Halloween Camping With Friends

There are two camping trips we do every year that I think our children live for. The first is our Annual Family Camping Trip. The second is the Annual Halloween Camping Trip.

We have been fortunate to have a two local state park who organized a Halloween camping trip for years. Unfortunately, this past year one of them ended this tradition. Fortunately for us, a few other local campgrounds have stepped up to host Halloween camping events. Each of the campgrounds we have visited host a Scariest Campsite Contest. We are competitive enough that we want like participating in that contest.

2019 was our sixth year celebrating and competing in a Halloween at the campground. We have evolved, what started out with two families and a few visitors has grown to a dozen families camping and celebrating Halloween together.

Each year we pick a theme and coordinate our costumes with the site decorations. Part of the fun for us is the prep work and getting ready for the camping weekend. We share text messages, photos, costume finds, and then get together to create whatever props we need. The excitement for the camping trip builds with each passing day. That excitement is felt not only by the kids but also the adults.

Let’s review our Halloween trips over the years. Our first year we used our leftover Halloween costumes from Disney and we were crayons. That year we were told we were “creative” but not scary.

The next year, we got it together and created a mad science lab. We had science experiments as well plenty of gruesome sights (it’s amazing what a black light, neon water, and some grow in water animals can do!).

The third year we dressed up as Zombies and decorated our site as a Zombie Prom. We danced the night away and had a lot of fun dancing with random strangers.


In 2017 we turned our campers into giant pirate ships and we dressed up like Pirates! We created games and had everyone walk the plank if they wanted a Halloween treasure. Right after trick or treating ended, the sky opened up and we got drenched!

2018, we created a haunted house and each family took a different room. The result is we had a six room haunted house with a GhostBuster room, a western bar with dead outlaws, a science lab, a haunted surgical room, a haunted dollhouse, and clowns. We even created a chicken exit!

2019, we decided to make a ghost town. We decided our costumes could have anything to do with cowboys, cowgirls, western outlaws, dead or alive. We each purchased a sheet of plywood so we ended up with 7-9 sheets. We built a fake ghost town out of plywood. It was pretty epic.

Unfortunately, as we were setting up the town at the new campground, the campground host came by and told us we needed a million dollar liability insurance policy. They were worried our plywood city would fall on someone. (UGH!) They were nice enough to let us keep it up, but we were instructed that no one could walk on the site. We had envisioned visitors could walk through our town and interact with us. So much for creating selfie stations!

In addition to the campsite contest, the park also had Halloween games, pumpkin carving contest, and site to site trick or treating. The weather was a real challenge, it was cold and damp. However, it did not stop those kids from hitting up every loop in the park for trick or treating.

There are so many aspects to our Halloween camping trip that make this special. Some of those I have already touched upon. We love creating the concept together. We love the pre-trip. I also think we love the competition of it all. But most importantly, I think we overall just really like each others company and this event speaks to how much fun we have while camping and outside of camping. I think our children love seeing their parents let their hair down and play (or dress up in silly costumes in this case).

Do you have access to a Halloween camping trip? If so, do you decorate your site or just participate in the trick or treating? If you are looking for a campground in the Kansas City area that celebrates Halloween, I suggest you check out:

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