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Pumpkin Bowling Is the Hilarious Last-Minute Activity You Should Try on Halloween (Plus 2 Other Games)

Hosting a Halloween party and need to entertain your guests?

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Uh oh: You’re hosting a Halloween party and don’t have enough activities to entertain your guests. How many people are really going to play “pin the tail on the donkey?” Fortunately, the internet is full of last-minute Halloween game ideas, and a lot of them are not half bad. Pumpkin bowling is the most entertaining one we’ve seen so far, and it’s perfect for kids and adults alike.

What is pumpkin bowling?

There are a few different ways to set it up, but here are the basic rules:

  1. Get a small to medium-sized pumpkin and cut off the stem. This will be your bowling ball.
  2. Set up your “bowling lane” by lining up haystacks, boxes, or twigs.
  3. Arrange 10 “pins” at the end of the bowling lane in a classic pyramid formation. Your pins can be large soda bottles (either full or half empty) or stacks of toilet paper.
  4. Let your guests take turns bowling using regular bowling rules. If you have the resources, set up a second lane next to the first so two people can compete at the same time.

If you don’t have time to go shopping and get a new pumpkin, use one of your jack-o-lanterns. The eye and mouth holes make for good grips, and the lighter pumpkin will be easier to carry for guests who can’t lift a lot of weight. An extra tip if you want to make things more festive: Paint your “bowling pins” with white paint, then use a black marker to add ghost faces. Or have your guests paint on their own designs using sharpies or quick-dry paint pens.

To make the game enjoyable for everyone, create different awards such as: most creative pumpkin-tossing stance, most valuable pumpkin, or MVP (if your players each have their own pumpkins), and best decoration for a bowling pin.

You can also set up a tarp or long wooden planks along the bowling lane to make a smoother surface, but some people argue that the fun comes from the bumpiness of grass. There’s no telling where that pumpkin will go!

What other last-minute Halloween games are there?

You can always fall back on a classic lawn game, like bean bag toss or badminton (the birdie almost looks like a ghost). Otherwise, we like these simple games:

Pumpkin Ring Toss

For pumpkin ring toss, you’ll need three pumpkins, a sharpie, and three hula hoops. Draw point values on the pumpkins (5, 10, 15), and then space the pumpkins out on the grass, with 15 the furthest away. To play and get points, guests toss hula hoops over the pumpkins.

Ghost Darts

Don’t have a lawn to set up big games? Try a cute game of ghost darts instead. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Get 10 to 15 plastic cups, white paper napkins, a sharpie, a large piece of cardboard or poster paper, a hot glue gun or double-sided wall tape, 10 to 15 rubber bands, and 10 to 15 pens or darts.
  2. Glue the bottoms of the plastic cups to the cardboard or poster paper.
  3. Wrap a napkin around a cup opening and secure with a rubber band. Repeat for each cup.
  4. Gently draw ghost shapes on the napkins with sharpie.
  5. Have your guests toss pens (or darts) at each ghost. To make things challenging, space the ghosts out, or add higher point values to the cups in harder positions.

What other games do you like to play at a Halloween party? Let us know in the comments.

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