Monster Mash your way to the best Halloween yet.

By Blake Bakkila
Updated May 16, 2017
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The Addams Family is going to have some serious competition this year. If you’re looking for spooky holiday fun that everyone in your brood will enjoy, this is the list for you. Gone are the days of bobbing for apples, dressing up, and simply trick-or-treating. This year, get your family moving and grooving to Halloween tunes that will play long after October 31.

Does your family love DIY crafts? Are brain games a go-to in your household? Or does your group go sporty? Whatever your interests, there’s an ideal Halloween activity just for you. (We've even included some Halloween activities for toddlers!)

We asked experts in exercise physiology and event planning to weigh in on fun versions of classic games and concoct their own Halloween kids' activities for the upcoming holiday. So grab your friends, relatives, and all the candy you can carry for a revamped Halloween itinerary. Here’s Real Simple’s list for the best Halloween family fun this year.

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“Fill up small balloons with water. On ‘Go’ play the “Monster Mash” and have your kids stomp on as many balloons as they can,” says Len Saunders, exercise physiologist and author of I Can Do That. If you're playing this game indoors, fill the balloons with confetti instead—just make sure to have a good, reliable vacuum handy.


Like the classic game, but with scary music, says Michelle Bachman of Little Miss Party. Simply pick out a dozen songs, and then play 10-second clips of each tune. The first person to correctly identify the music gets a point. Bachman suggests titles from movies like Jaws, X-Files, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th.


All you need are some old clothes and pieces of recycled newspaper for this one, says Saunders. “Set the clothes on the ground with the newspaper,” he says. “On ‘go’ have your kids run to the clothes. From there, crumple up the newspapers and start to stuff the paper into the clothes.” The end result? A cool-looking scarecrow.


A spin on the popular game, Bachman suggests creating your own Halloween version. “Heads Up is the game where everyone puts a Post-it note with a famous person on another person’s head and they have to guess who it is by asking simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Play the same game but with scary villains.”


“Set up a spider web in your yard using string,” Saunders recommends. “Use spikes in the ground to hold it in place. Then, have your kids try to walk through the spider web without touching it.” For even more spooky fun, add traps, like plastic spiders, that the kids have to avoid.


An old classic with a spooky spin never fails. Play up the holiday theme with orange and black M&Ms, says Bachman. (Alternate ideas include milk chocolate eyeballs, candy corn, or white and orange jelly beans.) “The winner should get a fun prize such as a special bag of candy or a glitter pumpkin!”