Halloween is one of our family’s favorite holidays. Each year we all get in on the spooky fun, from dressing up and trick-or-treating, to Halloween-themed activities.
With a family as large as ours, it can be difficult to find Halloween activities for the wide age range of our kids. Our teens and tweens usually want something a bit scarier than our preschooler, and we’re fortunate that there are several local options to help us celebrate both the scary and not-so-scary elements of Halloween. We’re also lucky that several of our favorite Halloween and fall locations have options for older and younger kids.
Here are some Halloween haunts with options for older kids:
Colony Pumpkin Patch, North Liberty
Colony Pumpkin Patch has a perfect mix of activities for younger and older kids. There’s the usual fare for the littles (the Lil’ Pumpkin Playground, pumpkin hunting, and hayrack rides). Older kids will love to test their directional skills in the 10 acre corn maze, which can be especially challenging at night! In addition, tweens and teens will love Zombie Paintball on Friday and Saturday nights starting September 29! You can view their hours and special events here.
Scream Acres, Bloomsbury Farms, Atkins
Bloomsbury Farms is a fall favorite for the entire family. Younger kids will love the animals and the numerous options for outdoor play, but when the sun goes down Bloomsbury Farms delivers spooky, scary fun for older kids and teens. With four haunted attractions, a haunted corn maze, and over 75 creepy characters, Scream Acres makes good on their promise to deliver the frightful fun.
Heart of Darkness Haunted Complex, Waterloo
It’s a bit of a commute, but the Heart of Darkness Haunted Complex is one of the largest haunted attractions in Iowa. It features the longest walk-through in the state, with 22,600 square feet of indoor/outdoor spooky attractions. And some of the scaring is for a good cause; all proceeds earned during the Kid’s Day event are donated to the SIDS Foundation.
It’s worth noting that this exhibit is for older kids and teens only. While there is no age limit, it’s recommended for kids ages 12 and up.
Spooky Spartan Trail, Solon
The Spooky Spartan Trail is a tradition in Solon. This creative fundraiser for the Solon Middle School PTO is a fun community event for families and kids of all ages. The first hour of the event (Twilight Hour) is perfect for younger kids. They’ll enjoy Halloween-themed activities and trick-or-treating. The scary fun begins for the older crowd when the sun goes down. You can view more details about the event here.
Haunted Happenings: Downtown Iowa City
Take a walking tour of Downtown Iowa City’s most haunted places, and hear some ghostly stories from our city’s history. The Johnson County Historical Society will lead tours on Thursday, October 26, departing from Old Brick, and you must make reservations to attend. Tickets are available starting October 3 at 10 a.m.
It is worth noting that this event was added because the original event sold out, so plan to get your tickets quickly!
Field of Screams
If your teen can’t decide between a corn maze and a haunted house, the Field of Screams is a mix of both! It is open the last 3 weekends in October, on both Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t forget to snag the printable coupon from their website, and bring a canned food item to donate and receive $1 off admission. Canned goods will be donated to the Crisis Center of Iowa City.
Tell us your favorite spooky Halloween haunts in the comments below!
For more festive fun and seasonal events, check out our Ultimate Guide to Fall in Iowa City!