Halloween 2020 didn’t go as planned for most trick-or-treaters and their families, but there’s hope that by October 2021, an evening of knocking on doors and asking for sweets will be not only possible, but safe. For other families, with children too young to be vaccinated yet or a loved one with underlying health conditions at home, it might still be a little too spooky to go door to door.
Whether you’re looking for *all* the fun Halloween activities to get into the holiday this year, or just looking for the safest ways to celebrate, a festive scavenger hunt can be memorable for your kids at any age. You can opt for one that helps them practice counting, or asks them to find certain decorations in pictures instead of words for those too little to read. And for teens or college students home to visit, consider a photo-based or group chat scavenger hunt and invite their friends.
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Indoor Halloween Scavenger Hunts
Trying to stay inside this Halloween, or live somewhere a little too chilly to be outside these days? There are plenty of scavenger hunt ideas you can do in the comfort of your own home, whether your kids are just learning to count or old enough to solve some hair-raising riddles.
Outdoor Halloween Scavenger Hunts
Kids and adults alike love getting outside to see the neighborhood Halloween decorations. Bring along a scavenger hunt list and check off all the things you see: a witch on her broom, a teal pumpkin, and more. You can even turn it into a bingo game, or opt for a more classic scavenger hunt with clues hidden around your yard.
You could also type up your own list of things to hunt for when you head to your local pumpkin patch or corn maze this year. It’ll help your family get some extra time outside in the autumn weather while you search for miniature pumpkins, the tallest corn stalk, or a stack of hay bales.
Free Printable Halloween Scavenger Hunts
Check these out: an assortment of free, pre-made activities you have to put approximately 10 minutes into preparing. Just print out these scavenger hunt files, cut out the clues, and hide them as directed. Or, even simpler, print the lists of what you’re hunting, pop them on some clipboards, and pass them out to your little participants.
Halloween Scavenger Hunts For Older Kids & Teens
If you want to celebrate with kids who are a little older, maybe even too old to trick-or-treat and in need of something new to do this year, a scavenger hunt is the perfect plan. Choose one with spookier clues, harder riddles, or extra elements (like smart phones) to up the ante.
Parenting blog Troubleshooting Motherhood points out you can turn any scavenger hunt into one for tweens and teens by writing clues in invisible ink or setting a challenging time limit to find all the clues. Or, have each clue involve a dare and ask your kids to snap a photo to show you at the end. However you decide to do it, just know you can get the big kids in on the fun too.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt Prizes
What’s a scavenger hunt without a prize to earn? Obviously candy is the go-to option this time of year, but your little hunters will probably have plenty of sweets coming in from other parties and events. Instead, maybe consider bestowing one of these on your winner:
- A giant batch of glow-in-the-dark Halloween stickers or temporary tattoos
- Halloween-themed bath bombs, like Jack-O-Lanterns, cauldrons, or orange and purple tie-dye bombs
- Some little Halloween toys, like a miniature stuffed monster or a big-eyed bat
- Festive school supplies, whether you choose pencils, erasers, or notebooks
- An age-appropriate Halloween book, like Skeleton Meets Mummy, Shivery Shades Of Halloween, or Jampires