Halloween Party Planning

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  1. Consider the style of Halloween party that interests you. There are so many to choose from, so start thinking now. Themes that you might like to make use of include:
    • Haunted theme
    • Ghostly theme
    • Horror theme
    • Fairytale theme
    • Pumpkin theme (everything orange!)
    • Graveyard theme
    • Costume theme (anything goes)
    • A theme from a spooky book you love
  2. 2Write down your ideas. Before you hit any store, create a list that sets out:
    • Decorations you’d like to have
    • Types of food
    • Music
    • Prizes and games (optional)
    • Movies (optional)
    • Other ideas
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  3. 3Consider the people you’d like to invite. This will give you an idea of numbers and the space and food needed. If you have a specific theme (like movies), you may want to limit your number so you don’t end up with 12 Freddie Kruegers.
    • If the party is in your house, limit it to a number you can handle. After all, you’re the host — the party blunders (and successes) lie on your shoulders.
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  4. 4Prepare invitations. Use your chosen theme to guide the invitation creation. Set the time, date, and give any details about what to wear, bring, etc. Send these out about two weeks prior to the party. For some invitation ideas:
    • Grab some black construction paper, a template off the internet, and design and cut out a witch’s hat. To write in the necessary details, use a white or silver gel pen.
      • If a witch’s hat isn’t your cup o’ tea, cut out pumpkins, ghosts, tombstones, or black cats out of construction paper instead. If you put it in an envelope, add in some Halloween-themed confetti for an extra touch.
    • Buy a bunch of small pumpkins or gourds from your local grocery store or farmer’s market. In permanent marker, draw a funny face on the front and have the details on the back. Be sure to let it dry though! Otherwise you risk everything smearing.
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Method2Before Your Party

  1. 1Purchase or make your decorations for the party. If you’re holding a big party, you might want to put more effort into decorating for you party than for your yard; it all depends on how many hands are on deck to help out! Make the decorations well in advance so that you’re not rushed.
    • For a haunted house:
      • If you have a walkway already lined with lights, replace them with lit-up skulls. Place glowing sculptures in your windows and make sure to take advantage of technology: Lots of decorations now have motion-activated sensors that will surely creep out your guests as they walk in.
      • For the inside, utilize cobwebs from corner to ceiling and a fog machine in the doorway. Hang spiders or bats in not-so-obvious areas and if the lights are dim, invest in a few bottles of glow-in-the-dark spray.
  2. 2Consider what food and drinks you will serve. There are many different ideas for Halloween food that you can find in magazines, books, and online. wikiHow has its own section too – check out Halloween Food and Halloween Drinks. Make the food in advance when possible, especially if it’s tricky (such as making hands, skulls, etc.)
    • Witches’ fingers are fairly simple to make with cookies and almond slices. Think cheese for a brain and mozzarella eyeballs with black and green olives for eyes.
    • As for drinks, a cauldron of punch is pretty mandatory. And if you can get your hands on some dry ice to make it smokey, all the better. A glow-in-the-dark LED light at the bottom of the bowl would make for a nice added touch, too.
    • Coat the edge of drinking glasses using corn syrup dyed with red food coloring, turn right side up and allow mixture to drip down the glasses to serve your creepy concoctions in.[1]
    • Don’t forget dessert! If you’re feeling creative, try making bloody cupcakes or rising zombie cupcakes.
  3. 3Prepare a music mix. Do this well in advance and set up the music where it can be heard easily. Music doesn’t just have to be straight up music — think of sound effects, too!
    • Play this outside to get your guests excited even before they walk in. The outside loop can be much shorter than the music you have playing inside. See what snippets you can download offline for free.
  4. 4Plan Halloween games if you want to have them. These will need to take into account guest numbers, ages, and interests. Look online for Halloween party game ideas.
    • Costume parties are a tried and true favorite. You could even get narrower — all guests must dress as a character from a horror film or even a specific movie (maybe your house is themed along that movie?) or as dead people.
    • Pumpkin decorating contest — a great idea as long as your guests don’t get too rowdy and turn it into a pumpkin throwing and mashing contest.

Method3At Your Party

  1. 1Put out the decorations on the day of the party. Move furniture out of the way, make sure that there is plenty of free space for guests to mill around, dance, play games, etc. Put the food in an easily accessible place but not somewhere that impedes movement.
    • It’s best to party proof your house beforehand, too. The food table should be away from anything that shouldn’t get spilled on or ruined. If guests are drinking, have a place for coats, keys, and get the bathroom ready.
  2. 2Set out the food just prior to the party. It is always nice to decorate the table Halloween style, with an orange tablecloth, a witch’s hat, a pumpkin, etc., whatever takes your fancy and is available. Provide plates, utensils, serviettes/napkins, drinking glasses. Serve the drinks nearby.
    • Wait to add ice to any drinks or to bring out any food that needs to be warm until numbers have accumulated.

Method4At An Office Party

  1. 1Set up the decorations. These can be your general orange, black and witch-y decorations, or you can go with a more specific theme. If your coworkers can get into it, go for it.
    • Design your workplace like the set of a movie. The staff can take a vote prior to Halloween. Then, on the actual day, members can dress up as characters.
      • Or certain sections of the work environment could be different movies. Then, you could pass around a bowl of movie titles and each person gets a movie title for the basis of their costume design. It could get turned into a contest or a guessing game on the day of.
    • A music theme works too…as long as you celebrate dead rockers of the past. For a twist on Halloween, choose this orientation, decorate your workspace like an abandoned music studio and get each of your peers into a dead but musical persona.
  2. 2Start a murder mystery. Halloween doesn’t have to be all about pumpkins, pretzels, and zombies. It can be old school and sophisticated, too. Have a murder mystery at work. This will take preparation in advance, but could be well worth it.
    • You’ll have to write up a character outline for each guest, informing them how they knew “the deceased” and how they feel about other characters. Give one to each guest at the start of the game and reveal clues throughout the night, uncovering alibis, secrets, and interactions, etc. Before people start going home, have them all take a guess at the murderer (if they’re the murderer, it should be indicated on their character outline). Of course, have the perp reveal themselves![2]
  3. 3Have a Halloween lunch. Unfortunately, there are no traditional foods or drinks that come with a Halloween party. Whatever your theme is, cater to that. Butterbeer, anyone?
    • Generally, finger foods are the way to go. Pumpkin cookies, lady fingers (can be decorated like a witch’s finger), devil’s egg eyeballs, and crab leg spiders are solid hits.

Sample Party Food and Drinks

 Halloween Party Food Halloween Party Drinks