Penn State Children's Hospital brings Halloween spirit to pediatric patients

November 06, 2019

HERSHEY, Pa. -- It’s tough to be a kid stuck in a hospital. But when you’re not able to go trick-or-treating or attend your school Halloween party, it can make the hospital stay even more difficult.

Pediatric patients at Penn State Children’s Hospital were able to experience the fun of the season with a costume parade and party organized by Child Life staff on Oct. 31. Wearing costumes donated by specialty retailer Spirit Halloween, they visited departments throughout the hospital and received treats from Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine staff.

“Halloween is a big part of kids’ lives,” said Sarah Miller, Child Life support associate. “If they weren’t expecting to be here, we can make it a little more fun.”

This was one of about 100 parties that Spirit Halloween sponsored at children’s hospitals nationwide as part of its Spirit of Children program, which raises money for Child Life departments.

Penn State Children's Hospital - NICU Halloween Party

The NICU at Penn State Children’s Hospital hosted a construction-themed Halloween party for current and former patients, their families and staff. The construction theme honors the Children’s Hospital expansion project, which includes a new state-of-the-art NICU set to open in the fall of 2020.

Penn State Health

Since 2010, the program has contributed more than $489,832 to Penn State Children’s Hospital.

That money has been used to fund two, year-long Child Life fellowship positions, expand Child Life services into the weekend and add a full-time facility dog.

It also has been used to pay for special events such as football tailgate and holiday parties for pediatric patients and their families, as well as mobile gaming systems and Vecta machines to distract children during procedures.

Child Life staff provides nonmedical treatment and healing through play for Children’s Hospital patients and works to make the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for them.

To view a photo gallery from the costume parade and Halloween party, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 06, 2019