Halloween is the perfect occasion to get together with friends and neighbors to celebrate the fall season. Whether you wish to host an all-out fright fest, a harvest-themed dinner party or a kid-friendly Halloween hoedown, party planning for Halloween isn’t as scary as is may seem. From sharing ghost stories to bobbing for apples to making frightfully delicious confections and cocktails, there are endless activities to choose from to keep guests of all ages entertained.
Before visitors arrive, a memorable Halloween bash starts with the right decorations. Along with vibrant autumn leaves, festive décor, including seasonal flowers, wreaths and pumpkins, provide welcoming bursts of color. Inside, fun Halloween centerpieces will add softening touches to the cobwebs, ghosts, spiders and other spooky stuff lurking around.
Kids Halloween Party Tips
For kids, Halloween is all about candy. To balance out that sugar high and engage young guests, a successful party ought to include plenty of activities.
Games are always a smart way to kick things off, and bobbing for apples is a classic Halloween contest. In fact, unmarried men and women used to bob for apples, and the first person to bite one was supposed to be the next person to get married. Kids might enjoy a nighttime scavenger hunt with flashlights, as well as hide-and-seek games such as ghosts in the graveyard, blind man’s bluff and zombie tag.
If the weather’s too chilly for outdoor games, crafts are another option. Instead of kids arriving in costume, they can make their own personalized masks for a masquerade party. Pick up some plain canvas bags and fabric paint, and children can decorate their own trick-or-treat totes. Or, make Halloween-themed maracas to scare away any ghouls or ghosts kids may encounter while they beg for candy.
Of course, no Halloween kids’ party is complete without treats. But instead of just handing out candy, kids can have fun in the kitchen making their own. Caramel apples, for instance, are simple for even younger guests to manage. For a salty snack, popcorn balls should please tots and teens alike. There are also all sorts of creepy Halloween recipes for terrifyingly tasty eyeballs, witches’ hats, ghosts and vampire fangs that kids will love.
Adult Halloween Party Tips
Adults can also get in on the Halloween merriment with something as simple as a pumpkin carving get-together or themed cocktail party. And if you don’t have the time or budget to transform your home into a haunted house, never fear. You can rely on creative food and presentation to set the appropriate Halloween scene.
A dinner party or potluck offers plenty of room to incorporate seasonal foods without having to incorporate a “scary” element to all of the dishes. Pumpkin soup, apple pie and roasted butternut squash are just a sampling of popular fall comfort foods. Devil’s food cake, red velvet cake or even pecan caramel spiders can provide an extra dash of Halloween spirit.
Speaking of spirits, Halloween cocktails will add some otherworldly ambiance to the affair. Fill hollowed out pumpkin shells with ice to keep beers and beverages chilled for guests. You could also pick up a decorative cauldron and serve apple cider as “witches brew.” Fans of black and tans will enjoy black velvets, which are half-and-half mixtures of Guinness and champagne. For livelier aperitifs, blood orange margaritas, piña ghouladas and bloody marys are also crowd pleasers.
Perhaps more than anything else, a festive Halloween party depends on the host. Whether entertaining a group of children or sharing an evening with friends, put on a costume and embrace the true heart of the holiday. Enjoy the opportunity to have a little spooky fun, and guests will get into the Halloween spirit as well.