25 Haunted House Ideas That Are Insanely Scary and Easy to DIY

These indoor and outdoor decorations are creative ways to gives kids and adults a scare.

haunted house ideas

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These eerie ideas are ones your neighbors will appreciate — especially if they're lovers of the boogeyman's holiday. We've rounded up these mysterious, frightening and silly spine-chilling decorations and home decor crafts to make your haunted house the spookiest one on the block — and maybe even in the whole community. Think easy-to-make (or buy) skull lanterns, ghostly figures with pumpkin heads, eyeball balloons that float down the halls, and rotting fruit and candy urns full of delicious yet blood-inspired drinks.

And if you want even more ideas for October 31, watch one of these popular Halloween movies or wear one of these family, group, couples or Disney-inspired costumes.

Hanging Paper Lanterns

haunted house ideas paper lanterns

DIY these paper lanterns to hang on the ceiling as trick-or-treaters enter the house. Use LED bulbs to keep everything from overheating.

Get the tutorial »

Tissue Ghosts

haunted house ideas tissue ghosts

Create mini ghosts using paper honeycombs. DIY the faces with a black Sharpie and place your mini creatures on the floor throughout the space.

SHOP HONEYCOMB BALLS

Batty Staircase

haunted house ideas batty staircase

As guests walk past the staircase or climb up the stairs, have them admire the paper bats scattered throughout the banister.

'Hey Boo' Punny Sign

haunted house ideas hey boo sign

Create your own wooden sign with your favorite Halloween pun. You'll need a wood plank background and wood letters to complete the look.

SHOP WOOD LETTERS

Get the tutorial at Club Crafted »

Pom-Pom Spiders

haunted house party ideas pom pom spiders

It's common for people to find spiders scary, so why not make your own that float and tickle your visitors?

SHOP BALLOONS

Get the tutorial at Design Imrpovised »

Creepy Crawler Candles

haunted house ideas creepy crawler candles

Scoop the contents out of your mini pumpkins to add tealights inside. Use pipe cleaners as bug legs before sprinkling the spider-like creations around the house.

SHOP PIPE CLEANERS

Ghostly Figure

haunted house ideas ghostly figure

After carving your jack-o'-lantern, attach it to the top of a dressmaker's dummy. Place your specter at the entrance to give everyone a fright before they walk through the rest of the blood-curling decorations that await them further inside.

SHOP DRESSMAKER DUMMY

haunted house ideas candy urn

Add a bunch of treats to individual bags, then wrap them up and place them in candy urns for trick-or-treaters to grab on the way to your haunted house or when they leave.

'Keep Out' Entryway

haunted house ideas entryway

There's something about a red door and a sign that reads, "Keep Out," that makes people want to enter. Cover the door with cobwebs and secure them with masking tape . Paint words of warning on two slats of cardboard before taping them to the door.

Witch Broom Door Decorations

haunted house witch broom door

Gather "witch" brooms to adorn your front door, then place a Ouija board doormat at the entrance to increase the spooky factor.

SHOP BROOMS

Spooky Cauldron

haunted house ideas cauldron

Prepare kid-friendly party punch even adults will enjoy. Pour it into a cauldron and dress the sides with paper flames. To get a smokey effect, throw in some dry ice.

SHOP CAULDRONS

Paper Bat Garland

haunted house ideas bat garlands

After downloading this bat stencil and tracing the shapes, cut them out and place them atop each critter made. Use a bone folder to create creases along the stencil's dotted lines. Make the wings 3D by folding the creases opposite ways before attaching the bats to a long string using tiny black clothespins .

Creepy Dinner

haunted house ideas creepy dinner

Have your friends DIY their own creepy costumes and place them as one of the main attractions for the night. They'll drink from bubbly witch cauldrons and eat delectable yet bloody-themed pastries.

Eyeball Balloons

haunted house ideas eyeball balloons

This is a cute yet equally as weird Halloween decor idea that'll make a great addition to your house or next All Hallows' Eve party.

Jack O' Lantern Display

haunted house ideas jack o lantern display

You don't have to be an expert in pumpkin carving to DIY this display. Pencil your letters onto hollowed pumpkins, then use a drill to create holes that form each letter. Christmas-tree lights will illuminate each pumpkin.

SHOP CHRISTMAS-TREE LIGHTS

haunted house ideas skeletons

Skeletons are essential when it comes to this holiday. Place them out front, in the backyard and inside to give everyone who walks through a ribtastic time (get it?).

SHOP SKELETONS

haunted house ideas skulls

While you can have full skeletons featured throughout the space, include some skulls in different areas as well. If you want to give them a more gruesome look, paint them in red or black for an eerie twist.

SHOP SKULLS

Monster Entryway

haunted house ideas monster entryway

Make the eyes of this funny-faced monster by painting black circles on two 8-inch foam half balls . Use black construction paper for the eyelashes and eyebrows, then cut two 16-inch squares of faux fur and hot-glue each around a 12-inch foam wreath . Glue the eyeballs in the center and frame the door with strips of fur using tacks of hem tape . Hang the eyes and tack or hem the eyebrows in place. Foam cones can be used for the teeth.

Portrait Luminaries

haunted house ideas portrait luminaries

Grab all of those old family portraits or get fake ones to adhere to old paper bag lanterns. Use them to decorate your front walkway to leave shivers down everyone's spines as they enter.

Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built »

DIY Tombstone

haunted house ideas tombstone

Instead of putting your warning on the front door, frighten them with an array of tombstones scattered throughout the lawn.

SHOP TOMBSTONES

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23 Insanely Scary DIY Haunted House Ideas

haunted house themes for adults

The Sits Girls

Some people like to decorate their houses for Halloween. Other people like to transform their homes into terrifying haunted houses. A little DIYing can help you get there, whether you want to create a full-blown experience for trick-or-treaters or you're just looking to decorate a little.

The more time you put into decorating for Halloween, the bigger the pay off as far as how memorable your home is to the neighbors. Explore these outrageously spooky haunted house ideas and figure out which makes the most sense for your home this year.

Use Chicken Wire to Make Creepy Ghosts

Wholesale Party Supplies

 You can hang a white sheet and create a ghost, but this idea is sure to be more creepy. By using chicken wire, you can make the ghosts appear more lifelike in form. Also, opt for cheesecloth instead of sheets to make the entire project more spooky.

DIY Chicken Wire Ghosts from  Wholesale Party Supplies

Start With PVC Pipe to Build a Grim Reaper

Print With My Pic

There's nothing quite as scary as the Grim Reaper making an appearance at your haunted house. The important thing is to take your time with this tutorial and use a foam wig stand to help make the shape true to form.

Make Your Own Grim Reaper Prop from  Print With My Pic

Use Old Dolls for a Grotesque Mobile

There's not much creepier than a bunch of ragged, destroyed dolls hanging from the ceiling with weapons and blood galore. Just make sure whichever doll you decide to destroy isn't worth a ton of money first. 

DIY Creepy Doll Mobile from  Epbot

Make Your Home's Exterior Angry

Craftibilities

All you need to add some moody ambiance to your house is a wood sheet, sharpies, and some paint. For this project, the teeth have a lip that rests between two of the porch beams, so no nails were needed. 

Make House Come Alive for Halloween from  Craftibilities

Hang Some Halloween Skeletons From Your Roof

Instructables

If you want to add a touch of creepiness to your home's exterior but don't want to go all out, pick up a bunch of plastic skeletons and dangle them from your roof and windows. 

DIY Climbing Halloween Skeletons from Instructables

Throw Around a Few Body Bags

This project is an inexpensive way to add major creepy vibes to any part of your haunted house. The key is to make the shape of the bags as body-like as possible. To accomplish this, stuff actual clothing with newspaper then put your dressed body inside the trash bags.

Body Bag Halloween Decorations from  Craftibilities

Make This Terrifying Werewolf Head

If you love sculpting with clay , try out this haunted house idea. Werewolves are a classic Halloween staple, but sometimes they can look less than scary. Learn how to make your own and it will surely look ferocious. Hang the finished piece under your front porch or just inside your home's foyer.

DIY Werewolf Head Decor from   Instructables

Float Some Candles Overhead

This haunted house DIY is inspired by Harry Potter , but even non-fans will be spooked when they look up and see the candles magically floating in mid-air.

Harry Potter Floating Candles from  The Sits Girls

Construct This Scary Jack-o'-lantern Archway

Crazi Carlos

While you will need a ton of scary plastic jack-o'-lanterns to make this idea come to life, the end result will be totally worth it. The base of this arch is constructed out of a PVC pipe, so it's easy to customize to your specific entryway.

DIY Pumpkin Archway from Crazi Carlos

Weave This Giant Spider Web

My Untangled Life

No one wants to get caught in a spider web, especially not inside a haunted house. Learn how to weave a simple web and place them around your haunted house perimeter or to block off certain areas you don't want guests.

DIY Giant Spider and Web from My Untangled Life

Turn a Normal Doormat Into a Spiderweb Doormat

Delia Creates

This haunted house idea is more practical than it is scary. If you are inviting guests into your home to get spooked, make sure they wipe off their feet first. You can customize a basic black rug using white fabric paint.

DIY Spiderweb Doormat from Delia Creates

Place Some Skeleton Zombies on the Lawn

Take advantage of your front lawn space when setting up your haunted house. One way to do this is by littering the lawn with zombie skeletons. Craft a form out of PVC pipe, add some stained red clothing, and then put on a foam skeleton head.

DIY Zombies from  Craftibilities

Craft an Archway Using Plastic Skulls and Chains

  My Funhouse Projects

One of the most impressive parts of a haunted house is the entryway, so don't skimp on this first impression. Try to create this giant archway using carved foam boards. Next, add some extra detail using paint, decorative chains, and plastic skulls 

DIY Spooky Archway from My Funhouse Projects

Paint a Spooky Halloween Subway Sign

A Pumpkin and a Princess

Signs are a great way to set the tone of your haunted house. Some haunted houses are downright scary and others might be more suitable for children. This sign works well for a more underage type haunted house. Simply find a canvas or some old boards you can stencil.

DIY Halloween Subway Art Sign from A Pumpkin and a Princess

Learn How to Build This Electric Chair

If you love building things with wood, perhaps this is the perfect haunted house idea for you to try this year. The devil is in the detail on this one, so don't expect to complete this project in one sitting.

DIY Electric Chair from  Haunt 31

Add Some Silhouetted Figures to Your Windows

To add instant haunted curb appeal to your house, make a bunch of silhouetted figures using cardboard. If you aren't good at drawing freehand, the original creator included some downloadable templates. This haunted house idea is perfect if you want to make a big impact on a very small budget.

Haunted House Silhouettes from  Make:

Don't Forget About Your Home's Interior

Flamingo Toes

If you plan on having your haunted house party or tour inside your home, make sure that virtually everything that is on display is creepy in one way or another. You can do this in an obviously gory way, or you can opt for a more elegant yet gothic approach with these candlesticks.

Spooky Crystal Ball Candlesticks from  Flamingo Toes

DIY an Eek Marquee Sign

This is another more lighthearted haunted house idea that would work well for young children. You want to have the haunted house be whimsical, a little creepy, but not downright scary. This sign is made out of paper mache letters, paint, and a string of lights

DIY Eek Marquee from Lolly Jane

Label Everything With Creepy Words

Lia Griffith

No detail is too small when it comes to creating an absolutely unforgettable haunted house. Visitor's senses will be heightened and they will take in all sorts of creepy characteristics. If your haunted house is indoors, create a vignette of poisons and other bizarre potions using these apothocary labels.

Printable Apothecary Labels for Halloween from  Lia Griffith

Create a Gallery of Ghost-like Faces

Seeing anything other than your face in a mirror can be a creepy experience. To recreate that concept in your haunted house, take some silver mirror spray paint and coat the inside of a glass frame to 60% opacity. Next, add in a photo of a creepy ghost or face behind the glass.

Hitch Hiking Ghost Mirrors from  Anniemated

Scatter Glowing Spooky Eyes Around Your House

Dream a Little Bigger

Hide these DIY glowing spooky eyes in bushes, trees, or in windows to make it look like a monster is lurking around your home. To make your own, use a cardboard tube (like a toilet paper roll) and a glow stick.

DIY Glowing Spooky Eyes from Dream a Little Bigger

Put Some Writing on the Wall

From House to Home

In many cases, writing scary words on the wall in a red blood-like paint will work well. However, if you want to have a darkly lit haunted house, using glow in the dark paint is a much better option.

Glow in the Dark Party Ideas for Halloween from  From House to Home

Pose Skeletons in Creative Ways

Helpful Homemade

If you're short on ideas on how to make a kid-friendly haunted house, consider ways to make the creepy seem more fun and human. For instance, pose some skeletons in creative ways doing everyday things. 

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decor from  Helpful Homemade

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Let's Roam Explorer

20 Creative Halloween Party Ideas for Adults

If you need Halloween party ideas for adults, look no further than Let’s Roam! We have themes, activities, and recipes for your spooktacular soiree!

haunted house themes for adults

When throwing a Halloween party for grown-up guests, it can be challenging to find the right mix of scary and festive, especially without crossing into childlike territory or getting too hokey. We’ve put together some of the best Halloween party ideas for adults, including themes, activities, foods, and drinks. These suggestions provide just the right blend of fun and fright to make your event an unforgettable success!

Take a terrifying tour!

If you and your friends are into haunted houses and ghost stories, we’ve got the perfect activity for you. Let’s Roam has combined the best features of our traditional scavenger hunts and paired them with some of the most haunted places in the world! Complete challenges, share ghost stories, and explore spooktacular sites on a ghost tour in a city near you!

Adult Halloween Party Themes

1. murder mystery party.

Murder mystery events make excellent adult parties or team-building activities any time of year, but they’re especially appropriate during spooky season. They can be done in-person or virtually and can suit just about any number of attendees.

Two of the biggest tasks in planning a murder mystery-themed party are setting the storyline and creating the characters. There are free printable scripts available on sites like Pinterest, but if you want something more professional, services like Let’s Roam provide custom event planning . We even provide a host so you can sit back and enjoy the festivities with the guests.

Once you decide on the details of your murder mystery, you can plan Halloween decor suited to the location and/or time period, and invite attendees to dress accordingly. For example, if you decide on a 1920s theme, you could decorate the party location as a speakeasy, serve finger foods and gin rickeys, and invite guests to dress in clothing from the era. Halloween costume ideas might include beaded flapper-style dresses, pinstriped suits, suspenders, and fedoras.

Whatever the era and style, the key to a successful murder mystery party is a great imagination. When you set the scene, guests will be transported to another time and place!

2. Hallo-Wine Tasting

For partygoers who like to get a little fancy, a wine tasting may be the way to go. Purchase a variety of seasonal wines and set up tasting tables. To make the event more festive, decorate each table in a different Halloween theme, like a vampire table, a ghost table, a pumpkin table, a witch table, a monster table, a creepy-crawly table, etc. You could even decorate the wine bottles in accordance with the selected theme.

As guests arrive, give each attendee a ticket with their name or a number that identifies them. Ask them to sample wine at each table and drop their ticket in a bowl, box, or cauldron of the wine they like the best. When everyone is done tasting, let everyone know what the wines are and which wine received the most tickets. Then, choose a ticket from each table; the chosen guest gets a bottle of their favorite wine from the tasting!

3. Haunted Forest

The best thing about a haunted forest is that you can go all-out with Halloween decorations! If you’re super crafty and want to go all out for the big event, check out this incredible DIY haunted tree idea . It looks like something straight off the set of a horror movie!

For something a little simpler, make trees using oatmeal containers and crumpled tissue and paper as seen in this frightening tree tutorial . If that’s still too much, you can always line your room with paper tree silhouettes on the walls. Just make sure you have trees! They are the most crucial party decorations for this theme.

Set the mood with the right lighting—these mason jar lanterns covered in spider webs should help! Hang some rubber bats and stretch cotton batting cobwebs across furnishings. These realistic crows from Amazon would be a nice touch, as well. Finally, spook guests with a playlist of forest sounds and scary screams, and your party is sure to be memorable for everyone!

4. Halloween “Boos” Bash

This is a fun Halloween party theme! It’s a mixer with a couple of twists.

Purchase a Halloween-themed cocktail kit for each attendee. This will serve as the primary booze for your bash. To take your event to the next level, hire an in-person or virtual mixologist to stop by and teach guests how to mix up their specialty drinks.

Don’t forget to invite the ghosts. They’re necessary for any successful boos bash! Decor ideas include:

· Floating Ghosts – made with cheesecloth and fabric stiffener

· Light-Up Ghosts – made with tomato cages, foam balls, string lights, and fabric

· Balloon Ghosts – made with mylar balloons, black tape, and cheesecloth

5. Ghouls Night In

This is, of course, a take on Girls’ Night! Get your besties together and enjoy a night of relaxation and bonding. There are so many possibilities to make this a fantastic night for you and your friends. Let the theme be decided by what you all enjoy the most.

· Halloween Movie Night – Watch your favorite scary movies and serve film-inspired snacks, like Hocus Pocus Spell Book Brownies , Jack-Skellington Oreo Pops , and bone breadsticks inspired by Disney’s Frankenweenie.

· DIY Halloween Party – If you and your crew are the crafting types, make Halloween craft kits for party guests and make the projects together on party night. · Halloween Paint & Sip – Enjoy wine while painting an autumn-themed masterpiece. Guests essentially make their own take-home party favors!

Adult Halloween Party Games & Activities

1. halloween scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are terrific any time of the year, but they can be especially exciting around Halloween. You can create your own, find a ready-made hunt online, or go with a professionally curated scavenger hunt . Let’s Roam offers several ghost hunts on our highly-rated app . Our experts can also create custom hunts for any group, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can help you plan your next Halloween party.

Scavenger hunts can be done in person or virtually, which makes it a versatile Halloween party idea for adults. If everyone is at the same party, you can create clues and hide them around the house or a certain area. If the guests can’t be in the same location, include common Halloween decorations and autumn sights so everyone can compete wherever they are.

For example, have participants search for a sad-faced jack-o-lantern, a porch scarecrow, specific colors or shapes of leaves, a cornstalk, a lawn with fake gravestones, and orange lights. Once an individual or team finds an item and shows photo proof, they get their next clue. The fastest team to move from find to find and get to the end wins!

2. Frightening Feel Box

A frightening feel box is a box full of something that feels scary or gross but isn’t. If materials are messy, use a plastic box or place a bowl inside a box. Cut a hole in the top large enough for a hand to reach into. Common boxed items include skinless grapes as eyeballs, a peeled tomato as a heart, steamed cauliflower as a brain, and kelp or shirataki noodles as worms—eww! Be sure to label each box with a fictional name, like “Human Heart” on the tomato box.

There are a variety of ways to use a frightening feel box, but the best way is to make it a challenge to see who can correctly identify the most content. Another way is to make it a drinking game. Set up stations with shots and have friends “man” each station. As guests come up to the tables, let them read the label and feel what’s inside the box. Use a timer to give them 1 minute to identify what they have felt. Depending on how much alcohol your friends can handle, make the shot either a punishment or a reward.

3. Franks in Steins

The name of this game is the most Hallo-weenie part about it. (See what we did there?) It’s a funny take on beer pong, but instead of using ping pong balls and red Solo cups, you use fake plastic franks (hot dogs) and beer steins. These little hot dog charms might work!

Arrange the steins in the middle of a long table in a diamond shape (like a pattern of 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1). Plastic hot dogs aren’t going to have the same bounce as ping pong balls, so you might want to space beer steins further apart than you would when playing beer pong.

Pour a bit of beer into each stein—until approximately 1/3 full. Set up with opposing teams on opposite sides of the table. Then, have one person from each team try to throw their franks into the steins. Once all franks have been thrown, a member from the other side must drink the beer in any steins that have franks.

4. Bobbing for Sangria-Soaked Apples

Remember bobbing for apples as a kid? This is an adult version of that popular Halloween party game! To keep things sanitary, purchase one bucket per player. Fill the buckets with sangria and put 1 or 2 apples in each bucket. Let them soak for a little while. When it’s time for the game, instruct participants to lean over the buckets and keep their hands behind their backs. Guests will dunk their heads on the word “Go!” The first to emerge with an apple between their teeth is the winner!

5. Trick or Treat

This is another game involving alcohol, but it doesn’t have to be. You can play it just as easily without using alcohol. The idea is that you will mix up different recipes and pour them into shot glasses. They can be REALLY bad combinations (tricks) or delicious (treats). Challenge guests to choose each shot at their own risk. The nastiness of the tricks and the rarity of the treats is entirely up to you! The only catch is that, once a person picks a shot, they must finish it.

Halloween Party Food Ideas for Adults

1. stuffed orange pepper jack-o-lanterns.

These are best served if guests can be seated while eating, perhaps at a murder mystery party . They’re so eye-catching and clever, we couldn’t leave them off our list!

Use any stuffed pepper recipe you like, but try to buy the most pumpkin-shaped orange bell peppers you can find. Before stuffing, make little faces in your peppers with a sharp paring knife (as if you were carving pumpkins).

Place the peppers on a bed of artificial leaves to make the display look like a pumpkin patch. That little detail will turn your recipe into a treat worthy of any Halloween event!

2. Halloweeño Jalapeño Mummies

For these clever little finger foods, use any jalapeño popper recipe you’d like. To convert the poppers to mummies, wrap each pepper with a thin strip of crescent roll dough. Stick on some edible eyes and you’ll have an appetizer that’s almost too adorable to eat!

The Hopeless Housewife did a wonderful job with her jalapeño mummies . If you have any guests who don’t eat dairy, no worries! Non-dairy cheese and cheese blends have come a long way. Alternatively, stuff the poppers with a mixture of seasoned beans, corn, and rice.

3. Pumpkin Phyllo Triangles

There’s nothing scary about these, but they’re delicious appetizers that are ideally suited to a fall party! These savory snacks are made by spooning pumpkin stuffing onto phyllo dough, then cutting and wrapping each into a little triangular pocket.

Tesco published a recipe for these crispy pumpkin parcels and included pine nuts, which add both flavor and texture. Even better, these little delights can easily be made vegan or altered to suit different dietary preferences and needs. Lazy Cat Kitchen has a plant-based version inspired by the Greek spanakopita. Yum!

4. Bone Breadsticks

These are both slightly disturbing and quite irresistible! They’re also extremely easy to make. Retro Housewife Goes Green has a recipe using canned pizza dough and seasonings to make these party snacks. Essentially, all you’re doing is baking breadsticks formed into the shape of bones.

Kick these up a notch with a variety of dipping sauces. Serve the dips in plastic pumpkins or cauldrons and let our hungry guests scoop them out with mini ladles.

5. Eyeball Caprese Bites

No-bake creepy Caprese bites make sensational party snacks. Cafemom offers the full recipe on her site. For those who are dairy-free, whip up a batch of nut-based mozzarella . Use a small rounded spoon or melon baller to make “eyeballs.” Set each on an individual fresh basil leaf topped with a cherry tomato slice. Use olives to make the “irises” and “pupils.” They’re creative and delicious!

Adult Halloween Party Cocktails

1. candy corn martini.

This layered cocktail is as colorful as it is tasty! Designed in the likeness of Halloween candy corn, this festive concoction is made with whipped cream vodka, sour mix, pineapple juice, and grenadine. Top it off with a layer of whipped cream and your guests will love this adult take on a childhood favorite!

2. Candy Apple on the Rocks

Candy apples have long been associated with Halloween. A candy apple cocktail combines all of the flavors without the sticky mess. Drinking one of these is a bit easier on the teeth, too!

Combine 1.5 oz. apple schnapps with 1.5 oz. peach schnapps. Pour over ice and top with 2 oz. of cranberry juice. Easy! If you swap butterscotch schnapps for the peach, it becomes a caramel apple on the rocks. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

3. Witch’s Brew

This cocktail is made with 2 1/2 oz. of each ingredient, so it couldn’t be easier to put together. Combine Midori melon liqueur with orange juice in a shaker with ice. Shake, pour, and top with any kind of lemon-lime soda. For the full details, pics, and serving ideas, check out The Chunky Chef’s recipe .

4. Vampire’s Kiss

This is a fabulous-looking drink! It’s a deep blood-red liquid, with smoke coming off the rim. Your guests will be in awe when then they see it and equally impressed when they taste it. We found the recipe at Wander Spice . She offers detailed instructions on combining the ingredients, which include red wine, cola, gold lustre dust, gold leaf, and dry ice. Don’t miss out on this one!

5. Halloween Party Punch

Nothing says “Halloween party for adults” better than spiked punch served over icy hands! Simply Happy Foodie offers her classic recipe, which includes cranberry juice cocktail, pineapple juice, lemonade concentrate, ginger ale, and vodka. The icy hands that will keep it chilled are made by pouring water or juice into sterile plastic gloves. When you break the hands out of the gloves and put them in the bowl, covered in red punch, it’s quite a sight!

Closing Thoughts

We hope these adult Halloween party ideas help you plan your next spine-tingling soiree! Keep your eyes on our site for more holiday indoor activities and outdoor adventures. If you use any of the recommendations in this article, please let us know in the comments section, or share your own suggestions. We love hearing from our readers!

If you’re looking to plan an event for children, check out our kid-friendly Halloween party ideas . Our list is perfect for planners on a budget. We’ve included themes, Halloween activities, and several DIY tutorials—everything you need to entertain the kiddos at a standalone monster mash , pumpkin carving party , or after a night of trick-or-treating. And speaking of treats, there are snack suggestions like pumpkin pretzels , jiggly zombie eyeballs , and cupcakes topped with melty marshmallow ghosts . You’ll even find bonus beverage suggestions sure to please any little ghouls and goblins!

When you’re not partying it up this Halloween season, don’t forget to check out our ghost tours . We’ve got hair-raising hunts in 25+ cities (and counting). If we don’t have one nearby and you’d like a haunted hunt created especially for you and your friends, contact us about creating a custom event . Our scavenger hunts are always a blast and include trivia and photo/video challenges. Compete against friends for bragging rights or combine forces and try to top the leaderboard for any chosen location!

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most fun drinking games is a “ Trick or Treat, Truth or Dare ” shot game. Find details, as well as cocktail suggestions, on this list of Halloween party ideas for adults .

Let’s Roam has several budget-friendly spooky kids’ party themes and ideas for Halloween parties for adults . Additionally, they’ve listed activities, games, and recipes for party snacks and drinks.

There are so many fun food ideas for adult Halloween parties ! Holiday finger foods are always a crowd-pleaser. Consider appetizers like jalapeno poppers, breadsticks with dips, and pumpkin packets.

Two of the best Halloween activities for adults are ghost hunts and murder mystery parties. Let’s Roam offers ghost tour scavenger hunts and custom murder mystery events year-round.

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How to Throw a Great Halloween Party (or a Scary-Good At- Home Haunted House)

From creating a manageable budget to selecting an appropriate playlist, these 11 easy-to-follow tips can help you set up a Halloween party or haunted house experience that'll blow everyone's mind.

Halloween is fast approaching, and while many are deciding whether they want to hit up a costume bash in a bar or stay in and hand out candy, you can have the best of both worlds by hosting the spooky season celebrations right in your own home. But whether you're a top-notch party planner or last-minute hustler, the prospect of throwing a Halloween bash or creating a haunted house can be a bit intimidating, and things can get very overwhelming, very fast. That's why we compiled this list of 11 tips for a great party or at-home haunted house.

Set a theme

Instead of going with a generic Halloween bash, setting a theme may help you create a vision for what you want your house to really look like. If you're going for an '80s horror night vibe, for example, you know you're looking for inspiration from movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, The Shining, Creepshow or Halloween . Setting a theme can also help your guests narrow down their costume choices so everyone doesn't have to spend too much time at Spirit Halloween.

Create a manageable budget

Sure, you want to be host/hostess with the mostest, that doesn't mean that you punish your bank account by trying to out-Heidi Klum Heidi Klum herself . Once you've decided what you want your theme to be, create a realistic budget. Figure out what areas and items are absolute must-haves, what's an added bonus, where you can splurge a little more and what you can totally live without.

But, uh, don't skimp on decorations

The truth is, when you're hosting a Halloween party or haunted house, people are showing up for the spectacle of it all, so you can't be stingy with the decor. Your classic spider web and scary Jack-o-lanterns are cool, but don't be afraid to get a little creative — either adding scares in unexpected places, or throwing it back to an old school haunted house with peeled-grape "eyeballs" and noodle "brains."

Be mindful of your guest list

Is your party for adults? Is it for kids? Is it meant to be a mixture? This will help you nail down which decorations and party favors are needed. We can all agree that floating, bloody heads at a kid-friendly party may be inappropriate, yes?

Create a standout entrance

Set the mood from the get-go. Whether you're throwing a big party or a small get-together, a standout entrance always makes for a good preamble to the festivities. It also makes for a great attraction for passersby.

RELATED VIDEO: These Pets Are Ready for Halloween!

Incorporate some frights

Just to keep everyone on their toes, put some scary surprises in specific corners or rooms of your house. Try having spiders drop down when people open the fridge, or skeletons pop out when someone closes the door to the bathroom.

Turn to social media for inspo

Feeling frighteningly uninspired? Social media platforms are a great way to pull inspiration and source ideas. You can certainly find hacks on how to quickly DIY everything—from decorations , to Halloween snacks and even party favors. Case in point: This Hocus Pocus charcuterie board idea.

Don't forget the music

Music plays a huge part in establishing the ambiance, so make your selections wisely . You can go for pop culture hits like "Thriller" or "Disturbia" or you can scout for theme songs from movies or TV shows that create that eerie, spooky vibe.

Have a wide array of games

One of the key components of a great party is having a solid array of games. Pull out the old classics—Uno, Connect Four, Jenga—or add Halloween touches to yard games. Candy Corn Hole, anyone?

Lay out a variety of sweet treats

Because is it even Halloween without an absurd amount of sugar ? Just keep in mind though, whether you're buying or baking, try to have a diverse assortment of sweets to accommodate any dietary needs your guests may have. Think gluten-free Skittles and gummy bears, as well as dairy-free cupcakes or cookies.

Utilize any outdoor space

If you don't want people gathering in your house—leaving rings on your pristine tables and crumbing up your nice rugs—try making use of any outdoor space you have. The best way to go about this is to create a spooky pathway that leads straight to the backyard — where a dry ice-filled cooler is ready to tempt guests with some witch's brewskis.

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haunted house themes for adults

10 Haunt Themes To Scare & Satisfy All Ages

Choosing a theme for your haunted attraction can be fun, however, it’s easy to fall into a trap of analysis paralysis. While this can be attributed to the long list of terrifying options, you’re bound to run into trouble if you’re not asking yourself the right questions. What is my location? Who is my audience? What characters or stories feel terrifying, yet exciting? What is my budget? By answering these questions honestly and considering the ten horrific themes listed below, you’ll be on your way to producing a spine-tingling haunted attraction that meets the needs of your crew and your audience.

1.Haunted Jail 

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2. Slashers and Madmen

freddyvsjason

3. Glow In The Dark

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4. Haunted Mansion

haunted mansion

5. Witch’s Lair

HOCUS-POCUS

6. Clowns/Circus

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8. Graveyards

Capuchin-Crypt-Rome-Italy

  • La Recoleta, Buenos Aires
  • Capuchin Crypt, Rome, Italy
  • Howard Street Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts
  • Stull Cemetary, Stull, Kansas

alien

10. Vampires

dracula

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14 Spooky Halloween Haunted House Ideas

haunted house themes for adults

If you’re like me, you start thinking about Halloween in July. Which means it’s time to start planning! Need some inspiration? Check out these 14 spooky haunted house ideas. From fake cobwebs to creepy ghosts and animated props, your friends and family will love these Halloween haunted house decorations.

How To Make Your House Look Haunted For Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year! (As you probably already know if you have been around here before).

Every year I have a Halloween party where the entire inside of my house is transformed into something that is not recognizable as being my house.

Some parts of it look so real that I have actually had people ask which are the decorations that are only there for the party 🙂

And although I usually do all of these things for my spooky soiree, you can still have a great Halloween display by only picking a couple of them if you don’t want to do that much work.

One note: I don’t do blood and gore (it’s just not something I’m into), so there won’t be any scary haunted house “massacre” pictures 🙂

Keep reading to find out how to make your house look haunted.

1 | Hang haunted house scene setters

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Halloween haunted house scene setter

One of the ways to transform your home into a haunted house is to hang a scene setter on your walls.

Since it covers such a big area, it always has a huge impact on how the room looks.

To do this right, cover as much of the wall as possible with plastic or paper scenes that will make your house look completed different, especially under low light.

It is a bit of a time-consuming task to set up.  But I think the end result is worth it.

This haunted mansion scene setter * (in the picture above) is one of my favorites for creating a haunted house.

Once it’s up, the room really looks like it has ripped wallpaper and run down paneling!

Front hall decorated for Halloween with a brick scene setter covering the walls and a skeleton sitting on a bench

But this stone wall scene setter * also works well. I’ve used it for Halloween parties more than once, including for my Harry Potter party .

You will often see different versions of scene setters for sale, with some costing a lot less than others.

Be sure to check the height because most of those cheaper ones aren’t tall enough to cover the whole wall.

Learn more about scene setters and how to install them .

2 | Drape spider webs

Halloween creepy cloth draped from the ceiling and over mirrors

Spider webs are a great way to add spookiness to your Halloween haunted house.

Not only do they make everything look older, but there’s nothing scarier than thinking you have walked through a spider web and there might be a spider on you!

So I try to set them up so that people have to walk through them.  

Halloween spider web stretch over a mirror with a silver skull in front

Stretchy spider web * works pretty well for pulling across the room or across a mirror.

To make it look realistic, less is more.

Tease the threads apart so you don’t end up with big clumps of spider web.

Black creepy cloth hanging over a door

Creepy cloth * works better for draping over furniture, light fixtures and doors.

Get more ideas for decorating with spider webs .

3 | Add lots of candles

Crows and candles in a Halloween haunted house

Candles automatically add atmosphere to your haunted house.

I love the look of real candle light, but in a lot of cases, flame-less candles (like these black ones *) are the way to go at a party.

You can put them anywhere. Use them in jack o’ lanterns, candelabras, or Halloween candle holders.

Halloween candles hung from the ceiling

Even hang them from the ceiling for a Harry Potter party .

I recommend getting the ones that have a timer and/or remote control so that you don’t have to spend a bunch of time turning them all on and off.

Find some more ways to use Halloween candles

4 | Use cool lighting

An uplight makes the "spider web" (cheese cloth) seem to glow

In addition to candles, there are all kinds of Halloween haunted house ideas using lighting. And in my opinion, this is one of the most important parts of making your home look spooky.

Uplights * are a great way to highlight a particular part of your haunted house.

Placing the light behind some creepy cloth (or cheesecloth with holes cut in it) hides the fixture and makes the whole table look like it’s glowing.

Read the step by step tutorial for re-creating this Halloween scene .

Lighted Halloween Decanters

Vase uplights * work well for adding some sparkle to your decanters.

I add DIY Halloween bottle labels to make them look more Halloween like.

Halloween haunted house chandelier with flicker flame bulbs

Or you can replace your light bulbs with special Halloween ones.

Like these flicker bulbs * that will make your chandelier look like it has old-time flames.

Note : These bulbs don’t give off a lot of light so they are definitely for ambiance, not for providing light to see by.

Take a look at our Halloween indoor lighting ideas for even more inspiration.

5 | Buy some animated Halloween props

Halloween haunted house mirror

There are so many inexpensive animated Halloween props available this time of year that are great for making your house feel haunted.

This animated haunted mirror is a crowd favorite at my parties. (It’s no longer available, but I found a similar one HERE *).

It looks like a regular mirror until someone walks in the front door. Then the spooky mirror ghost wakes up and starts talking.

Halloween portraits hung on a wall

Most of these props are motion or sound activated (or both), so they start working when people come near…definitely a little spooky!

This animated spell book * that opens and closes automatically is one of my favorite haunted house props. (It’s the red glowing book in the picture above).

Halloween spooky urn and mirror

If you can find props that still look good during the day, that’s even better. (The mirror above looks like a real mirror when it’s not in use.)

6 | Make things glow in the dark

Halloween glow in the dark writing on a door

Using a black light * can really up the spooky factor.

Anyone wearing white or fluorescent clothing will light up under it, and you can add all kinds of Halloween haunted house decorations that take advantage of the black light.

Like this glow in the dark sign I painted on my bathroom door using laundry detergent. I thought it was rather appropriate 🙂

Find more glow in the dark Halloween decor ideas .

7 | Put out some candle trees

Halloween crow and candles

Metal candle trees * are another great way to add spookiness to your decor.

They’re traditionally used for weddings.

But they kind of look like dead trees. Especially in the candle light.  (Who knew wedding decorations were great for Halloween?)

And they’re very durable so you can reuse them for years.

Plus, it’s easy to add a crow * or two to the branches for some extra Halloween ambiance.

8 | Add critters

Halloween haunted house rats on piano

Speaking of crows, adding fake animals like mice, rats and bats is another way to add that Halloween vibe.

The trick to making critters effective is to place them where people are not expecting them.

I like to put mice on the floor behind the bathroom door, have rats on the piano, and hang bats in a dark corner of the room–all places where people don’t notice them until they get close.

The element of surprise gets them every time!

9 | Hang Spooky Pictures

Halloween pictures

To make Halloween pictures look good, I like to hang them as if they are part of my normal home decor.

I mean literally. I take down one of my regular pictures and put up a spooky Halloween one in it’s place.

Plus, there’s already a nail there. So no extra work involved in putting it up.

There are lots of options for spooky pictures that you can use for your Halloween decor:

1. Make your own Halloween silhouettes.  Just cut some Halloween shapes out of black construction paper and frame them.

Halloween portrait scene setters

2. Buy spooky portrait scene setters *.  This is an inexpensive way to get a lot of pictures and I have re-used them every year for a lot of years!

You’ll be surprised how real they look once they are hung up on the wall…especially in the low light usually found in haunted houses…

Halloween portrait behind a light

3. Another option is buy framed Halloween portraits * intended for this purpose.

holographic Halloween pictures

I especially like the ones like these * that change expressions from normal to scary depending on which angle you are viewing them from.

10 | Use real dead flowers

Dead roses on the piano for Halloween

Why buy plastic flowers when you can use real ones?

I like to buy a big bouquet of roses about 3 weeks before Halloween and then let them die in the vase instead of throwing them out.  (Plus you get the added bonus of enjoying a bouquet of beautiful flowers before hand!)

Then I place the vase somewhere that I would normally put live flowers.

Faux red and black roses for Halloween

Of course, if you can’t be bothered with live flowers…there are always black fake roses * (like the ones I used for my Phantom of the Opera party ) which can be re-used over and over again.

11 | Add Spanish moss

Spanish moss and skulls add spookiness to your chandelier

Spanish moss * looks spooky regardless of how you use it. Which is why it’s a staple of my Halloween haunted house decorations.

Add it to chandeliers, furniture, planters, centerpieces or anywhere that could use some “brownery”.

See this and other ideas for decorating your chandelier for Halloween.

12 | Lay black lace on tables

Halloween haunted house black lace over red table cloth

Use a Halloween inspired black lace overlay * on top of a red tablecloth or orange table cloth.  

It’s an easy way to add spookiness to your tables.

13 | Hang ghosts

Halloween ghost hung from ceiling

It’s pretty hard to make your house look haunted without hanging a ghost * or two.

Making a ghost is a really simple DIY project:  Glue or staple a piece of white fabric * (or a sheet) over a round styrofoam ball *. Then shred the ends to make it uneven, and hang it where people will see it.

Or you can use some of the lighting options that are available to project ghosts onto your wall *. These work equally well inside or out.

14 | Position skeletons in chairs

Skeletons in chairs in the living room

The last of my Halloween haunted house ideas involves poseable skeletons *.

I use a lot of them.

And I usually dress them up with cheap Halloween costumes.

Skeleton bartender in front of a shelf with liquor bottles

So they look like the grim reaper, a bartender, a member of the Addams Family…whatever fits my theme for that year.

I find that staging things in a way that seems “real” has the most impact (like my skeleton bartender).

Skeleton behind a Halloween bar cart

Sit skeletons at the table, place dead roses in a vase where you would normally have live ones, replace your family portrait pictures with Halloween portraits, or sit a plastic rat on the tub surround in the bathroom.  

That way people don’t always see the props right away. And boy are they surprised when they finally notice they’re there!

They also provide a great photo op.

Now I need to get back to planning my own Halloween party decor, and hopefully, you’ve found some ideas for decorating your house for Halloween, as well.

Other Halloween decor ideas you might like

  • DIY Halloween graveyard
  • Outdoor Halloween lighting ideas
  • DIY Halloween mason jar candle holders
  • Haunted house lighting effects

Or browse all of our Halloween Ideas .

Have comments or questions on our Halloween haunted house ideas?  Tell us in the section below.

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Halloween indoor decorating ideas

This post was originally published on September 25, 2017 but was updated with new content on November 1, 2023.

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10 Comments

LOVE the candelabra with orange voitives. I do all out also. Last year, papered entrance to look like stone walls. Would love to know where you found this. Can’t find it on internet. Thanks.

Hi Pat…Sorry, I have a couple of candelabras with votives so I’m not sure which one you were referring to. If it’s the long one in the second picture with the mirror and the spider webs, it came from Pottery Barn a long time ago…unfortunately I don’t think it is still available. If you’re thinking about the candle tree with the raven in it, you can get those HERE . Or if I completely missed the mark and you meant something totally different, just let me know and hopefully I can help 🙂

Love all your ideas and decor! Spooktacularly beautiful!

Thanks, Kathy! Halloween is my favorite holiday so I always go all out 🙂

EVERYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE, DOWN TO THE WALL SCENE SETTER, I HAVE DONE/USED TO CREATE MY HAUNTED HOUSE.

Hi Loraine…we must have the same taste in Halloween decor! Glad I’m not the only one who likes to go all out for Halloween 🙂

These look fabulous and and thank you for the links!

I going to be coordinating a halloween themed event and these are great ideas! Any suggestions for a school gym are welcome and even a small courtyard outside (I’m thinking graveyard?)

Hi Mickey…a graveyard in the courtyard sounds like a great idea and it wouldn’t be hard to do. You can get some ideas for that here . For the gym, I think creating a spooky entrance that everyone has to walk through to get in would be fun. I would create a walkway, ideally that isn’t straight (so you can’t see it all at once). I’m not sure what you’re working with, but if you have backdrop stands, those work well. If not you might have to get creative (maybe by pulling the bleachers away from the wall so people walk behind them?) Then hang up backdrops or curtains on both sides of the walkway. Hang ghosts and creepy cloth above it, create vignettes with skeletons or any other props you may have that can be used as photo ops, and add green, blue, purple or orange flood lights. Then you can use variations of those same decorations in different parts of the gym to make it feel cohesive. Hope that helps!

I love this site I’ve been on several trying to get decoration ideas and yours is the most detailed and spookiest! It’s got a sinister sexy theme with all the candles and lace that I just love ☠️

Thanks, Cindy! Halloween is my favorite holiday 🙂

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25 of the creepiest haunted house ideas for Halloween

Want to create an eerie experience to give your friends and family goosebumps? Make this Halloween the spookiest yet with these spine-chilling haunted house ideas

Transform your home this Halloween and turn it into the haunted house of your dreams (or should that be nightmares?).

If you’ve decided to go all-out for Halloween this year, creating your own haunted house can be an enchanting adventure for the whole family to get involved in.

Fill the house with cobwebs, make pumpkin displays or board up your windows to set the tone for a month of ghoulishly good fun.

Whether your goal is to frighten trick-or-treaters or set the scene for a playful Halloween party, we’ve got lots of DIY haunted house ideas to inspire you.

Now all you need is a good thunderstorm to create the right atmosphere!

25 Halloween haunted house ideas

1. bloodstained candle holders.

Blood-stained candle holders

What haunted house is complete without a bit of gore? These bloody candle holders and vases from Brit Co are an easy way to bring horror into your home.

All you need is red paint, red spray paint, bandages and a few jars and vases to decorate.

2. Floating candles

Harry Potter floating candles

Bewitch Harry Potter fans with these enchanting floating candles by The SITS Girls.

We’ve always loved the levitating candles in the Great Hall at Hogwarts and recreating that iconic effect is simpler than you might think.

The candles are made from cardboard tubes with glue dribbled down the sides so they look as though they’re melting. They’re painted white and an LED candle is added to make them glow.

Finally, they’re suspended from the ceiling using fine fishing wire so they look as though they’re hovering by themselves.

Short of time? Luckily there are ready-made Harry Potter floating candles available online.

3. Specimen jars

Halloween specimen jars

These freakish specimen jars are the perfect Halloween prop! They take minutes to make and all you need is a jar, food colouring and a scary specimen to display inside (plastic toys are ideal for this).

Find out how to make your own Halloween specimen jars with Dave Lowe Design.

4. Cheesecloth ghosts

Cheesecloth ghosts

Every haunted house needs a few spectres! Cheesecloth ghosts have become increasingly popular in the last few years and it’s easy to see why: they’re cheap, quick to make and look truly spooktacular.

While there are more frightening tutorials out there, we can’t get enough of these little cheesecloth ghosts from firstdayofhome.com. They’re adorable!

Why not make a whole family of them to haunt your home?

5. Bat-filled hallway

Halloween hallway

Don’t overlook your hallways when planning your haunted house, eerie corridors can really complete the experience.

This atmospheric hallway decorated by canadianhometrends.com shows what you can achieve with sprawling spider webs, suspended bats and some clever lighting.

6. Skeleton scenes

Skeleton food fight

Invest in a few skeletons this Halloween and use them to add a fun element to your haunted house.

A Beautiful Mess has come up with five ways to decorate with skeletons , but you can make any scene you choose once you have a few in the house!

If you have kids, you can prank them by moving around the skeletons to make them do different chores around the home. Remember to keep it lighthearted and mischievous so you don’t give them nightmares.

7. Skull string art

Skull string art

If you want to bring handmade style into your decorations, this DIY skull string art project will add a contemporary creepy vibe to any room.

Learn how to make your own skull string art with A Beautiful Mess.

8. Dead bodies

Bagged bodies for Halloween

Dead body props are really cheap to make, as you probably already have all the materials you need in your home.

Just be careful not to make them too realistic or your neighbours will call the cops!

Discover how to make bagged dead body props with The Navage Patch.

9. Glitter skulls

Glitter skulls

Add some bling to any room this October by crafting your own sparkling glitter skulls. Martha Stewart has created a brilliant glitter skull DIY project to help you make your own.

10. Halloween wreath

Halloween wreath ideas

Wreaths are traditionally associated with Christmas, but they make fabulous Halloween decorations too.

There are so many different styles to experiment with, from black feather wreaths to spider web wreaths made using twine.

Investigate Gathered’s Halloween wreath ideas to find one you’ll love.

Make ghoulish DIY Halloween decorations

When it comes to decorating your home this October, adding a few homemade craft projects can take your Halloween celebrations up a notch.

Get creative with Gathered’s favourite DIY Halloween decorations .

11. Paper mache arms

Halloween paper mache hands

These dismembered hands are reaching out from beyond the grave! They’re made using good old-fashioned paper mache, but they look surprisingly realistic when attached to your wall.

Create your own paper mache arms with Martha Stewart’s easy tutorial.

12. Bat mantel

Halloween bat mantel

Haunted house decorations don’t have to be complicated – sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective.

Ella Claire & Co has created a free printable bat template to allow you to make this show-stopping Halloween mantel look.

13. Illuminated haunted house

Illuminated haunted house

Make a haunted house within a haunted house with this DIY decoration from The Crafty Gentleman’s blog.

It’s made of black card that’s been cut out and attached to a block of wood, then illuminated using tealights.

We recommend using LED candles for this project so you don’t burn your house down.

14. Bloody handprint window clings

Bloody hand print window clings

Give visitors the impression that they’ll never escape your house of horrors by sticking bloody handprints on your windows.

If you’ve never made window clings before then you’re in for a treat! You can whip them up in no time using glue, food colouring and a few common household supplies.

Get the look with Felt Magnet’s bloody handprint window clings tutorial .

15. Ghost face picture frames

DIY ghost face picture frames

Craft a gallery of haunting faces with this cursed DIY ghost picture frame tutorial from Ehow.

Take down your usual family portraits for the season and replace them with an assortment of ghostly pictures. They’re shaped using doll heads, so you can make them in a variety of shapes and sizes.

16. DIY ghost lights

DIY ghost lights

Got some Christmas lights in the attic? Dig them out and turn them into these cute DIY ghost lights from Say Yes.

They’re a great way to brighten up a gloomy room this spooky season!

17. Boarded-up windows

DIY boarded up windows

Create an air of neglect and decay by boarding up the windows so it looks like an abandoned house.

You’ll need some woodworking skills to make this Halloween boarded-up windows project from Noting Grace.

If you’re looking for an easier option, you can paint strips of cardboard to look like wooden planks and stick them across your windows instead.

18. Mason jar luminaries

Mason jar luminaries

Give your haunted house a gothic feel with these lacy mason jar luminaries from justagirlandherblog.com.

These wouldn’t look out of place in an Addams Family-themed haunted house. They’re giving us a definite Wednesday vibe!

They’ll look spectacular when the sun starts to set and the light shines through the intricate lace patterns.

Make sure to check out the best Halloween door decorations to finish off the look!

19. Ghost mirror

DIY ghost mirror

Fill your home with phantoms and make a host of uncanny ghost mirrors with this tutorial from nobiggie.net.

You can use old pictures or newspaper photos to make your ghost mirrors, but we love the fact that they’ve chosen beloved author Jane Austen for theirs! Why not copy them and make ghost mirrors with a literary theme?

20. Pet ghost

Pet ghost

Adopt a little spook this Halloween using this spellbinding pet ghost tutorial from Relatable Kate. It comes complete with its own mossy graveyard scene!

This would be the sweetest decoration for your home or it would make a charming homemade gift for anyone you know who has a Halloween birthday.

21. Black and white Halloween mantel

Black and white Halloween mantel

If you have a fireplace in your home, you can give it a spectral makeover for Halloween using this black and white Halloween mantel idea from notjustahousewife.net.

You can style your mantel using a few simple props and make your own terrifying portraits to hang above it.

22. Climbing skeletons

Climbing skeletons

Cover your house with invading climbing skeletons! Skeletons aren’t just for indoor scenes, they can be used to make a dramatic display outside your haunted house too.

Find out everything you need to know with these climbing Halloween skeleton tips from Instructables.

23. Crystal ball candlesticks

Crystal ball Halloween candle sticks

Cast a spell to predict ominous images of the future with these crystal ball candlesticks from flamingtoes.com. They’ll make your haunted house feel like a witch’s lair!

These magical decorations can be filled with your choice of menacing pictures – the stranger the better.

24. Black light Halloween decorations

Blacklight Halloween decorations

Illuminate your haunted house with glow in the dark decorations! To get the sinister black light effect you’ll need to invest in a UV bar, but it’s worth it to be able to get this theatrical effect.

Head over to entertainingdiva.com to learn how to make glow in the dark Halloween decorations .

25. DIY Halloween mummy

Reenact the classic 90s movie The Mummy with your own DIY creation.

Wicked Makers used a willing volunteer to make the head of their mummy, but if the thought of being wrapped in tape makes you feel claustrophobic then you could use a mannequin instead.

While this isn’t the quickest project on our list, the finished mummy looks very impressive! It’ll take your haunted house to the next level.

Try our haunted house ideas to make this Halloween the scariest yet

Embrace Halloween by transforming your house or apartment into a horrifying haunted house this Halloween.

You can go all-out and make your home into a bloodcurdling spectacle worthy of a horror movie, or go for a cuter style that’s family-friendly.

Exploring our Halloween haunted house ideas will help you raise your decor game this October.

Dress up your yard with chilling outdoor Halloween decorations

Make a frightening first impression by filling your yard with gravestones, giant spider webs or haunting scenes.

Discover the best DIY outdoor Halloween decorations with Gathered.

DIY outdoor Halloween decorations

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haunted house themes for adults

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Make a DIY Haunted House That Both Kids and Adults Will Love

The ideal formula for a Halloween haven? Not too much gore, a little bit of spookiness, and all of the fun.

haunted house themes for adults

Jason Donnelly

Skip the lines and bring the haunted house into your home this year. Don't worry—it doesn't have to be too frightening! Whether you're hosting a Halloween party or setting up a spooky front=yard maze for trick-or-treaters , a haunted house is a festive way to get into the Halloween spirit for all ages.

John Granen

Start Planning

While it doesn't need to be complex, planning the overall concept of your DIY haunted house will make construction easier later on. Jenny Lex Huizar, owner of Lex and Relle Wreaths and a Halloween fanatic, made her first DIY haunted house for her kids last fall since they couldn't make it to one in person. Huizar advises first planning where your haunted house will be and how scary you want to make it. "Pick an area of the house that you can avoid using for a few weeks, like the dining room, playroom, guest room, entryway, or covered patio if you have decent weather," Huizar says.

Choose a Theme

Before buying any supplies, decide the theme and scare level of your haunted house. For themes, get specific: a paranormal haunted mansion, Frankenstein's scientific lab , a zombie-filled doctor's office, a witch's lair , or a spooky clown circus.

Use the following questions to help guide your theme further. What will be the average age group walking through it? Will there be live actors or just props? Is it all for fun or supposed to get a few screams out of people? If your kids will be taking part in the scaring fun, Huizar suggests taking them to a department store and letting them check out the Halloween props to be sure you don't purchase anything too frightening for them.

Suggested Supplies

Huizar suggests the following supplies to customize your DIY haunted house. Most of the items are optional; add anything that will best fit your theme and scream-factor goals.

  • Large cardboard boxes (she used 20 boxes to make a crawlable path through her dining area and entryway)
  • Heavy-duty scissors or X-Acto knife
  • Heavy-duty duct tape
  • Black trash bags or black gauze fabric to cover walls or cardboard boxes
  • Halloween props (the more the merrier!)
  • Fake cobwebs
  • Flashlights
  • Strobe lights
  • Fog machine
  • Halloween playlist and speaker
  • Halloween candy

Most of all, bring your imagination and creativity!

Adam Albright

Assemble Your Haunted House

Any haunted house or maze should consist of at least one component: pathways. Guided pathways ensure thrill-seekers can easily and safely find their way through the attraction. The rest is up to you and all of the scary details that you want to add based on your theme.

The Pathways

If your haunted house will be built using cardboard boxes, break down and bend the boxes to form walkways. If it will be constructed as a traditional walkthrough experience, use black drop cloths or trash bags to cover walls and doorways. If it will be an outdoor walk, small poles and ropes can easily form paths; consider using glow-in-the-dark versions.

No matter how you create your walkways, make sure to include a few dead ends along the way. These forced stops will make guests think about their next turn rather than mindlessly wandering. You can also move the paths back and forth multiple times (in a snaking pattern) throughout the space to make your haunted house last longer for guests. Huizar also places bowls of candy at the dead ends to keep guests motivated.

Marty Baldwin

Add Variety

Fill one passageway with something guests will physically touch. Use standard balloons taped to the sides of the walls or tall, twisting balloons taped to the ground and pointing upwards to create more textural variety for guests to walk through. Drape things like faux spiderwebs or spooky signage along the walls and ceiling for visual variety. If you don't want to DIY your Halloween decorations , head to a department or Halloween store to explore all of the options—they're countless!

Make It Spooky (and Fun!)

Ensure there are a few spine-chilling characters throughout your haunted house; it's even better if they are motion-activated to make sound and movement when there's a passerby. To get the best scares, recruit some actors and dress them in festive costumes to jump out at guests, having them hide behind cardboard walls or drop cloths.

Most important are the details—eerie shrieks and thunder echoing through a speaker, fog machines, and strobe lights make all the difference. Happy haunting!

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25 Fun Halloween Party Themes for Adults

Ladies and Ghouls, get ready to shiver with delight as we unveil the most bewitching Halloween Party Themes for Adults that will make your heart go bump in the night!

Embrace your inner vampire, summon mythical creatures, and dance under the moon’s enchanting glow. It’s time to leave the mundane behind and step into a world where spooky meets chic.

So, whether you crave Gothic elegance or crave spine-tingling frights, our devilishly creative themes will set the stage for an epic night to remember.

Don your most hauntingly fabulous costume, call upon your coven of friends, and let’s raise a toast to a Halloween bash like no other! 👻🍸

Halloween Party Themes for Adults Ideas

Classic Halloween Themes

If you’re looking for a classic Halloween party theme, you can’t go wrong with a haunted house, ghosts, and cobwebs, or a pumpkin carving party.

These themes are perfect for creating a spooky atmosphere that will have your guests feeling like they’re in a horror movie.

Haunted House

Haunted House - Classic Halloween Party

A haunted house theme is a classic Halloween party theme that never goes out of style. You can transform your home into a spooky haunted house by adding cobwebs, fake spiders, and other creepy decorations.

You can also create a haunted maze in your backyard or set up a haunted walk-through in your garage.

To make your haunted house even scarier, you can add sound effects like creaking doors, howling winds, and ghostly moans.

You can also have your guests dress up in their scariest costumes to add to the spooky atmosphere.

Ghosts and Cobwebs

Ghosts and Cobwebs Party Theme

Another classic Halloween party theme is ghosts and cobwebs.

This theme is all about creating a spooky atmosphere with lots of cobwebs, fake spiders, and ghostly decorations.

You can use white sheets to create ghostly apparitions and hang them from the ceiling or in doorways.

To add to the spooky atmosphere, you can also use fog machines to create a misty effect.

You can also use black lights to create a creepy glow that will make your ghostly decorations stand out even more.

Pumpkin Carving Party

Pumpkin Carving Party

A pumpkin carving party is a classic Halloween party theme that is perfect for all ages.

You can have your guests bring their own pumpkins or provide them yourself. Set up a carving station with knives, scoops, and stencils and let your guests get creative.

To add to the Halloween atmosphere, you can also have your guests dress up in their favorite costumes.

You can also serve Halloween-themed snacks like pumpkin-shaped cookies or candy corn.

No matter which classic Halloween theme you choose, you’re sure to have a spooky and fun time with your friends and family.

Movie Inspired Themes

If you’re a movie buff and want to add some cinematic flair to your Halloween party, then a movie-inspired theme is perfect for you.

Here are some of the best movie-inspired themes for your Halloween party:

Harry Potter

Harry Potter Party Muffins with Snitch

Bring the magic of Hogwarts to your Halloween party with a Harry Potter theme.

Encourage your guests to dress up as their favorite characters from the movie.

You can decorate your party space with Hogwarts house banners, golden snitches, and floating candles.

Serve up some Butterbeer and pumpkin pasties to complete the experience.

Nightmare Before Christmas

Celebrate Halloween and Christmas with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. This Tim Burton classic is perfect for a Halloween party.

Decorate your party space with Jack Skellington and Sally cutouts, black and white streamers, and a Christmas tree with Halloween ornaments.

Serve up some Sally’s soup and Jack’s cupcakes to delight your guests.

Beetlejuice

Bring the spooky fun of Beetlejuice to your Halloween party. Encourage your guests to dress up as characters from the movie, such as Beetlejuice, Lydia, or the Maitlands.

Decorate your party space with black and white stripes, spiderwebs, and a Beetlejuice-inspired photo booth.

Serve up some Beetlejuice-inspired cocktails and snacks to keep your guests happy.

Great Gatsby

Girl in Flapper Dress - Great Gatsby Party Theme

Step back in time to the roaring 20s with a Great Gatsby theme. Encourage your guests to dress up in their best flapper dresses and suits.

Decorate your party space with gold and black decorations, feathers, and vintage-inspired centerpieces.

Great Gatsby-themed party food and drinks include classic cocktails, such as martinis and champagne, and some finger foods to complete the experience.

Twilight Saga Party

If you’re a fan of vampires and werewolves, then a Twilight Saga party is perfect for your Halloween celebration.

Encourage your guests to dress up as their favorite characters from the movie, such as Bella, Edward, or Jacob, or more unexpected characters like Rosalie, Charlie or Leah.

Decorate your party space with red, white, and black decorations, twinkle lights, and, werewolf cutouts.

Serve up some vampire-inspired cocktails and snacks to keep your guests satisfied.

Maleficent Party Theme

Bring the dark fairy tale of Maleficent to your Halloween party.

Encourage your guests to dress up as Maleficent, Aurora, or other characters from the movie. Decorate your party space with black and purple decorations, thorns, and Maleficent-inspired centerpieces.

Serve up some dark cocktails and snacks to complete the experience.

With these movie-inspired themes, your Halloween party will be a hit with your guests.

Decade Inspired Themes

If you’re a fan of all things vintage, why not throw a Halloween party with a decade-inspired theme? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1920s Speakeasy

Host a Halloween party that takes you back to the roaring 20s with a speakeasy theme.

Set the scene with dim lighting, candles, and jazz music. Encourage your guests to dress up as flappers and gangsters.

Serve classic cocktails like martinis, gin fizzes, and old-fashioneds.

For snacks, set up a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses, and offer small bites like deviled eggs and shrimp cocktails.

80s Themed Party

80s themed party

If you’re a child of the 80s, why not throw a Halloween party with an 80s theme? Encourage your guests to dress up in neon colors, leg warmers, and big hair.

Set up a photo booth with 80s props like Rubik’s cubes, cassette tapes, and boom boxes.

Serve 80s-inspired snacks like pizza bagels, popcorn, and candy. For drinks, serve wine coolers, beer, and soda.

Black and White Vintage

For a sophisticated Halloween party, why not go for a black and white vintage theme?

Decorate your space with black and white balloons, streamers, and tablecloths. Encourage your guests to dress up in black and white attire.

Serve classic cocktails like martinis and Manhattans.

For snacks, set up a dessert table with black and white cookies, macarons, and chocolate truffles.

No matter which decade-inspired theme you choose, your Halloween party is sure to be a hit with your guests!

Creative Halloween Themes

If you’re looking to spice up your Halloween party, try out one of these creative themes that are sure to impress your guests. From murder mysteries to time travel adventures, these themes will keep your guests engaged and entertained all night long.

Murder Mystery

A murder mystery theme is a classic Halloween party idea that never gets old.

Set the scene for a thrilling evening by creating a crime scene and providing clues for your guests to solve the mystery.

You can even assign roles to your guests, such as the victim, suspects, and detectives, to make the game more interactive.

To take your murder mystery theme to the next level, consider creating a table of evidence, complete with crime scene photos, autopsy reports, and witness statements.

You can also serve food and drinks that fit the theme, such as “bloody” cocktails and “finger” foods.

Time Travel

Transport your guests to a different era with a time travel theme. Encourage your guests to dress up in costumes from their favorite time period, whether it’s the roaring 20s or the disco era.

You can also decorate your space to fit the theme, such as creating a 1950s diner or a medieval castle.

To make the time travel theme even more fun, create a photo booth with props from different eras, such as a vintage camera or a disco ball.

You can also play music from different decades to keep the party going all night long.

Wild West Party

Yee-haw! A Wild West theme is a fun and unique way to celebrate Halloween. Create a saloon-style atmosphere by decorating your space with cowboy hats, bandanas, and hay bales.

You can also serve food and drinks that fit the theme, such as BBQ ribs and whiskey cocktails.

To make the Wild West theme more interactive, consider setting up a shooting range or a bull riding simulator. You can also have a costume contest with prizes for the best cowboy or cowgirl outfit.

No matter which creative Halloween theme you choose, make sure to have fun and get your guests involved.

With a little bit of creativity, you can create a Halloween party that your guests will never forget.

Food and Drink Focused Themes

If you’re looking to throw a Halloween party with a focus on food and drinks, there are plenty of fun themes to choose from. Here are three ideas to get you started:

Candy Party

Halloween Candy Party

If you have a sweet tooth, a candy-themed Halloween party is the perfect choice.

Set up a candy bar with a variety of treats, including Halloween candy favorites like candy corn, chocolate eyeballs, and gummy worms.

You can also include other types of candy, such as sour gummies, lollipops, and jelly beans.

To make the candy bar even more festive, decorate the table with Halloween-themed decorations like spider webs, pumpkins, and bats.

You can also provide small bags or boxes for guests to fill up with their favorite candies to take home as a party favor.

Halloween Brunch

Halloween Brunch

Hosting a Halloween brunch is a great way to celebrate the holiday without having to stay up too late.

Serve up spooky-themed breakfast foods like pumpkin pancakes, spider web eggs, and mummy toast.

You can also include Halloween-themed drinks like pumpkin spice lattes or a spooky Bloody Mary.

Decorate your brunch table with Halloween-themed tablecloths, napkins, and centerpieces. You can also include Halloween decorations like pumpkins, skeletons, and witches hats.

Cocktail Party

Halloween Cocktail Party

If you’re looking for a more adult-themed Halloween party, consider hosting a cocktail party.

Serve up spooky cocktails like a Black Widow Martini or a Vampire’s Kiss. You can also include Halloween-themed appetizers like spider deviled eggs, witch’s fingers, and mummy meatballs.

Decorate your home with Halloween-themed decorations like cobwebs, bats, and skeletons. You can also provide costumes or encourage guests to come dressed in their favorite Halloween attire.

No matter what food and drink-focused Halloween theme you choose, make sure to have fun and enjoy the holiday with your friends and family.

DIY Halloween Themes

If you’re looking to save some money and get creative, DIY Halloween themes are the way to go. Here are two fun ideas to get you started:

Glow in the Dark Party

Glow in the Dark Party

A glow-in-the-dark party is a unique and exciting way to celebrate Halloween.

To create the perfect atmosphere, you’ll need black lights, glow sticks, and neon decorations.

You can also encourage your guests to wear neon or white clothing to really make them stand out in the dark.

Here are some DIY ideas to make your glow-in-the-dark party a success:

  • Create neon-painted pumpkins and use them as centerpieces
  • Make your own glow-in-the-dark slime for a fun activity
  • Use glow-in-the-dark paint to create spooky designs on your walls or furniture
  • Set up a black light photo booth with neon props and accessories

Fall Harvest Farm

If you’re looking for a more rustic Halloween theme, a fall harvest farm party is perfect. This theme is all about celebrating the bounty of the season with hay bales, pumpkins, and autumnal decorations.

Here are some DIY ideas to make your fall harvest farm party a success:

  • Create a pumpkin patch in your backyard with hay bales and carved pumpkins
  • Use burlap tablecloths and mason jar centerpieces for a rustic touch
  • Set up a DIY caramel apple station with different toppings
  • Make your own scarecrows to decorate your yard
  • Serve seasonal drinks like apple cider and pumpkin spice cocktails

With these DIY Halloween themes, you’ll have a memorable party that won’t break the bank. Get creative and have fun with it!

Halloween Party Ideas for Adults

Party Elements and Activities

Make your Halloween party unforgettable by incorporating some fun party elements and activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Costume Contest

Encourage your guests to come dressed in their best Halloween costumes and hold a costume contest. You can have different categories such as scariest costume, funniest costume, and best couple’s costume. Create a prize for the winners, such as a gift card or a spooky trophy.

Halloween Bingo

Bingo is a classic game that can be easily adapted to a Halloween theme. Create bingo cards with Halloween-related words or images such as pumpkins, witches, and ghosts. You can use candy corn as markers and offer small prizes for the winners.

Photo Booth

Set up a photo booth with Halloween props such as fake mustaches, witch hats, and vampire teeth.

Encourage your guests to take silly and spooky photos together.

You can even create a backdrop with Halloween decorations or use a green screen to transport your guests to a haunted house or a spooky forest.

By incorporating these party elements and activities, you’ll create a fun and memorable Halloween party for your guests.

Decor and Setting Ideas

When it comes to hosting an adult Halloween party, the decor and setting play a significant role in setting the mood. Here are some ideas to help you create a spooky and fun atmosphere for your guests.

Spooky Lighting

Spooky lighting is an essential element of any Halloween party. It can create the perfect ambiance and set the tone for the entire evening. Here are some ideas for incorporating spooky lighting into your party decor:

  • Use black lights to create a glow-in-the-dark effect.
  • Hang string lights in orange and purple around the party space.
  • Use candles and lanterns to create an eerie and flickering effect.
  • Use strobe lights to create a spooky and unsettling effect.

Table Setting

The table setting is an important part of any party, and Halloween is no exception.

Here are some ideas for creating a spooky and festive table setting:

  • Use black tablecloths and orange napkins to create a Halloween color scheme.
  • Use spider webs and plastic spiders to decorate the table.
  • Use skull-shaped plates and glasses for a spooky touch.
  • Use Halloween-themed place cards to guide your guests to their seats.

Floral Arrangements

Floral arrangements might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween decor, but they can be a great addition to your party.

Here are some ideas for incorporating floral arrangements into your Halloween decor:

  • Use dark red flowers and a touch of greenery to create a spooky yet elegant centerpiece.
  • Use black roses and other dark flowers for a gothic touch.
  • Use pumpkins and gourds as vases for a festive and seasonal touch.

By incorporating these decor and setting ideas into your Halloween party, you can create a fun and spooky atmosphere that your guests will love.

Halloween Party Ideas for Adults Takeaways

Remember, the key to a successful Halloween party is to have fun and be creative.

Whether you decide to go with a classic theme like a Murder Mystery Party or something more unique like a Zombie Apocalypse, the most important thing is to make sure your guests have a great time.

Don’t forget to set the mood with spooky decorations, creepy music, and delicious Halloween-themed treats. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try making some of your own decorations or costumes?

With so many great Halloween party ideas to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking for something spooky, silly, or just plain fun, there’s a theme out there that’s perfect for you.

So go ahead and start planning your next Halloween party today.

With a little bit of creativity and a lot of enthusiasm, you’re sure to throw a party that your guests will never forget!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique halloween party themes for adults.

If you’re looking for something different, consider hosting a “Haunted Mansion” party. You can transform your home into a spooky mansion with cobwebs, candelabras, and creepy portraits.

Another unique theme is a “Zombie Apocalypse” party where guests dress up as survivors or zombies. You can decorate with caution tape, fake blood, and zombie props.

What are some popular movie-themed Halloween party ideas?

Movie-themed parties are always a hit. Some popular movie-themed Halloween party ideas include a “Harry Potter” party, a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” party, or a “Nightmare Before Christmas” party.

You can decorate your home with movie posters, props, and costumes.

How can I decorate for a Halloween party?

There are many ways to decorate for a Halloween party. You can use spider webs, pumpkins, and skeletons.

You can also create a spooky atmosphere with fog machines, strobe lights, and eerie music.

Another idea is to use black and orange streamers, balloons, and tablecloths.

What are some creative names for Halloween party themes?

There are endless possibilities for Halloween party themes. Some creative names include “Witching Hour Soiree,” “Ghosts and Goblins Gala,” “Fright Night Fiesta,” “Monster Mash Bash,” and “Boos and Booze Ball.”

How Do You Throw a Classy Halloween Party?

To throw a classy Halloween party, focus on the details. Use elegant decorations like black and gold tablecloths, silver candlesticks, and crystal glasses. Serve sophisticated cocktails like a “Black Widow” or “Poison Apple” martini. Encourage guests to dress in formal attire or masquerade masks.

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Here's How to Transform Your Home into the Spookiest Haunted House

Your neighbors will be scared—and impressed.

preview for 10 Haunting Facts About Halloween

Every item on this page was chosen by a The Pioneer Woman editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

You're probably wondering how to turn your home into a haunted house. Where do you even begin? Or end , for that matter? How do you make it fun for all ages, without boring the older kids and adults? And how do you go all out, without breaking the bank?

It all might seem a bit overwhelming, but we checked in with a couple of designers who have been constructing haunted houses for years. Ahead, you'll find their best ideas for how to design a haunted scene in your home and backyard—nothing too elaborate, don't worry—along with recommendations on where to find props and decorations. So whether you've been hosting your own haunt for ages and want to level up or you're ready to give those trick-or-treaters a good scare for the first time, this guide will help you design and make a haunted house that's the hit of the neighborhood!

Can you make your own haunted house?

how to make a haunted house

The short answer is yes! However, it helps to first decide how much money you want to spend as well as how big and elaborate you want to get before you start the actual decorating. If you want to make a haunted house kids (and their parents) will be talking about for years, begin planning it early, way before Halloween.

"I'm thinking about it 24-7-365," says Angela Colone, who's been an actor and designer for professional haunts including Screams at the Beach , in Georgetown, Delaware, and 301 Devil's Playground in Galena, Maryland. "I'm always looking at Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone is selling cheap props or things that they're getting rid of... I also look at yard sales and thrift stores. I'm always trying to pick up stuff."

Kate Pearce , an interior design blogger and content creator from Chicago, Illinois, who has long created spooky Halloween scenes based on thrift stores finds, also advises searching secondhand shops. "My biggest piece of advice would be to go to the thrift store and explore the entire thing, not just the Halloween aisle," she says. "Thrift is cheap, and therefore not a huge financial commitment, so you can really have fun and let your mind run wild."

Otherwise, you can cut costs by buying one professional prop and using it as a guide for making your own version of it. For example, when Colone was creating a barn scene with a spider's nest, she purchased one spider and fashioned the rest from papier-mâché and spray paint, hanging them from the ceiling with fishing line and on a dollar bag of Halloween cobwebs.

"It was really inexpensive," Colone says. "Papier-mâché is pretty awesome and it's disposable, so you don't have to hold on to it the next season if you don't want to. And it's the kind of craft you could make with your own kids."

How do you turn a house into a haunted house?

Let's start at the beginning. If you're building a haunted house that you want to appeal to younger kids, don't make the entrance too scary. You can set a mood with fog machines and corn stalk décor , but make sure the area around your door is open and inviting, rather than claustrophobic—it should be well-lit, too. You also want to keep the scenes you create inside of your home illuminated, so kids can see everything and the lights aren't directly focused on something scary.

"With kids, it's more about enabling them to look openly at everything," Colone says. "Usually for an adult haunt, you want it to be very chaotic. You want the fear of who's going to jump out now and what's coming around the next corner. But children need to see everything and be open to it. You want to allow them to come into your scene. You don't want to push your scene on them."

Speaking of scenes, Colone has a few ideas for sets and props the kids will love:

Cut a large hole in a refrigerator box to make a ticket booth. Dress one of your actors as a a clown and tuck them away at the ticket window. Offer carnival games for kids to try, like a bean bag toss , mini bowling , Pick a Duck or others. Bubbles drifting through the scene give it a festive feel, especially if they're scented like cotton candy !

Stock shelves with children's books you find at secondhand stores. Dress one of your actors like a wizard, who allows the kids to pick a book to take home with them. You can also make simple wands for take-home gifts. Tie twine on one end of a stick, and glue or tie faux gems on the other end of the twine.

Buy a few hay bales, pumpkins and corn stalks and decorate a room with them. Spread hay on the floor and add spider's nests in the corners of the room. Dress an actor like a scarecrow in simple makeup and a costume. You could also take this idea outside and easily make a haunted barnyard.

What are some tips for a kid-friendly haunted house?

how to make a haunted house

After all, the idea is not to give kiddos nightmares, but to entertain them.

Use makeup rather than masks on actors.

"Masks can be a little too scary for some kids because they don't see a human behind it," Colone says. "If they don't see a human face, it's hard for them to approach."

Speak in a normal voice.

"When we do an adult haunt, we like to get creative with our voices and our tones, whereas a child may not like that," Colone says. "Instead, we talk to them in our normal voice, and we let them know they're welcome to come in and look around."

Give them something to take home .

According to Colone, from star or bug stickers to cardboard cut-outs of tombstones they can decorate at home, "kids like to have something to take with them that isn't just candy."

Engage more than one sense.

"What I've noticed in my years doing this is that both children and adults want to smell, feel, and even taste," Colone says. "For example, we've used cake batter , so they could smell that it was sweet, but the texture was almost like brains... and obviously things like the dirt pudding cups with the gummy worms in it."

How do you make a creepy haunted house?

If you want older kids to have as much fun in your haunt as the young ones, you're going to have to give them a satisfyingly creepy experience. Consider constructing different paths in your house, and giving your guests the choice of which ones they want to take: less spooky or seriously spooky. "Sometimes, it's nice to have multiple crossroads because the kids can say that wasn't that scary, I want to try a scarier one," Colone says. "So, that way, you're breaking it up and letting them choose what they want to see."

If you don't have enough rooms in your home to build that many individual scenes, you can construct walls with white sheets and even spray paint them with background scenery if you're feeling artistic. On the spooky path, use a bit more blood, full face Halloween masks and maybe even a ghoul or two popping out of hidden spaces. Decorate whole rooms when you can, like this killer dining room idea from Pearce, which utilizes items she found in the thrift store.

Put up a scary portrait.

Buy an old painting, poke holes in it and paint fake blood dripping from the holes. Extra points if you use the eyes for holes. "This same idea could be applied to a cheap portrait print that you don't feel bad poking some holes in," Pearce says.

Hang some doll heads.

Buy some creepy old dolls, pop their heads off and hang them with fishing line from the ceiling at different heights.

Sit a skeleton down.

If you have a skeleton handy, sit it at the dining room table. Pop off a bunch of old Barbie-sized doll heads and place them in a Halloween bowl with a spoon in front of the skeleton. It looks, says Pearce, "like the skeleton is eating a bowl of Barbie heads like cereal."

How do you make an outdoor haunted house?

how to make a haunted house

Give your guests a fright before they even cross your doorstep by setting up a spooky scene in your front or back yard. We've got tons of ideas for store-bought and DIY outdoor Halloween decorations , including Halloween inflatables that will make a big scary statement and Halloween animatronics with glowing red eyes and creepy catchphrases.

And you know all those spooky Halloween party themes you've been brainstorming? They'll work perfectly for a themed haunted house, too! For her part, Colone likes creepy camping scenes. "Spray paint a sheet with Halloween scenes and toss it over an old tent," she says. "Kids can crawl through the tent and you can have an actor tell camp fire stories on the other side of it." Instead of lighting a real fire, stay safe with a faux campfire you can purchase or DIY from cardboard.

The most important thing to remember when creating your haunt is "to let your imagine go and have fun," Colone says. "It's all about how you want to make your haunted house."

.css-kddnhp:before{background-image:radial-gradient(circle at 15px 0, #44ABA5 9px, #44ABA5 15px, rgba(255,255,255,0) 16px);background-repeat:repeat-x;content:'';display:block;height:2rem;margin-bottom:0.625rem;}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-kddnhp:before{margin-left:-0.99rem;width:100vw;-webkit-background-size:30px 16px;background-size:30px 16px;}}@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-kddnhp:before{margin-left:0;width:100%;-webkit-background-size:30.659px 16px;background-size:30.659px 16px;}} What You'll Need For Your Haunted House

Fog Machine with 13 Colorful LED Lights

Fog Machine with 13 Colorful LED Lights

Hanging Posable Skeleton

Hanging Posable Skeleton

Halloween Inflatable

Halloween Inflatable

Artificial Paper Fire

Artificial Paper Fire

Headshot of Jill Gleeson

Jill Gleeson is a travel journalist and memoirist based in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania who has written for websites and publications including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Country Living, Washingtonian, Gothamist, Canadian Traveller, and EDGE Media Network. Jill is the travel editor for Enchanted Living. Learn more about her journey at gleesonreboots.com.

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20 Awesome Haunted House Ideas in 2022

  • April 19, 2021
  • Company News

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People often ask, “how do you make a scary haunted house?” The idea behind a haunted house is to really get people spooked out.

If you put in enough effort, you will genuinely leave people wondering what’s real and fake.  If you don’t know how to do it, the following haunted house ideas will suit for you to read.

You can sit a skeleton at your desk, and replace your flowers with wilted, dead flowers. Takedown happy family photos and replace them with photos of vampires, dragons , or even dinosaurs .

Here are professional haunted house ideas for you to try out!

1. Place an urn on the mantelpiece

2. light candles, 3. burn incense, 4. hang some bats upside down, 5. construct a coffin, 6. leave a bloody trail on the carpet, 7. prop a scary lurker in the corner, 8. cover an old skeleton in webs, 9. get flickering lights, 11. get a huge spider, 12. place some zombie skeletons out on the lawn., 13. pose skeletons in creative ways, 14. get some creepy old music, 15. bloody a baseball bat, 16. make a skull pile, 17. roll out the cursed dolls, 18. blood on the mirrors, 19. fog up the place, 20. set up a witch's table​.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideasPlace-an-urn-on-the-mantelpiece

Source by: suzyhomemaker.co.uk/

You can burn some paper and pour the ashes in the urn for great haunted house ideas on a budget. Keep reading, more haunted house ideas are coming!

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideaslight-candles

Source by: Unsplash.com

What is eerier than candles flickering in the darkness? Light some candles and place them on a table.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-Burn-incense

Not only do you want your house to look haunted, but you also want it to smell haunted. Burn some incense to make your haunted house smell spooky.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-Hang-some-bats-upside-down

Source by: diymorning.com

You don’t have to get real bats; fake ones work just fine.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-Contruct-a-coffin

Source by: i.pinimg.com

If you have time on your hands, go all out and construct a coffin. Nothing says spooky more than a box for dead bodies.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-leave-a-bloody-trail-on-the-carpet

Source by: farm1.static.flickr.com

What a haunted house without blood? Run down to the store, grab some fake blood and get to work! That will be a crazy one among all haunted house ideas.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-prop-a-scary-lurker-in-the-coner

Few things are scarier than a figure staring at you from the corner.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-cover-an-old-skeleto-in-webs

The old skeleton from your science project works just fine for this.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-get-flickering-lights

Source by: Youtube.com Dr. Katie Rhodes

Every haunted house has lights that flicker; yours should be too.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-slime

Source by: imgfave.com

You can put some of this in a jar for the “evil professor” effect.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-get-a-huge-spider

Your haunted house needs a huge spider!

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-palce-some-zombie-skeletons-out-on-the-lawn

Source by: blazepress.com

Let the spooky start from the outdoors. Line up a couple of skeletons to get visitors started.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-pose-skeletons-in-creative-ways

Source by: Unsplash.com 

You want your skeletons to give people chills. Place them in the most unique and unsettling ways.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-get-some-creepy-old-music

Source by: blogs.scientificamerican.com

What is better than a creepy old tune to set the mood? Grab your old cassette player and get the party started.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-bloody-a-basketball-bat

Source by: davelowe.blogspot.com

Splash some fake blood on an old baseball bat and place it in the corner. 

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-make-a-skull-pile

Source by: www.spirithalloween.com

With some hot glue, plastic skulls, snakes, and other critters create a spooky skull pile.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-roll-out-the-cursed-dolls

Source by: www.eyeem.com

Remember how almost every scary movie manages to have a scary doll in it?

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-blood-on-the-mirrors

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Make creepy inscriptions on your mirrors with some fake blood.

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-fog-up-the-place

Source by: liquidnight.tumblr.com

Nothing says haunted more than some fog!

20. Set up a witch's table

What-are-some-good-haunted-house-ideas-set-up-a-witchs-table

Source by:  suzyhomemaker.co.uk

Set down some potions and poisons for an even scarier haunted house!

What should you not do in a haunted house?

After all, you’ve read about how to create a great haunted house, have you ever wanted to head over to someone else’s haunted house, but keep in mind that no matter how safe you feel, a haunted house is, it would help if you remembered it is still spooky. You can never be too sure, so there are certain precautions to take while in a haunted house.

Some things you should not do in a haunted house include:

1. Avoid visiting a haunted house alone

What-should-you-not-do-in-a-haunted-house-Avoid-visiting-a-haunted-house-alone

Source by: www.forbes.com

No matter how much of a tough guy you are, visiting a haunted house alone is a terrible idea. Ideally, it would help if you went to a haunted house in groups. Remember, there are safety and strength in numbers.

Make sure you do not separate members of the group and try not to sleep in different rooms.

2. Lock all outside doors and windows

What-should-you-not-do-in-a-haunted-house-lock-all-outside-doors-and-windows

Source by: www.residencestyle.com

Ensure that you lock the doors and windows that lead outside immediately you get into the house. Avoid lingering to enjoy the view outside; besides, the chances are high that no view outside a haunted house will be of interest to you.

3. Wear comfortable shoes

What-should-you-not-do-in-a-haunted-house-wear-comfortable-shoes

Source by: www.pinterest.com/pin/4011087140551957

Being a haunted house requires a lot of activity. You want to move around as quickly as possible so ditch the high heels and don some comfy sneakers.

4. Avoid visiting a haunted house alone

What-should-you-not-do-in-a-haunted-house-ignore-any-strange-sounds

Source by: www.pinterest.com/pin/293367363206644156

No matter how interested you might be, avoid investigating any strange sounds. If you hear the floors creak, baby cries, or even wolf howls, remain put. These are very typical of a haunted room and are a ploy to draw you out of the safe place you have managed to find in somewhere so creepy. Do not give in!

5. Avoid the basement and the attic

What-should-you-not-do-in-a-haunted-house-avoid-the-basement-and-attic

Source by: www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/563301865873393914

In almost every scary movie, the things that haunt emerge from the basement. Stay away from the basement of a haunted house. The attic is also a no-go area. Attics are usually musty, dark, and filled with secrets and cobwebs. You don’t want to discover any ‘secrets’ in a haunted house.

6. Do not look in the mirror

What-should-you-not-do-in-a-haunted-house-do-not-look-in-the-mirror

Source by: unokeimhotepsolomon.medium.com

Mirrors are very hard to resist and easily overlooked. Although the pull of vanity might be strong, it will do you more harm than good to resist looking in a haunted house room mirror. Mirrors in spooked houses usually serve as a gateway for unpleasant being to trade places in their world with you. Cover the mirrors with fabric or turn them towards the wall. Remember to be careful with the mirrors, as breaking them is an evil omen.

Now,  you must have grasped so many haunted house ideas in your mind. Try some haunted house ideas on your business or just for fun with your friend!

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The 26 Best Haunted Houses for a Seriously Scary Halloween

Author image: purewow author

Ah, fall. The leaves are turning , the apple cider is brewing and the undead are chasing you through the halls of a haunted house. If your idea of a great Halloween involves being scared out of your wits, we’ve got you covered. Haunted houses around the country start opening their creaky doors in September and there’s something for everyone, whether you want lightly spooky or absolute nightmare terror. This year things are bit different due to COVID-19 safety measures, so it’s best to plan ahead and buy tickets online in advance. You’ll also want to read up on any required safety precautions, such as mask wearing. From family-friendly fun to adults-only haunts, here are 26 of the best haunted attractions around the country to experience this fall. (Warning: Some of the images and videos below are seriously scary… proceed with caution.)

50 Halloween Dessert Ideas, from Totally Spooky to Extra Sweet

1. Knott's Scary Farm

When: September 16 to October 31, 2021

Where: Buena, CA

What to expect: Southern California’s biggest Halloween event is full of scares, including numerous haunted mazes and attractions. There are also more than 1,000 terrifying creatures wandering the amusement park, so watch where you walk. The event is recommend for those over 13 years old.

2. The Bates Motel And Haunted Hayride

When: September 24 to October 31, 2021

Where: Glen Mills, PA

What to expect: Walk through a haunted forest, filled with terrifying sets and monsters, on a trail known as the “Psycho Path” and then head into the Bates Motel, a haunted house known for its high-level special effects. Don’t miss the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail, a haunted corn maze that will send you running back to the car in fear.

best haunted houses midnight terror haunted house

3. Midnight Terror Haunted House

When: September 24 to November 6, 2021

Where: Oak Lawn, IL

What to expect: Taking up over 26,000 square feet, Midnight Terror Haunted House emphasizes using live actors to horrify its guests. There’s a lot to explore, including the “Factory of Malum” and “Black Oak Grove,” which are full of terrifying surprises. There’s an extensive story behind everything you see, making the experience all the more realistic.

best haunted houses the haunted trail of balboa park

4. The Haunted Trail Of Balboa Park

Where: San Diego, CA

What to expect: Explore two haunts in one location: The Haunted Trail and The eXperiment Maze. Follow a twisting trail through Balboa Park once you escape the mile-long maze, but watch out for dangers lurking behind the trees. Favorite horror icons, like Pennywise and Michael Meyers, can be found throughout the haunted attraction. This one is best for those over the age of 10.

5. Headless Horseman Hayrides And Haunted Houses

When: September 25 to October 31

Where: Ulster Park, NY

What to expect: One of the most famous haunted attractions in America, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses covers 65 acres and includes a haunted walking trail, corn maze and five haunted houses. There are a few special children’s days where the terror is toned down for younger (or weak of heart) guests. The entire experience lasts about two hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy everything.

best haunted houses netherworld haunted house

6. Netherworld Haunted House

When: September 24 to November 13, 2021

Where: Stone Mountain, GA

What to expect: Walk through Stone Mountain’s famed Halloween attraction, which is filled with live actors, monsters and intense special effects. It’s regularly named one of the best haunted houses in the U.S., and it features two haunts, Netherworld and Cyber Shock, which take about 45 minutes to explore in total. The minimum age is five, although kids who scare easily should probably skip this one.

7. Shocktober Fest

When: October 1 to November 6, 2021

Where: Sinking Spring, PA

What to expect: Located on Tulleys Farm, Shocktober Fest features 10 haunts, including “The Island,” “Twisted Clowns” and “The Chop Shop.” It’s notably immersive, with lots of live actors and special effects, although the event isn’t just about the scares. There are also two stages of live music, plus bars and street food options. Bring the whole family—if you dare.

8. Bayville Scream Park

When: September 24 to November 7, 2021

Where: Bayville, NY

What to expect: Discover seven terrifying attractions at Bayville Scream Park, one of Long Island’s favorite haunted attractions. It’s intended for older kids and adults (although there are a few tamer kid’s days on the calendar) and the park also boasts a selection of food, including two full-service restaurants and two bars. Best of all, one ticket covers the entire Halloween season, so you can return to explore different haunts on multiple days if you can’t see them all at once.

best haunted houses haunted hills hospital

9. Haunted Hills Hospital

Where: Columbia City, IN

What to expect: Join the deranged mental patients at Haunted Hills Hospital, a haunted attraction that only the truly fearless will survive. For a truly horrifying experience, book a ticket to one of the blackout days, where guests will explore the hospital in total darkness. It also includes access to the new Mayhem Midway, which features axe throwing, a live DJ, an escape room and food vendors.

best haunted houses the haunted mines

10. The Haunted Mines

When: September 25 to November 6, 2021

Where: Colorado Springs, CO

What to expect: The long-standing Haunted Mines experience takes over 28,000 square feet, with 2021 embracing a bigger and even better collection of scares. Many of the sets and actors are based on mysterious real events from Colorado’s mining history, but try not to think about how much of it could be true as you venture through the rooms.

11. Field Of Screams

When: September 10 to November 13, 2021

Where: Mountville, PA

What to expect: Field of Scream is often named one of the best haunted houses in the country, and for good reason. It includes four attractions, including a hayride, two houses and a haunted woods, and it makes for a terrifying night out during the Halloween season. There are also concessions with food and drinks and live bands take the stage on several nights of the yearly event.

12. The Dent School House

When: September 17 to November 6, 2021

Where: Cincinnati, OH

What to expect: A murderous janitor roams the halls of The Dent School House, a Halloween tradition in Cincinnati. The attraction, set in an actual schoolhouse and based on a true story, gets upgraded each year, with new sets and effects throughout the rooms. All ages are welcome, although those with a low fear threshold might want to avoid these classrooms. The Dent School House has food on sale for guests, as well.

best haunted houses haunted overload

13. Haunted Overload

When: October 8 to 31, 2021

Where: Lee, NH

What to expect: Located on the DeMeritt Hill Farm, Haunted Overload’s mission in all in the name. The attraction is different from year to year, but it always hosts a nighttime haunt for adults and daytime hours for kids looking for something slightly less scary. Follow along a scary trail, where you never know what might jump out at you.

14. The 13th Floor

When: September 11 to November 6, 2021

Where: Denver, CO

What to expect: Explore a secret “13 th floor,” which is filled with sinister creatures and scares at Denver’s favorite haunted attraction. There are two separate haunted houses for 2021, “Frost-Bite” and “The Dollmaker,” both of which welcome older kids—think PG-13 and up—for a jolt of terror. Buy a skip the line ticket to avoid waiting outside ahead of entry.

best haunted houses cutting edge haunted house

15. Cutting Edge Haunted House

When: October 1 to October 31, 2021

Where: Fort Worth, TX

What to expect: Cutting Edge Haunted House is set in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant, which sets the stage for the screams to come. It takes about an hour to explore the multi-themed rooms, filled with sets, actors and monsters, and visitors should prepare themselves for a fully immersive experience.

16. Fright Fest At Six Flags Great Adventure

When: September 10 to October 31, 2021

Where: Jackson, NJ

What to expect: Come during daylight hours for family-friendly scares or arrive after dark to experience the full terror of Six Flags’ annual Fright Fest. It includes live shows, a trick-or-trail trail, haunted mazes and rides, including the new Jersey Devil Coaster, which roars through eerie nighttime fog.

17. The 13th Gate

When: October 1 to November 13, 2021

Where: Baton Rouge, LA

What to expect: Intended to blur the line between reality and horror, The 13 th Gate is a 40,000-square-foot haunted house that is not for the easily scared (or for children). It takes visitors through a pirate ship, the dangerous streets of Whitechapel with Jack the Ripper, hidden subterranean passages filled with live snakes and a zombie-infested graveyard, all of which are terrifyingly realistic.

18. Pennhurst Asylum

Where: Spring City, PA

What to expect: Navigate the maximum security wing of Pennhurst Asylum, before exploring the mental hospital’s morgue and 1,200-foot tunnels, which once housed a government research facility. It’s an immersive attraction with great storytelling behind it, and visitors should be prepared for special effects that involve fire and smoke. This one is for older guests, so find a babysitter for the kids.

best haunted houses 19 halloween horror nights at universal studios

19. Halloween Horror Nights At Universal Studios

When: September 3 to October 31, 2021

Where: Los Angeles, CA and Orlando, FL

What to expect: Universal Studios’ annual Halloween celebration features numerous themed attractions, including a haunted house based on Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House . There are also frightening experiences based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Beetlejuice , and it’s scary enough that kids under 13 should stay home. Visitors can also expect live shows and five special “scare zones.”

20. Cedar Point Halloweekends

When: September 17 to October 31, 2021

Where: Sandusky, OH

What to expect: For something more family-friendly, head to Cedar Point on select weekends throughout the fall. There is trick-or-treating for young kids, and haunted attractions and mazes for those a little older. Don’t miss America’s Spooky Roller Coast, which is terrifying when the sun goes down.

best haunted houses blood manor

21. Blood Manor

Where: New York, NY

What to expect: New York City’s Broadway hosts Blood Manor, an annual haunted house that features 10,000 square feet of themed rooms and a labyrinth of passageways and corridors. It’s designed to be the most intense attraction of its kind in New York, and it’s not recommended for anyone under 14 (or for those who scare easily). The house is wheelchair accessible, so this is a good pick for anyone with limited mobility.

21. Reaper’s Revenge

Where: Scranton, PA

What to expect: There’s a lot of terror to explore at Reaper’s Revenge, an annual attraction that hosts a hayride, a horrifying carnival and several other themed haunts. A ticket includes access to all over the site’s offerings, and it can take nearly two hours to experience them all. Food is available for purchase, should you not be too nervous to eat. Keep kids under 10 at home.

22. A Petrified Forest

When: October 1 to 30, 2021

Where: Altamonte Springs, FL

What to expect: Plan a night out to A Petrified Forest, which boasts three haunted trails, live music, food trucks and activities. The haunted attractions are considered PG-13 level, but kids of all ages are welcome to attend.

23. Haunted Schoolhouse And Laboratory

When: September 18 to November 6, 2021

Where: Akron, OH

What to expect: Comprised of two separate haunted houses, Akron’s Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory brings double the scares for one ticket. It’s notably scary (kids are 12 should stay home) and guests can book into the even more terrifying blackout nights to creep through the attraction in the dark.

24. Frightmare Manor

Where: Talbott, TN

What to expect: Located on the site of real-life serial killer Jeremiah Lexer’s former plantation, Frightmare Manor covers 20 acres, with numerous walk-through attractions. It’s so absolutely terrifying that if you make it through the entire experience and beat the so-called “Nightmare Challenge,” you get your money back.

best haunted houses scary acres

25. Scary Acres

Where: Hope, RI

What to expect: Head to Scary Acres to immerse yourself in three terrifying attractions, including the “Haunted Woods” and the “Master’s Castle.” There are also bonfires, food and live entertainment, making it feel like a Halloween theme park come to life. There’s no age restriction and plan for at least 90 minutes (if not longer) to go through all three haunts.

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Jessica Avery

"Jessica has been a voracious reader since she was old enough to hold chapter books right side up. She has an MA in English from the University of Maine, and has been writing about books online since 2015. She started out writing about the Romance genre, but in recent years she has rekindled her love for Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy, with an emphasis on works of queer fiction. You can follow her on Twitter , Bluesky , and Instagram .

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The haunted house is probably one of my favorite tropes across the whole horror genre. Book, film, video game; there is nothing creepier than big, empty spaces and being stalked by something unseen. Whether it’s a massive multi-room building like a hotel or apartment building, a creaky old mansion, or an unassuming suburban home, haunted houses derive their horror from feelings of invasion and violation. Even in a hotel there is an expectation of safety and security, even more so in the apartment or house you inhabit. The monsters are supposed to be outside. But in haunted house books the monsters are inside, with you, violating that sense of security.

There is also the fact that hauntings in books often either stem from or cause domestic disruption, further destabilizing the interior of the home and annihilating any feelings of being safe or protected. Even the Gothic romances, from which the modern haunting story stems, were about the inversion and disruption of the domestic space. So their modern descendants come by it rightly. There is also a good deal to be said with regards to the relation between women, hauntings, and domestic spaces, and if that is an area which interests you make sure you check out Sarah Smeltzer’s post on Women, Trauma, and Haunted Houses .

Looking out your window and seeing something staring back at you is scary. But lying in bed and hearing something move inside your house? That’s always going to be worse. Thankfully, there are a whole slew of writers who have shared that sentiment! When it comes to haunted house books we have plenty of scares to fill our shelves.

30 of the Best Haunted House Books

“Classic” Haunted House Books

I’m fudging the term “classic” for this category, but there are a number of semi-legendary books that make up the roots of the lineage of modern haunted house books.

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

I’m guessing that most of you are familiar with some version of this creepy Henry James novella about the young governess and her two beautiful but strange charges, whether you’ve read the actual text or seen one of the film adaptations. As far as haunted house books go, this is definitely a “classic.” Also, Turn of the Screw seems to be the inspiration behind season two of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix ( The Haunting of Bly House  now, technically), so you may as well read up while we (im)patiently wait for 2020.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

I can’t leave Hell House off this list, but I also cannot include it without recommending that you read with caution. Matheson’s haunted house book was published in 1971, and belongs to that horror publishing of the ’70s and ’80s. Its contents are graphic, heavily sexual in nature, and (given its publication date) completely lack any modern sentiment. As a result a lot of readers find it rough, or downright offensive. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a well known contribution to the history haunted house books. Plotwise, it’s pretty familiar: the house’s owner invites a psychiatrist and two psychics into the house to investigate the existence of the afterlife. What could go wrong? (Besides everything.)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This book, okay? Atmospheric I expected. Queer icon Theodora I expected. To be sincerely freaked out while stuck on a plane at 30,000 feet, I did not expect. But at least I could be sure that the plane wasn’t haunted. If you’ve only seen the (admittedly awesome) Netflix adaptation, do pick up a copy of Jackson’s original novel and give it a read. Hill House is frightening in all its various forms, text and film, as it torments the protagonist Eleanor, and all others unfortunate enough to inhabit its walls.

The House Next Door by Anne River Siddons

Haunted houses don’t always have to be old and steeped in dark history. Siddons’s  The House Next Door  is about a beautiful new house, and is told not from the perspective of this house’s inhabitants but rather through that of the neighbors, Colquitt and Walter Kennedy. They are witness to the accidents and tragedies that come to surround the new house and afflict its inhabitants.

Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco

Burnt Offerings doesn’t get a whole lot of attention these days, and when people do talk about Marasco’s novel it is usually in relation to the book’s influence on Stephen King’s The Shining . But Marasco’s novel preceded all of the big haunted house books of its decade, including not just King’s book but Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror as well, so it deserves recognition in its own right as a sort of ur-text for haunted houses of the later 20th century. In Burnt Offerings , Ben and Marian Rolfe accept an offer to rent a mansion in upstate New York for a fantastically low price (nothing suspicious there…); the only catch is that they are responsible for preparing meals for the mysterious, elderly Mrs. Allardyce who lives unseen in a distant wing of the house. (I’m sure it’s fine. Really.)

Side note: the cover on this Valancourt reissue is gorgeous.

The Shining by Stephen King

Speaking of The Shining , would any haunted house book list be complete without King’s famous haunted house (or in this case haunted hotel) novel? Somehow there’s something even creepier about a building as large and rambling as an antique hotel being haunted. It lacks the intimacy of a home haunting, but there are just so many more places for scary things to hide. And when Jack Torrance and his family get snowed in at the massive Overlook Hotel things start to get really off-kilter.

Haunted House Books for Adults

As you may have noticed in the previous section, “classic” haunted house books are pretty darn white. It’s unsurprising, but it’s not great. Thankfully, the haunted house never dies (get it?), and the modern horror genre has a much more diverse selection of inhabitable horrors on offer. You might recognize two of these titles from my recent list of horror by authors of color, but they’re both such great examples of the haunted house plot that I couldn’t leave off this list.

The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

I have heard that this book is really scary. The synopsis is ominous enough, to be sure, but apparently the book itself is just chilling. If you get around to reading it before me definitely tweet me and let me know. Dahlia has been assigned by her father, owner of Music City Salvage, to head out to the massive Withrow estate to which the owner, Augusta, has decided to sell the salvage rights. It seems like a fairly straightforward job. Until Dahlia and her crew turn up a body on the property, Augusta stops taking their calls, and a violent storm cuts off the road (and power) to the property. Leaving them trapped, but not alone.

The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson

Heads up readers, this book comes with an author-provided content warning for discussions about sexual assault. Riley Thomas is a medium who really wishes she wasn’t. A freaky accident when she was a kid, involving a malevolent spirit and that teen terror favorite the Ouija board, has left her with an aversion to all things frightening. Until a friend pressures her into attending a paranormal investigation of the Jordanville Ranch. Riley has no interest in using her skills to speak to the ranch’s supposed ghosts, but the restless spirit of a child, and someone out to keep the ranch owner’s secrets buried by any means necessary, may leave her no choice.

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn

Crime writer Lucas Graham’s life is falling apart. Both his marriage and his career are crumbling, and he needs an opportunity to turn things around. Enter convicted cult leader Jeffrey Halcomb. Having been offered exclusive access to the notorious Halcomb, Lucas decides to begin his research where the story began: an ordinary looking farm house on the coast of Washington State. But the history he has come to explore is dark, and restless. This book (and really anything Ahlborn has written) comes highly recommended by the horror community, so definitely considered adding it to your list.

The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike

I talked a bit about The Graveyard Apartment in my last post but I knew I couldn’t leave it off this list of haunted house books. You know what’s scarier than a haunted house, and maybe even scarier than a haunted hotel? A entire haunted apartment block. In The Graveyard Apartment , a young couple with a dark secret move into a new apartment building with their daughter. The other tenants begin to move out one by one as terrors plague the building, until only the couple is left alone with whatever is lurking in the building basement. Say it with me now: Yikes.

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

Isn’t that cover fabulous? Those eyes are freaking me out, it’s great. Cantero is one of those authors that keeps skipping across my radar, usually in reference to Meddling Kids , his eldritch, Scooby Doo-esque book (oh yeah). But while Meddling Kids is high on my to-read list, I’ve also had my eyes on his haunted house book, The Supernatural Enhancements . When A. finds out he has inherited a massive house deep in the Virginian woods, it’s unexpected, not to mention suspicious. Sure enough, he and his companion Niamh realize all too soon that there is more to Axton House than meets the eye. Its past is dark and full of secrets. I’m super excited to get my hands on this one, because apparently it’s a mixed-media book (letters, security footage, journal entries, etc.), which is so my jam.

Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal

Pinky lost her mother during a border crossing from Pakistan when she was just a baby, and has been raised ever since by her grandmother, Maji, growing up in Bombay with Maji and Pinky’s uncle’s family. When Pinky opens a mysterious door one day in the midst of a powerful monsoon, she releases the ghosts of a drowned infant and its nursemaid. Now Pinky’s family must come to terms with this secret, and all it entails.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Oops, snuck an exorcism book into a list of haunted house books. But look, houses get down right spooky with demons in them. Particularly the Barrett household, when their 14-year-old daughter begins to exhibit symptoms of what seems to be acute schizophrenia. As things get progressively worse and Marjorie’s doctors prove unable to help her, the family is forced to turn to the Church for help. But with bills piling up as fast as horrors, they also agree to the priest’s suggestion that they allow in a production company that is eager to pay them for the right to film Marjorie’s exorcism.

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

Is your house bigger on the inside? If it’s not also blue and box-shaped on the outside, you may have a problem. The protagonist of Mapping the Interior is a 12-year-old whose house is bigger on the inside. One night he follows someone—someone who can’t or shouldn’t be there—through a door to a part of the house that can’t or shouldn’t be there. But when he sets out to map the unknown corners of his home, he ends up putting himself and his little brother in danger.

The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

This addition to the list was recommended to me as being just absolutely read-through-your-fingers frightening. In one of those plots familiar to many haunted house books, Julie and James need to get out of the city and end up settling in a house in the country. But what was supposed to be a fresh start for the troubled couple soon turns into a nightmare. As the house seems to misshape and decay before their eyes, Julie and James rush to discover its history before they follow suit.

The Good House by Tananarive Due

This is the other book I migrated over from my diverse horror list because honestly it just sounds like too good to not include here. Angela Toussaint has not been back to her grandmother’s house—the house the townspeople of Sacajawea, Washington, call the Good House—in two years. Not since her son Corey died. But she’s finally ready to return and discover the truth—about Corey’s death, about her Grandmother, and about the Good House.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is perhaps best known for her historical novels Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet , but I was delighted to find that she had also written a haunted house book. Whether there’s an actual ghost in this one, or just a Gothic ghost (which is to say a ghost which is only a metaphor, or which has some other real world explanation) remains to be seen. Hundreds Hall, home to the Ayres family, may be haunted by nothing so much as its own history. Its owners—a mother and her two children—are struggling to keep up with the house’s slow decline, as well as with the changing world outside. But there may be something within the walls of Hundred’s Hall that’s every bit as frightening as change.

The Restless  by Chanel Harry

Trying to save their marriage (seeing a theme here re: hauntings and domestic disruptions?), Stephen and Marlo Coleman and their twin girls are moving. Marlo has inherited an old house through the family trust, and the only caveat is that they have to take care of her old Aunt Anabelle who still lives in the house. But as we’ve learned by now, mysteriously inherited big old houses in the country equal trouble. Anabelle keeps talking about a family curse, and saying she sees her dead daughter walking the halls, and strange happenings in the house itself seem to support her claims.

Haunted House Books for Young Adults

Being a teen is hard enough without being haunted.

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Mixed media haunted house books are their own little niche of found footage and diary entries and I love them. Two decades have passed since a fire destroyed Elmbridge High and killed three students. Maybe four, as Carly Johnson hasn’t been seen since. The main suspect is a girl called Kaitlyn, whose diary was discovered amid the ruins. In its pages lies the truth behind the fiery inferno that consumed the school that night, and the truth about what happened to Carly Johnson.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

I mean you can’t really make a list of YA haunted house books without this one. I think there’s even room to argue that Anna Dressed in Blood was one of the books that kickstarted the modern resurgence of YA horror fiction (but let’s save that for another day). It’s the epitome of haunted house stories, complete with creepy old Victorian and a vengeful, bloody spirit. Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter, born and bred, and he travels the country with his mother and cat, seeking out and destroying malicious spirits. When it comes to tracking down a local they call Anna Dressed in Blood, it should be business as usual, but this vengeful spirit is unlike any he’s ever encountered. And she’s the first to spare his life.

The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

YA haunted house books have a real obsession with spooky Victorian houses. Not that I can blame them—as far as architectural choices go, Victorian is a doozy. It can either be your Grandma’s cozy house, or it can be a freaking suburban Crimson Peak. Lucy Acosta and her cousin Margaret grew up in what was, apparently, one of the latter. Her mother died when she was just a baby, then her aunt vanished while walking in the woods, and now Margaret is spending too much time in the attic. Where, she says, she can hear the whispers of her dead mother in the walls.

The Fall  by Bethany Griffin

Retelling of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” anyone? I mean, do I even need to say more? Is there a more classic “this house has serious issues” story out there? The Fall is told from the point of view of Madeline, who thought she had succeeded in avoiding her fate as an Usher. It turns out it’s harder than she thought to escape the past, but if Madeline cannot find a way out of Usher House, with her brother in tow, and pull the wretched building down behind her, she’s going to end up just like all the other Ushers before her: young, mad, and cursed.

Amity by Micol Ostow

Oh Amityville, source of eternal terror in the heart of New England. First there’s Connor, who moves to Amity with his family and starts experiencing dark, horrifying nightmares. Nightmares he’d kind of like to make come true. Then there’s Gwen, ten years later, who moves to Amity with her family to get a new start. But she too is haunted by terrible visions as the house begins to manipulate her into playing its deadly game. Because make no mistake, Amity is alive, hungry, and ready to use Connor and Gwen to get what she wants.

The Haunted by Danielle Vega

I haven’t read any of Vega’s books yet, but I’ve heard that her debut novel Merciless was seriously cringe inducing, so I expect good things from The Haunted as well. Hendricks isn’t super keen on the boring small town her parents just moved her too, and she expects little by way of excitement. Then it turns out that the house they chose as their fixer-upper? Haunted. Not that Hendricks believes that, of course. At least not until things start to go from boring to bad, and from bad to worse.

Haunted House Books for Middle Graders

Some of the books that are still high on my scare list are the books I read as a kid. Just because a book was written for middle graders doesn’t mean it can’t scare your pants off.

The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn

Hand to heart, I will be a Mary Downing Hahn fan until the day I die. Her books are scary when you’re in the age category they were written for, and then you read them as an adult and you find all these horrifying connotations that went over your head as a kid. In The Girl in the Locked Room , Jules and her family move into an old, abandoned house (as you do when you apparently have no sense of self preservation). Right away Jules can sense something is wrong. She can’t stop thinking about the room upstairs with the locked door, and the pale face she keeps seeing in the window.

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

This book is described in the synopsis as “gently Gothic,” and honestly that just everything I want in life. Olivia Stellatella, however, would like her life to be more “generally normal” than “gently Gothic.” After her mother leaves, her father moves her and her grandmother into a creepy old concert hall, where Olivia’s only friend is a stray cat named Igor. To make matters worse, the place is haunted and the ghosts need Olivia’s help. The concert hall is in danger of being torn down, and if Olivia can’t save it they will be trapped as spirits forever.

The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton

Rule number one of hauntings: where the history is darkest, the ghosts are strongest. And the history in Thomas’s new house is dark. Legend says that it was once a stop on the Underground Railroad, and that two escaped slaves and the abolitionist who owned the house, Dies Drear, were murdered there. Now the ghosts of the three walk the house forever, trapped by their terrible fate. First published in 1968, The House of Dies Drear is actually the oldest book on this list! But thankfully, the book’s receipt of an Edgar Award, and its status to many as a classic of MG fiction, have ensured that it remains in print for future generations.

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Tessa Woodward’s family has dragged her away from her home in warm, sunny Florida, and plopped her in the middle of Chicago. Cold, wet Chicago. Then, to make matters worse? Her new house turns out to be haunted, and the ghost seems to be trying to communicate with Tessa. There’s a secret buried in the house on Shady Street, and with the help of some new friends Tessa sets out to discover what it is, and why the ghost chose her.

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

Can we set up a charity fund for all these poor MG main characters being moved into haunted houses by their oblivious parents? Harper’s definitely going to need some help getting out of the mess that comes with her creepy new house. Rumor has it the house is haunted, and from day one Harper can feel that something is wrong. A feeling that seems to be validated when her little brother Michael starts acting strangely. And then there are the memories that Harper can’t access, memories that might help her make sense of what is happening if she can just make herself remember.

Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller

Honestly, if your new house is called Witheringe House? There’s no way it’s not going to be haunted. And, sure enough, from the day that Elizabeth and her friend Zenobia arrive, strange things begin happening at Witheringe House. What exactly is in the forbidden East Wing? And are the vines in that wallpaper moving? Zenobia seems to thrive on the strangeness, but Elizabeth is less enthusiastic as it becomes clear that something is seriously wrong with Witheringe House.

Still not enough scares? Make sure you check out our Horror Archives for more recommendations.

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Moscow’s 9 most unusual houses

Ship House. 2, Bolshaya Tulskaya Str. // Built in 1981 by the USSR Ministry of Atomic Industry, this is one of the few buildings in Moscow that can withstand a nuclear explosion. The foreman who oversaw its construction spent his entire life building only nuclear reactors, which left its mark on this house. To prevent it from “folding up” in the event of an explosion, there are no 90° angles in this seismically stable house — only 87° or 93°; the thickness of the glass panes is a unique 0.23 inches. It is called the “Ship” because of its huge size (1312 feet long, 164 feet high) and encircling balconies that resemble decks.

Ship House. 2, Bolshaya Tulskaya Str. // Built in 1981 by the USSR Ministry of Atomic Industry, this is one of the few buildings in Moscow that can withstand a nuclear explosion. The foreman who oversaw its construction spent his entire life building only nuclear reactors, which left its mark on this house. To prevent it from “folding up” in the event of an explosion, there are no 90° angles in this seismically stable house — only 87° or 93°; the thickness of the glass panes is a unique 0.23 inches. It is called the “Ship” because of its huge size (1312 feet long, 164 feet high) and encircling balconies that resemble decks.

Egg House. 1/11 Mashkova Str. // Moscow has always been famous for its crankiness and sweeping gestures, including architecture. One of the most striking and outrageous examples is the “Egg House”. Originally planned to be built in Bethlehem as a maternity ward, it was eventually put up in Moscow. Outwardly, it resembles a giant copy of a Fabergé egg. It is the only such house in the world.

Egg House. 1/11 Mashkova Str. // Moscow has always been famous for its crankiness and sweeping gestures, including architecture. One of the most striking and outrageous examples is the “Egg House”. Originally planned to be built in Bethlehem as a maternity ward, it was eventually put up in Moscow. Outwardly, it resembles a giant copy of a Fabergé egg. It is the only such house in the world.

Arseny Morozov Mansion (Reception House of the Russian Government), 16 Vozdvizhenka // This house was built in 1899 by order of young millionaire, dandy, and merchant family heir Arseny Morozov on a plot of land given to him by his mother on his 25th birthday. Even at the construction stage, the house, which was executed in a Moorish style unprecedented for Moscow, became the butt of ridicule and criticism. When it was finished, legend has it that his vexed mother’s words were: “Only I used to know that you’re a fool, now the whole of Moscow will know!”

Arseny Morozov Mansion (Reception House of the Russian Government), 16 Vozdvizhenka // This house was built in 1899 by order of young millionaire, dandy, and merchant family heir Arseny Morozov on a plot of land given to him by his mother on his 25th birthday. Even at the construction stage, the house, which was executed in a Moorish style unprecedented for Moscow, became the butt of ridicule and criticism. When it was finished, legend has it that his vexed mother’s words were: “Only I used to know that you’re a fool, now the whole of Moscow will know!”

Nautilus Trade Center, 25 Nikolskaya Str. // In the early 2000s, this mall became Moscow's new “Morozov Mansion” — lambasted by everyone for its vulgarity. The pretentious postmodern architecture seems to jut out of an edifice on one of Moscow’s oldest streets, but the place once sited the Vladimir Gates of the Kitai-Gorod Wall and the Chapel of St. Panteleimon — buildings that were also rich in gaudy architectural details. Furthermore, the region was always a hotbed of commerce, for which reason a shopping center is quite apropos. Who knows, maybe in future Nautilus — like Morozov’s house before it — will become a feature of classic Moscow architecture.

Nautilus Trade Center, 25 Nikolskaya Str. // In the early 2000s, this mall became Moscow's new “Morozov Mansion” — lambasted by everyone for its vulgarity. The pretentious postmodern architecture seems to jut out of an edifice on one of Moscow’s oldest streets, but the place once sited the Vladimir Gates of the Kitai-Gorod Wall and the Chapel of St. Panteleimon — buildings that were also rich in gaudy architectural details. Furthermore, the region was always a hotbed of commerce, for which reason a shopping center is quite apropos. Who knows, maybe in future Nautilus — like Morozov’s house before it — will become a feature of classic Moscow architecture.

Copper House, 3 Butikovsky Lane. // Built within the “Golden Mile,” historically the most expensive area of Moscow, this three-block residential house of 20 apartments was admitted to the Moscow Museum of Architecture’s collection of finest buildings in 2003-2004. It is faced with prepatinated copper plates and is one of the most expensive blocks in Moscow.

Copper House, 3 Butikovsky Lane. // Built within the “Golden Mile,” historically the most expensive area of Moscow, this three-block residential house of 20 apartments was admitted to the Moscow Museum of Architecture’s collection of finest buildings in 2003-2004. It is faced with prepatinated copper plates and is one of the most expensive blocks in Moscow.

Stolnik House, 5 Maly Levshinskiy Lane. // Stolnik stands among the old lanes of Arbat Street, still home to places where Pushkin once resided. This residential house made of glass and metal literally explodes the architectural environment. However, there is something vaguely classical about it, namely the three-part symmetric layout and “Corinthian column” motif.

Stolnik House, 5 Maly Levshinskiy Lane. // Stolnik stands among the old lanes of Arbat Street, still home to places where Pushkin once resided. This residential house made of glass and metal literally explodes the architectural environment. However, there is something vaguely classical about it, namely the three-part symmetric layout and “Corinthian column” motif.

Kitezh Business Center, 3-7 Kievskaya Str. // This business center resembles the Titanic. The unique shape is the result of the complex internal structure — many of the shafts and stairwells are inclined and curved. Such a project would be beyond many architects, but Dmitry Bush has been building stadiums and ice rinks in Russia for many years.

Kitezh Business Center, 3-7 Kievskaya Str. // This business center resembles the Titanic. The unique shape is the result of the complex internal structure — many of the shafts and stairwells are inclined and curved. Such a project would be beyond many architects, but Dmitry Bush has been building stadiums and ice rinks in Russia for many years.

Melnikov House, 10 Krivoarbatsky Lane. // This single-unit house, built by the great Soviet avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov for his family, is today an architectural monument of national significance. It is unique for its shape — two intersecting cylinders each truncated by a third of its radius — and its hexagonal window apertures encircling the entire circumference of the building. There are 60 windows in total, while the apertures in the walls number more than 130 — all stuffed with brick and construction debris (not a single wheelbarrow of waste was removed from the site!), but able to be unblocked to create a new window anywhere in the walls. Melnikov placed such windows in all the walls so that his hand never overshadowed a blueprint in his studio. The internal area of the house is very modest — a mere 2691 ft². Melnikov’s descendants live here to this day.

Melnikov House, 10 Krivoarbatsky Lane. // This single-unit house, built by the great Soviet avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov for his family, is today an architectural monument of national significance. It is unique for its shape — two intersecting cylinders each truncated by a third of its radius — and its hexagonal window apertures encircling the entire circumference of the building. There are 60 windows in total, while the apertures in the walls number more than 130 — all stuffed with brick and construction debris (not a single wheelbarrow of waste was removed from the site!), but able to be unblocked to create a new window anywhere in the walls. Melnikov placed such windows in all the walls so that his hand never overshadowed a blueprint in his studio. The internal area of the house is very modest — a mere 2691 ft². Melnikov’s descendants live here to this day.

Department for Brain Research of the Neurology Center under the Russian Academy of Sciences, 5-7 Obukha Lane. // Built in 1914 in the era of art nouveau, this building is a former Evangelical hospital for the poor. In Soviet times, it housed the Brain Institute, which primarily studied the brains of prominent (and deceased) state and public figures: Lenin, Mayakovsky, Landau, Sakharov, Michurin, Gorky, and others. Of all the houses in Moscow, this building most resembles a gloomy castle from a gothic novel or vampire legend, especially in overcast weather.

Department for Brain Research of the Neurology Center under the Russian Academy of Sciences, 5-7 Obukha Lane. // Built in 1914 in the era of art nouveau, this building is a former Evangelical hospital for the poor. In Soviet times, it housed the Brain Institute, which primarily studied the brains of prominent (and deceased) state and public figures: Lenin, Mayakovsky, Landau, Sakharov, Michurin, Gorky, and others. Of all the houses in Moscow, this building most resembles a gloomy castle from a gothic novel or vampire legend, especially in overcast weather.

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72 Fun & Unusual Things to Do in Moscow

fun things to do in Moscow

Sure, Moscow is the Russian political capital and the nation’s most populous city, but describing it as such couldn’t be any further from the truth. More accurately, Moscow is a city of contrasts.

It exudes history — its Kremlin dates back centuries, nodding to royalty and leadership old and now, while the famed Red Square, the poster child of the city, blends striking color with ancient tradition and religion.

On the other hand, it’s a city of modern pop culture and towering skyscrapers; a place where you’ll come across new-age museums, arts centers, manmade parks, and an efficient transportation system that’s one of the most beautiful in Europe.

It’s a city of longstanding culture — the Bolshoi Theater is an international symbol for excellence in classical dance, while Russia’s National Ballet Company remains renowned worldwide — as well as upbeat nightlife, with some of the world’s most celebrated rooftop bars and nightclubs.

While it’s a city filled with opposites, there remains no shortage of things to do in Moscow for all types of travelers — from those who want cultural immersion to those looking for an epic night out, you’ll be spoiled for choice. And if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of suggestions!

The Moscow Kremlin

If there’s any particular district begging to be the first place you visit on your trip, it’s the Kremlin.

Built in the 16th century by Ivan the Terrible, the UNESCO-listed area has since become the heart of Russia’s capital city, where you’ll find several churches, palaces, and other noteworthy buildings.

We’ll dive into each of its main attractions in a second, but regardless of what you visit, try to make it to the Kremlin in time for sunset — because seeing its golden domes glinting in the late-afternoon light makes for one spectacular tourist photo!

Click here to learn about Kremlin tickets prices .

1 – Admire the abundance of Kremlin towers | the Kremlin

Kremlin towers, Moscow

As your eyes dart down the towering red-brick Kremlin wall, the first thing you’ll notice is its large towers of all different styles and sizes.

With a whopping 20 separate minarets towering above the historic area, each with its own name, colors, features and history, a guided tour to learn each of their fascinating stories is a must.

To give you a little taste, the Konstantin-Yeleninskaya Tower once housed a torture chamber. Saviour’s Tower at the main entrance boasts a famous chiming clock, the Secret Tower houses a secret escape tunnel, and the Trinity Tower is the tallest of them all.

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2 – Visit the enormous Grand Kremlin Palace | the Kremlin

Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow

A remarkable attraction in terms of both beauty and history, the Grand Kremlin Palace is an ornate rococo-style building that was commissioned during the reign of Nicholas I, and today acts as the official residence of none other than the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Perched atop Borovitsky Hill, its 125-meter-long facade is unmissable, making for impressive photos.

Take note: guided tours are few and far between, so you’ll have to book a few weeks in advance if you want to check out the decorated inner sanctum.

Directions in Google Maps

3 – People-watch in Cathedral Square | the Kremlin

Cathedral Square, Moscow

One of the most popular areas in all of Moscow (sometimes called Sobornaya Square), with multiple massive churches at its heart, Cathedral Square is flanked by several historic buildings and is never shy of a tourist crowd.

The three main churches — each spectacular works of architecture in their own right — are the Cathedral of the Assumption (the oldest and the biggest of all Kremlin churches), the 16th-century Cathedral of the Archangel Michael (known for its beautiful Corinthian gables and turrets), and the golden-domed Cathedral of the Annunciation (which connects to the Grand Kremlin Palace’s main building).

Throw in the 60-meter-high Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the lesser-known Church of the Twelve Apostles , the Church of the Deposition of the Virgin’s Robe (underrated yet famous for its marvelous stained-glass windows), and the medieval residence-turned-museum that is The Patriarch’s Palace, and you can see why this square is regularly number one on any visitor’s list of things to do in Moscow.

4 – See a show at the State Kremlin Palace | the Kremlin

State Kremlin Palace, Moscow

Just like the Grand Kremlin Palace , this theater and prestigious concert hall — with its grandiose facade and multiple sculptures — is another ornate building that’s worth admiring.

A popular place to hold conferences, the State Kremlin Palace was originally built as part of a larger complex for Communist Party meetings, but today hosts some of the biggest events in Moscow — we’re talkin’ sold-old ballet performances, world-famous concerts, opera shows, and festivals.

Check the website to see what’s on the calendar for your visit!

5 – See centuries worth of national treasures at the Armoury Chamber | the Kremlin

Armoury Chamber, Moscow

For anyone with an interest in historical weaponry and armor, this museum — which dates back to the early 1500s when it was created as the royal armory — is a must-see.

The Armoury Chamber (as well as the Diamond Fund Exhibition) is home to some of the most valuable objects that were originally owned by Russian monarchs — from jeweled heirlooms and intricate boxes to ornately decorated pistols and swords — many of which are centuries old.

Within the armoury chamber, you’ll also find the Russian historical regalia, a collection of artifacts that belonged to Russian tsars and emperors between the 13th and 20th centuries, highlighted by the Ivory Throne and the Monomakh’s Cap.

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6 – Step inside the Palace of the Facets | the Kremlin

Palace of the Facets, Moscow

The Palace of the Facets is one of the most underrated buildings in all of Moscow, largely because it’s not as widely promoted or photographed even though its exterior adorns some postcards.

From the outside, it blends in with the crowd. But step inside and you’ll discover a world of beauty and wonder — its frescoes, golden columns and enormous rooms are a sight to behold

The Palace of the Facets is not only a piece of art (literally, with painted walls), dating back over 500 years, but also acted as the dining hall for the Tsars.

7 – Feel small next to the Tsar Bell | the Kremlin

Tsar Bell, Moscow

Making Philadelphia’s famous Liberty Bell look diminutive in size, this monument , which never actually functioned as a bell due to its immense size (at 205 tons and standing 20.1 feet high!), has found fame in recent years for being the heaviest attraction inside The Kremlin.

With the bronze landmark’s claim to fame of being the biggest bell in the world, it presents as a great, quick photo op when roaming through the Kremlin.

8 – Check out the Senate Palace | the Kremlin

Senate Palace, Moscow

Another architectural masterpiece that’s tucked away within the Kremlin, this palace is famous for being one of Moscow’s most beautiful buildings — its yellow façade curves around to face inward and truly engulf anyone who stands near it.

Built back in the late 1700s, today it houses the Russian presidential administration and, unfortunately for us, is off limits to the general public.

Still, admiring it from outside, with the nearby Tsar Cannon, is certainly good enough.

9 – Grab a photo in front of the Tsar Cannon | the Kremlin

Tsar Cannon, Moscow

One of Moscow’s most iconic symbols, Tsar Cannon (or Royal Cannon) is a cannon that was manufactured in 1586 and resides — yep, you guessed it — within The Kremlin.

Following the theme of the enormous Tsar Bell, it weighs a whopping 39 tons — making it one of the world’s largest cannons even though it has never been shot.

And while its size may be impressive on its own, what makes this cannon so special is that it’s adorned with intricate carvings, ornaments, inscriptions, and a figure of a horse-riding Tsar Feodor the Bellringer.

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10 – Join a tour of the Terem Palace | the Kremlin

Terem Palace, Moscow

A stunning, fairytale-like palace that’s steeped in history and detail, the five-story Terem Palace is one of the most underrated attractions within The Kremlin. However, as part of the official residence of the Russian President, much of it is off-limits to snap-happy tourists.

That said, there’s still plenty to be seen in the accessible areas by joining a group tour: a beautiful white-stone carved staircase; curved, decorated, and painted ceilings; and an enchanting low-vaulted Antechamber with lancet windows.

The Red Square

As we move away from the Kremlin, our next stop is the most photographed, picturesque public area in the country.

Flanked by gorgeous, colorful towers and buildings, the Red Square is the most famous square in all of Russia — and one that’s steeped in history, patriotism, and communist symbolism.

Home to some of Moscow’s greatest landmarks including St Basil’s Cathedral (featuring its iconic onion domes), Lenin Mausoleum, GUM department store (an architectural masterpiece that is the most famous shopping mall in Russia), The State History Museum, and more, it’s not just a sight to see in Moscow but also one that has been seen by hundreds of millions from around the world.

11 – Make your way inside St. Basil’s Cathedral | Red Square

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

Built back in the early 1500s, this quirky-looking, 65-meter-tall Orthodox church is so unique and detailed that it’s earned its place as one of 16 UNESCO cultural sites in Russia — and, thanks to many Hollywood productions like Bond: Skyfall (2012), has only continued to increase in fame.

Its exterior boasts multi-colored domes crowned with golden onion top spires. Meanwhile, inside, you’ll find nine small, separate chapels, and plenty of decorated walls and windows — all best viewed as part of a walking tour of Red Square.

  • Red Square tours in Moscow

12 – Visit the State Historical Museum | Red Square

State Historical Museum, Moscow

One of seven museums that can be found around the expansive Red Square, the State Historical Museum is one of Moscow’s most revered.

Housed in a neoclassical building (the same as GUM), it features more than 4 million items relating to Russian history — making it so vast and incredible that you’ll need at least two hours inside to see just a fraction.

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Marshal Georgy Zhukov Monument, a towering horse-riding statue of arguably the most famous and heroic Soviet military commander of WWII, which can be found in front of the museum.

13 – Shop till you drop at GUM | Red Square

GUM department store, Moscow

The official state department store of Russia, having opened in 1893 and become one of Moscow’s most iconic attractions for shopaholics over the years, is known for its gorgeous architecture that looks more like a palace than anything else.

Entering through its massive golden doors, you’ll be surprised to find an extensive shopping center with more than 100 luxury and world-renowned brands of clothing and accessories for men, women, and youngsters.

Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, stop into the Gastronom №1 for a bite to eat or take a stroll through its corridors to appreciate the building’s history and beauty.

14 – Visit Lenin’s Mausoleum | Red Square

Lenin's Mausoleum, Moscow

Another iconic Red Square attraction is Lenin’s Mausoleum, a small yet foreboding building that houses the embalmed corpse of Communist leader Vladimir Lenin (who led Russia through the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917).

Opened in 1930 after his death and standing at more than 12 meters tall, it presents as both a unique and macabre site — and, considering the life-like nature of the body, certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.

Note: Entrance is free of charge, but expect to be searched by security before being allowed in.

15 – Ride the Moscow Metro, enjoying the beautiful stations along the way

Moscow Metro, Russia

As we leave the Red Square, the next cab off the rank is Moscow’s unbelievable artistic Metro network (rivaled only in beauty by that of Stockholm). Constructed between the 1930s and 1950s, its stations were built by hand with a wide range of artistic themes — from socialist realist to Slavic pagan.

Tips: The best way to experience them is as part of a Moscow Metro tour, which can be booked online. However, if you prefer exploring solo, then make sure to visit the Mayakovskaya Metro Station which is known for its seemingly endless archways.

You may also check out Dostoyevskaya, named after a famous writer with murals depicting his stories. The Ploshchad Revolutsii Metro Station is another option where a handful of Socialist statues provide a wonderful contrast to the red marble arches.

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16 – Spend the afternoon exploring the State Tretyakov Gallery

State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Boasting the reputation of being one of the world’s leading art museums, the State Tretyakov Gallery is home to a stunning collection that features well over 100,000 works from Russia and around the globe.

Featuring everything from ancient Russian icons to Soviet-era artifacts and contemporary pieces, the museum also houses a charming green garden perfect for recharging.

Visitors are advised to allocate at least three hours inside to properly appreciate everything on show — or consider booking a private VIP tour to skip the lines and focus on the best sections.

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17 – Get out of town to the Tsaritsyno Museum & Nature Reserve

Tsaritsyno Museum & Nature Reserve, Moscow

Located a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the Red Square, this incredible attraction is both a palatial museum and cultural center, with an enchanting open-air garden to boot — spread across 405 hectares altogether.

Boasting beautiful 18th-century baroque architecture, it was originally built as a country retreat for Catherine the Great. However, it has since been transformed into an outdoor museum with several museums inside — including exhibits dedicated to Russian history and culture.

18 – Tick off the main haunts with a hop-on hop-off bus ride

bus tours in Moscow

Short on time or just can’t be bothered walking around anymore? Then make sure to check out the double-decker Hop-on-Hop-off Bus, a convenient and cheap way of seeing all the main attractions in one go.

With unlimited-ride tickets lasting between 24 and 72 hours, there’s plenty of flexibility to soak in must-see areas like Red Square, the Kremlin, Arbatskaya Square, Theatre Square, and the Red October neighborhood — and with a free audio tour (in English) throughout the ride, you’re sure to learn a thing or two as well.

Busses usually run every 15 minutes, with the full city loop taking roughly an hour — of course, you can disembark and reboard to your heart’s content.

  • bus tours in Moscow

19 – Learn about military history on Poklonnaya Hill

Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow

For an up-close and personal experience with the past, make sure to check out Poklonnaya Hill — a UNESCO World Heritage Site about 20 minutes out from the city center that’s home to several relics from Russia’s pre-revolutionary era.

It has everything from Great Patriotic War memorials dedicated to fallen soldiers of the Russian military forces, to the Eternal Flame and the Museum of Great Patriotic War. This is an unmissable opportunity for history buffs.

Hot tip: While you’re in the area, be sure to stop into the Victory Museum (the nation’s biggest military history museum) and check out the gold-tipped Church of St. George the Victorious .

20 – Get artsy at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

Home to one of the finest and most significant art collections in Russia, the highly-regarded Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts showcases everything from medieval icons and paintings. With over 500,000 pieces of works by renowned artists like Rembrandt, Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, Karl Bryullov and Rubens, the museum is undeniably one of the best things to do in Moscow for art lovers.

The museum also houses impressive exhibits dedicated to ancient Greece, archaeological collections, decorative arts and a 200,000-item Numismatic library.

21 – Take a charming stroll down Arbat Street

Arbat Street, Moscow

Boasting everything from galleries and craft stores to souvenir shops, cafes, and some of Russia’s finest restaurants and hotels — as well as top-notch street performers (like jugglers and caricaturists) — Arbat Street is one of Moscow’s most famous pedestrian hubs for good reason.

The entire walkway, flanked by colorful buildings, stretches about a kilometer through the historic district, making it the perfect start to any day of inner-city exploring.

22 – Lounge around at the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, Moscow

One of Moscow’s biggest and most beloved green spaces, Gorky Central Park is a must-visit for anyone looking to soak in some fresh air.

The park boasts 45 hectares of picturesque grassland, forests, Golitsinsky Ponds (home to squirrels and ducks), walking trails, fountains and the Neskuchny Garden. This place is also home to the wooden Olivkovy beach, a hot spot for photographers looking to appreciate the Moskva river.

Plenty of cafes line the well-manicured park, likewise public art projects and picnic spots and an open-air cinema in the summertime!

While a relaxing day in the gardens is never a bad idea, if you’re looking for something a little more interactive, there’s the 18-meter-tall Observation Platform and a handful of museums on site. The Gorky Park Museum , Muzeon Park of Arts , Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and New Tretyakov Gallery are all noteworthy stops within walking distance.

23 – Stare at the ceiling of the Christ the Savior Cathedral

Christ the Savior Cathedral, Moscow

On an easy stroll from the southwest side of the Kremlin, you’ll find a majestic memorial cathedral doused in history: the 5-golden-domed Christ the Savior Cathedral .

With a beautiful color-contrasting exterior that still falls short of the intricately painted inner walls and ceiling, this underrated (due to not being in Red Square with the other main cathedrals) attraction is a must for the bucket list.

24 – Zoom around town in a Soviet van

Soviet van tours in Moscow

If a hop-on-hop-off bus screams of cliche tourism, why not get a little more cultured by skirting around the city’s main haunts in a real, war-era soviet van?

Undeniably one of Russia’s most emblematic vehicles as both a symbol of a Soviet past and a comical cultural nod to its boring exterior (dubbed the “loaf of bread”), the UAZ-452 vans are iconic.

So whether you opt for a pub crawl, landmark sightseeing tour, or day of adventure with wintertime off-roading, be sure to ride shotgun in one of the loaves of bread at some stage!

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25 – See sharks up close at the Moskvarium

Moskvarium, Moscow

The mightiest aquarium in Europe (by size), the Moskvarium is an impressive modern space dedicated to the beauty and diversity of aquatic life.

Located right on the outskirts of Moscow’s city center (about 20 minutes drive from Red Square), this huge complex encompasses over 70 interactive exhibits. These include live shows, and the chance to go swimming with dolphins — that are sure to impress the whole family.

26 – Go underground at the Bunker 42 Cold War Museum

Bunker 42 Cold War Museum, Moscow

In the depths of Moscow’s shadow-strewn streets, hidden 65 meters beneath the tourist crowds are a Cold War-era bunker and former secret communications center.

Bunker 42 was built in 1955 as a nuclear-proof hideaway, but today you can book tours that reveal its secrets and stories — a must for the common history buff.

  • Bunker 42 tickets

27 – Immserve yourself in the soviet culture at the VDNKh theme park and exhibition space

VDNKh, Moscow

Sprawling across the Ostankinsky District, VDNKh is a massive open-air museum and theme park paying homage to Russian industry and Soviet values.

The enormous complex is decked out with several gold-clad statues and palatial pavilions, each uniquely designed to represent different Soviet interests and endeavors, such as geology and the space race.

Hot tip: For a wonderful view of the Moscow skyline, be sure to jump on the Ferris wheel after riding the small roller coasters and merry-go-round.

28 – Take a trip to the Kolomenskoye Palace

Kolomenskoye Palace, Moscow

Overlooking the sparkling Moskva River about 20 kiometers south of central Moscow, the postcard-worthy Kolomenskoye Palace is a former royal estate. It’s now open to the public as an extensive park with carefully-kept gardens, including one of Russia’s oldest white stone churches (the tent-looking UNESCO-listed Ascension Church ).

It has walking trails through peaceful wooded areas and gorgeous views out over the region from its high hilltop location. The park has long been considered one of the hidden gems when it comes to things to do in Moscow.

29 – Enjoy the view from the Ostankino TV Tower

Ostankino TV Tower. Moscow

With the coveted claim to fame of being the tallest free-standing structure in Europe (and 11th tallest in the world) — standing above the Empire State Building, for reference — the 540.1-meter-tall Ostankino Tower is picturesquely located next to Park Dubovaya Roshcha, not too far from VDNH, the Moskvarium, and the widespread Park Ostankind.

So long as you’re not left lighthearted by heights, the 337-meter-high observation deck is the go-to spot for panoramic views.

30 – Blast off at the Museum of Cosmonautics

Museum of Cosmonautics, Moscow

One for the space nerds and future astronauts, the Museum of Cosmonautics is dedicated to the history, present-day relevance, and future possibilities of space exploration. It provides a spectacular insight into the Soviet perspective of the 1960s space race.

Located on a lovely green site in one corner of VDNKh, the museum features an outdoor planetarium, interactive displays for children, as well as inside exhibits that showcase original spacecraft parts.

For the best experience, consider a pre-arranged tour that includes access to both the Museum and VDNKh.

31 – Complete your Moscow culinary experience with a food tour

food tours in Moscow

Foodies, listen up! Moscow has gained a reputation for being one of the finest cities in Europe for foodies, with an excellent range of restaurants and bars.

For those looking for a complete Moscow culinary experience that includes some of the best hidden gems and experiences, food tours are an ideal way to go.

Depending on your tour of choice, expect to sample a few Pelmeni (dumplings), Blini (wafer-thin pancakes), and world-famous Ponchiki doughnuts. Then wash it all down with some locally-distilled vodka or Nalivka (a sweet berry-infused liquor).

  • food tours in Moscow

32 – Smell the flowers at the Main Botanical Garden — the largest botanical garden in Europe

Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Constructed in 1945, the Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a 340-hectare space of plant collections and lakeside walkways to explore.

It’s one of those places that gets better as you make your way around it on foot (or even rollerblades). There are many well-kept gardens, beautiful ponds filled with turtles and waterfowl, a charming Japanese Garden and some very rare trees.

33 – Wander around the Novodevichy Monastery

Novodevichy Monastery, Moscow

The Novodevichy Convent and surrounding Kremlin-style walls combine to be one of Moscow’s most picturesque sites — a UNESCO-listed complex that was founded in the 1500s and includes an interweaving of churches, cathedrals, bell towers and a cemetery.

After admiring the buildings, check out the monastery which is surrounded by green spaces perfect for a stroll and a snack.

To learn all about its architecture and history, opt for a guided tour as recommended by most travelers.

34 – Ride the coasters at Family Park SKAZKA

Family Park SKAZKA, Moscow

If you’re traveling with youngsters who seem to never be able to burn off their energy then make a beeline for the Krylatskoye District neighborhood, home to the popular SKAZKA adventure park.

Kids can enjoy everything from bumper cars to the petting zoo, while parents might want to pop into one of the cafes or restaurants.

Even if you don’t have kids in tow, the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters invite thrill-seekers of all ages.

35 – Understand the deeper meanings of “Soviet Jew” at the Jewish Museum & Centre of Tolerance

Jewish Museum & Centre of Tolerance, Moscow

Opened in 2012, the Jewish Museum and Centre of Tolerance is a fascinating institution dedicated to exploring and honoring the diverse complex Russian-Jewish history and culture.

Explore every facet of the role of Russian Jewry throughout the centuries — including food, artifacts, religious beliefs and cultural traditions. Visitors can also see an array of exhibits made from testimonial footage, as well as a large collection of works of Jewish artists.

For history buffs, the museum dives into the intriguing role that Jewish soldiers played during World War II.

36 – Cruise down the Moscow River!

boat tours in Moscow

For those looking for a unique perspective on the city, there are stacks of tours (romantic, sightseeing, luxury-themed or party-vibed) that explore Moscow from its riverfront.

Take in some of the most iconic landmarks around the Kremlin and Gorky Park on a boat. Cruises can also take you underneath bridges, entertain you with live music and offer insights into the landmarks that pass by with live audio narration.

  • boat tours in Moscow

37 – Grab a table at Café Pushkin

Café Pushkin, Moscow

A favorite of many Muscovites, Cafe Pushkin on Tverskoy Boulevard is an intimate spot to enjoy some authentic Russian dishes.

It’s hand-picked by locals for its traditional décor resembling a nobleman’s house and charming atmosphere (thanks largely to the rustic bookshelves). You’ll find that the menu consists mainly of classic European cuisine mixed with a few local favorites. It’s complemented by a wooden bar with a fine collection of vintage wines and regular live music.

38 – Spend the day at the Karibiya Aquapark

Karibiya Aquapark, Moscow

After a hard day exploring the city, why not spend some time out to relax and unwind at one of Moscow’s largest water parks?

Karibiya has a handful of pools (including a heated salt-water spa) and fun but not too wild slides, plus a bowling alley for the kids, a fitness center and bar for the adults. There’s something to keep everyone entertained.

39 – Take a day trip to Sergiev Posad

Sergiev Posad day trips from Moscow

A photographer’s dream with blue-and-gold cupolas contrasted by snow-white walls, the ancient town of Sergiev Posad (just over an hour’s drive from Moscow) is a quaint tourist favorite. It’s famous for being home to one of Russia’s most important and sacred monasteries — the free-to-visit Trinity Lavra St. Sergius monastery complex.

Founded in 1340 AD by Saint Sergius, today it serves as an active monastery where visitors are free to attend daily services. Admire its truly remarkable artworks and historic museum collections.

  • Sergiev Posad day trip

40 – Spot starfish (and monkeys?) at the Crocus City Oceanarium

Crocus City Oceanarium, Moscow

One of the latest attractions in Moscow, Crocus City Mall’s iceberg-shaped  Oceanarium is a vast three-floor aquarium. It has more than 5,000 species swimming gracefully under one roof — not to mention the reptiles, birds, and monkeys that also call this place home.

Since the mall also boasts shopping centers, a pair of concert halls and a skating rink, there’s no shortage of activities on offer to whisk away a rainy day.

41 – Button-mash at the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines, Moscow

Where are the gamers at?

For anyone curious about the video games and technology of Russia’s yesteryear, there’s no better place to visit than this retro museum (complete with Soviet-era soda).

Filled with an impressive collection of more than 100 vintage arcade machines dating back as far as the late 1970s (like ”Pull the Turnip”), it’s sure to take you on a trip down memory lane.

42 – Take a walk through the Alexander Garden

Alexander Garden, Moscow

While the majority of Moscow’s other top attractions require a ticket or entry fee, there is at least one gem that doesn’t. It happens to be right on your doorstep if you’re staying anywhere near the Kremlin.

Alexander Garden (also known as Alexandrovsky Sad) is an expansive park that stretches the entire western wall of the Kremlin (nearly 1km in length). It’s filled to the brim with colorful flower beds, winding walkways and calming fountains.

Don’t miss the tomb of the Unknown Soldier while you’re there.

43 – Sign up for a dog sledding adventure!

dog sledding in Moscow

Cliche? Sure, maybe a little. Seriously fun? You better believe it!

Winter is coming, and that means it’s time to get out there and experience Russia the way only locals can — by dog sledding.

Typically lasting seven or eight hours, these outdoor adventures (which include hotel pick up and drop off) are a wonderful way to experience nature and immerse yourself in ancient Russian traditions — and hang out with a handful of adorable huskies, of course!

Seriously though, this is one of those things you’re going to want photos (and videos) for when you get back home because, really, words just wouldn’t do it justice.

44 – Walk beneath the Iberian Gate and Chapel

Iberian Gate and Chapel, Moscow

Facing away from the Red Square and linking Manezhnaya Square, the Iberian Gate and Chapel (sometimes called the Resurrection Gate) is overflowing with history. It acts as the spiritual entrance to the Red Square and the home of the wooden chapel that houses icons of the Iberian Virgin.

Many believe it is customary to kiss the Iberian icon before entering the gate and for boys to take off their hats. For an insight into the local culture, join a walking tour and learn more about the gate’s significance to religion and history.

To add to the importance, the gate is also the location of ‘Kilometer Zero’ — the official central point of Moscow.

45 – Play all day at the Dream Island theme park

Dream Island, Moscow

After opening its gates early in 2020, Dream Island earned itself the coveted title of being the largest indoor theme park in Europe (yep, that means it’s even open in the harsh winter).

It’s a delight for kids and adults alike. Throughout the park you’ll find an array of rides themed around classic cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pinocchio, the Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania and Hello Kitty. It also has charming and well-arranged streets that transport you to bustling cities like London and Barcelona!

Throw in live performances, plenty of eateries, a cinema and a hotel, and you can see why it’s become all the rage recently.

46 – Race against the clock in an escape room

escape rooms in Moscow

An unmissable and quick activity for any budding Sherlock Holmes out there, escape rooms challenge your mind and require wit, teamwork, and logic. Figure out the puzzles and escape from each room before time runs up.

Moscow’s escape room games usually last around 60 minutes and cover a range of themes (like a USSR Nuclear Bunker or even an outdoor, app-led scavenger game) — perfect for the whole family.

47 – Chill out by the Patriarch’s Ponds

Patriarch's Ponds, Moscow

Surrounded by residential buildings in the fancy downtown Presnensky District, the enormous (9,900 square meters, to be exact) the Patriarshiye Prudy is a beautiful oasis. It’s frequented by dog walkers, picnickers, artists and musicians alike.

In summertime, you’ll find people picnicking on the grassy banks or sunbathing by the ponds. In the winter, it transforms into a magical wonderland of snow and ice, morphing into a popular public skating rink.

Directions on Google Maps

48 – Go behind the scenes at Luzhniki Stadium

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

Moscow’s Lujniki Stadium is one of Europe’s biggest soccer complexes, capable of hosting some 80,000 fans with an electric-like atmosphere — as we saw during its phase as the main stadium of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Besides being the current home ground of Russia’s National Football Team, it also hosts concerts by some of the biggest international acts and was also the focal point of the 1980 Olympic Games.

If your trip doesn’t line up with any sellout matches, you can still join a backstage stadium tour that explores the dressing rooms, press conference room and the field.

49 – Head to Suzdal and Vladimir for a day

Suzdal and Vladimir day trips from Moscow

A fantastic option for anyone who wants to get out of the chaos of Moscow for a minute, these two towns are parts of the Golden Ring of ancient Russian cities. They present as perfect day trips, thanks to their rich history, diverse culture and white-drenched architecture.

In Suzdal , the Kremlin fortress is the main event, with the Cathedral of the Nativity (and its 13th-century Golden Doors) captivating visitors year after year. In Vladimir , the awe-inspiring Assumption Cathedral (Dormition Cathedral) teaks center stage, with its five golden domes making for a wonderful photo backdrop

Don’t feel like hiring a car? Take the hassle out of your getaway and book a pre-arranged tour that visits both ancient towns on the same day.

50 – Escape the crowds at the Botanic Gardens of Moscow State University

Botanic Gardens of Moscow State University, Moscow

Wielding the title of Russia’s oldest botanic garden, the Botanic Gardens of Moscow State University (founded in 1706) is a fantastic place to escape the city and learn about Russia’s rich flora.

The beautifully arranged garden boasts more than 6,000 plant species that span various climates across the world, allowing visitors to see everything from roses and tulips to cacti and bamboo trees!

51 – Climb inside a tank at the Kubinka Tank Museum

Kubinka Tank Museum, Moscow

A must-see for any military history buff, the Kubinka Tank Museum showcases dozens of tanks and armored vehicles from across the globe, with a particularly heavy focus on Soviet Union models (to be expected, right?).

The collection includes everything from Polish TKS tankettes to the only remaining Panzer VIII Maus, a captured WWI British Mark V and the Object 172 — as well as plenty of cannons, weapons and missiles.

Serving traditional Russian military meals and national staples, even the cafe-restaurant is military-themed!

52 – Sit front row at the Moscow International House of Music

Moscow International House of Music

A world-renowned performance complex on the picturesque Kosmodamianskaya Embankment, this state-of-the-art venue is best known for hosting Vladimir Spivakov’s Virtuosi of Moscow Chamber Orchestra. It showcases everything from classical concerts to jazz, folk music and more!

The venue’s three magnificent concert halls welcome an array of local and international performers. Check the website to see who’s taking center stage during your visit!

53 – Drift through fresh powder on a snowmobile!

snowmobiling in Moscow

While it’s not always winter (though if you want to make the most of your snowy trip, come between December and March), as soon as that first snowfall hits, it’s time for snowmobile tours. Make for a fantastic way to explore the out-of-the-way locations and magical forests beyond Moscow’s city limits.

Even if you’ve never ridden a ski-doo or snowmobile before, the friendly expert instructors will be with you every step of the way, with safety and enjoyment always priorities.

54 – Crank your head skywards in Moscow City

Moscow International Business Center, Moscow

A stark contrast to the ancient and colorful onion domes in the Red Square, Moscow City’s skyscape (aka the Moscow International Business Center ) is full of towering, modern glass-heavy (even twisting) skyscrapers. Many of which are vying at the top of the list of Europe’s tallest buildings.

At 374 meters tall and with 95 floors — and a wonderful restaurant on its 60th floor — the Moscow Federation Tower is a popular choice for tourists. Meanwhile, the 85th and 86th floor of the OKO Towers play host to a Russian restaurant and skating rink respectively.

Be sure to walk through the modern Bagration Bridge and, for the shopaholics, check out the stores and IMAX theater inside AFIMALL City.

55 – Check out Zaryadye Park

Zaryadye Park, Moscow

Within arm’s reach of the famed Red Square, the peaceful slice of greenery that is Zaryadye Park is a breath of beautiful and natural air amidst the concrete jungle. It’s the first new city park to be opened in Moscow for more than half a century.

At various points around the 10-hectare park, you’ll find a few restaurant pavilions, a media center, a museum and a botanical collection housing over a million plants. It also houses the two-stage Zaryadye Concert Hall where thousands of passersby take a seat on the steps every day.

While you’re there, don’t miss the Chambers of the Romanov Boyars, an unusual museum above the northern side of the park.

56 – Stroll around the cozy Hermitage Garden

Hermitage Garden, Moscow

Small yet incredibly charming and found conveniently smack-bang in the middle of the city, the Hermitage Garden is a perfect spot to relax and unwind after a day of learning about Russia’s vast history.

Surrounded by the Sfera Theatre and The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow , this lovely, leafy garden can be both a relaxing oasis or the prelude to an entertaining evening out.

57 – Treat yourself to a ballet show at the Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow

With a reputation that precedes it, the impressive and world-famous Bolshoi Theatre is a must for any theater lover. Its rich history is making it one of the most iconic theaters in Europe.

While there are several performances to choose from throughout the year — from ballet to opera, classic dramas and even acrobatic shows — you can also get your own private backstage tour.

58 – Get artsy, then party at ArtPlay

ArtPlay, Moscow

This old tea factory turned cultural hub of Moscow’s creative arts is heaven on earth for rotating exhibitions by local artists.

Depending on what piques your interest, you can join in on everything from live music to dance classes, art studio workshops, flea markets and film screenings here. However, after the sun goes down, its alter-ego comes out to play.

So, if you’re feeling peckish, stop into the Domozhilov restaurant nearby for a shashlik. Then wash it down at the English pub with a beer before partying it up at Rodnya, a pumping techno club.

59 – Head to the PANORAMA360 Observation Deck

PANORAMA360 Observation Deck, Moscow

A surefire hit for the social media feed, the observation deck at the top of Moscow’s Federation Tower skyscraper — PANORAMA360 — is a must-see selfie stop for its killer views and … ice cream factory.

From the 89th floor, you can soak in the wonder of Moscow old and new from above. It has floor-to-ceiling windows providing 360-degree vistas, a rotating restaurant and mini-cinema to boot.

60 – Throw down a picnic blanket in Sokolniki Park

Sokolniki Park, Moscow

One of the largest green spaces in Moscow, Sokolniki Park is a very popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

Spread across the northeastern Sokolniki District, it’s the perfect distance from the city’s main haunts where the crowds remain small but the accessibility stays high.

With its many activities — from sports to live music to festivals — not much beats this park when it comes to outdoor fun!

61 – Catch a traditional Russian dance show

Russian dance shows in Moscow

To get a true sense of the rich and diverse culture in Moscow, you can’t go past one of its many folk dance shows.

While there are several to choose from, “Kostroma” and “The Golden Ring” are two crowd favorite choices. Each is thoroughly unique with traditional music and costumes sure to make for a once-in-a-lifetime night of entertainment.

Of course, due to high popularity, be sure to book in advance.

62 – Book a table at the White Rabbit restaurant bar

White Rabbit restaurant bar, Moscow

Perched above the historical center of Moscow on the 16th floor of the Smolensky Passage building, this lavish restaurant is a must-visit for any foodie-obsessed traveler. Why? Because it continually ranks as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

The drool-worthy menu made by fifth-generation chef Vladimir Mukhin consists of creative, beautiful plated meals. The coveted eaterie also boasts 360-degree panoramic views of the city and a fine collection of wines and cocktails.

63 – Have dinner inside the Vysoko-Petrovskiy Monastery

Vysoko-Petrovskiy Monastery, Moscow

Whether you’re an architecture or history buff, while visiting Moscow, it would be a shame to miss out on the rare chance to eat in an actual monastery.

This one is particularly special as it dates back some 700 years. Not only will you get to dig into an authentic Russian menu, but learn about the history of the building and (depending on your booking package) get a guided tour too.

64 – Pass by the ‘Children Are the Victims of Adult Vices’ sculpture

Children Are the Victims of Adult Vices sculpture, Moscow

This free public art installation in Bolotnaya square was created by Mihail Chemaikin in 2001. A somewhat controversial landmark, it depicts how children are influenced by vices — alcohol, theft, ignorance, violence, addiction, poverty and war, to name a few.

The sculpture’s uniqueness and thought-provoking nature makes it an essential stop on any day of wandering around.

65 – Get wild on a pub crawl!

pub crawls in Moscow

You’re on vacation, so it’s time to let your hair down, mingle with some fellow thirsty travelers and party it up Moscow-style!

High-energy pub crawls are a great way to get acquainted with new friends while seeing Moscow’s unique nightlife scene first-hand. Let the locals lead you to hidden gems, tourist hot spots and quirky dive bars.

If you don’t feel like walking, why not join a Soviet minivan crawl instead (where you can drink Soviet champagne onboard!)?

66 – Roll up for the Nikulin Circus!

Nikulin Circus, Moscow

If you haven’t had the chance to see a live circus before — and especially if you’re traveling with kids — why not head over to the Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard?

It blends traditional Russian acrobatics with modern-day technology, animals, and the classic circular circus stage. This beloved local entertainment is also considered one of the most enjoyable things to do in Moscow!

67 – Get romantic on a Moskva River dinner cruise

dinner cruises in Moscow

What better way to take in the city’s skyline than from a luxury yacht as you enjoy entertainment, fine dining, and (strong) specialty drinks?

Whether you’re looking for something large that can accommodate groups of friends or something smaller with a bit more VIP style, there are several dinner cruises available to suit any taste and budget.

68 – Explore the wonderful Izmailovo District

Izmailovo District, Moscow

One of the city’s best-kept secrets, Izmailovo ‘s focal point is its Kremlin, a colorful wooden complex. Built in 2007, it has had unique museums and flea markets pop up nearby in the years since.

Throughout the area, you’ll uncover museums dedicated to vodka, break and Russian folk art. The district’s charming open-air flea market has all kinds of crafts and souvenirs are haggled on the daily.

Don’t miss Izmailovo Park , which is an enormous 300-hectare space that plays host to souvenir vendors, forest walking paths and even an ice rink in winter.

With so much to see in the district, savvy travelers typically opt for a guided tour.

  • Izmailovo tours

69 – Sip on a cocktail at the award-winning City Space Bar and Lounge

City Space Bar and Lounge, Moscow

Self-dubbed as one of the world’s top 10 bars, with accolades like Luxury Travel Guide’s Bar of the Year 2018, this iconic and luxurious watering hole doesn’t need much of an introduction.

Perched sky-high on the 34th floor of Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, the circular lounge bar slings signature cocktails and dishes up truly stunning views of the city.

Hot tip: While there’s never a poor time to visit, aim to arrive an hour or so before sunset, that’s when the city will truly sparkle below.

70 – Pamper yourself at the Sanduny Baths

Sanduny Baths, Moscow

If you’re looking for something to ease that throbbing headache after a night of pub crawling, why not try the famous Sanduny Baths , a quintessentially Russian experience?

Famed as one of the world’s most beautiful public bathhouses, Sanduny’s steam rooms and pools are said to be some of the best in Moscow. But for something totally unique, you can’t go past the birch twigs massage (read: beating).

71 – Spruce up your social media feed at some Insta-worthy restaurants

insta-worthy restaurants in Moscow

While a good meal is always part of the restaurant experience, getting a good pic for Instagram is half the fun!

Luckily, there are tons of excellent eateries that combine great food with gorgeous aesthetics.

Big Wine Freaks has a fantastic drink selection (naturally), and its dark, classy rooms full of elegant light fixtures and plush furniture bring to mind a spy’s hideout.

Meanwhile, Sempre adopts more of a naturalistic approach, surrounding diners with ferns and greenery.

And at Black Market Moscow , you can choose between indoor and outdoor spaces, each featuring their own unique designs and dining experiences.

Take a bite and snap some pics!

72 – Unleash your inner party animal at the Night clubs

nightlife in Moscow

When the sun goes down, you’ll get to see a whole new side of Moscow: its amazing nightlife!

Head to Propaganda for a bite or a beverage, then dance to some quality club tunes.

Or get a little wild at Chesterfield , where you can pay a flat fee and drink as much as you want – the perfect recipe for fun!

And at Rock’N’ Roll , there’s a new form of excitement every day, from DJ sets to live bands, all playing a lively mix of rock music from across the decades.

With all this excitement, you won’t want to book anything early the next day!

How to get to Moscow?

Unless you’re feeling up to the challenge of a long train journey, you’ll most likely be flying into Moscow.

Luckily, it has three international airports to choose from: Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, and Domodedovo.

Once you’ve arrived, you’ll be able to easily reach the city via the Aeroexpress train.

Where to stay in Moscow?

Golden Ring Hotel  will make you feel like you’re on top of the world, whether you’re getting pampered at the beauty salon or enjoying a meal in the rooftop restaurants.

Or check in to Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel & Business Center , which boasts everything from riverside views and a gym to nearby shopping areas and relaxing Turkish baths.

At AZIMUT Hotel Olympic Moscow , the massages, international cuisine, sauna, and swimming pool will keep you happily occupied in between excursions.

And at sister property AZIMUT Hotel Smolenskaya Moscow , you can savor a nice meal or admire the scenery from the lounge, or stroll over to Gorky Park or roam along Stary Arbat Street.

Meanwhile, Oblaka Hotel blends simple charm and a convenient location, with charming red brick exteriors and easy access to historic sites and a metro station.

  • best hotels in Moscow

Visiting Moscow on a budget?

There’s nothing like seeing a city on foot… especially on a free walking tour !

These excursions aren’t just a way to save money while still learning a lot; they also offer a wonderful opportunity to gain local perspectives, courtesy of your guides.

But despite the name, they do accept tips for a job well done, so bring a bit of money with you!

Where to go next?

If you’re short on time but still want to see the best of Moscow, try some multi-day tours ; they’ll provide all of the coolest sights and experiences in an efficient format.

After that, it’s time to start exploring further afield!

Though it’s a bit of a trek, St. Petersburg is well worth the journey!

With its famously decadent buildings to its lively arts scene, this is the perfect place to soak up some culture; but there are also some more offbeat options, like folk shows, vodka tastings, and even an amusement park!

And from the jaw-dropping designs of the metro stations (yes, you read that correctly) to the glimmer of Faberge eggs, it showcases beauty at every turn.

Ready to go beyond Russia?

Dive into the best places to visit in Europe , a smorgasbord of art and history, nature and architecture, showcasing some of the most beloved cities and countries in the world.

Final thoughts

While Russia’s capital may seem imposing, its dynamic culture, live-wire entertainment scene, and remarkable history make it an unbeatable destination, with unique adventures that will linger in your memory long after you’ve returned home.

You may feel a little overwhelmed by all of the incredible things to do in Moscow… but that’s all the more reason to come back!

If you have any other must-see suggestions, noteworthy day trips or quintessential tours worth booking, feel free to write in the comments!

As always, happy travels!

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The 18 best theme parks and amusement parks near Moscow

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  • besttraveltipstricks.com — ✓ 7 Theme Parks In Moscow To Make Your Trip To The City Worth Cherishing
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1 Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

haunted house themes for adults

3 Family Park SKAZKA.

4 nebo trampoline park, 5 izmailovsky park, 6 all-russian exhibition center, 7 national park «elk island», 9 patriot park, 10 kva-kva park, 11 luna-park karusel', 12 park rozrywki brommlandia - moskwa, 13 strana vesel'ya, 15 park "lukomor'ye", 16 zamperla, 17 moscow-850, park attraktsionov i razvlecheniy, 18 gulliver, top searches in moscow, popular road trips from moscow, what's the weather like in moscow .

It depends on when you visit! We've compiled data from NASA on what the weather is like in Moscow for each month of the year: see the links below for more information.

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Moscow throughout the year

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Looking for day-by-day itineraries in Moscow ?

Get inspired for your trip to Moscow with our curated itineraries that are jam-packed with popular attractions everyday! Check them out here:

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Best theme parks in nearby cities

  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near London
  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Prague
  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Istanbul
  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Milan
  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Vienna
  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Krakow
  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Munich
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  • The best theme parks and amusement parks near Bruges

Best attractions in nearby cities

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Best restaurants in nearby cities

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Fun Things for Kids in Moscow

Fun for kids in Moscow

Photo by  victoria_borodinova  from  Pixabay  

What are the best things to do with children in Moscow?

  • Summer: Futuristic parks, river boats and ice caves are perfect attractions for when the temperatures rise above 30.
  • Museums: Russians are very proud of their history, which means that their museums are kept to a world-class standard. Both parents and children alike will be sure to learn something new at one of the many, often unique museums in Moscow.
  • Culture: From the world’s oldest puppet theatre to UNESCO-listed whimsical, wooden palaces there’ll be plenty to treat your little prince or princess to.
  • Winter: New Year is arguably the most magical time to visit Moscow, especially for children. The ice rinks throughout the city, Christmas markets and the magnificent ice-sculpture festival truly make Moscow a winter wonderland. 

Moscow truly is a mega-metropolis like no other. Its non-stop energy and sheer unorthodoxy is sure to enthuse any child with its rebellious, east-meets-west spirit. Just walking down Old Arabat Street— where ancient wooden storehouses are squashed against grey, soviet blocks which are then towered over by blingy high-rises— is sure to appeal to the childish disdain of all things orderly and conventional. Apart from the main sites, there’s a whole host of family-friendly activities in Moscow from the very traditional to the uber, high-tech that will keep your kids entertained.

For Summer Scorchers:

Fun for kids - Summer VDNKh

Photo by  Jamie Taylor  on  Unsplash

VDNKh  is Russia’s version of Disneyland and, to be honest, we think it trumps that tacky theme park by a mile. First things first is its size. At almost 600 acres, this Soviet park has everything; from space museums to soviet shopping outlets to equestrian centers to beaches. In fact, there’s so much to do that there really is no way to cover it all in one day. Our favorite attractions include the ROBO station, the super-cool playgrounds near the aquarium and the world’s biggest ice rink in winter. Better rent out scooters or bikes as well if you plan on seeing at least a fraction of this green gem.

Address: Prospekt Mira, 119 Nearest metro station: VDNKh

Unlike VDNKh, you won’t have to travel far from the centre to seek the lovely lush lawns of  Gorky Park . Come early so that you can grab a beanbag or hammock for yourself while your children have some fun on the colorful playground rides or play ping-pong under the trees. At teatime, head over to the traditional Russian tea house for a brew from a giant samovar. It’s worth staying on for the whole day until dusk when the roof of the park’s planetarium slides open to reveal the wonders of the sky. 

Address: Krymsky Val, 9 Nearest metro station:   Park Kultury

Zaradye Park

Moscow’s brand-new  Zaradye Park  couldn’t be more different from the stern, red brick of the Kremlin that towers over it. Whichever way you look, you’ll be rubbing your eyes to make sure that this other-worldly landscape of floating glass bridges, underground ancient walkways, Siberian tundra and ice caves really does exist. For children, this wild-urban project is the perfect place for them to let some steam off during a day of sightseeing. Thanks to the unbelievable glass-paneled roof that keeps warm air in and the rain out, the lawns are perfect for lounging on all year round. 

Address: Varvarka street, 6 Nearest metro station:  Kitay-gorod

There’s a never-ending stream of tour boats bobbing up and down the Moskva River to hop on to when those little legs have had enough of walking. But for those who’d like something a little special, nothing beats the Radisson yacht. Champagne, on-board dining and floor to ceiling windows make it the most stylish way to cruise round Moscow. 

Address: Naberezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko, Moscow (next to teh Radisson Blue hotel) Nearest metro station:  Studencheskaya

For Little Einsteins:

Fun for kids - little einsteins

Photo by  Robo Wunderkind  on  Unsplash

Museum of Cosmonauts

This is THE museum to go to if you happen to have a Star Wars fan with you. Unlike in countless planetariums around the world where gimmicky models of the solar system and dramatic movies make for a hollow experience, here you get the real thing. There’s a life-size model of the Russian space station, chunks of the moon, a space toilet, the actual Sputnik, heck, even Belka & Strelka, the space dogs, are there standing next to the very space shuttle they flew into space with  (never fear, they were stuffed only after they died of old age).  *For extreme fanatics, it’s worth noting you can arrange a tour to Star City, the astronaut training centre that is still in use outside of Moscow.

Address: Prospekt Mira, 111 Nearest metro station:   VDNKh, Vystavochny tsentr

Darwin Museum

The first museum in the world devoted to explaining the most important concept of biology definitely deserves a visit. Its menagerie of nearly half a million stuffed animals illustrate the steady process of evolution and the many now extinct animals it boasts like the Dodo serve as a warning bell for what the age of mass-industrialization might bring. Despite its name, the  Darwin museum isn’t at all quaint or old-fashioned with plenty of interactive displays and microscopes for children to engage with.

Address: Ulitsa Vavilova, 57 Nearest metro station:   Akademicheskaya

Orlov Museum of Paleontology

This museum could easily compete with the famed Natural History Museum in London. In fact, its extensive exhibit of ginormous skeletons from all sorts of beasts from sloths to diplodocuses might even be more impressive than London’s. After all, Russia is an awful lot bigger than England and probably has lot more giants slumbering away in the depths of its forests just waiting to be dug up!

Address: Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya, 123 Nearest metro station: Kon'kovo

The Experimentanium

There’s lots of fun to be had at this fully hands-on science museum. It’s absolutely perfect for little toddlers and mischievous boys alike because nothing’s off bounds—the whole place is a playground (with a lot of science snuck in!). And don’t worry, most of the descriptions are in English so they’ll definitely learn something along the way.

Address: Leningradsky prospekt, 80/11 Nearest metro station:   Sokol

For Boisterous Boys & Girls:

Fun for kids - Moscow city

Photo by  Alexandr Popadin  on  Unsplash

Moscow City

The second tallest, the third tallest, the fourth tallest and the sixth and seventh tallest buildings in Europe can all be found within a few meters of each other in the financial district, Moscow city. Apart from breaking their necks trying to gape at all the quirky high-rises, your kids can get a thrill by going up to the 54th floor of Ostankino TV Tower to its awe-inspiring panoramic viewing platform with a drop-down, glass floor! 

Address:   Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya Nearest metro station:   Delovoy tsentr, Mezhdunarodnaya, Vystavochnaya

A trip down to this veritable villain’s lair is certainly worth it with children, not least because it’s 18 stories underground…. AND the only way back up is by the stairs making it the perfect recipe for a peaceful afternoon. Apart from tiring out children, Bunker 42 has the distinction of being a genuine nuclear bunker. It was intended to be the hide-away of the USSR’s top dogs in the case of nuclear war and the staff here do such an excellent job of recreating the tense atmosphere that we hazard against taking softer children here. Everything, from the actual computer with the big red button which would have been used to start WW3 to the KGB’s rooms, have been preserved exactly as they were at the height of the cold war.

*Entrance only with group tours which can be arranged in English.

Address: 5th Kotel'nicheskiy Pereulok, 11 Nearest metro station:  Taganskaya

Central Armed Forces Museum

Though there isn’t much English in this museum dedicated to all things sickle and hammer (i.e. the Red Army), the genuine American U2 spy plane it has on show and the opportunity to hold real (but thankfully, not loaded!) guns make it a real treasure trove for army-mad kids. 

Address: Ulitsa Sovetskoy Armii, 2 Nearest metro station:  Dostoevskaya

Victory Museum

You don’t actually need to step a foot in this museum dedicated entirely to WW2 to please your wannabe soldiers. Just sit down on a bench as your kids jump on and off the airplanes, tanks, armored vehicles and every other killing machine imaginable that are free to explore outside this museum. 

Address: Ploshchad' Pobedy, 3 Nearest metro station:   Park Pobedy

Armory Chamber

Part of the Kremlin complex, the Armory Chamber’s incredibly diverse displays—spanning folk art to silverware to coronation dresses— cover almost every era of Russia’s royal history. The wedding carriages and ceremonial arms are particularly well-loved by children. 

Address: The Moscow Kremlin Nearest metro station:  Biblioteka imeni Lenina

For Little Princes & Princesses: 

Fun for kids - Puppet theater

Photo by  Ralph Lindner  from  Pixabay  

Moscow State Puppet Theatre

The oldest puppet theatre in Moscow is also the largest in the world. Its wide-ranging repertoire has shows for tiny tots up to adult-only shows. Its fairytale clock, from which mythical creatures spring out, will be the cherry on top of a magical visit to this dear theatre. 

Address: Pestovskiy Pereulok, 2/1 Nearest metro station:   Marksistskaya

Central Kids Store on Lubyanka

This seven-story department store devoted entirely to little people boasts the biggest Hamleys in the world, the biggest time keeping mechanism and one of the best viewing platforms in Moscow. In other words, it’s kiddy heaven. The building itself is also rather noteworthy, dating back to 1953. Its stained murals and colorful tiles give it an old-world (soviet) charm. 

Address: Teatral'nyy Proyezd, 5 Nearest metro station:   Lubyanka, Kuznetsky Most

Izmailovsky Park

This is possibly the world’s only Slavic theme park. Just joking, but just be warned this recreated Russian village with mini-museums, bakeries and a market is a teensy bit kitsch. If your children are artsy, then why not let them make their own matryoshka at a masterclass instead of buying one at the market. And while the kiddies busy themselves with the business of covering every square inch of their clothes in paint, there’s plenty for parents to peruse; like the vodka museum or the pleasantly, rolling park land. 

Address: Alleya Bol'shogo Kruga, 7 Nearest metro station:  Sokolinaya gora

Kolomenskoye Park

Ivan the Terrible’s summer retreat isn’t at all as gloomy as you’d expect, indeed some might say it’s actually a bit too colorful. In our opinion, its postcard-perfect; with petite trains chugging through the acres of apple orchards, a pearl-white 16th century, UNESCO-listed church and a magnificently vibrant, 300 year old wooden palace. Take your children on a trip back in time, they’ll be delighted - we promise.  

Address: Andropova Ave, 39 Nearest metro station:  Kolomenskaya

For Petrol Heads: 

Fun for kids - rail museum

Photo by  Dimitris Vetsikas  from  Pixabay  

Moscow Rizhsky Railway Station

If you don’t have time to take your children on the Trans-Siberian, then a ride on a Soviet steam train is a superb alternative. The beauty of chugging through the outskirts of Moscow on a train with a red star on its gleaming, coal-black engine will definitely make Harry Potter fans squeal with excitement. Adults will appreciate the cups of tea served in old-style soviet mugs specifically made for train journeys. If you’d like to explore the rail museum after the trip (we highly recommend it), be prepared for the weather as the whole exhibition is uncovered.

Address:  Rizhskaya Ploshad, 1 Nearest metro station:  Rizhskaya

Moscow Metro Museum

After taking your children on the Moscow metro (which you simply must!), chances are they’ll bombard you with all sorts of questions a parent isn’t equipped to answer; like “How fast do the trains go?” and “Who drives them?”. Never fear, Moscow’s metro actually has a free museum which will answer all these questions, as well as even allowing kids to take a seat in the driver’s seat for a virtual ride down the tunnels. 

Address: Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya, 2 Nearest metro station:   Vystavochnaya

For White Winter Days:

Fun for kids - White Winter days

Photo by  Mihály Köles  on  Unsplash

Moscow Ice Festival

Each winter in Park Pobedy, blocks of ice are towed in from Russia’s great lakes to be chiseled away into masterpieces. Children will be delighted to find that they can even clamber upon some of these unbelievably big artworks. But the favorite by far, are super slippery ice slides. 

*Just beware of wet bums— waterproofs are a must.

Learn more about winter activities is Moscow .

Address: Park Pobedy on Poklonnaya Hill Nearest metro station:   Park Pobedy

Ice-skating

There are almost 1500 ice-skating rinks in Moscow alone. It’s almost as if every open plot of land has water poured over it; even Red Square is transformed into a mega rink! The park VDNKh boasts the biggest in the world, but there’s also an awesome rooftop ice rink at ArtPlay. Wherever you take your children, you can’t go wrong with a bit of skating.

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    01 of 23 Use Chicken Wire to Make Creepy Ghosts Wholesale Party Supplies You can hang a white sheet and create a ghost, but this idea is sure to be more creepy. By using chicken wire, you can make the ghosts appear more lifelike in form. Also, opt for cheesecloth instead of sheets to make the entire project more spooky.

  4. 129 World's Insanest Scary Halloween Haunted House Ideas

    1. The Cobwebbed Entryway 2. Designing Spell-Books 3. Bleeding Halloween Candles 4. Standing coffin 5. The spooky window 6. Zombie apocalypse 7. The Cobwebbed Entrance 8. The Spooky Gravestone 9. Hallway filled with hanging balloons 10. The Frightening Head

  5. 30 Of The Best Halloween Party Themes For Grown Ups

    Which is where picking a theme comes in handy. And with our list of the best Halloween party themes for adults, you sure to find one that you and your guests will love. Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Because of that, my annual Halloween party is the biggest bash of the year.

  6. 20 Creative Halloween Party Ideas for Adults

    To make the event more festive, decorate each table in a different Halloween theme, like a vampire table, a ghost table, a pumpkin table, a witch table, a monster table, a creepy-crawly table, etc. You could even decorate the wine bottles in accordance with the selected theme.

  7. 11 Easy Tips for a Great Party or At-Home Haunted House

    Lifestyle Home How to Throw a Great Halloween Party (or a Scary-Good At- Home Haunted House) From creating a manageable budget to selecting an appropriate playlist, these 11 easy-to-follow...

  8. 10 Haunt Themes To Scare & Satisfy All Ages

    2. Slashers and Madmen Basing your haunted attraction off of recognizable figures such as Jason, Michael, or Freddy is a great scare tactic because these characters come with a powerful, built in story line. Guests instantly realize who they're up against and have already been conditioned to fear these troublemakers. 3. Glow In The Dark

  9. 14 Spooky Halloween Haunted House Ideas

    Need some inspiration? Check out these 14 spooky haunted house ideas. From fake cobwebs to creepy ghosts and animated props, your friends and family will love these Halloween haunted house decorations. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year! (As you probably already know if you have been around here before).

  10. 25 of the creepiest haunted house ideas for Halloween

    25 of the creepiest haunted house ideas for Halloween - Gathered Make your home truly terrifying this Halloween! Find bone-chilling haunted house ideas with Gathered.

  11. Make a DIY Haunted House That Both Kids and Adults Will Love

    For themes, get specific: a paranormal haunted mansion, Frankenstein's scientific lab, a zombie-filled doctor's office, a witch's lair, or a spooky clown circus. Use the following questions to help guide your theme further. What will be the average age group walking through it? Will there be live actors or just props?

  12. 25 Fun Halloween Party Themes for Adults

    Ghosts and Cobwebs Another classic Halloween party theme is ghosts and cobwebs. This theme is all about creating a spooky atmosphere with lots of cobwebs, fake spiders, and ghostly decorations. You can use white sheets to create ghostly apparitions and hang them from the ceiling or in doorways.

  13. Haunted House Ideas For A Spook-tacular Halloween • FamilyApp

    Tip 4: Make a Statement With the Entrance. You only have one chance to make a first impression. And with a haunted house, you want to make sure that the first impression sets the frightening tone. Make sure the front porch or front door is decked out. Turn your front door into a monster mouth about to swallow any victims who enter.

  14. How to Make a Haunted House

    Buy a few hay bales, pumpkins and corn stalks and decorate a room with them. Spread hay on the floor and add spider's nests in the corners of the room. Dress an actor like a scarecrow in simple makeup and a costume. You could also take this idea outside and easily make a haunted barnyard.

  15. 20 Awesome Haunted House Ideas In 2021

    Blood on the mirrors. 19. Fog up the place. 20. Set up a witch's table . 1. Place an urn on the mantelpiece. Source by: suzyhomemaker.co.uk/. You can burn some paper and pour the ashes in the urn for great haunted house ideas on a budget.

  16. 19 Spooky, Fun Halloween Party Themes For Adults

    1. Get creative with a stylish haunted masquerade ball Source: Peerspace Have your guests don elaborate masks to emulate the traditional masquerade ball. Your guests can dance to haunting tunes and indulge in some eerie elegance with this spooky Halloween party theme for adults. 2. Make it spooky with a haunted carnival celebration

  17. The 26 Best Haunted Houses That Are Seriously Scary

    20 of the Best Hamptons Summer Rentals to Book ASAP The 12 Most Romantic Hotels Near Los Angeles for the Ultimate Weekend Getaway The 55 Most Beautiful Places in the World From family-friendly fun to adults-only haunts, here are 26 of the best haunted attractions around the country to experience this fall.

  18. 9 Perfect Haunt Themes to Make any Halloween Home Terrifying

    24 Inch Crying Soul Tombstone 5.7 Ft The Caretaker Animatronic Swamp This home haunt theme works well for homes with front yards and homes near water. You can successfully create the look of a swamp with a fog machine, some green lights, and bonus points if you have a canoe lying around.

  19. 30 Haunted House Books That Will Give You The Creeps

    The House Next Door by Anne River Siddons. Haunted houses don't always have to be old and steeped in dark history. Siddons's The House Next Door is about a beautiful new house, and is told not from the perspective of this house's inhabitants but rather through that of the neighbors, Colquitt and Walter Kennedy.

  20. Moscow's 9 most unusual houses

    It is called the "Ship" because of its huge size (1312 feet long, 164 feet high) and encircling balconies that resemble decks. Elena Pochetova. Egg House. 1/11 Mashkova Str. // Moscow has ...

  21. 72 Fun & Unusual Things to Do in Moscow

    33 - Wander around the Novodevichy Monastery. The Novodevichy Convent and surrounding Kremlin-style walls combine to be one of Moscow's most picturesque sites — a UNESCO-listed complex that was founded in the 1500s and includes an interweaving of churches, cathedrals, bell towers and a cemetery.

  22. The 18 best theme parks and amusement parks near Moscow

    1 list. Theme park. The theme park Park "Lukomor'ye" is a popular destination for tourists in the city of Minsk. It features attractions such as a water park, amusement park, and petting zoo. The park is also home to a large ferris wheel. Gorgeous playground for kids up to 14 years old. Free of charge.

  23. Top 20 Fun, Family-Friendly Activities in Moscow

    Summer: Futuristic parks, river boats and ice caves are perfect attractions for when the temperatures rise above 30. Museums: Russians are very proud of their history, which means that their museums are kept to a world-class standard. Both parents and children alike will be sure to learn something new at one of the many, often unique museums in ...