4 Ideas to Make Halloween in the Hospital Spooktacular

Kids costumes
Halloween is filled with goblins, pumpkins and ghouls; however, when your little one is in the hospital it can put a different spin on things. It’s OK to accept that this year will be different, but that doesn’t have to mean worse. There are a lot of things you can do on Halloween in the hospital to make it special.  

Play Dress Up with Costumes

Check with your child’s care team to see what’s available for trick-or-treating. Many hospitals will set up stations and a trick-or-treat route for children on Halloween. 

  • Create a costume closet: Who says you can only be one thing for Halloween? Pool costumes together for a “costume closet” to have the fun last all day (and night) long!
  • Have a costume contest: Just because your child is in the hospital, doesn’t mean they should miss out on dressing up. Check with your nurse to coordinate a costume contest with your floor (Masks or other types of costumes may be prohibited. Ask your caregiver for guidelines).

Pick Fall Activities That Are Easy to Do

  • Have a scary movie marathon and watch your family favorites. Halloween night can still be fun by spending it indoors with your child’s favorite witches and ghosts on the big screen.  
  • Buy a fun Halloween themed coloring book and crayons. A quick Internet search can also provide many free color book pages to print out for your child. Ask your nurse to help assist with finding resources.  

Get Creative with Treats

Depending on diet restrictions for your child’s treatment, enjoy a spooky snack time. Set up an array of spooky snacks like apple slices with marshmallow teeth, mandarin oranges with a celery top for “mini pumpkins,” or banana ghosts with chocolate chip facial features. 

NOTE: Treats must be permitted based on dietary guidelines from the physician and caregiver team. 

Use Playful Decorations

  • Nothing cheers up a hospital room more than some creepy decor. Make spooky paper plate spiders or put up orange and black streamers. Bring out your creative powers and light up the night with a spooktacular pumpkin. Paint, stamp, or add stickers on your favorite pumpkin to add just the right amount of Halloween spirit into any room. 
  • Play up the fun by decorating ordinary items such as a child’s wheelchair or other devices for a magical look and feel that will make your child smile.   

    Remember, Halloween is a time to use your imagination and show kids that staying in a hospital for the occasion can be a fun and happy time.