Before you start planning your kid-friendly Halloween party, consider the age of the children you’ll be hosting. For example, typical Halloween party ideas for adults are probably too intense for your kiddo audience. For a successful party that doesn’t frighten or upset anyone, you should find the perfect balance of exciting and spooky Halloween fun. This will help you finalize all the details from choosing the Halloween party food and treats to the themed party decorations.
For younger children, it’s best to keep the monsters to a minimum. Instead, lean into the more kid-friendly side of the holiday by playing silly games—Halloween charades anyone?—and encouraging non-scary costumes, such as superhero or animal costumes. You can spruce up the kid-friendly Halloween spirit by holding a fun costume contest to encourage every party guest to dress up and get creative. The age of your guests can also help you determine what time of day to throw your party and how long it should last. (Never underestimate the importance of naptime.)
Once you’ve determined the appropriate time, duration, and level of hauntedness for your Halloween bash, you can choose decorations, treats, entertainment, and of course, invitations to match. Let the fun begin, and the (kid-friendly) haunted Halloween party ideas flow in.
Decorating your kid-friendly Halloween party
Halloween isn’t just about dressing yourself up in a costume. It’s also about dressing up your home with boo-tiful Halloween decor. In fact, decorating your home is one of the best ways to set the tone for your kid-friendly Halloween party. Opt for classic decor or try for a themed party to help focus your decor and encourage a more interactive event. Whether you want easy Halloween decor ideas or you’re willing to put in a little extra time and effort, getting matching decor is the way to go. Take a trip to your Local arts and crafts stores or peek at the Paperless Post Party Shop and get the spooky party started.
1. Yard decor
Start with your front yard so your guests can see they’re in for a treat even before they enter. When you’re hosting little ones, the goal here is to make your house look inviting with just the right amount of mystery to keep them on their toes.
– Harvest decor: This festive style simply requires plenty of pumpkins and strategically place bales of hay. Stand a friendly scarecrow at the entrance to welcome your guests.
– Haunted mansion decor: Place fake tombstones in your front yard alongside a few protruding skeleton hands to dare guests to enter your haunted house.
– Slightly spooky decor: Opt for creepy cobwebs, purple string lights, and plenty of bats or ghosts hanging from the trees.
2. Classic decor
When we think of throwing a classic Halloween party, we often think of green-faced witches, orange pumpkins, and black spiders. With this timeless Halloween imagery and these classic Halloween decoration colors, you can create a frightening yet fun Halloween vibe for your event.
Consider purchasing items such as:
— Honeycomb balls in orange and black
— Plastic spiders
— Stretchy cobwebs
— Posable skeletons
— Black cauldrons
— Pumpkin string lights
— Halloween window clings
3. Haunted house decor
Hang ghost decor that floats along the ceiling, and posable skeletons that make themselves cozy on couches and chairs. For younger children, add a bit of humor by dressing skeletons in their own silly Halloween costumes or placing them in hilarious poses. (Who says skeletons don’t love doing yoga?)
4. Monster mash
A monster mash-themed Halloween party is all about, well, the monsters. Purchase cut-outs of your favorite monsters, such as Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, mummies, or werewolves, and hang them around your space. You can even add a few friendly spider balloons to get kids excited to boogie down. By choosing a bright green and orange color palette with the rest of this decor, your party will feel lively, even despite your living-dead guests.
5. Mad scientist
For a mad scientist-themed bash, decorate your space with beakers and test tubes filled with food coloring-dyed liquids or neon green slime. You can also use brain-shaped Jell-O molds to create creepy (and delicious) decor your guests can eat. To drive this theme home, consider dressing up as a mad scientist with a lab coat, glasses, and wacky hair-do. Don’t forget a creepy eyeball garland to gaze upon all of your guests costumes as they enter.
6. DIY decor
What better way than to get creative and make your own Halloween party decorations? By crafting your own Halloween decor, you and your younger kids (and older kids, too!) can immerse yourselves in the Halloween crafts and fun even before your party begins. DIY decor can include:
– Decorate pumpkins – Gather your ghouls for a fun afternoon of pumpkin decorating with a BYO pumpkin decorating event. While guests bring their own gourds, you can supply all the necessary crafting materials, including:
– Paint and paintbrushes
– Googly eyes
– Pipe cleaners
After the event, your guests are left with personalized pumpkins they can use to decorate their own homes for Halloween night.
“Lil-o’-Lanterns” by Hello!Lucky for Paperless Post.
— Carve jack-o’-lanterns – Carve up some fun by throwing an outdoor jack-o’-lantern carving contest. Ask guests to bring their own pumpkins and carving tools, but make sure to have a few on hand in case you need extras. You can also print stencils in advance to help your kids carve their pumpkins with ease. (Depending on the age of your guests, you’ll want some adults to stick around for this one to make sure everyone stays safe.)
For an added treat, collect all the pumpkin seeds and roast them in the oven for a delicious, post-carving party snack.
— Bat garland – With black construction paper, string, and tiny clothespins, you and your children can easily create your own bat garland. Simply print out a bat stencil, trace the shape onto your construction paper, cut it out, and clip it to your string.
Tasty treats to serve at your Halloween party
If you’re wondering how to throw a spooky Halloween party that will be a thriller for kids, don’t forget the treats. Just as the perfect Halloween cocktails are key to adult Halloween parties, the best kid-friendly Halloween parties are all about the treats (not the tricks). When planning your party menu, be aware of potential food allergies, and make sure to include some healthy options. That way, none of your guests fall victim to the Sugar Crash Monster.
Take a look below at some ideas for Halloween party treats.
7. Frightening foods
Light-hearted frightening Halloween treats are the cherry on top of any bash. Trick your kids into eating something other than Halloween candy by using cookie cutters to create Halloween-themed sandwiches. With bat, ghost, or witch hat-shaped cookie cutters, your standard PB&J, ham and cheese, or turkey and swiss creations transform into exciting Halloween party food.
For another mummy-approved Halloween treat, make mummy pizza bites. Cover mini bagels or English muffins with pizza sauce, then place mozzarella strips horizontally to create a mummified look. For the finishing touch, add two sliced olive “eyes” on top and serve on Halloween frights plates.
Left: “Hungry Eye” by Paperless Post | Right: Photo Credit: Chelsea’s Messy Apron.
8. Terrifying treats
Along with bowls of candy corn, lollipops, and your favorite fun-size candy bars, consider serving your party guests a few of these unique Halloween-themed treats:
— Spider cookies – Place pretzel sticks along the sides of an Oreo cookie to create creepy crawly spider legs. Then, use icing to place M&M eyes on top for a delicious 3-in-1 treat.
— Puffed rice pumpkins – Halloween-ify traditional homemade Rice Krispies Treats by adding orange gel food coloring to your melted marshmallow mix, then shaping your treats into spheres. To complete your pumpkin look, place a pretzel stick on top as the pumpkin stem.
— Witch finger cookies – For scary sugar cookies, add green food coloring to your sugar cookie mix, then roll your dough into “fingers.” Place an almond sliver at the tip (where a fingernail would be), and use a knife to create creases along where the knuckles would be. Once these cookies are baked, you can add strawberry jam along the almond fingernail edges for an even more eerie effect.
Halloween party games for kids
If there’s anything kids love more than Halloween treats, it’s games (or maybe the split is an even 50-50). Either way, when it comes to entertaining your petite party-goers, you can introduce a little competitive fun with one or more of the following Halloween-themed party games. Halloween charades, a kid-friendly scavenger hunt, and classic holiday games are always a hit.
9. Bobbing for apples
There’s a reason bobbing for apples has remained a popular fall party and Halloween game for generations. Not only is it challenging and hilarious (for both participants and spectators), but it’s also ripe with Halloween-themed possibilities. Make the game a bit more sanitary by challenging guests to grab apples using plastic skeleton bones rather than their mouths.
To put a spin on this classic competition, you can draw scary faces on your apples with edible markers, or even replace your apples entirely with fun-size candy bars.
10. Mini masquerade
Invite guests to come to your party wearing a Halloween costume that includes a mask, a fitting and fun twist to a Halloween theme. Then, host a mini masquerade filled with monsters, ghouls, and goblins. For this party theme, our guests can vote on who they think has the coolest or scariest disguise, and the winner can be crowned best masquerader. Even the adults can get in on the fun!
11. Kiddo-sized maze
For the ultimate backyard adventure, set up a kiddo-sized corn maze. Don’t worry-you don’t need to plant and grow a field of corn beforehand to take advantage of this fun pastime. Instead, purchase bales of hay to use in place of cornstalks. You can even stack them on top of each other to better suit the height of your guests.
12. Mummy race
Don’t just walk like an Egyptian—run like a mummy. To hold a mummy race, wrap your guests’ legs in white tissue or toilet paper. Then, have them race toward a finish line without ripping their tissue paper. Whether or not your little mummies make it to the end intact, they’re bound to have an unforgettable experience with this Halloween party game.
10. Mystery box
This game will leave your guests shrieking (with laughter, that is). Start by cutting holes into the side or top of closed cardboard boxes. Then, have your kids reach inside and guess what’s hidden in each box. Surprise your party-goers with strange, slimy, or gooey hidden items such as:
— Peeled grapes
— Cold, cooked spaghetti
— Mashed banana
— Baby carrots
14. Pin the tail on the black cat
This classic game can adapt to so many different types of Halloween spookies, such as “pin the eyeball on the zombie,” “pin the fangs on Dracula,” or “pin the screws on Frankenstein.”
15. Zombie musical chairs
For this twist on a classic, ask all the kids to show you their best Zombie impression as they walk around the chairs. Last one without a seat is officially undead and out of the game!
16. Pumpkin sweep
Head to the yard, hand out the brooms, and divide all the kids into teams. The goal is to sweep your team’s pumpkin across the finish line first. Given they aren’t quite round, this proves a challenging and fun fall activity!
17. Pumpkin beanbag toss
After carving your jack o’ lanterns, line them up on the lawn for a silly game of beanbag toss…into their gaping mouths!
Halloween party activities
Along with games, you can add more thrills to your Halloween bash by treating your guests to unique Halloween party activities.
“Crystal Ball” by Paperless Post.
18. Host a magic show
For a Halloween party full of tricks, hire a magician to perform a magic show. Your guests can delight in the real-life magic happening right before their eyes and may even be able to assist with certain parts of your magician’s act.
“Party Monsters” by Paperless Post.
19. Do the Monster Mash
Get all your mini monsters moving with a haunted Halloween dance party. Inspire Dracula to Dougie, Wolfman to wiggle, and Frankenstein’s monster to floss with a soundtrack of groovy Halloween songs, including:
— “Monster Mash”
— “This Is Halloween”
— The Addams Family theme song
“Trunk or Treat” by Paperless Post.
20. Go trunk-or-treating
Get creative with a classroom costume party by organizing a trunk-or-treat event in the school parking lot. Parents can decorate the trunks of their cars with classic, themed, or DIY Halloween decor, while kids trick-or-treat from car to car.
Trunk-or-treating also provides a fun alternative for those who may live in neighborhoods where houses aren’t close to each other or areas that aren’t ideal for walking from house to house.
21. Show and tell
Show and tell gives each child an opportunity to show off their costume and talk about why they chose it. Kids can also present a favorite Halloween item, such as a toy, a costume prop, or a scary book or movie.
22. Kid-friendly spooky movie
If you’re looking for a way to end the night, a classic family Halloween movie is the perfect choice to get your guests to wind down after the fun. Our favorites are “Frankenweenie,” “Hotel Transylvania,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “The Addams Family.” Get creative with themed treats to keep the spirit high. You can even throw in a party favor for each guest to indulge during the movie or take home.
23. Spooky storytime
For the little kids, hiring a storyteller to recite some of their favorite Halloween tales (with silly voices, of course) is the perfect way to keep them rapt while the adults prep the next party activity. For non-scary books, try “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or “Room on the Broom.” If you want to frighten them (just a little), you can opt for “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” or ‘Ghosts!: Ghostly Tales from Folklore.”
24. Halloween costume parade
Make way for all of the adorable ghouls and goblins strutting their stuff down the Halloween runway with this easy and silly party activity. The parade gives kids a chance to show off their costumes while grooving to their favorite spooky tunes, and it gives parents a chance to snap extra photos for a later walk down memory lane.
25. Make your own slime
If your kids and their friends are the DIY types, they’ll love this workshop on the ooey, gooey favorite, and you can package them up to take home, too.
Halloween party invitations for kids
Choosing the right decor, food, games, and activities for your kid-friendly Halloween party will guarantee a fun, safe, and not-too-spooky event. But to ensure all the members of your boo crew experience the thrill for themselves, you’ll need to spread the word with kid-friendly Halloween party invitations.
At Paperless Post, you can find invitations to fit all of the month’s festivities, from Halloween bashes to pumpkin carving contests to October birthday parties. Plus, you can customize your invitations’ text, style, and backdrop to better match your party’s vibe. The best part? You don’t even have to worry about mailing these spook-tacular invites to your guests.
Not sure how to word your Halloween invite without causing a fright?
We have invitation suggestions for a variety of occasions. Check them out below:
“Afternoon Parade” by Paperless Post, “Pumpkin Club” by Paperless Post, “Black Cat” by Paperless Post, “Little Treats” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post
— For an afternoon affair – Please Join [Name] for an Afternoon of Tricks, Treats, & Spooky Sweets.
— For a pumpkin carving contest – Sharpen Your Knives and Join [Name] for a Pumpkin Carving Contest!
— For a traditional costume party – Grab Your Favorite Spooky Outfit and Join [Name] for Costumes & Candy.
— For a Halloween masquerade – Calling All Vamps and Vampires: It’s Time for [Name’s] Annual Halloween Masquerade.
Paperless Post: The Trick to Finding Your Perfect Party Invitations
Whichever Halloween party game, treats, or theme you choose, the bash is not complete without the perfect invites to get every party guest excited. Gather your boos and ghouls for all your spooky, kooky, and unforgettable events this October with Halloween party invitations from Paperless Post. With our customizable options, you can change your card’s text, style, and backdrop to better match your party’s unique theme. Plus, with Paperless Post, you can make or import a guest list, and send all your invites with the click of a button. It’s so easy, you’ll think it’s magic.