Whether you’re in charge of planning Halloween work party ideas for the entire office or you just need a couple ways to get into the spooky spirit with your colleagues, we’ve created the ultimate guide to celebrating Halloween at the office. From simple last minute costumes and decorations to appropriate Halloween games for adults at work, our roundup of cheap and easy Halloween office party ideas is the perfect place to start planning an entire day of frightening festivities.
Halloween Games for Work
Nothing promotes team bonding or breaks the ice quite like a cheesy themed game. But don’t forget – you’re still at work, and not everyone thinks performing in front of others, being grossed out, or having the daylights scared out of them is enjoyable. With that in mind, these are our favorite Halloween contest ideas for work. We like them because while they’re sure to encourage laughs, they keep the celebrations fun for everyone by sticking to games that don’t require anyone to (involuntarily) embarrass themselves.
Halloween Boo Game
While this game is traditionally played by neighbors, bringing the Halloween Boo Game into the office is a no-brainer for turning up the Halloween spirit. Here’s how it works: One person starts the game by secretly delivering Halloween treats or gifts to two lucky recipients, along with a sign that says “I’ve been Boo’d!” alongside a message explaining that they’ve been “Boo’d” and it is now their turn to secretly deliver gifts to the next two recipients. They should hang the sign on their desk or door so that others know they’ve already been Boo’d, and the game continues until everyone in the office has received a gift.
Toilet Paper Mummy Game
This is a great quick game for offices of all sizes. Split up into teams of 3-6 people and allow one person to volunteer as the “mummy.” Set a timer for a few minutes (no more than 5) and give each team a few rolls of toilet paper. When the game starts, each team quickly wraps their mummy in toilet paper – as elaborately as they want. When time’s up, the best mummy wins!
Pumpkin Carving or Decorating Contest
If you’re willing to get a little messy and a lot creative, cover the tables with protective plastic covering and provide knives and spoons for carving. Or, if you’d rather go the decorating route, set out plenty of paint, brushes, glue, glitter, googly eyes, and other craft items. Let employees who want to participate go to town, then invite everyone else vote on their favorites.
When it comes to tame, crowd-pleasing Halloween office party games, these old school options are oldies but goodies. To play “Guess How Many,” fill a jar with loose Halloween candy such as candy corn, sugar pumpkins, or even wrapped eyeball chocolates. Invite staff to give their guess of how many are inside. The closest without going over wins the jar of candy (or whichever prize you want to give out)!
“Guess the Pumpkin’s Weight” works the same way, but this time you’ll need to buy the biggest pumpkin you can find for staff to guess how much it weighs. In this case, you can decide whether the first or last place winner gets saddled with the giant pumpkin.
Halloween Mystery Box
If your team is a little more adventurous and up for something gross, try playing the Halloween Mystery Box Game. Cut holes in the top of assorted boxes big enough for a hand to reach inside, then fill them with assorted mystery items such as peeled grapes (eyeballs), peeled tomatoes (guts), and cooked spaghetti (worms). Staff can stick their hands inside each box to feel around and guess what the mystery items are.
Murder Mystery Game
If you’ve got plenty of time and organized group play seems like it would be up your team’s alley, check out this list of free murder mystery games over at The Spruce for up to about 30 people. For groups of up to 60, check out the downloadable kits for purchase at Mysteries on the Net. From simple to elaborate, murder mysteries can be great team building Halloween office games for groups small and large.
Door or Cubicle Decorating Contest
Holding a Halloween-themed door or cubicle decorating contest is a great way to create a festive and spooky atmosphere while encouraging some healthy competition amongst coworkers. Invite willing participants to decorate their doors for Halloween during the week leading up to the holiday, then have the entire staff vote for their favorites and award a special prize to the winner(s). Spice things up by setting a theme each year, such as Frightening Flicks, Creepy Carnival, or Dia de los Muertos.
Invite staff to wear their costumes to work and/or participate in a parade or costume show. Depending on the size of your office, encourage group costumes as well as individuals, or assign themes by department. Award winners in categories from Overall Winner to Funniest, Scariest, Best Handmade, Most Creative, and more. But whatever you do, make sure you remind everyone to keep the costumes appropriate for the workplace – no sexy or offensive getups. If you have to ask yourself, “Is it ok if I wear this to the office?” then the answer is probably a resounding “no.”
Baking Contest or Cook-off
Everyone knows that the best part of any forced fun is the food. Let the treats take center stage by turning your Halloween party into an epic chili cook-off, seasonal sweets competition, or pizza-palooza. Whatever your theme, free grub is everyone’s favorite – and encouraging participants to show up with their best means everyone eats like kings. Don’t forget to award prizes to the winners in assorted categories!
Simple Halloween Costumes for Work
We get it – you don’t want to miss out on the fun, but dishing out a bunch of dough just for a work-appropriate costume isn’t worth it. Instead, check out these ideas that require very little DIY skill, time, or cash.
Cheap and Easy Individual Costumes
For quick and comfy costumes that don’t go overboard but will still make your coworkers smile, check out these ideas for getting into the (HR-approved) spirit.
Simple Group Costumes
Dressing up as a department or teaming up with your work BFF’s? Here are some simple group costume ideas that will make everyone laugh without breaking the bank.
The Office Halloween Costumes
Here at BSS, we sell a lot of office supplies directly to other small businesses a la Dunder Mifflin – so naturally, we’re big fans of popular television series The Office. We’ve rounded up a selection of The Office Halloween costume ideas, because what makes more sense than dressing up like your favorite characters from The Office for your own office Halloween party?
Michael Scott: Pair a classic dark suit and tie with your World’s Best Boss mug and you’re all set. If you want to take a step further, add a purple bandana and a scowl and voila, you’re Prison Mike. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, craft a paper mache head to sit on your shoulder, like season 2 Michael Scott.
Pam Beesly: Pulling together some classic office staples makes dressing like Pam a snap. Pam is known for wearing traditional office-friendly button-down blouses with cardigans, knee-length fitted skirts, and of course, a pair of sensible white sneakers. Pull your hair back into a meek half-up style and give it a slight curl to complete the ensemble.
Jim Halpert: Jim is probably the easiest costume of all to pull off, probably due to his own lack of effort and originality for the annual Halloween office celebration. Day-to-day, Jim can be seen in a pair of black slacks and a light blue button-down dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up, plus a plain black tie. Add a “Hello, my name is” sticker that says “DAVE” to dress like Jim in Season 5, or switch the shirt to white and add 3 large black dots down the front right of your shirt. Boom, you’re Jim from season 2’s Halloween episode.
Dwight Shrute: Dwight’s costume may require a trip to the thrift store, where you’ll definitely find the requisite short-sleeved yellow button-down shirt and a coordinating ugly tie. Tuck that top into a belted pair of khaki brown pants, part your hair down the center, and add a pair of thin-rimmed glasses to complete the look. If you can find it, a matching brown blazer will make the perfect finishing touch. Ready, go: Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Angela Martin: Basically, just dress prim and proper, slick back your hair, and act like you’re better than everyone else. There: you’ve got this costume in the bag. Angela is a petite thing who wears exclusively fitted, conservative office clothing. A pencil skirt and a traditional top such as a turtleneck and cardigan combo, plus a straight, demure hairstyle such as a French braid or a simple black headband, is all you need. Now stand up straight, cross those arms and remember your line: that Pam is a hussy, and everybody knows it.
Ideas for Decorating Office for Halloween
When it comes to decorating the office for Halloween, it’s vital to get the most bang for your buck. Store-bought decorations can get expensive at retail prices, but it takes large-scale decorations to really “set the scene” for Halloween. While ultra-gory monsters and smoke machines are probably a no-go for your workplace, we’ve pulled together some affordable items that can be your best friend when it comes to transforming large spaces on a dime.
Large black garbage bags: From giant spiders and spooky streamers to huge black spider webs, black garbage bags are amazing DIY-friendly materials that you might even already have on hand in the supply closet.
Cheesecloth: As a more authentic-looking alternative to traditional spider web material, rip some holes in large sheets of cheesecloth and hang them over doorways, walls, windows, and furniture for inexpensive impact with plenty of coverage.
Crepe paper and streamers: This cheap craft paper is popular because it’s so versatile. Use streams to hang balloons upside down from the ceiling, wrap indoor pillars with them to create huge Halloween creatures, or use sheets and strands of crepe to create height with ceiling decorations.
Plastic tablecloths: These are the ultimate inexpensive party decoration, as they can be bought for $1 or less and can cover large surfaces for a fraction of the cost of pre-printed party store alternatives. Use them to cover a wall completely, create a photo booth background, or set the scene of an entire room.
String lights: Traditional plug-in, battery-operated, or even USB-powered LED lights are easy to find en masse these days. Use what you have on hand or take advantage of seasonal options in orange, purple, and green to give a spooky glow to any room on the ceiling, walls, tabletops, or doorways. Hanging lights up and down under sheer curtains, plastic tablecloths, or cheesecloth drapes creates a magical, ethereal ambience. If you use enough of them, you can turn off the overheads to really set the mood.
Printable Halloween Decorations
To help you get started decorating for Halloween, we’ve pulled together a party pack containing free printable Halloween decorations and party supplies, including:
Office Halloween Party Invitation: A free printable Halloween office party invitation/sign, which can be edited in Microsoft Word for your own unique celebration
Boo Game Printables: A set of photocopy-friendly, printable “Boo” signs to start your own Boo game in the office
Printable Happy Halloween Banner: A free printable “Happy Halloween” banner that can be printed, cut, and assembled together to make a pennant garland
Printable Halloween Decorations: A set of coordinating circular cutout decorations that can be hung from streamers, tacked onto the walls, or sprinkled on tables
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