Top 5 Halloween Glow Activities for Your Party

The best list of Halloween activities that glow in the dark!

Halloween is all about spooky, creepy things that lurk in the dark. There’s nothing better than turning off the lights and bringing out glowing, mysterious, and slimy materials to touch and watch. The kids will ooh and ahh. Whether you are planning a Halloween party, looking for unique decorations, or just wanting to have some fun with your own kids at home, here are some glowing activities you can do.

Experiment Materials

  • Black light
  • Glow Powder
  • Atomic Glow
  • Glow in the Dark Paper
  • Jelly Marbles
  • Graduated cylinders

1. Glowing Pumpkins

If you’re a fan of Spangler Science, you know that we love exploding pumpkins… but we’ve also found that glowing pumpkins can be just as fun! Just add Glow Powder to your Halloween pumpkins and you’ll get a spooky Halloween display without all the mess of carving.

(Read the Full Experiment)

2. Bubbling, Glowing Cylinders

Nothing looks more like a witches brew or a warlocks potion than a container full of bubbling, glowing liquid. By dropping some Atomic Glow into a container with dry ice and water, you’ll get all of the bubbling and fog of dry ice in an awesome liquid the glows under UV light.

(Read the Full Experiment)

3. Glowing Gooey Eyeballs

Our Jelly Marbles feel eerily like eyeballs, but take them even further using Atomic Glow! These glowing eyeballs aren’t just fun to play with because the growing polymer science behind them is just as awesome as their fluorescence!

(Read the Full Experiment)

4. Glowing Jars

Create your favorite Halloween-themed designs on the inside of clear jars to create glowing artwork that will impress all of the local guys and ghouls. You need little more than some Elmer’s Glue and a paint brush before having amazing glow in the dark jars!

(Read the Full Experiment)

5. Glow in the Dark Paper

Our team of After Dark Scientists know that when the lights go off, the glow in the dark fun begins… and they couldn’t stop experimenting with our Glow in the Dark paper. You won’t believe your eyes as you write with light, freeze your shadow or even capture a picture with this sticky-back adhesive paper.

(View Product)

BONUS Glowing Ice Cubes and Drinks

Tonic water contains quinine, a chemical that glows under a black light. Quinine was added to Tonic water to help fight off malaria. Tonic water still contains a small amount of quinine, which makes it a perfect material for glowing drinks and ice cubes.

How Does It Work?

Before you get started, you must understand the difference between the Zinc Sulfide Glow Powder and Atomic Glow Concentrate, or the terms fluorescence and phosphorescence.

It’s also important to note that not all zinc sulfide glows, but luminous zinc sulfide does glow!

Fluorescence
This type of luminescence occurs when some form of radiation, such as light, causes an object to glow. For example, fluorescent papers and poster boards glow in the daylight. They glow even brighter under black light (ultraviolet light). Ultraviolet light is a component in sunlight. Ultraviolet wavelengths are very long with a very high frequency and can be used to detect fluorescent material that would remain invisible under normal conditions. When you shine ultraviolet light on fluorescent material, it lights up with a beautiful bluish-green luminescence.

In either case, as soon as the light is removed, the glow stops. Fluorescent things do not glow in the dark all by themselves – they require some other form of energy such as ultraviolet light to “excite” them.

Under normal light, Atomic Glow will turn water a cool greenish-yellow color. Under a black light, the goo actually glows an eerie green color. Atomic Glow is fluorescent and needs a black light to make it glow.

Parents – also note that Atomic Glow will stain.

Phosphorescence
Phosphorescence is just like fluorescence, except that the glow continues even after the light used to excite it is removed. “Glow in the dark” toys phosphoresce brightly in total darkness after being “charged” or excited by ordinary white or ultraviolet light. Glow Powder works by absorbing surrounding light energy and then releases that energy when the lights go out. It’s called a phosphorescent.

So, how does zinc sulfide work? Imagine that an atom looks something like our solar system. The sun would be the nucleus consisting of positive charges called protons and neutral charges called neutrons. The planets spinning around the sun would be similar to the electrons of an atom in orbits around the nucleus.

When the electrons in the atoms of special molecules like zinc sulfide become excited, they move farther away from the nucleus — into higher or more distant orbits. In order to become excited, the electrons must take on energy. In this case, light provided the required energy to cause the electrons to move to a higher energy level. It’s as if Earth were to move farther away from the sun into the orbit of Mars or Jupiter.

The electrons will remain in the excited state as long as they receive light to energize them. But, when the light used as an exciter is removed, the electrons will slowly return to their original lower orbits. As they do so, they give up the energy that excited them in the form of light.