15 Fun Halloween Games and Activities for Seniors and the Elderly

Many seniors like to have fun and join in on the festivities of Halloween. Here are our top fun Halloween games and activities you can play with seniors and the elderly.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
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Halloween Games and Activities for Seniors
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Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. 

Halloween games aren’t just for kids. Many older people still enjoy the games and festivities of the Halloween season.

If you are looking for the best Halloween-themed games to play with seniors, don’t forget to consider the games’ safety, convenience, and appropriateness.

That’s why we recommend these games that your senior loved ones will definitely enjoy as part of their Halloween celebrations.

Here you’ll find great group games for parties, a few educational and therapeutic games, and some games just for fun!

Video Guide

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halloween games for seniors

Enjoyable Halloween Games for Seniors

Here is our list of the top games to play with older adults during Halloween.

1. Halloween A to Z

Halloween A to Z helps our seniors keep an active and quick mind when playing this game.

This is also a very safe and convenient game for older adults because you don’t need to move or stand when playing this game. Even seniors in wheelchairs or with mobility difficulty can easily participate in this game.

The game’s object is to come up with the most words for a certain category.

To play Halloween A to Z:

  • Give each participant a pencil and a piece of paper. (If writing is a problem, have a caregiver write the words for them as they call them out.)
  • When the game leader says “go,” each player will be asked to write as many Halloween-related words as possible for each letter of the alphabet within 10 minutes.
  • The game stops after the timer, and the player with the most Halloween-related words written will be determined as the winner.
  • Play multiple rounds using categories of Halloween costumes, treats, or even Halloween decorations.

2. Halloween-Themed Charades

Everyone probably knows what the game Charades is. It’s that game where a player will be asked to act out a word given to them then the other players guess what the word is.

You can add a twist to this game by giving out Halloween-themed prompts — words like “Dracula,” “zombies,” and other spooky Halloween-y words. (Here are some words to get you started.)

You can write these prompts on pieces of paper, fold or roll them up, and put them in a bag or bowl where the players can pull them out.

Extroverted older adults and seniors who like to act will definitely enjoy this game. Even those not in the best health can play this game as the players who guess the words.

With minimal materials needed, this game is sure to be one of the favorites at your Halloween party.

halloween candy 2 (1)
Use Halloween candy in your games and activities as card markers for bingo, pieces for board games, or to keep track of scores!

3. Candy Count

Put Halloween candies in a jar and let the players guess how many candies are in the jar or pot. The person with the closest guess to the actual count wins a prize!

Candy count is a great game for seniors on Halloween night. The game only involves guessing the number of candies without any physical effort.

Even people with some cognitive impairment can join in because it is just a guess anyway!


4. Halloween Bingo

Always an old party favorite, Halloween Bingo is a great icebreaker that will help get the seniors into the festive spirit.

Halloween Bingo is practically the same as the regular version of bingo, except the game cards have Halloween-themed icons instead of the usual numbers and letters.

You can choose to have printable bingo cards or make your own with famous Halloween objects like jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins, witches’ hats, or black cats.

It is a stereotype, but many seniors love to play bingo, especially if there are prizes to win. It is also a great way to entertain small and large groups.

To play this spookier version:

  • Designated a caller for the game. The caller will select and announce the images the players will find on their cards.
  • When a player has a matching image on their game board, they will mark the space with that image.
  • Since it is Halloween, use candy corn, pumpkin Mellowcremes, or other small candies as markers instead of the usual black markers.
  • The first player that marks five squares in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally will be the winner.
halloween bingo cards (1)
Spook up your regular Bingo game by using cards with Halloween symbols and candies as markers.

5. Mystery Box

Mystery Box is a game that can be played even if your loved one has a hearing or visual impairment. All you need to play this game is a sense of touch, imagination, and wonder.

To play the game:

  • Create a series of mystery boxes using medium-sized boxes, like a tissue, cereal, or shoebox.
  • Then, cut a hole in each box — big enough for a hand to enter but small enough to hide the contents inside it. Make sure the hole edge is smooth or cover it with some tape to protect the player’s hands.
  • Decorate each box with a Halloween-themed design (this could be its own activity!).
  • Fill the box with items to identify using the sense of touch (see our suggested list below).
  • Label each box’s “creepy” contents and have players guess what the items really are. For example, label one box as “Fingernails”, fill it with slivered almonds, and see how many people figure out that it’s really almonds!

Choose items that can simulate spooky Halloween objects. Below are some suggestions you can try:

  • Fingers – cheese sticks
  • Fingernails – slivered almonds
  • Hair – corn silk
  • Ears – dried apricots
  • Eyeballs – grapes
  • Bones – uncooked penne pasta
  • Rat tails – licorice laces
  • Spider legs – pipe cleaners
  • Warts – raisins
  • Teeth – popcorn kernels
  • Toes – baby carrots

Don’t forget to write down all the items you place inside the mystery box. The player who correctly identifies the most items wins!

halloween costumes contest
A costume contest is a fun Halloween game for seniors, the elderly, and people of all ages really!

6. Halloween Costume Contest

Everyone loves to dress up, regardless of age! And what better way to spend Halloween than to come to the party dressed in your favorite costume?

Ask your guests to go to the party wearing the scariest or most adorable costume possible. You can also have them dress up as a famous person or someone they admire.

This will allow the seniors to become who they want to be – if only for an evening. They can even show their creativity by making their own DIY Halloween costumes.

If someone shows up without a costume, give them a chance to join in the fun. Set up a station with art and craft materials where they can create their outfits on the spot.

Prepare some ballots and a box so guests can vote for their favorite Halloween costume, and give a special gift to the winner at the end of the evening.

You can also give a “booby prize” to the loser.


7. Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Invite the seniors to try their hand at decorating pumpkins for your Halloween party. Give them art materials and test their creativity.

Many seniors are fond of Halloween-themed arts and crafts, especially those who make art as their hobby.

They can draw faces or use other art materials to give life to the spookiest pumpkins. And by the end of the party, the guests can vote for the most beautiful pumpkin (or the scariest)!


seniors preparing to decorate hallowen pumpkine
All older adults, regardless of health, can participate in pumpkin decorating! Just use markers or paint where knives are unsafe.

8. Halloween Backgammon

Backgammon is a two-player game played on a board of 24 narrow triangles where the players will use dice to battle against each other in “bearing off” their 15 pieces.

Create your own version of these games by decorating the boards with Halloween pictures.

Add a trick-or-treat aspect by rewarding the player with a candy when they win and taking away their treats when they lose a round. The guest with the most sweets at the end of the game will win a special prize.

Seniors who are fond of playing board games will enjoy this game. It may be a little difficult to explain the rules to those unfamiliar with the board game, but when they get the gist of it, this will be a game they will certainly enjoy.

Find out more about the general rules of the game at Backgammon Rules.


9. Halloween Board Games

Speaking of board games, bringing a few — or a lot — of Halloween-themed board games to your party will keep your guests engaged.

Seniors will have fun playing with other seniors in games like Mystery Mansion, Clue, or Orient Express — a bunch of mystery-themed board games. 

If you want something more casual, you can set up games like a Halloween-themed Monopoly game for folks who like the mood a bit lighter.

Seniors will love solving mysteries and going against their peers when playing these board games. So keep your eyes out for other Halloween-like board games out there.


10. Crime Scene Outlines

This game is ideal for seniors of all health levels – even those who spend a lot of time in bed.

You can play Crime Scene Outlines by

  • Round up a few rolls of white butcher paper, some markers, and tape.
  • Then, secretly make outlines on the butcher paper of some guests. Either trace their outline onto the paper (if it is appropriate) or freehand their outline.
  • Next, hang the “crime scene” around the living room, and the players then guess which guest the outlines belong to.

You can also add personal items that can aid in identifying each outline. For example, glasses, jewelry, hats etc.

The person with the most correct guesses wins!


11. Pumpkin Bocce

Pumpkin Bocce can be played either indoors or outdoors. This game encourages upper body exercise and range of motion. 

To play Pumpkin Bocce,

  • Gather a large pumpkin and lots of miniature gourds.
  • Position the giant pumpkin about six feet away from the designated starting line.
  • Each player will roll their tiny gourds toward the giant pumpkin.

The player whose small gourd rolls closest to the big pumpkin wins the game.

To extend the game, have a tournament with a winners and losers bracket to determine the ultimate winner!

basket of small pumpkins to use in halloween games for seniors
Small pumpkins and gourds can be substituted for balls in many Halloween games for seniors.

12. Pumpkin Bowling

Another similar game to Pumpkin Bocce is Pumpkin bowling. This game is easier for older adults to play compared to regular bowling, where the heavy bowling ball can harm seniors.

Pumpkin Bowling as an alternative is easy to set up.

  • Buy plastic bowling pins or use small butternut squash as your “pins.”
  • Use miniature pumpkins or gourds as your “ball.”
  • Keep score like regular bowling, or just count the number of “pins” knocked down to keep it simple.

For people with mobility challenges, set up a chair at starting line or let them bowl right from their wheelchair.

Imagine the excitement when a player scores a strike in this less demanding version of bowling!


13. Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Host a Halloween scavenger hunt if you want a game to get the seniors out and about.

To set up a Halloween scavenger hunt,

  • Gather Halloween-themed objects like jack-o-lanterns, witches’ hats, creepy dolls, candies, and black cats.
  • Hide the items throughout the venue.
  • Give the participants a list of these items. Include a photo of each item on the list as a clue.
  • Send the search parties out to find the items. They can play individually or in groups.
  • Have them write down where the items were found or have them take photos of the items with a smartphone.

The winner is the person (or team) that finds the most items!

This game can encourage light exercise by making them walk around the premises. Caregivers or family members can assist seniors with mobility difficulties, help push them in a wheelchair, etc.

It’s an excellent way to let them expend their energy too! They might even get some fresh air if the items are located outside.

Make sure to give a price to those who succeed in finding these items.


14. Hot Pumpkin

Surely you played hot potato as a child, right?

Then get ready for Hot Pumpkin. A Halloween-ified version of the game that is great for seniors – even if they aren’t very active.

The players will toss around a small pumpkin, gourd, or even just an orange balloon decorated to look like a jack-o-lantern while music is playing in the background.

When the music stops, the person holding the “hot pumpkin” gets eliminated from the game. The last person remaining wins!


15. Halloween Karaoke

Karaoke is fun, no matter what type of party you have. Even if they aren’t a professional singer, most seniors will enjoy singing at the top of their lungs.

They can even wear their Halloween costumes while singing horror movie theme songs. So prepare your karaoke machine and let the show begin.

RELATED: Halloween-Themed Gift Ideas for Seniors

Wrapping Up

Finding appropriate games for seniors and the elderly to enjoy on Halloween is important because they deserve to participate in all the spooky fun of this time of year.

Don’t forget to plan inclusive activities that everyone can join. Show consideration to older adults who may be physically unhealthy, ill, or who use medical equipment when choosing Halloween games for seniors and the elderly to play.

We hope you have found this information helpful! If so, please share it with your friends and colleagues on social media! If you know of other games, please let us know in the comments below!

Have fun playing, everyone!

Sources:

Keep Reading About Halloween for Seniors

Best Halloween Gifts for Seniors
15 Best Halloween Gifts for Seniors (Tips and Recommendations)
Halloween Craft Ideas for Seniors
8 Fun Creative Halloween Craft Ideas for Seniors and the Elderly
Halloween Costume Ideas for Seniors
21 Halloween Costumes for Seniors & the Elderly (DIY & Wheelchair Options Too!)
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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