group of kids dressed up for Halloween

Kid-Approved Scares: Building a Family-Friendly Haunted Attraction

“Can my kids come?” “Is this too scary for children?” “What are the age restrictions?”

As a haunt owner, you probably get these questions all the time. Everyone wants to bring their children and enjoy an evening of scares and frights as a family. Halloween is everyone’s holiday, children included, and sometimes those children want to be included in your haunt. However, this begs the question, how do you build a family friendly haunted attraction?

The first step in building your haunt is establishing the minimum age. A 5+ haunt will be wildly different from a 12+ or 18+ haunt. Let’s explore the key elements and strategies for creating a kid-friendly haunt that offers a balance of spooky thrills and family entertainments to appeal to all ages.

skull with pirate patch lying in grass

1. Choosing the Right Theme and Storyline

Choosing the right theme is an important part of building a haunted attraction that appeals to the whole family. Consider fun and imaginative themes that are engaging and not too niche. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Whimsical Haunted Carnival
  • Friendly (but scary) Ghost Town
  • Pirate’s Cove or Pirate’s Ship
  • Monster Manor
  • Haunted Mystery Mansion

2. Designing Age-Appropriate Scares

Another important part of designing a kid-friendly haunt is tailoring the scares to different age groups. You can create a range of scare levels, from mild jump scares to more intense experiences, to cater to all ages. The intensity of the haunt should be clearly communicated to guests so they can make informed decisions. 

stack of hard hats

3. Creating Scary but Safe Environments

Safety should be a top priority when designing a haunted attraction for families. Make sure you have proper lighting, clear walkways, and sturdy handrails to prevent accidents or falls. You may want to minimize the use of fog machines or strobe lights, as they may overwhelm younger guests or individuals with sensitivities. Check out our blog for the Top 5 Safety Tips for Your Haunt.

4. Diverse Scare Levels and Multiple Paths

Provide guests with the option to choose different paths or experiences based on their comfort level. This allows families with varying scare preferences to explore the haunt together while customizing their adventure. Ensure that there are milder scare options for those who prefer a less intense experience. Whether you have separate attractions for different scare levels, or simply different paths through your attraction, guests will be grateful for the option.

5. Live Performances and Entertainment

Include live performances, such as magicians, jugglers, or costumed actors, to add an extra layer of entertainment. These interactive elements provide a break from the scares and offer enjoyable experiences for all ages. You could incorporate live entertainment into your midway games or as an additional attraction. 

creepy girl pointing

6. Encouraging Feedback and Listening to Guests

Create channels for guests to provide feedback on their experience. Encourage families to share their thoughts and suggestions to continually improve your haunted attraction. Actively listen to the feedback received and consider implementing changes or adjustments based on guest input. This helps ensure that your haunt remains family-friendly and meets the expectations of your target audience.

7. Dynamic Ticket Pricing Based on Age Group

As you’re setting up ticketing at your family-friendly haunt, you may consider a more dynamic and inclusive pricing structure. Offering kid or student discounts will encourage your target audience to attend your haunt and make it more accessible. Admission doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. 

Take advantage of HauntPay’s seamless ticket experience that allows you to have multiple ticket types and prices to accommodate all guests. Schedule a virtual demo with our team to learn more about how to set up ticket types, or read our blog post.

Wrapping Up

By incorporating age-appropriate scares, engaging interactive elements, and choosing the right theme, you can create an unforgettable haunted experience that caters to all ages. Remember, safety should always be a priority, ensuring a fun and secure environment for each guest. Happy haunting!

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