Spooky Activities and Halloween Haunts for Teens and Tweens in Iowa City

Halloween can be more than trick-or-treating and costumes, but it can be challenging to find activities that are inclusive to the whole family. Here are a few ideas for families with teens and tweens to please.

Family Fun 

Colony Pumpkin Patch

Where: 2780 Front St. NE, North Liberty 
Colony Pumpkin Patch offers a variety of activities including hayrack rides, a play area, and corn maze. Older kids can test their directional skills in the 10-acre flashlight corn maze–in the dark!
When: Sept. 21 through Oct. 27, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The flashlight maze is open 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (though Oct. 26).

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins

Where: 2924 Orchard LN NE
What: Pick the perfect pumpkin from one of several patches, then carve it at one of the orchard’s carving stations. After that, enjoy late season apples, trailer rides, and all sorts of treats, including pumpkin donuts and hot mulled apple cider!
When: Oct. 19-20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pumpkin Carving 

Where: Millstream Brau Haus, 741 47th Ave., Amana
What: Bring the family down to the Millstream Brau Haus for free pumpkin carving fun! Use provided carving tools to make the perfect pumpkin.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Haunted Trails

Where: Coralville Lake, Sugar Bottom Day Use Area.
What: Presented by Friends of Coralville Lake, enjoy an adventuresome walk along the haunted trail. See if you can make it! The entire family can enjoy the Wicked Walk, too.
When: Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26

Floating Pumpkin Patch

Where: Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 S. Gilbert St.
What: An awesome activity for the tweens in your life! Bring your bathing suit and pick out a pumpkin. Dry off your pumpkin and decorate it to take home in time for Halloween!
When: Saturday, Oct.26, 10 to 10:30 a.m.

STEAM Halloween Parade and Carnival 

Where: Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2701 Bradford Dr.
What: Kids are invited to dress in costume and parade around Mercer Park before coming inside the aquatic center to enjoy a variety of activities centered around science, technology, engineering, art, and math. These include pumpkin spinning tops with University of Iowa physics students, a chemistry candy lesson, and Halloween science. Plus classic carnival games, a spooky haunted mansion and cardboard maze and castle.
When: Friday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m.

Sunday Funday: Rainbow Mini-Pumpkins

Where: Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St. 
Come create rainbow mini-pumpkins following a special Sunday afternoon Drag Storytime! This is a great activity for kids and tween siblings.
When: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m.

Trick or Treat Weekend 

Where: 2924 Orchard LN NE
What: Enjoy the final weekend of the season at Wilson’s Orchard! Free trailer rides and prizes for anyone who arrives in a costume! Enjoy pumpkins, late season apples, pumpkin donuts, apple turnovers and hot cider.
When: Oct. 26-27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Frightening Fun 

Scream Acres

Where: Bloomsbury Farm, 3260 39th St., 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.
When: Every Friday and Saturday in October.

Thrashers House of Terror 

Where: 405 E Threshers Road, Mount Pleasant
What: One of Iowa’s Number One Haunted Houses. The Thrashers House of Terror will deliver the most terrifying and bone-chilling sounds in Mount Pleasant that’s sure to terrify you. Located on the grounds of McMillan Park. Children under 14 must enter with an adult.
When: Thursday 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays (through Oct. 26), 6 p.m. to midnight, and Halloween 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Spooky Shows

Tween Friday Flick – A Nightmare Before Christmas  

Where: Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St.
What: Join Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, as he discovers Christmas Town and is determined to give the new holiday his all.
When: Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Rooftop Showing: Beatlejuice 

Where: FilmScene, 118 E. College St.
What: Check out these creepy classic. The spirits of a deceased couple hire a malicious spirit to drive out the unbearable family that has moved into their home.
When: Sun. Oct. 27, 8 p.m.

Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.


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