Are you thinking of hosting a Halloween party in your home, but need ideas and tips on making it fun for everyone? Entertaining can be a bit overwhelming at times, whether it’s hosting a dinner party at home, or planning a family-friendly atmosphere that entertains adults and children alike.
Halloween is no exception. In fact, sometimes it’s one of the most difficult themed parties to make all ages happy and comfortable. For example, ghoulish Halloween decorations could be a little too scary for young children. Yet, some of the decorations and activities for kids might be too juvenile and maddening for the adults.
But, there are tips for hosting a successful Halloween party at home…
At least a couple weeks before the party, get your invitations out to the guest list. There are various methods for sending out invitations, from traditional snail mail to effective use of the Internet. If you choose the Internet, you can email invitations, set up an “event” on Facebook, or use an electronic invitation app to get the word out to your guests. However, you might want to consider having a few invitations to mail out, or make some calls to those you don’t have on your friend’s list or in your email contacts.
On the invitations or event page, make sure to have the date, time it starts, time it ends, location, and any other valuable information, such as costumes, bring a dish to pass, if kids are included, or anything else you want your guests to know prior to walking through the door.
Halloween Decorations for the Party
Plan on how you want to decorate, then search DIY sites such as Pinterest for creative ideas. They will have some fun ways to decorate your home party for Halloween. An example would be spreading cotton thinly to make spider webs on the tables and lamps. For quick and easy, pick up cobweb in a can.
However, if you are having everyone come in costume, you could get away with going light on the decorating, and focus on other areas instead. The costumes could add to the holiday décor.
Halloween Party Menu
Deciding what you want to serve should be planned well in advance. The food takes the most time to prepare, both in shopping and cooking. Of course, you could always have it catered. But many people prefer to prepare their own food, and consider the following:
- - Keep the guest list in mind, from those with allergies to age appropriate
- - Write out a menu and start organizing recipes, at least a week ahead
- - Make a shopping list
- - Buy non-perishable items early, so you have more time to prep and cook
- - Prepare dishes a day or two before, if possible
- - Figure out how much time you need to prepare and cook, so the timing is right
- - Don’t forget the beverages, and have a variety
You can also use food to help decorate your party, such as using a fun pumpkin mold or a ghost mold to make an edible decoration for the table. Pinterest will also have great ideas for Halloween themed food and beverage, as well as festive kitchen and dining room ideas.
Music and Lighting
Don’t forget the music and lighting, which can enhance any party. This should also be planned ahead, especially if you want Halloween themed music to be playing. Download and create playlists of the music you want to play. Then get it ready to play, so you just have to push the “play” button when the guests arrive. This also includes the volume. Adjust that before people start arriving.
Lighting for a Halloween party can be spooky and darker than most other parties. Some help for that could be flashlights shining on things you want to spotlight, such as the food or décor. Use string lighting and drape it over assorted items in the house. Most importantly, if you want candles, use flameless. With all the costumes, there will be a higher risk of someone bumping candles.
Having activities is more important if children are invited. But, adults also like to have some Halloween fun. Keeping to a Halloween theme, an easy one is to place certain foods into brown bags, then have the guests reach in to feel the item and guess what it is. For instance, peeled grapes might feel like eyeballs, cold cooked spaghetti could be brains.
Another idea is to blow up several balloons, and put a small token in each one. Separate the participants into 2 teams, and then each team line up in single file. One from each side runs to the center to grab a balloon, sit on it until it pops, and grabs the token. The team with the most tokens wins. You can get several small Halloween tokens at a dollar store.
You can find some other cool ideas here.
Time to Say Goodnight
Have a goody bag to hand out to the children just before they leave the party. Items such as candy, glow sticks, and spider rings are easy and inexpensive. If you decide to hand it out when they arrive, or during the party, you run the risk of someone losing their bag of goodies, or creating more mess than you want.
The above are some simple tips on hosting a fun Halloween party at home. Most of all though, have fun!