Have fun creating Halloween Carnival Games for your Halloween party. Kids of all ages (and adults too) will have a blast playing these creepy crawler-themed games featuring bugs, spiders, snakes, rats, and more.
If you want to host a fun Halloween carnival for kids, I've got some great game and decorating ideas for you.
We hosted a Carnival of the Creepy Crawlers and turned our garage into the big top where the kids played a variety of games. I'm going to share what we did to create this Halloween carnival in our garage.
Before we get to the carnival set up, be sure to check out our Creepy Crawler Party food ideas too. See all of my festive Halloween recipes for even more ideas. I've shared over 100 fun Halloween desserts and appetizers that you can serve at your Halloween party.
We lined the walls with black plastic which we purchased at Lowe's. It comes in very large sheets which we cut to fit. Then every few feet, I added a strip of plastic orange table runner. I used push pins to hang all the plastic.
I set up games all around the walls so that there was plenty of room for the kids to play and I created signs for each game that I hung on the walls.
The signs featured the theme of the game and had a short version of the rules of the game.
None of the game areas were very fancy. I just used Halloween decorations to dress up folding tables, tv trays, and shelves.
I hung a gross-looking scene setter on the door and added a giant spider image above the door. Little bug cutouts were stuck to all of the walls to add to the creepy effect.
Bat chair covers dressed up a few folding chairs that I sat around for the parents to use while the kids had fun playing games.
I set up a ticket booth at the entrance to the carnival and had someone pass out 15 tickets to each child so that they could play all ten games at least once and a few twice.
Just like at a real carnival, game winners get a prize. Instead of having big prizes set at each game station, I give the winner a plastic gold coin. Then, I put a variety of prizes on a table that is set up near the ticket booth and allow the winners to choose the prize they like the best.
Big prizes include Halloween toys, decorations, books, stuffed animals, video games, board games, movies, large candy bars, and more.
Winner for every play.
Any child that loses the game will get a small consolation prize like a small wrapped candy or toy. These prizes were kept at the game station and passed out after a child played the game.
Small prizes include stickers, pencils, plastic spider rings, Halloween trinkets, candy, and more.
Tips to finding cheap prizes.
If you can plan ahead, you can buy Halloween-themed prizes on clearance the year before. I always decide on our party theme for the next year while we are working on this year's party. After Halloween, I shop for great deals. I've gotten prizes and decorations for 90% off!
Also, right before Halloween, all the summer toys go on clearance so it's a great time to shop. Kids love winning toys of any kind.
Ladybug Balloon Toss Game
My favorite carnival game at our Halloween party was handmade using a large board, plastic cups (the short ones), craft leaves, and some thick black wire.
To play, the kids had to throw balloons at the ladybug. If a balloon landed in a black spot they won a big prize. If they only got their balloons in red spots, they got a consolation prize.
It was so fun to watch the balloons fly through the air and land on the ladybug and then bounce around. This was truly a game of luck and the kids were thrilled when their balloon was a winner.
I created the pattern for the ladybug out of red cups adding black spots and a black head.
Once I was happy with my design I used liquid nails (strong glue) to adhere the plastic cups to the board.
I then glued leaves all around the ladybug and added some wire antennae.
The ladybug sign says, "Get a balloon into one of my black spots to win a big prize."
I made my signs using clip art from Printmaster and added cute wall hangings that I purchased at an art and education store.
Rat Infested Ring Toss Game
A traditional bottle toss has players throw rings around soda bottles. I, fortunately, found plastic laboratory bottles filled with Halloween candies at a really good price. I found plastic rings at a party supply store the same kind used at real carnivals.
Each player got 6 rings and had a chance to toss them onto the bottles. When a player got a ring around a bottle, their prize was the bottle of candy they just captured. At the end of the party, I did have quite a few bottles left over, so I passed them out to some very lucky trick-or-treaters.
This was a favorite of the kids and adults.
Fuzzy Caterpillar Toss Game
I covered a long wooden board with jungle print paper, and then I set very small bowls on top in a caterpillar pattern.
I drew a line a few feet away from the board where the kids would stand. Each child got six cotton balls and had to throw them trying to get them in the bowls.
If a child threw one cotton ball into a bowl, they won a medium prize (these prizes were kept that the game station). If they got two in, they won a large prize. If they didn't get any in, they got a consolation prize.
Fuzzy toy spider with a magnet attached so it can pick up plastic flies.
Fly Fishing Game
This game took a bit of work but it was worth the effort - the kids loved it.
I purchased a fishing pole from the dollar store (one that really winds up the string) and attached a very light Styrofoam spider to it. I super glued a small magnet (taken from the end of the fishing pole) onto the front of the spider's face.
I bought some plastic flies and bent part of a paper clip around their necks so that the magnet would have something metal to grab a hold of.
I set a spider web decoration on the floor, sprinkled on some flies, and had the kids use the fishing pole to "fly fish." Even the smallest kids could do this game, so everyone was a winner as is usually the case with carnival fishing games.
The big blow-up cauldron with the spider inside (pictured above) was filled with all of the prizes. The kids could choose what they wanted.
Lily Pad Leap Frog Game
This is a version of Leapfrog played with plastic frogs.
To create the game board, I covered a wooden board with a piece of paper that had a bubble-filled water scene. I printed out images of grass and lily pads (I did a Google image search for them) and cut and glued the pictures to the board.
I set a rug in front of the board so the children could kneel to play the game. The player had to set his/her frogs on the grass (on the bottom edge of the board) and try to leap them onto a lily pad.
If a frog landed on a lily pad with its body completely on the pad, the player won a big prize. Otherwise, the child won a small consolation prize.
This game was harder than it looked, but we gave the kids 6 frogs to leap, so they had fun playing even if they didn't win a big prize.
Fly Swatting Game
I had an idea to have kids somehow swat at a fly. My husband thought it would be funny to have the kids use a fly shooter to try to swat a fly.
A Fly Shooter is essentially a plastic gun that has a fly swatter attached to a string. You press down on the trigger and the fly swatter shoots out after a fly.
The big challenge was trying to figure out how to get a plastic fly to fly around so the kids could swat at it. My genius husband built a PVC frame, fed a fishing line through the frame, and attached it to a handle on one end and a plastic fly on the other.
The person running the game would pull the handle back and forth thereby setting the fly into motion. The fly could move up and down and all around.
If a small child played the game, the fly didn't go crazy so he/she could have a chance at swatting the fly. The older kids were challenged a bit more. I think the kids got a kick out of using the fly shooter - I know I did too!
I was fortunate enough to find lollipops that had bugs printed on them and knew exactly what I'd do with them.
As a kid, we used to go to our church carnival every summer, and one of my favorite games involved lollipops. Some had colored dots on the bottom of the stick and if you were lucky enough to pull out one of them, you won a prize.
I have several wooden lollipop holders that I use for my chocolate business so I had no trouble setting up the game. If you want to do this game, you could drill holes into a wooden base or just use a big piece of Styrofoam.
Paint dots on the bottoms of a handful of lollipops and randomly place them in the holes in the display.
If a child pulls out a lollipop that has a spot, he/she wins a big prize. If the pop doesn't have a spot, they get to keep the lollipop.
Reach for a Roach Game
O.K., this game was a bit out there but the kids thought it was hilarious.
I filled a giant bowl with cereal and added rubber roaches. All but one of the roaches were black. The other was purple.
The kids would put on a blindfold, reach into the bowl, and grab a roach. If they found the purple roach, they won a big prize. If they picked up a black roach they got a consolation prize.
If you make this game, be sure to use a very large bowl and leave room at the top so that the cereal doesn't spill out all over the floor when the kids reach inside.
Picnic Invasion Game
I found huge plastic ants and a Halloween picnic basket and wanted the kids to somehow throw the ants into the basket. Once again my husband had to find a way to make this game a challenge.
I didn't just want an open picnic basket, I thought it would be more challenging if the lid of the basket opened and closed. So, my husband attached a rope to the inside of the picnic basket lid then attached some PVC pipe to the back of the basket, fed the rope into the pipe, and up to another pipe that was used as a handle.
The person running the game would move the handle up and down, moving the lid up and down and the kids had to try to throw the ant into the basket. If they got one in, they won a big prize.
More Carnival Game Ideas
We hosted another Halloween carnival for our 2017 party. Be sure to check out our Halloween Party Decorating Ideas to see all the games we created that year.
Be sure to check out all of my Cute and Creepy Bug-themed Food ideas too.