How to Throw a Halloween Party

partyPhoto courtesy of Getty Images

The Four Ws

Who?

Deciding who and how many people to invite will determine everything else. Once you have that number, you will know what size of venue you need and the amount of supplies you must get.

What?

Know your audience. Are you throwing this party for kids, adults or a mixture? Since your having a Halloween party, whether or not you have a theme is probably the next thing you’ll want to consider. Will you have food and drinks? If so, will you want your guests to bring anything?

When?

The date will affect who attends your party, so this must be carefully considered. It would be ideal to throw it the night of Halloween, but that may not be the best option for people with kids. For a bigger turnout, the weekends tend to work out better for most people than a weeknight event. What time will it start? Will it have a specific end time?

Where?

Once you have taken care of the above details, choosing a location is next on the list. Deciding where to hold your event is one of the most important parts of planning a Halloween party. There are several things to consider:

  • Is the venue available on the date you want to have the party?
  • Will it hold the amount of guests you are planning on inviting?
  • What is the cost of renting the venue?
  • What’s included in the cost?
  • Does the venue have a kitchen?
  • Will the layout work for the activities you plan on having?
  • Is there enough parking?

If you’ve decided to throw your party at your house, this will save you from having to visit venues. It will also save you lots of money!

Theme

The options for choosing a theme are unlimited. It is a way to make your party unique and help your guests narrow down their costume options. It can also help you decide what kind of foods to serve and the decorations to use. Here are some popular options:

Zombie Apocalypse: Thanks to the ever popular tv show The Walking Dead, zombie costumes are a huge hit this year.

Classic Horror Films: This is probably the easiest theme. At this time of year, every where you turn there’s Jason, Freddy, or Michael Myers.

Masquerade: This is always a fun and mysterious theme. Guests can choose from simple masks to lavish ballroom gowns.

Superheroes and Villains: With all of the Marvel movies coming out, this one should be a breeze. You can even narrow it down to one specific movie.

Hollywood Celebrities: Guests can dress up as their favorite movie star or television character. Make sure to enhance the theme by using decor that relates to Hollywood.

It’s always a good idea to keep extra costumes on hand for those who show up without one. Simple items like dollar store masks or

Decorations

Set the mood with creepy decorations inside and out. This is the first impression your guests will have of your party, so make it a good one. If you decidedfrontyard to go with a theme, the decorations should compliment it. Any room your guests have access to should be decorated.

You can’t go wrong turning your front lawn into a graveyard. Go big and elaborate, like this home, and turn your house into a scene out of a movie. If this isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of diy decorations to turn your yard into a creepy cemetery.

Photo Courtesy of Halloween Forum

Don’t forget the dry ice. It’s a great tool for Halloween. This video gives you several tips on just how to use dry ice to trick your guests.

Food

Halloween is a time to get creative. No matter what your theme is, there are tons of great recipes out there to make your party come alive. Finger-foods tend to be the easiest options, as people are walking around and mingling with others.

Drinks and Cocktailsmr-hyde-potion

If you decide to have alcohol, there are some very creative cocktails to keep your guests in the Halloween spirit. It’s a good idea to have a mixture of options, including non-alcoholic drinks, since everyone has different preferences. There are a lot of sites out there that can help you calculate the amount of alcohol you’ll need for the number of guests attending your party.

Photo courtesy of Sam Henderson

Entertainment

It’s a good idea to have multiple forms of entertainment available for your guests. Not everyone enjoys the same things, so have a few options to keep the party alive.

Music

Whether you decide to go with a live DJ or a playlist, make sure to choose fun and upbeat songs to keep your party exciting. Here are some of the best Halloween songs of all time:

Although these songs will be at the top of your playlist, you’ll also want to mix in some current music. Even “Thriller” can get old after hearing it 20 times.

Dancing

thrillerPhoto Courtesy of The New York City Social Group

Dancing is a must at any good party. Make sure your guests have plenty of room and are near the music.

Games

halloween-games-for-adultsPhoto Courtesy of Philosophy of Science Portal

Who says games are just for kids? Halloween is a time for everyone, young and old, to let loose and have fun! These games are easy enough that your guests can play while they mingle.

Horror Movie Drinking Game: This is a classic game. You pick your favorite scary movie and every time something particular happens, everyone drinks. To make the most out of this game, make up your own rules. For example, when scary music begins to play, drink. If someone jumps or covers their eyes, they have to drink. Get creative and let the fun begin.

Halloween Feel Box: Fill boxes with food items like grapes, spaghetti and popcorn kernels and have your guests reach in and feel around. As they feel what seems to be eyeballs, guts and teeth, they need to guess what the items actual are. For more creepy ideas on what to put inside your boxes, visit The Balance.

Horror Movie Trivia: See just how much your guests know about horror movies with trivia questions. Want to make it a little more interesting? If they answer the question wrong, they have to take a drink. To make things easy use scary trivia that has already been created for you, or create your own.

Who Am I?: As each guest arrives, place the name of a scary monster on their back. Guests are allowed to ask each other “yes” or “no” questions to figure out who they are. Once they figure out who they are, they can move their sign to the front of them. This will tell everyone who has guessed correctly.

Scary Movie in the Backgroundjason

To enhance the mood, have a scary movie playing
in the background with the sound off. If you’re having a themed party, pick the movie that goes along with it. Unless you’re planning to have a movie marathon at your party, this is for visual purposes only.

Photo Courtesy of IndieWire

Invitations

When deciding on your invitation, you first need to figure out if you will be sending out paper or electronic invites.

Paper

If you choose to go the paper route, you have several options. There is the traditional paper party invitation that can still be very creative.

invitationPhoto Courtesy of Pinterest

You can also think outside the box and send a unique invitation, like this miniature coffin.

invitationPhoto Courtesy of Marci Coombs

Electronic

The nice thing about an electronic invitation is that there are several sources you could use for this purpose. There are several sites, such as Evite, where you can send an invitation and keep track of your RSVPs. Social media is another great tool. Facebook allows you to quickly send out an event invite and see the guests responses.

No matter which method you choose to invite your guests with, make sure to include the following:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Directions if necessary
  • Costume requirements (theme or no theme)
  • If guests should bring a dish or beverage to share
  • Whether or not children are welcome
  • RSVP information

Halloween is a popular time of the year, so make sure you send out your invitations 3-4 weeks before the party. Send them out too early and they have the potential to get lost or misplaced. If you wait too long, your guests will most likely have made other plans.

 

 

 

 

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