Step 1: Let’s Get This Party Started
Before you start your shopping and party planning, keep yourself organized by answering these questions first:
- How big of a Halloween party are you in the mood to host?
- How much do you want to spend?
- When can you host your party?
- Who do you want to invite?
- Will you host your party, at home or will you need to rent a space?
Once you decide the who, what, where and when, it’s time to send your invitations either online or the good old fashioned way with snail mail!
Step 2: Don’t Compete
Don’t try to compete with trick-or-treaters and other Halloween festivities by hosting your party on October 31st. Try the weekend before or after. Besides, Halloween rarely lands on a weekend which is the best time to host party anyway.
Step 3: Pick a Theme
Picking a party theme will help you stay focused and on budget. Vampires, haunted mansion, zombie, Frankenstein’s laboratory and black magic are the most popular themes for teens and adults. For the younger crowd, stick to cute ghosts, pumpkins, candy, monsters or just basic black and orange.
Step 4: Don’t Leave Decorating to the Last Minute
You don’t want to be wrestling with spider webbing, inflatable ghosts or creating a lawn graveyard the morning of your party. Decorating your yard, entry way and house throughout the month means you can cross most of the decorating off your list.
Step 5: Thrifty Finds
Hit your local thrift stores to find perfect decorating items like candelabras, goblets, ceramic owls or mirror balls. You’ll save some money and be giving to a worthy cause. Don’t worry if the items are worse for wear—a can of spray paint goes a long way!
Step 6: More than the Monster Mash
No one wants to hear “The Monster Mash” song over and over throughout a party!
A few days before your party, prepare an awesome Halloween playlist and make sure your player is ready to go.
Step 7: Create Mood Lighting
You wouldn’t want a baby shower or wedding to be dark and dreary, nor do you want your Halloween party to bright and cheerful. Set the mood by switching out standard light bulbs with orange, yellow or green bulbs. Several carefully placed candles (or battery operated) will go a long way in the ambience department and if you have a dance floor try adding a black light.
Step 8: Food That’s Fun Not Gross
Pickled brains and eyeball appetizers maybe fun to create, but evidence shows that kids are not as likely to partake in such gruesome fare.
Have fun creating your menu but make sure it’s not too gross to eat! Popular party snacks for kids are mummy wrapped hot dogs, swamp dip (guacamole), a tasty punch served in a witch’s cauldron and for a smile, add gummy worms to anything!
Step 9: Grown-Up Menu Ideas
When creating a party menu for adults, you can be more adventurous. Make sure, however, to serve food with less eww! factor, or you’ll be tossing most of it in the garbage. Use corn syrup and red food color to rim bloody cocktails, serve pumpkin soup in a Witch’s Caldron (Dutch oven) and green olives transform deviled eggs to eyeballs with ease.
Step 10: Play Some Ghoulish Games
Plan a few games or activities to entertain your guests especially if you are hosting kids. Try scary movie trivia, pumpkin bowling, ring the witch’s hat or team up for a few rounds of haunted charades. A few physical games will help sugar loaded kids burn off some energy.
Step 11: Provide Creepy Crafts
Set up a craft table for the kids and artsy adults to enjoy at your party. Beading, decorating and filling goody bags, making pipe cleaner spiders or some simple craft kits are the easiest way to go.
Step 12: It’s Halloween, Say “Cheese”!
Rent a photo booth or make one yourself so your guests can show off their Halloween finery! You can make your own using fabric back drop, hats, accessories and props. Enlist a friend to help with the photos and then email them to your guests after party is over or guests can simply snap shots with their smart phones and send them along in messages.
Step 13: DIY Goody Bag Goodness
Whether you’re handy with a glue gun or craft challenged, sending kids home with a small homemade gift is nice. A few weeks before the party take a peek online to find just the thing for you to make. It can be as simple as a treat bag filled with gummy worms and tied with a spider ring, or more elaborate like hand stitched felt owl. Pinterest is the perfect place to begin your search.
Step 14: Dress for the Occasion
Throwing a successful Halloween bash can have you hustling around, so plan your costume wisely. Avoid lots of accessories, props and bulky dress or you may regret it when it comes time to be in the kitchen or mingling with guests. Imagine slaving over a hot stove in a gorilla suit or spending hours in your Cat Woman boots with five inch heels!
Step 15: Have Fun
Hosting a Halloween bash (or any party) is a lot of work but the best way to ensure you have fun in the process is to plan ahead, make to-do lists, keep it within your budget and abilities and ask for help when needed. If you’re having fun, your guests will too!