Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in America, and children aren’t the only ones celebrating. There are many Halloween activities for adults beyond simply passing out candy that can inspire you and your loved one to join in the fun. In preparation for the ghostly season, here are four ideas to help seniors and their caregivers get in the spirit.
Watching spooky films is a quintessential favorite among Halloween activities, perfect to do solo or with a group. Younger generations can share their favorite newer movies with seniors, and grandparents can introduce grandkids to some of the classics. If scary movies aren’t your thing, there are plenty of films out there that skip the scare and just have a fun Halloween theme. Here are suggestions for both.
- “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
- “The Addams Family”
- “House on Haunted Hill”
- “Little Shop of Horrors”
- “Young Frankenstein”
- Anything Hitchcock: “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Dial M for Murder,” “Rear Window,” “Rebecca” …
Adults can read a little of these classic Halloween tales each night leading up to Halloween but beware — you might get hooked. Find a hard copy of a favorite creepy story or check out an audiobook from your local library (there are great apps that let you borrow audiobooks from the library and download them directly to your device). Another way to celebrate with stories is to have seniors sit with the grandkids and read a Halloween book with them, or have the kids read to a grandparent!
Suggestions for Adults:
- “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
- “Dracula” by Bram Stoker
- “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
- “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allen Poe
- “The Wendigo” by Algernon Blackwood
Suggestions to Share with Kids:
- “Bonapart Falls Apart” by Margery Cuyler
- “Monster Academy” by Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y. Stemple
- “My Monster Mama Loves Me So” by Laura Leuck
- “What Was I Scared of?” By Dr. Seuss
Keep it fun. Keep it easy. Those are the secrets to Halloween arts and crafts for seniors. Maybe you could share the project with a grandkid or two, or you could keep all the fun just for yourself. We’ve selected crafts that people of nearly any ability can create without breaking the bank. Display them inside the house for a festive atmosphere or outside to let the whole neighborhood know you’re celebrating.
- Painted Pumpkins All the fun of decorating pumpkins with no knives necessary.
- Cheesecloth Ghosts Use common household items to create eerie specters.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Eyes Make fearsome monsters with only toilet paper rolls and glow sticks.
- Mason Jar Mummy Votives Everything for these adorable creatures comes from one trip to The Dollar Store.
If you’re entertaining, having a fun night with family or just adding festivity to a movie night, these Halloween snacks are sure to be crowd pleasers. Both creating the treats as well as eating them are delightful Halloween activities.
- Mummy Dogs Tasty snacks for all ages with just crescent rolls, hot dogs and mustard.
- Pumpkin Pie Dip This delicious dip can be made in only ten minutes.
- Brownie Bat Truffles Bats have never been so cute … or yummy.
- Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups No oven, five ingredients, all fun.
- Witch Finger Pretzel Rods A slightly more involved recipe, but a spectacular effect.
As we get further into the season and all the ghouls and goblins begin to creep out, there are plenty of Halloween activities for adults and kids to join in the tricks and treats.
If you’re inspired to find more senior-friendly activities after the Halloween fun has passed, check out our Unique Hobbies for Older Adults to find a hobby that might speak to your loved one.
Where You Live Matters is powered by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), a respected voice in the senior housing industry. ASHA primarily focuses on legislative and regulatory advocacy, research, and educational opportunities and networking for senior living executives, so they can better understand the needs of older adults across the country.