Every week, I scan the news for must-know stories about the employee-centric, happier, distributed, and AI-driven future of work.
As the leaves change, your team is gearing up for Spooky Season.
Halloween's origins trace back over 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated at the end of the harvest season.
Today, Halloween has become a light-hearted holiday on October 31st, known for costumes, candy, decorations, and parties in many countries.
Wildest costumes and wizards’ brew… After organizing hundreds of online and offline team bonding events, we’re still really into this hilarious team bonding occasion and definitely know how to make it fun for everyone, even if the team is working hybrid.
Simple decorations like pumpkins and bats create a festive environment, while activities like costume contests, trivia games, and potluck parties allow the team to show their creative sides.
As of 2019, the US National Library of Medicine research shows that company relationships is crucial for happiness at work (and outside of it). These bonds are as important for hybrid and remote teams as in-person teams. With just some planning, Halloween can be a memorable team-building opportunity.
10 Halloween Celebration Ideas for Hybrid and Remote Teams
We’ve created a list of virtual and hybrid in-office Halloween ideas to help your team bond this Spooky Season.
Best for Virtual Fun
1. Host a Virtual Costume Contest
Dressing up is one of the best aspects of Halloween.
It calls us back to childhood and is a great opportunity to show off DIY talents and personality.
No worries if your team cannot make it entirely in the office!
Host a virtual costume contest with your team with fun costumes and backgrounds.
You can challenge the team to show up to a virtual meeting with a costume that matches a selected Halloween theme.
Then, try some games or carry on with your meeting.
Get into the Halloween spirits with a list of icebreaker questions customized by a free AI-powered generator!
Ideas for Themed Costume Contest:
- Animal costumes
- Decades (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s)
- Classic Halloween (witches, vampires, werewolves, oh my!)
- Career Day (Police, firefighters, doctors, and more!)
Mix Up the Awards: Honor your team with unique accolades.
Best Costume is an outstanding award, but throw in titles like Most Creative, Scariest, and Most Inventive for some extra fun!
2. Share Childhood Halloween Costume Photos
Sharing baby photos in the office is a great way to create a sense of camaraderie on a budget.
While we each have our differences, we were all little once at the end of the day!
Vintage Halloween baby photos? It can’t get much better than that!
As a quick addition to a meeting, people can submit their baby photos to be displayed. Then, vote on who had the best baby photo for Halloween.
Add to the Fun: One of the best parts of sharing baby photos is that it can be hard to tell who is who!
- To add a mystery element to this activity, create a document with each baby photo.
- You can use our beautifully designed Photo Collage template, copy it into your own file, ask for your team’s photos, and put them in placeholders with just a few clicks.
- Then, instruct people to match each baby photo with a team member.
- At your meeting, reveal which baby photo belongs to each team member for a Halloween surprise!
3. Special Halloween Meeting Icebreakers
Icebreakers can really spice up a meeting.
They’re a great way to get to know each other, connect, and bond.
So why not add a theme to them?
Halloween icebreakers are perfect for connecting and engaging with a spooky twist during meeting time.
That’s why we always include icebreakers in our list of ways how to engage remote employees.
Special for this season! Check out now: Unique & fun Halloween Icebreaker Questions for hybrid and remote teams.
Also, bookmark our ultimate list of icebreaker questions because it comes with an AI-powered question generator for any occasions/purposes of your choice.
You can also get specific with our generator by inputting the names of your team and putting people on the spot to encourage participation.
Other Icebreakers for Halloween:
- Would You Rather Questions Halloween Edition - Ask questions like "Pumpkins or candy corn?", "Haunted house or corn maze?" "Frankenstein's monster or Dracula?" to spark fun debates.
- Halloween Would You Rather - Pose silly questions like "Would you rather eat a witch's broomstick or a mummy's bandages?"
- Halloween Word Association - Say a Halloween-related word and have people quickly respond with the first word that comes to mind.
4. Host a Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest
The pandemic taught us that we don’t need to be in person to have a great time.
Carving pumpkins is great, inexpensive, fun, and can be done virtually for quality team time with a competitive edge.
Team members can carve their pumpkins during the meeting for face-to-face interaction.
Up the Stakes: Set a time limit on the meeting so contestants only have a certain amount of time to create their pumpkin masterpieces.
Add More Team Participation: If you think a pumpkin-carving contest is too individual, try encouraging people to pair up. This will increase the fun and teamwork.
One person can be responsible for creating the design, and the other person can be responsible for carving the pumpkin.
- Carving tools
5. Play Halloween-themed Games
How many pounds of candy corn are produced each year? Give it your best guess!
Gather your team for a fun game of trivia with a Halloween twist! Divide team members into smaller groups and compete until the best trivia team wins.
Try Our Random Group Generator:
Horror-movie-themed, scary mythology-themed, or classic trivia about the holiday are all easily available online.
You can also play a fun, interactive game if your team isn’t an excellent fit for trivia.
Try out Skribbl (Halloween Edition)
Skribbl is a multiplayer online drawing game that is free to use. It’s also browser-based, so it’s perfect for remote teams.
We love Skribbl because you can customize the game with themed words.
With a list of Halloween-themed words, your team will have the best spooky-themed game of Skribbl!
Other Games for Halloween:
- Halloween Charades: Act out Halloween words and have team members guess, such as "carving pumpkins" or "ghost."
- Halloween Bingo - Make bingo cards with Halloween words/images and have players cross off called words.
- Halloween Scavenger Hunt - Create a list of Halloween-related items people have to search for and collect.
- Finish the Halloween Story - Start a spooky story and go around the room, having each person add a line.
Best for In-Person Team Building
6. Spooky Door or Cubicle Decorating Contest
A decorated office is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit for Halloween.
People can collaborate by sharing decorations, ideas, and supplies. Consider also awarding prizes for the best section of the office to encourage collaboration.
Spiders, spiderwebs, witches’ hats, and bats should quickly appear around the office.
The result will be a cohesively decorated office that everyone has contributed to!
Consider a Bonus Twist: Encourage people to use only recycled decor or materials for their decorating.
This way, you’ll reduce the likelihood that the competition has an advantage according to the money spent.
Also, using recycled materials is an eco-friendly way to challenge your team to get creative!
7. Watch a Halloween Movie
Research shows that work relationships positively impact well-being and health.
Spending time together is a great way to generate community at work.
Set aside an hour or two to watch a movie together. You can allocate after-hours time for this activity or have a movie date during monthly happy hour.
So many sweet, charming, and even scary movies are appropriate for the workplace and allow your team to step away from Outlook and Zoom.
Spooky Snacks: Encourage people to bring Halloween-themed snacks to add to the atmosphere.
Halloween snacks are sold in bulk at most stores, including pumpkin-spiced Oreos, frosted cookies, and pretzels.
Homemade snacks are also a great idea and an additional way for team members to collaborate.
Halloween Movies to watch with your GenZ team (available on Hulu or Netflix):
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Tim Burton's magical stop-motion musical film about the king of Halloween discovering Christmas. Very creative.
- Freaky (2020): A hilarious and thrilling movie about a serial killer who swaps bodies with a high school student, played by the 2000s comedy megastar Vince Vaughn.
- Fear Street Trilogy (2021) - Three teen horror series based on R.L. Stine's books starring Stranger Things' Maya Hawke.
- Scream (2022) - New entry in the classic slasher franchise starring "Wednesday" Jenna Ortega.
- Fresh (2022) - Marvel's Winter Soldier Sebastian Stan plays an alluring Steve in this movie and takes a dark turn in a gruesome dating thriller.
8. Office Trick or Treating
It’s been so long since we’ve been young enough to go trick-or-treating.
While some of us have kids of our own nowadays, it’s not the same as collecting treats for yourself!
How to Set up In-Office Trick or Treating:
- Encourage office conversation by trick-or-treating from desk to desk.
- Pass out candy at every desk or cubicle.
- Set up a reward or challenge to collect the most candy.
- Include an icebreaker or an activity sheet to ensure your team doesn’t just say ‘Trick or Treat!’ when visiting their neighbors.
Some funny "missions" when collecting candies:
- Tell a Halloween joke - Hand out candy only after the trick-or-treater tells them a short Halloween-themed joke.
- Halloween fun fact - When getting their candy, trick-or-treaters must share an interesting Halloween fun fact.
- Pumpkin drawing - Provide small pumpkin coloring sheets. Trick-or-treaters must draw a face on their pumpkin before receiving treats.
- Monster mash dance - Play Halloween music and have trick-or-treaters make a quick dance move before getting their candy.
- Spooky story - Each desk can share a quick spooky story prompt for trick-or-treaters to add a line to as they walk around.
- Do Your Best Evil Laugh - Trick-or-treaters must let out their most evil witch or monster laugh before getting candy.
9. Host a Halloween-themed Potluck
An office potluck doesn’t have to be the same old chips and dip celebration.
This year, encourage your team to use their creativity and collaborate on spooky-themed treats.
You could even call it office Fear Factor. Embody the show's spirit by asking people to create fun and freaky food creations.
Pinterest is a great resource for spooky-themed food.
From mummy-wrapped jalapeno poppers to monster cookies, you’ll have put together a potluck with enough Halloween theming that you should call a cauldron-luck!
Expert Manager Tip: Alternatively, you can make simple swaps with creative food labeling.
If your office isn’t creative in the kitchen, you can transform a potluck with decor.
Create simple signs for each food, turning your drink station into a ‘Potions’ station.
More Ideas for Spooky Halloween Food Names:
- Turn a salad bar into ‘Graveyard Greens’
- Turn soups into ‘Witches Brew’
- Turn macaroni salad into ‘Mad Scientist Macaroni Salad’
And so on, until you have a table full of Halloween treats without all the extra effort!
10. Try Out an Escape Room
Holiday celebrations are a perfect excuse to get your team out of the office.
If you’re short on time to plan your Halloween celebration, why not try an escape room as a team?
Escape rooms are the ultimate teamwork test. Your team will be “locked” into a room with creative puzzles for teams. To escape, your team will have to work together to break out of the room.
Escape rooms forbid physically breaking out of the room, so your team must put their heads together to get out before time is up!
Fun Halloween Team Costume Ideas for Work
If your office allows people to dress up in Halloween costumes, why not encourage a group costume?
Team costumes are a great way for your team to coordinate fun, themed outfits. They make for amazing group photos and are a team-building win!
And, let’s face it. Dressing up together is just more fun!
1. Turn the office into a box of crayons
Not only is a crayon group costume easy, but it’s team-appropriate and super matching.
You can easily coordinate this group costume for a large or small team on a budget.
How to Plan a Crayon-Themed Costume:
- Find a cheap multi-colored pack of party hats
- Ask people to dress up in one of the colors and give them a hat
- Then, you have an office full of crayons
- Bonus: Print out and pin ‘Crayola’ or ‘Crayon’ to people’s shirts
You can also encourage your team to dress as their favorite colored crayon to tie in another opportunity to learn about one another.
2. Choose an iconic movie or TV show as a theme
Group movie/TV show costumes are so much fun! Teams love picking and choosing who should be who.
It’s an added bonus when people dress up as characters similar to their own personalities.
The trick is to choose a movie with an iconic cast with enough roles to fit your team.
Examples of Movies Appropriate for this Theme:
- Wizard of Oz
- Harry Potter
- Star Wars
- Breakfast Club
3. Dress up as your home city
Get to know your team more by seeing where everyone grew up in the form of a Halloween costume.
New Yorkers as The Statue of Liberty, Angelenos as the Hollywood Sign—your team is sure to get creative with this fun theme!
4. Show up as your favorite food
A favorite food costume is sure to make your office look like your local grocery store.
Pizza, ice cream, Cheetos, you name it! You’ll end up with a fun variety of tasty treats for the perfect group photo.
5. Dress as Disney characters
A Disney theme is extra fun because people can coordinate together to match.
You can have hilarious pairings of Eeyore and Pooh, Lilo and Stitch, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, and more!
Fun Challenge: Ask your team to dress from the same movie based on their role.
6. A character from your favorite book
This fun Halloween costume theme allows people to share their reading habits as a team.
Team members have a ton of flexibility to choose between childhood favorites or current reads.
You’ll have a fun mix from Dr. Seuss to Atticus Finch to Harry Potter!
7. Dress as each other!
They say imitation is flattery. Ask your team to dress up as one another.
Pick and choose fun aspects of each other’s personalities.
Challenge your team to include hobbies and work roles in their costume to get to know one another better.
Make It Random: Put the names of your teammates into a random team generator to assign teammates to one another. Then, they can dress up as each other and swap for Halloween!
8. Dress as the boss
Dressing up as the boss is so much fun for people.
Whether it’s the CEO or another manager, if your workplace has an easily recognizable figurehead, dressing as your boss is a theme that’s sure to earn a lot of laughs.
You’ll also take the best group photo!
9. Hop on the trend and dress as your favorite Barbie
The Barbie movie took the world by storm this year, earning over $1.4 billion globally.
Hop on the Barbie trend and ask your team to dress up as Barbies and Kens.
From Astronaut Barbie to Weird Barbie, your team has plenty of options to choose from.
10. Dress as yourself in high school
For a fun blast to the past, ask your team to show up to the Halloween-themed meeting dressed as they would have in high school!
You may be surprised that your quiet and reserved team member shows up as a cheerleader.
For a fun bonus, share pictures of how people used to look at the meeting to see if they embodied the look!
Happy Spooktacular Halloween with Your Hybrid and Remote Teams!
Connection is key for teams, and a great Halloween celebration helps people associate fun memories with their teammates.
Forming relationships with others at work is important for mental health and enjoyment.
We hope these fun Halloween celebration ideas help your team to bond, connect, and, most importantly, enjoy the Spooky Season!
A final note
As we work more distributed than ever, you may wonder how to engage remote employees.
I suggest employing employee engagement strategies to keep your team working well together regardless of location. Practices employee engagement best practices and use employee engagement tools to excel. For the best results, consider working with an employee engagement survey provider.
You can also deploy various employee engagement activities, like asking Would You Rather Questions, Icebreaker Questions, 5-Minute Team Building Activities, and Virtual Team Building Activities. (For big teams, split them with this Random Group Generator.)
Every week, I scan the news for must-know stories about the employee-centric, happier, distributed, and AI-driven future of work.