Halloween is a favorite time of year for people of all ages, and a great opportunity for friends and families to come together and enjoy a fun and casual holiday! From spooky costumes and decor to group-oriented outdoor fun, and of course candy and treats, here are a few ideas to ensure that your All Hallows’ Eve is a blast for goblins and ghouls of all ages!
Halloween Activities and Decor
If you haven’t decorated for Halloween yet, Good Housekeeping has a gallery of wonderful ideas. From spooky to fun, simple to exquisite, there are decorating ideas and tutorials to suit every interest. Make a bat-themed wreath with grapevine, construction paper or felt and googly eyes, cover an LED candle in black lace with a little glue, or set up a pumpkin and gourd-themed centerpiece on your dining table.
For those living in a senior living community, ask the staff if you and some of your friends can decorate or spookify the lobby or a central gathering area to get everyone in the mood for Halloween.
Once the scene is set, it’s time to invite some guests to celebrate.
Every Halloween party needs a good theme. Here are a few ideas to get your brain stirring. Be sure to keep movies, ghost stories and games age appropriate for your guests.
Corn Maze Party – Get the group together and visit a local corn maze. You could even have prizes for the person who gets through the maze the quickest or who wears the best costume. Keep the party going by carving some pumpkins afterwards, or enjoying some fresh apple cider!
Scary Movie Marathon – Choose several scary movies to share with your family and friends. Choosing an old scary movie to watch with grandchildren (of an appropriate age) can be a great way to connect with your family’s youth! Prepare the viewing room for comfortable viewing with popcorn, soda and candy corn!
Murder Mystery – Boxed murder mystery games in a variety of themes are available for parties of eight to ten adults on Amazon, or try mymysteryparty.com. Each person comes in character and you spend the evening detecting “who done it?”
Bonfire and Ghost Stories – Tell ghost stories, read ghost stories or listen to old radio shows like the ‘The Twilight Zone’ or ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’. Cook some hot dogs over an open flame and, of course, enjoy some delicious s’mores!
Everyone loves to dress up, and what better way to celebrate Halloween than to hide behind the mystery and disguise of a costume? Ask guests to come in the scariest creation possible, or choose a theme, such as a masquerade ball or dressing as a famous person from the decade (or year) in which they were born.
You can videotape them as they arrive or even set up a “red carpet”-like costume parade to music so everyone has a chance to strut their stuff! Have some ballots and a box available so guests can vote for their favorite costume, and award the winner a special prize at the end of the evening.
Gather family members, friends or party guests and create some Halloween crafts that everyone can take with them.
Pumpkin painting and decorating is always fun, and can be enjoyed by all ages. Just purchase acrylic paints in Halloween colors—white, purple, bright green, yellow, black, brown—from your local craft stores, varying sized paint brushes, and even Sharpie markers to create fine lines or write words. You can embellish your pumpkin with glitter, “googly” eyes, feathers, a witch’s hat, felt cut-outs, and much more. Get creative and have fun! Be sure to lay out newspapers or old sheets to protect flooring from messes.
Or how about a spider hat? This is a great one for seniors and children to do together. Gather black construction paper, scissors, glue, wiggly eyes and a stapler. First create the spider body by cutting the construction paper into strips about one inch thick. Staple strips together to fit around someone’s head. This is the spider body. Fold eight strips, accordion fashion, and have a child glue them onto the body as the legs. Glue the wiggly eyes to the front, and you have a spider hat!
This last one—gooey green slime— is messy, but oh so fun! If you use glass bowls, you can see the chemical reaction take place. However, disposable bowls are also an easy option since they can be thrown away or recycled afterwards.
You will need:
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cup Elmer’s glue
- green food coloring
- 4 tsp. Borax
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- zippable sandwich bags
- 2 bowls
- Solution A: Mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 2 cups of Elmer’s Glue and some green food coloring in one bowl. Dissolve well.
- Solution B: Mix 4 tsp. Borax and 1 1/3 cups of warm water in a separate bowl. Dissolve well.
- Pour solution A into solution B. DO NOT MIX OR STIR! Just lift out the ‘flubber’ and store it in zippered plastic baggies.
For more Halloween craft ideas for your party or for your home, visit Elder One-Stop.
And what’s a party without games? Give your guests a list of famous horror movies and ask them to match the titles with their director, actors or year produced. Maybe even take turns quoting some famous horror movie lines with your best impressions and have guests guess the actor or character who uttered them.
How about a pumpkin ring toss? Set up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss. Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape. Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem. Or you can have them try to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula hoop.
And another ooey, gooey one for kids and adults who don’t mind a little tactile ickiness…
What is a party or gathering without food? Here are a few creepy, yummy recipes to fill up even those who are “dying” of hunger.
Creepy Eyeballs Recipe – Add a little green food coloring to deviled egg mixture, put a black olive slice in the center and a little paprika in lines coming out from the center.
Monster Mash Recipe
What you need:
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream (Boo Goo)
- 1 tbsp. chocolate syrup (Swamp Mud)
- 1 tbsp. miniature chocolate chips (Beetle Bugs)
- 10 miniature marshmallows (Monster Toes)
- Place ingredients in paper cup. Mash them with spoon. Top with slug slime (green food-colored cool whip). Recipe serves 1, so multiply ingredients to make enough cups of Monster Mash to serve your crew.
Monster Toes or Bloody Fingers
What you’ll need:
- Cocktail wieners – enough for the number of guests
- Flour tortillas
- Cut a wedge into the end of each cocktail wiener to make a place for the toe/finger nail.
- Cut flour tortillas into 4-inch long by ¾-inch wide strips.
- Roll each wiener into a tortilla strip, secure with a toothpick, and place on a cookie sheet.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes.
- After removing from oven, fill the toe/finger nail portion with ketchup and serve.
However you choose to spend this festive fall holiday, seniors and children alike will love getting together to celebrate. Get creative and have fun!
At our community, seniors can age in place with caring, professional staff, numerous amenities and activities, and assistance every step of the way. Contact us for more information concerning our services and amenities, and have a happy and safe Halloween!