Whether you love Halloween for the tricks or treats, scary or silly, there is no wrong way to celebrate the holiday. As long as you are respectful, inclusive, and safe, you and your family are guaranteed to have a good time! To help you get ready for spooky season, the team at Sawyer put together a list of fun Halloween activities that you can do with your whole family. Warning: side effects include lots of bonding time, fun, and some messy hands.

Check out our list of fun Halloween activities for children of all ages!

Halloween activities at home

1. Carve pumpkins

Of course, the first item on our list of fun Halloween activities is a classic: carving pumpkins. If your children are under 9, we recommend handling the knife work yourself. But don’t worry, they can still be completely involved! Let them come up with the idea and direct you so you make their dreams come true. Once you have carved the pumpkin, let your younger children decorate with paints, glitter, markers, and whatever else they want to add. Even if you have children who are older than 9, we still recommend that you keep a close eye on their carving and offer to help if they need it. Pumpkins are tough! Once you have finished, consider entering your jack-o-lantern in a virtual pumpkin carving contest like this one by Sawyer educator Museum of Design.

Photo of pumpkin carving

2. Create your own costume

Halloween is so much more fun with a homemade costume. For parents, it is a source of pride, and for children, they get to have so much more say in the way it looks. It’s a win-win! Even if you don’t think you are the craftiest parent in the bunch, with enough time and the right resources, you should be able to create something fun for your child and yourself. Check out our list of DIY Halloween costumes for some inspiration and get out that hot glue!

3. Decorate candy bags

Once you have your child’s costume prepared, the next step is to decorate fun and festive bags for the best part of Halloween: candy collection! A good candy bag has handles and won’t break easily under the weight of a full afternoon’s worth of trick-or-treating spoils. If you are in the New York City area, try this Halloween arts & crafts outdoor class with one of our Sawyer educators, Color Architect Kids, to get started.

4. Bake a festive treat

We love the flavors of fall: pumpkin, cinnamon, chai, apple, and so many more spicy and sweet tastes. But, one of the most exciting parts of cooking in autumn, especially for little ones, is combining food with fun! Our providers are pulling out all of the stops with Halloween-themed cooking and baking classes where you can make mummy pesto pizzas with Freshmade or spooky cupcakes with Sweetology. Or, try one of the more traditional fall recipes and make caramel apples online with The Dynamite Shop. Whatever you choose, your little chef will have a blast and you both will have a treat after the class!

Photo courtesy of Sweetology

5. Write, illustrate, and tell scary stories

Now that the weather is getting chillier, you might want to consider a few more at-home activities. One of our favorite things to do with our families on a rainy day is write and illustrate our own stories. It helps children to practice their writing skills, get creative with their art, and work on their public speaking. Plus, it is great for parents, too! To get some help with the illustrations for your child’s scary story, consider signing up for this one day art class focused on painting a spooky moon by Sawyer educator Yellowbobbypins Art.

6. Do a science experiment

If your child loves science, then this next activity is right up their alley. But, it is potentially even more exciting for a child who doesn't love science. That’s right, you read that correctly! You can disguise science by turning it into a fun Halloween activity that teaches and amazes. We recommend adding lab coats and maybe even some mad scientist hair to complete the illusion. This online potions workshop by School of Magic Arts is a great place to start. 

7. Get creative with Halloween crafts

Besides carving pumpkins and decorating candy bags, there are so many other fall craft projects you can explore with your family. Maybe you want to make ghosts out of tissues, spiders out of pipe cleaners, or bats out of cardboard. Or, maybe you want to give your child the gift of creativity. They can build their own monster and get to practice imagination.

Photo of Halloween crafting!

8. Have a movie marathon

Depending on the age of your children and their interests, scary movies might not hit the mark. But, there are lots of good options for Halloween movies that can be good for children of all ages. For younger children, try some of the classics like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Casper. Older children and young adults will likely enjoy something a little spookier like Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Monster House

Outdoor Halloween activities for families

1. Explore a corn maze

There is no better family bonding experience than exploring, and almost getting lost forever in, a corn maze. You go in with such high hopes, feeling fresh and having fun, and by the end you are harrowed and half deaf from your child asking, “Are we there yet?” a million times while you search for the exit. You gotta love it! After you finally escape the maze, pick your own apples and pumpkins and head home for a much needed nap.

2. Go trick-or-treating

Last but not least, the ultimate Halloween activity is, of course, trick-or-treating! This is a great way to get outdoors, have fun with friends, and show off your awesome DIY costume. Parents, make sure to set some ground rules for your children when it comes to candy consumption and exploration. Otherwise, get out there and have fun! 

At Sawyer, we are passionate about connecting children with enriching activities online and in their neighborhoods so they can expand their love of learning. We hope you take advantage of some of the exciting classes and specifically, these fun Halloween activities happening on Sawyer throughout October. Have a happy, and safe, Halloween!

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