Apple Bobbing: MUST or BUST??? [Vote&Win]

No Halloween party is complete without sticking your face in a cold bucket of everyone’s spit!


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If you enjoy apple bobbing, here are some tips:

  • Be sure you (or an assistant) are willing to do the activity to encourage them first!
  • Worried about germs? Use a small pan and change the water.
  • Don’t let children who are sick participate.
  • Do the activity outside near a water hose/faucet.
  • Get plenty of towels ready.
  • Plan this activity before they paint their faces so they don’t spoil the makeup.
  • Because this activity is only one person at a time, let others stand near (but not behind because they might push) or do something else like watch some halloween cartoons while they wait.
  • Set a timer if they are taking too long.
  • Let a child try again AFTER everyone has tried.
  • Remind them they can only bite one apple.

Hate the idea? Here are two alternatives!

Hanging Apples

With some string and a large enough area, this game is sure to be a hit with teachers and moms who think apple bobbing is disgusting!

Grab Apple

There are two ways to set up this game:

#1 – Make this game a game of chance

 Each carnival player is given a net to scoop up the apple of their choice. They get to keep the prize that is inside the apple. Some apples may have slips of paper that say “top prize” for larger items that will not fit into the plastic apple.

#2. Make this game a matching game

Each player is given 3 chances to find a match inside the apples. When filling the apples, you will choose some prizes (small erasers, candy, etc). So the children have 3 tries to pick two apples that have matching erasers inside. If they find a match, they win a top prize, otherwise, they receive a consolation prize.  

If you can’t find floating apples, another idea is to tie a number or write or cut a number on a real apple. The number they get (or word) corresponds with prizes.


The secret of this game is to display your top prizes so kids know they have a chance to win something really cool!! For older children, you could have the number on the apple correspond with a riddle or question to answer!

Are you one of those weird people who loves history? Me too!

    Here’s what we found from Wikipedia:

The tradition of bobbing for apples dates back to the Roman invasion of Britain, when the conquering army merged their own celebrations with traditional Celtic festivals.The Romans brought with them the apple tree, a representation of the goddess of fruit trees, Pomona. During an annual celebration, young unmarried people try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string; the first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to be allowed to marry.

The custom is mentioned (along with apples suspended on a string) in 18th century Ireland by Charles Vallancey in his book Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis. Girls who placed the apple they bobbed under their pillows were said to dream of their future lover.

Click the links below to explore more ideas for Halloween:


Halloween Party: Arts & Crafts

Halloween Party: Games

Halloween Party: Decorations

Halloween Party: Music

Halloween Party: Movies

Halloween Party: Snacks

Halloween Party: Face Painting

40+ Halloween Poems

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