A Halloween party can be a great way to celebrate fall with your family and friends. Never thrown one before?
Here are some party planning tips on how to throw a great event:
- Pick a date. Remember, Halloween is a busy season and many neighborhoods have trick or treating that night. When selecting a date for your party, try to choose one that won't interfere with your guest's other plans. The weekend before the holiday is often a good date.
- Spooky invitations. Your invitations will set the tone for your party. If you're creative, you can make pumpkin-shaped invites using orange and black construction paper. If you'd rather buy ready-made invitations, check your favorite party supply store or website for spooky designs. Be sure to include RSVP information as well the details (like the start and end time and information about costumes).
- Decorations. Decorating will be one of the most fun parts of your planning. Adorn your room with fake cobwebs, carved pumpkins and plastic skeletons. Decorate your front yard with styrofoam cutouts to make a graveyard--cut styrofoam into the shape of tombstones and paint names of the "deceased" on them. Hang orange and black crepe paper throughout the house and dim the lights--have your party by candlelight instead (but keep candles out of reach of children). Your Halloween party decorations can take on any part of this special holiday that you'd like--from spooky to festive fall leaves.
- Music. Get your guests in the Halloween spirit by playing spooky music. Buy a CD of scary tunes or haunted house sounds (creaking doors, screams and scary cackles). Some good choices include "Andrew Gold's Halloween Howls" and "Very Scary Music: Classic Horror Themes" by Roy Shakked. For a children's party, try "Spooky Music: Music for Little People," which features kid-friendly renditions of "Dem Bones" and "If You're Scary and You Know It."
- Costumes. One of the best parts of any Halloween party is the costumes. Consider giving out prizes for the Most Creative Costume, Scariest Costume, Funniest Costume, etc. You can even give away prizes for costumes at adult parties. Encourage your adult guests to get decked out for your bash--after all, the day isn't just for kids!
- Food. Serve up some fall favorites like apple cider and pumpkin bread. For a children's party, the food should look "gross" but taste good. Sandwiches are always a good party food, but for your event, you can decorate regular sandwiches by using olives for eyeballs and roasted red peppers for tongues. Make a "witches brew" punch and serve it up in a plastic black cauldron, which you can buy at any party store. Chocolate pudding topped with crushed chocolate crumbs and gummy worms makes for a yummy "worms in dirt" treat. Use pumpkin- or ghost-shaped cookie cutters to cut cheese into Halloween shapes. Fry up some breaded chicken strips and serve them as "witches fingers"--then dip them in blood (ketchup).
- Pumpkin carving. Stock up on some pumpkins in a variety of sizes and have a carving contest for your guests. Supply them with carving tools, stencils and markers and see who can create the bestdesign. Display all of the gourds afterward by putting lit candles inside and let them glow! Make sure that all children are supervised!
- Games. No spooky party is complete without a few games. Fill a tub with water and apples and have your guest bob for apples--make sure to blindfold them to make the task more difficult. Children love stories, so read some ghost tales like The Headless Horseman and Other Ghoulish Tales by Maggie Pearson and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammel. Play a "Guess the Body Parts" game by having blindfolded guests put their hands in a box or a bowl and try to guess what "body parts" they feel--you can use items like pickles (for noses), grapes (for eyeballs), popcorn kernels (for teeth) and banana peels (for tongues).
By using these tips you can have a great Halloween bash that your family and friends will still be talking about long after the party has ended.