Fun and Safe Ideas for a Tween Halloween Party

Get the party started with safe and fun activities

tween Halloween celebration

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

What better way to celebrate Halloween than to throw a Halloween party for your child and his or her friends? Tweens especially enjoy the chance to spend time with their friends and show off their costumes. Add a scary movie, a game or two, and a few healthy snacks, and you'll have a party to remember.

All of these ideas are a good starting point for planning a tween Halloween party but don't forget to involve your child in the process. As every parent knows, tweens have strong opinions.

Set the Halloween Tween Theme

Pick a theme for your party, like a haunted house, vampires, or a favorite scary movie. The theme will help you pull the party together, making decoration ideas and planning the details super easy. For example, a pumpkin-carving theme will easily lend itself to pumpkin-everything decorations, plus orange-colored plates, cups, balloons, and streamers.

If you know your tween guests can handle a more mature theme, a fun twist on the typical Halloween party is to make it a murder mystery theme. Usually a theme for an adult party, a murder mystery can be easily adapted for tweens by using a ready-made kit or creating your own, ensuring that the puzzles are challenging but not impossible to solve.

Provide Music

Get the kids up and moving with some fun Halloween music. A dance-off will allow guests to get a little exercise while having fun and working up an appetite for some healthy snacks. 

In addition to spinning popular music—with some Halloween tunes thrown in—you can up the fun ante by scheduling in a few challenges and games set to music like a Halloween spin on musical chairs, a Just Dance-like contest, or even limbo. Adapt the "freeze dance" by having them freeze as a vampire, werewolf, or another Halloween creature when the music stops.

Watch a Halloween Movie

Tweens love a good movie, and a scary movie can make your kid's Halloween party a hit. Many Halloween movies are appropriate for the tween age group, such as cult favorites "Hocus Pocus," "Practical Magic," and "Beetlejuice." Older tweens may be able to handle the more psychological themes of seriously scary movies like "The Others," Signs," "The Sixth Sense," and "The Village."

Set the stage by throwing down cushions or air mattresses (pool floats will work, too) in the backyard and projecting the movie on the garage door or side of the house. Or, designate the garage, den, or another room as the movie theater for the night.

Of course, movies just aren't the same without popcorn and snacks, so have plenty of bowls of popcorn, candy corn, and other treats available. Or, consider a healthier option like veggie pizza, fruit salad, and air-popped popcorn with just a little seasoning.

Decorate Pumpkins

'Tis the season for pumpkin decorating. Guests can either bring a pumpkin to decorate (you supply the carving tools, templates, and markers) or you can provide the pumpkins for all. If you're not comfortable with the idea of tweens using pumpkin carving tools, provide plenty of craft materials such as felt, yarn, glitter, fun foam, and paint for your guests to use to decorate their pumpkins.

When the children have finished their masterpieces, take a picture of each guest with their jack-o'-lantern. Give the children their pictures as a keepsake.

Play a Game

Tweens aren't so old that they don't appreciate a good game. Try these Halloween games at your tween Halloween party:

The Halloween memory game: This is a variation of a popular birthday party game. Fill a tray with objects you would associate with Halloween, such as a flashlight; a small pumpkin; a candy bar; a plastic spider ring; a picture of a black cat; and a small, plastic skeleton. Try to find 15–20 Halloween items.

Cover the tray with a cloth so the children can't see the objects. Give each child a scrap of paper and a pencil, and place the tray before them. Remove the cloth. Allow everyone to look at the items on the tray for about 30 seconds, then cover the tray. The children have 20 seconds to write down as many items as they can remember. The one who remembers the most wins.

The ghost and the witch: One child is a witch and must leave the room. The other children sit on the floor in a circle. Give one of the guests a paper ghost and have them hide it somewhere in their costume. The witch must try to figure out where the ghost is. The closer the witch gets to the ghost, the louder the children moan like ghosts. Have the children take turns being the witch and the ghost.

Make a Halloween Snack

Tweens need their food, and while it's always fun to munch, it's just as much fun to make something yourself. Create a Halloween trail mix snacking station, with bowls of pretzels, popcorn, candy, and other ingredients. Give the tweens a plastic stadium cup to fill with the ingredients of their choice.

Another idea is to bake a few dozen cupcakes and let the children turn them into Halloween jack-o'-lanterns. Use orange and green frosting for the pumpkin and its top, and black licorice and black jelly beans for the face. Once the cupcakes are decorated, let the children feast.

Have a Costume Contest

It wouldn't be a tween Halloween party without a costume contest. Ask guests to wear their best Halloween costumes and offer prizes for the most colorful costume, the funniest costume, the silliest, and more.

Another idea is to give prizes for the best group costumes. Tweens can express their love of BTS through dressing up as the band, or TV lovers can come as the cast of "Stranger Things." Also, make sure everyone at the party wins something, although the first-place winners' prizes can be bigger.