Magical Halloween Activities

Ideas for Creating a Magical, Memorable Halloween

Celebrating holidays is the perfect way to put a little bit of magic into our ordinary days. Halloween-themed movies, games, crafts, and stories bring us closer together and help cultivate memorable childhoods filled with magic and wonder. 

Here are some ways we make the Halloween season fun, memorable and magical. 


We decorate as a family on October 1st. Along with decorations we pull out all the Halloween books and games. Everyone loves reminiscing over their favorite decorations like the 6 foot giant, woolly spider that hangs on our stairwell and the pumpkin village we created together several years ago.

The Great Pumpkin

He may have never visited Linus, but he comes here!  The Great Pumpkin book

When the kids were little, trick-or-treating went so badly one year we ended up hiding candy in the front yard and told them The Great Pumpkin had come. That last minute idea saved Halloween, and has become a fun family tradition.

These days The Great Pumpkin visits on October 1st hiding candy and Halloween shirts or pajamas for the kids to find. And if trick-or-treating gets rained out or somebody is sick, he can always come by and hide candy again.

Spooky Portraits

You can get so creative with this. We used decorations and costumes we already had, worked together to design their scenes, then I edited the pictures on my phone to make them dark, sepia-toned, and spooky. 

Lollipop Ghost Hunt 

This was such a fun activity when the kids were little. Cover lollipops with white tissue and hide them in trees. There are many cute ghost books you can read before or after too.

Ten Timid Ghosts

There’s a Ghost in this House

The Little Ghost who was a Quilt

Halloween Themed Cocoa Bar 

Invite friends or just do it as a family before watching a movie. See my post about a dye-free cocoa bar here (Coming Soon).

Face Paints

My kids paint their faces all year, but it really ramps up in October. They will have a different face painted every day of the month. Here are links to our favorite face paints, easy to use and easy to clean up. 

Blue Squid Face Paint

Snazaroo Face Paint

Spooky Crafts

We had to try the ghost painting craft that has been all over the Internet:  Find an old painting and add ghosts, pumpkins, and bats. I love how the kids’ paintings came out—they will be treasures for a long time. Plus it’s a great way to recycle old art. It took us several thrift shop trips to find old paintings at a decent price. These prints on Amazon would also work:

Unframed Farmhouse Wall Art #1

Unframed Farmhouse Wall Art #2

Framed Canvas Print

Unframed Farmhouse Wall Art #3

Cheesecloth Ghosts

We had to try this viral craft too! It was fun and easy. 

Halloween Painted Rocks 

We updated our fairy garden to have a spooky vibe. 

Nat Geo Creepy Creatures Rock Painting Kit

Haunted Dollhouse

I saw this activity years ago on Instagram, and thought it was a perfect thing to do with Vampirina’s house the kids didn’t want anymore. We spray painted it black and gray, decorated it with Halloween items, and it has become a fun decoration for the house. Plus the kids still play with it.

Go on a Haunted Tour

This is a new one for us because they are usually too scary for our kids. This year we found a kid-friendly haunted tour that is more historical than scary.

Spooky Science 

Halloween is a great time for science experiments. Elephant toothpaste in a jack-o-lantern is always fun. Check out these Halloween science books and activities: 

Monsters Factory

The Science Spell Book

Nat Geo Super Gross Chemistry Set

Wizards Potion Science Kit

Spooky Books

The Skull

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt

There’s a Ghost In This House

Eerie Elementary Series

Black Day: The Monster Rock Band

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

My boys favorite Halloween book: Weird But True Halloween: 300 Spooky Facts to Scare You Silly

Spooky Games

Haunted Mansion 8+

Johnny the Skull 5+

Villains Labyrinth 7+

Villainous 10+

Cute Halloween Corn Hole game

Spooky Field Trips

Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Apple Picking are great—but there’s so much more. 

Look to see if your local children’s museum, petting farm, zoo, botanical garden, planetarium or science center has planned any Halloween-themed activities. 

Halloween Lights

We love driving around and seeing how other people decorate for Halloween. It’s also fun to go to the hardware store and other shops and check out their decorations. Add a scavenger hunt for extra fun.

Free Printable! halloween scavenger hunt

Halloween Movies

The kids’ tastes and fear levels have changed over the years. Here are some of our past and present favorites.


The Addams Family 

The Nightmare Before Christmas 




Toy Story of Terror

Monster House


Hotel Transylvania

Room on the Broom

Spooky Buddies


Under Wraps

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