Halloween is a time for tricks, treats and parties! Whether you are looking for a safe alternative to trick-or-treating or are just in a wicked party spirit, a halloween party is something kids and adults will love.
By Amy Gordy, Photography by Lily Darragh
All you need are a few spooky decorations, festive treats and drinks, games to keep the little ghouls occupied and tunes to set the mood. Strongly encourage guests to come in costume (it’s more fun when everyone participates, even the grown ups!) and offer a little incentive with a Best Costume trophy like the one we picked up at Party City!
Part of the fun of a Halloween party is in the planning! From decorations to finding the right costume, there are so many fun choices to be made. Costumes are always fun to DIY, but if you are in a time crunch or that elaborate Iron Man costume is just outside of your crafting skill-set, then head to Party City and choose from the hundreds of ready-made costumes. Most come with everything you need, but kids love to accessorize, so help them get excited about their carefully chosen outfit with a few little extras to really bring it all together. If your kids are the competitive types throw in a Best Costume trophy and let the kids vote. Make it more fun and create a few subcategories (funniest, scariest, sweetest, best adult costume) and let everyone vote so nobody feels left out.
Decorations can be fun and colorful, or spooky for a slightly older crowd. For little ones, think orange and purple, polka dots, witches, pumpkins—leave the skeletons and fake blood on the shelf! Streamers, banners and creative lighting are small additions that can make a big impact; throw in a fog machine and you’ve got the party of the year! Don’t forget to set the mood with a spine-chilling playlist, and feel free to start a game of freeze-dance! Here are a few of our favorite Halloween tunes:
BOBBY "BORIS" PICKETT & THE CRYPT-KICKERS
RAY PARKER JR.
“THIS IS HALLOWEEN”
FROM "THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS"
“I WANT CANDY”
BOW WOW WOW
“I'M IN LOVE WITH A MONSTER”
“I PUT A SPELL ON YOU”
SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS
“HOWLIN' FOR YOU”
THE BLACK KEYS
“BAD MOON RISING”
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
“WEREWOLVES OF LONDON”
“SHE WOLF “
After all that spooking, your guests will need a little refreshment! With a house full of little sprites running wild, you’ll need easy treats that won’t have you tied up with hosting duties all night. Halloween is all about the candy, and this Nerdy Sprite cocktail is an easy crowd-pleaser. Just fill some cups with big, chunky ice and some sanitized, spooky party favors like vampire teeth, snakes or plastic eyeballs. Then drop in a handful of Nerds and a festive paper straw.
CARAMEL CANDY APPLE BAR
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TOPPINGS WITH THIS EASY CARAMEL APPLE BAR. KIDS WILL LOVE BEING IN CONTROL OF THEIR SNACKS AND THE APPLES MAKE IT AN ALMOST HEALTHY TREAT, RIGHT?
BAG OF APPLES
AN ASSORTMENT OF NUTS, CANDY,
CRUSHED COOKIES AND MORE
Grab a bag of apples and chop them up in easy-to-eat slices. Set out a container of skewers, or ditch the skewers if the party-goers are too young, and just make it finger-food! Pour the caramel topping into a deep container so the apples are dunk-able. Arrange containers of fun toppings, and let the kids create their own tasty treats!
TIP: TO KEEP APPLES FROM BROWNING QUICKLY, TRY SOAKING FRESHLY CUT SLICES IN A SOLUTION OF 1/2 TEASPOON SALT PER 1 CUP OF COLD WATER FOR 5 MINUTES. RINSE THEM THOROUGHLY AFTER THE SOAKING TO GET RID OF THE SALTY TASTE.
WHEN YOUR GUESTS HAVE FINISHED THEIR TREATS AND ADMIRED ALL THE COSTUMES, FILL THE TIME WITH SOME EASY, DIY GAMES! YOU CAN MAKE THESE WITH YOUR KIDS BEFORE THE SHINDIG, AND THEY’LL LOVE TAKING OVER THE HOSTING DUTIES TO SHOW OFF THEIR HARD WORK.
40 9-INCH ORANGE BALLOONS
GREEN CONSTRUCTION PAPER
You’ll want to assemble this game (recommended for ages 7 and up) the day of the party so the balloons are nice and full when the darts start flying. Blow up the balloons and secure them on the corkboard with thumbtacks in the shape of a pumpkin. Cut a green stem and tack it up top, then find a nice spot (outside, unless you want your hardwoods to look like Swiss cheese) and line up the kids. An adult should be the dart keeper at all times and hand them to players one at a time to prevent any mishaps. With adult supervision, this game is a huge hit—especially if you throw in some prizes.
MONSTER CAN TOPPLE
RINSED TIN CANS
A SOFT BALL OR BEAN BAG
Let your kids get creative when making their own monster cans for a fun bean bag toss game! Grab some paint, googly eyes, glitter, feathers and anything else from the craft bin and let their imaginations get kooky. Build a pyramid of monster cans and let the kids take turns trying to topple them over!