These spooky Halloween activities for kids should get you in the mood for pumpkin season and overdosing on chocolates! I’ve chosen things that can generally be done anywhere, though I have included some London highlights too, being the Londonphile that I am. As usual, they err on the outdoorsy, adventurous side rather than manufactured indoor variety (though there’s nowt wrong with that either, anything to get little imaginations going). Now, where’s my broomstick?
Top Halloween activities for kids
Pick some pumpkins
Of course, you could just buy a pumpkin from Tesco, but where’s the fun in that?! A quick google search should tell you where your local pumpkin picking patch is, and usually whatever farm is offering it will be doing some Halloween-themed walk or game too I’m sure. Plus, the fields are so pretty. A little lunar like don’t you think? Here’s a great round-up of where you can go pumpkin picking in the UK.
Go on a night walk and play the torch tag game
Don your wellies, hat and coat at twilight and head outside with a torch for a short walk. Go into the woods – if you dare! You can ramp up the excitement by playing the excellent torch tag game, where one person has the torch and has to guard a flag. The other players must creep up as silently as possible to try and win the flag without being ‘tagged’ by the torch.
Light a campfire in the garden, or camp out
This is such an autumnal thing to do, and I love the smell of wood smoke too. Picture being sat round the crackling fire drinking hot chocolate and telling ghost stories. Camping out is probably best for older kids, and if you’re unsure, try it in the garden as you can always retreat back inside. When my two are older I’m going to invest in a bivvy bag so I can just sleep out without the faff of putting up the tent and what not.
Do a spooky treasure hunt
This one needs a bit of prep, but is a novel way to share out the chocolate love (why has Halloween become all about sweets?) and is great fun for little people who might not want to be doing loads of scary things outdoors. Some free Halloween treasure hunt clues here and here. Slightly unrelated, but who remembers Challenge Anneka? I wish they would bring that back. Also, the Krypton Factor. Anyway….
Go on a ghost walk or visit a haunted castle
Another Halloween activity that’s best for older kids really. London does some good ones, as do most other cities in the UK. Some spooky villages like Prestbury also offer them, or make your own up and go visit one of the most haunted places in the UK. Hello Pluckley in Kent, Pendle Hill in Lancaster, Highgate Cemetery and Dartmoor. Castles are obvious spooky places to visit. Plus loads of them are supposedly filled with ghouls too. Cawdor, Lincoln, Edinburgh, Chillingham, Muncaster, Fyvie, Dover and Pengersick are all known to be haunted. I expect most of these are also putting on fun halloween activities for kids too.
Run as a zombie
Find a Halloween fun run to enter as a family and go wild in your costume choices and running style. Some of these spooky races are full of mud and obstacles too which should please most kids.
London Halloween activities for kids:
If you’re near London and fancy some gore and grisly, these are the best attractions to visit. I’m hoping to get to the Ragged School Museum soon but the others will have to wait till mine are a bit older I think!
An oldie but a goodie. I vividly remember coming here as a kid and being enthralled by all the yuck. Maybe just me? Anyway if you want to get with all the other tourists go here. It promises all sorts of torturous delights. London Bridge. Tickets from £21.
Old Operating Theatre
Billed as Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre, this small museum is great for kids to learn about history and medicine. London Bridge. £6.50 adult £3.50 child.
Ragged School Museum
Step back in time and get your kids to pretend they are at school in the Victorian era. Loads of Halloween activities for kids here too. Mile End. Free.
You can learn about the history of London’s canals here but at Halloween this amazing museum puts on a ghostly canal boat experience through Islington’s canal tunnel and has loads of Halloween activities for kids such as face painting and spooky story telling in their dim-lit building. King’s Cross. £5 adult £2.50 child.