Halloween Party Ideas
Here are some Halloween party suggestions to help make your party a howling success!
Halloween Party Planning
- Begin your preparations by ordering your costumes and party supplies well in advance. Halloween costumes, especially, can sell out early, and you (or your children) don't want to be disappointed! Also, if you're ordering invitations, you need time for the order to be processed, shipped, addressed, and mailed a couple of weeks before the party.
- See our general party planning tips for a full party planning timetable.
- Decide on your party theme: will it be scary? a haunted house or graveyard? a costume contest? a safe and not-too-scary trick-or treat experience for kids? an adult bash? a monster mash? Once you have your theme, the rest of your party planning becomes easier - or at least more focused.
Halloween Party Decorations
- If you've selected a theme, decorate accordingly: skeletons and ghosts for graveyard; a stage or stage area if a costume contest (if you're setting up a stage area, you may also want to include karaoke); pumpkins, friendly ghosts, and cute black kitties for kids; monsters for a monster mash, etc.
- An arrangement of gourds on a bed of raffia or straw can make a nice centerpiece for the food table.
- Line the sidewalk or driveway with lunch bags with small battery-operated candles in them.
- A jack-o-lantern with a candle burning in it is traditional outside the front door. Or put it inside on a table. Use a battery operated candle for safety, if you prefer.
- See our page ideas for ghost decorations you can make!
Halloween Party Food
- Traditional halloween party food includes popcorn balls, candied apples, marshmallows, and other sugary treats. Try to include some low sugar or natural foods as well. Our lemonade and fruit punch are some examples. Hot dogs and sandwiches are also good. If you serve pb&j, use all-fruit jelly such as Polaner All Fruit. Carrot and celery sticks, dill pickles, and olives make tasty snacks without added sugar.
- Halloween fun foods can include spaghetti with tomato sauce (guts), peeled grapes (eyeballs), Bugles (witch's fingernails), red punch (blood), Rice Crispy treats (ghost food), marshmallows (ghost heads), etc.
Halloween Party Activities
- Bobbing for apples, or biting apples suspended from strings.
- Take everyone on a hay ride.
- Have a costume judging contest. Give prizes for the scariest, most clever, funniest, most outrageous, etc. costumes. With small children it's a good idea to make sure everyone gets a prize, so be ready to make some categories up on the spot!
- Decorate and bake (and eat!) Halloween cookies.
- Pumpkin carving is fun for adults, while pumpkin painting can be safely enjoyed by children. Use Crayola washable, non-toxic markers, and mini pumpkins.
- Take turns telling ghost stories.
- Hire a storyteller to tell Halloween or ghost stories.
- Have a haunted house - a simplified version would be a darkened room with dim lights (blacklight is great for this), and some containers with warm, icky feeling foods such as peeled grapes (eyeballs), and slimy thick cooked spaghetti or macaroni (guts). Play a haunted house sound effects CD for a spookier atmosphere. Have someone dressed as a ghost, skeleton, or monster to scare things up a bit!
- See our page of Halloween party games.