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Program Idea: Zombie Invasion

Submitted by: Ann Pechacek, apechacek@worthingtonlibraries.org
Library: Worthington Libraries, Columbus, OH
Audience: Teens
Group Size: 10-25
Season: October, or any time of year

Teens can come in costume for gruesome games (Pin the Pancreas on the Zombie, anyone?) and a monstrous makeup demonstration. Be prepared to shake a leg during what's sure to be an outrageous dance contest!

Part of TGIF, a library series which offers unique after-hours programs for teens.

Ideal for teens, Zombie Invasion is a perfect program to run close to Halloween. On the other hand, zombie attacks can happen at a moment's notice, so it never hurts to be prepared!

Zombie-themed Mad Libs*
Zombie Make-up Kits
Nerf Guns (about one per teen)
3-5 Zombie Targets+
Boom Box or Computer set up with music player
Table Cloth
Crafting supplies of your choice

*Either create your own, or find a zombie-themed Mad-Lib book.
+These can be made, or often can be purchased from a local gun store.
Give at least 5 hours of prep time prior to event if you want to include all activities
During this time you will need to gather supplies, create mad-libs and design a scavenger hunt through your library
Leave at least 30 minutes for set up on the day of event

Preparation Steps

  1. Begin by designing some zombie-themed mad libs. You can either create your own, or consult a Mad Libs book for ideas.

  2. Then create a scavenger hunt through the library, highlighting some of your library's unique spaces and major features.

  3. Hang up your zombie shooting targets in an area that is open and away from computers. Hang one in a designated spot for "Pin the Pancreas on the Zombie."

  4. Set up a few tables for crafting and setting out snacks. Recommend covering the tables with a cloth or paper to prevent staining from make-up and craft activities.

  5. Set out snacks and supplies and get ready for the invasion!


  1. Begin the program by letting everyone introduce themselves and outlining the rules. Teens can hang out, talk or eat snacks. (approx. 30 min)

  2. Next teens paint each other's faces, work on crafts, making zombie guts and playing "Pin the Pancreas on the Zombie." (approx. 45 min)

  3. Then teens practice shooting Nerf darts at the zombie targets (and maybe a few at each other!) (approx. 30 min)

  4. Finally teens play zombie musical chairs and compete in freestyle zombie dance-offs.(approx. 15 min)

  5. Clean-up (approx. 30 min depending on how large the group and how many helpers you can recruit)

Extra Hints & Tips

Consider your time constraints and choose activities that work best for you.

Before you buy any Nerf guns, try asking your staff members with kids if they could lend some. You might be surprised by the formidable arsenal you've collected!

Combine activities with a screening of a movie. Maybe now is a perfect time to introduce teens to a classic (less gory) zombie film.

Additional Resources

How to Be a Zombie: The Essential Guide for Anyone Who Craves Brains- by Serena Valentino

Zombies vs. Unicorns- by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It- by Adam Selzer

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