Senior Care

Tricks and Treats: 5 Halloween Activities for Senior Living

November 2, 2023
Freddie Peyerl
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Freddie Peyerl

Halloween, with its costumes, decorations, and sweet treats, is a much-loved holiday that people of all ages look forward to. In senior living communities, celebrating Halloween can bring joy and excitement to residents, creating a sense of camaraderie and fun. To help you plan a spooktacular Halloween celebration, we've put together a list of five Halloween activities designed specifically for seniors in senior living communities.

Activity 1: Costume Contest

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Halloween is dressing up in creative costumes. Organize a costume contest for your senior living residents. Encourage them to get into the Halloween spirit by wearing costumes of their choice. You might be surprised at the enthusiasm and creativity they bring to the event.

To make the contest more exciting, you can have different categories, such as "Funniest Costume," "Most Creative Costume," or "Best Classic Halloween Costume." Provide small prizes for the winners, such as gift cards, sweet treats, or even a certificate of recognition. This activity fosters a sense of community and fun, allowing residents to express themselves and enjoy the holiday.

Activity 2: Pumpkin Decorating

Pumpkin carving can be a bit challenging for seniors, but pumpkin decorating offers a fun alternative that is accessible to everyone. Set up an area with a variety of pumpkins, paint, and decorating supplies. Encourage residents to get creative and decorate their pumpkins in any way they like.

This activity not only allows for artistic expression but also provides a great opportunity for socializing. Residents can work on their pumpkin decorations together, share ideas, and offer support. Once the pumpkins are complete, you can display them throughout the senior living community, creating a festive and colorful ambiance.

Activity 3: Spooky Movie Night

A classic Halloween activity is watching spooky movies. Arrange a special Halloween movie night for your senior living residents. Choose a selection of classic Halloween films that are more on the fun and less on the scary side, such as "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" or "Hocus Pocus."

To make it even more enjoyable, serve popcorn, candy, and Halloween-themed snacks. Ensure that the movie area is cozy and well-lit so that residents can relax and enjoy the films. You can even encourage them to wear their Halloween costumes for the movie night, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Activity 4: Halloween Bingo

Bingo is a popular activity in senior living communities, and you can give it a Halloween twist by playing Halloween-themed bingo. Create bingo cards with Halloween-related images or phrases, such as pumpkins, black cats, ghosts, and witches' hats. You can also use candy corn as bingo markers to add to the Halloween spirit.

As you call out the bingo numbers, share fun facts or stories about the Halloween-themed images on the cards. Offer small prizes for residents who win the game, such as Halloween-themed trinkets or treats. Halloween bingo is a great way to engage residents in a familiar and enjoyable activity while incorporating a holiday theme.

Activity 5: Trick-or-Treat Parade

Many residents in senior living communities may not have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods, but you can bring the tradition to them with a trick-or-treat parade. Encourage residents to dress up in their Halloween costumes and participate in a parade through the community.

You can invite family members, staff, or volunteers to stand along the parade route, handing out Halloween candies and treats to residents as they pass by. Decorate the parade route with Halloween-themed decorations and play some festive music to create a lively and enjoyable atmosphere. The parade allows residents to experience the joy of trick-or-treating and creates wonderful memories for everyone involved.


Halloween is a time of excitement and fun, and senior living communities can join in the festivities by organizing special activities for their residents. These Halloween activities not only provide entertainment but also create a sense of community, giving residents the opportunity to connect with one another and celebrate the holiday together.

By planning a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, a spooky movie night, Halloween bingo, or a trick-or-treat parade, you can make Halloween a memorable and enjoyable time for your senior living community. Remember to capture the moments with photos and encourage residents to share their stories and experiences, fostering a sense of togetherness and fun that will be cherished by all.