Special Events at Museums: 10 ways to celebrate Halloween


This is no trick, just a real treat! Museums all across the country plan special events for Halloween. Take me to the ideas!

Why should museums have special holiday or seasonal activities and events?

Having special holiday or season related events can boost museum attendance. Members who haven’t visited in a while may be rekindled to come see what’s new. Even more so, people in the community who have never visited may have a new interest in seeing what you’re all about. Events like this can boost community value and the way people support and interact with a museum - you may even get some good PR time! Plus, you may even get some new members after they see how much value you add to the community.

How to advertise special events at museums

So you have an event planned. How are you going to get people to come? There are many ways you can advertise events for your target market.

Social Media

  • Creating boosted posts or Facebook Ads are a surefire way to spread the news about your upcoming event. With Facebook’s customizable audience settings for ads, you can target specific places, interests, ages, and more. This way, your ad will be shown to exactly who you’d like to invite.

  • Setting up a Facebook event is also a good option if you’d like to generate community hype about your event. People can mark that they are interested or attending, which can then be shared with their Facebook friends, creating anticipation of the event to come.

  • Instagram is a great visual platform. If you have the resources to create good imagery for or about your event, and you already have a good following on your Instagram page, make sure you share about your event.

Google Business Page

Google Business pages can sometimes fall by the wayside when we think about advertising. You can actually set up an event on your Google Business page so that if someone sees your Google Business page during a search, your event will also be shown within your listing. This is a great, often forgotten about, option for advertising events.


If you already have an email newsletter, or printed newsletter, that gets sent out regularly, be sure to include information about your event. Newsletters are a great way to provide information about future events. Including a “looking ahead” section in a newsletter is much more appropriate than trying to advertise an event on Facebook 6 months ahead. Plus, this gives your subscribers a heads up and will make them feel more in-the-know with what is going on at the museum.

Ideas for Fall activities at museums

Are you a museum director looking for ways to incorporate fall festivities into your activity calendar? We’ve found some great Halloween activity ideas from museums across the country to inspire you.

Hallowscream: Fright Night
National Baseball Hall of Fame
”Tour the underworld of baseball…”

Screening of Ghost Town (1988)
Autry Museum
”A modern-day sheriff faces undead outlaws in a seemingly abandoned ghost town…”

Night of Noir Halloween Party
Museum of the City of New York
”A Halloween party with 1940s inspiration…”


Chocolate Monster Mischief
The Hershey Story
”Create your very own monster pop using a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar…”

Halloween Film Festival
”Join Smithsonian Theaters for some scary good films…”

Haunted Museum: Escape from Uncharted Island
Natural History Museum Los Angeles County
”Guided only by an old map, you must document your discoveries before the hourglass empties…”

Great Pumpkin Day
State Museum of Pennsylvania
”Holiday games, crafts, and snacks!”


Trunk or Treat
Studebaker National Museum
”Treats and a spooky skeleton scavenger hunt!”

Art Monster Mash-Up
Philadelphia Museum of Art
”Use your imagination to create your own monster!”

Franklin Fright Weekend
The Franklin Institute
”Spooky science, shows, and other festivities!”