It’s that time of year again…spooks and ghosts and haunts galore. It’s the perfect season for throwing a ghoulish Halloween party fun for the entire family!
A Creepy Hand Invitation
Spooky Decor Ideas:
If you are using black construction paper for the bats and black cats use chalk rather than gel pens. If you want to make the bats and ghosts fly, punch a small hole at the top of the creations, and thread a fishing line through the hole and hang over vents or near a door that is opening and closing frequently so that they “fly.”
Ghost Balloons: Blow up orange and black balloons, place material, such as a small white sheet over the balloon, tie the neck with a string, and use a black marker for a ghostly face. Suspend the ghosts using fishing line attached to the ghosts’ necks.
Old Clothes: Take an old pair of jeans, plaid shirt, work gloves, shoes, and hat and a brown paper bag to create the victim of a terrible Halloween accident.
Stuff the victim with autumn leaves. The face can be the brown paper bag stuffed with the leaves and the hat pulled down over the bag to hide that there isn’t a face. Place fake blood (white Karo Syrup with red food coloring.) all over the victim’s wounds as well.
Either place the victim in a chair on the front porch or sitting under a tree in the front yard.
Cardboard Boxes: Make a graveyard in your front yard by using old cardboard appliance boxes. Cut them down to tombstone size, spray paint them black, and then use white paint to outline the headstone. Using a small paint brush, paint different, spooky, funny, and anything goes epithets on the tombs. Place them in the front yard, weighing them down with a brick.
Spider Web: A spider web goes a long way in decorating any corner area of your home and/or front porch. They often come with some plastic spiders for further decorations.
Candles: Orange and black candles illuminating your home would also be an additional decoration. The small votive candles can often be purchased in bulk as well.
Bales of hay add a festive autumnal touch to your yard.
Mini-pumpkins, gourds, and corn husks always look festive this time of year. Have the kids decorate the pumpkins or stuff a mini scarecrow to add to the seasonal feel.
Purchase a black plastic cauldron and add dry ice and a submersible light to make a spooky Witch’s Cauldron.
Using different sizes of jars, fill them with water and place “body parts” such as hands, eyeballs, hair, fingers, etc. into the different jars. They will look creepy!
Have a large punch bowl in the center with a brain ice mold floating in green slime punch. Ghoulish!
Fill a pumpkin bowl with lots of bright candies and goodies.
Play little games at the table for the kids to reach in and have a candy prize. Or, after dinner, the kids can dip their hands in for dessert. You can also use this bowl to hand out candy to your trick or treaters as well!!
Serve a Creepy Menu:
01. Baked Skeleton Bones (Pretzel Sticks)
Ghouls, Ghosts, and Vampires Unite and Delight in this Freaky Fun
Play Hanging Tree
Organize a Halloween Treasure Hunt:
Potions to Serve Up
For a Halloween Favor: Send guests home with an over-sized ghoulish cookie placed into an orange cellophane bag and tie a black tag to the cookie bag using an orange and black ribbon with a donation tag stating that a “Donation has been made in your name to X Charity.” Festive and charitable all at once!
1. Check with friends before inviting: Halloween lands on one day each and every year, October 31st. It’s a short season, and many people will be planning All Hallows Eve bashes. Check with your friends and family BEFORE sending out party invitations to see if the date you choose runs into someone else’s party plan. If so, try and work out an arrangement so that both parties can still take place.
2. Leave Party End Open: When you are hosting a family Halloween party, in your invitation, leave the finish time open-ended to accommodate your guests. Keep in mind that people who are bringing their kids will want to know when the kids’ activities will take place so they will be there for this fun part and then they may need to leave for another party or because someone is tired. Other guests, especially those without children, may miss the kids’ party altogether, and enjoy arriving late and staying even later. Keep this in mind when you set the time frame for your party.
3. Get Help. At a family-style Halloween party, you will want to mix with the adults, stir potions with the kids, video the ghoulish mummy race, and take in the costume fanfare! With all of this and more, line up help. Do you have a babysitter or two available? They would be able to help you set-up, run the kids activities, and anything else as long as you have them on hand to help. Don’t assume that your guests will pitch in on this front!
4. Announce Kids’ Activities when they begin: Make sure when the activities for the kids begin, you let their parents and other adults at the party know that the ghoulish fun is under way. Everyone hates missing out on the fun, and some adults may even want to be included. Make sure you have some games and/or activities where the kids and adults interact together. For example, stuffing a scarecrow relay race, eating donuts off a clothes line, and/or decorating pumpkins.
5. Serve food that everyone will love. Adults will enjoy a more fanciful menu items, a delicious pumpkin soup or stew, an autumn pasta salad, corn muffins, apple and pumpkin tarts, etc. Make a few key items that your adults will rave about, but also keep in mind that the kids will be happy with a far simpler menu. Make up a batch of coffin sandwiches with popular fillings (simply use a cookie cutter), serve favorite snacks, but place name tags beside them with scary names, as an example Boiled Lady Bugs, (Red & Black Jelly Beans), and Blood & Guts simple pasta.
6. Be Prepared to Unmask: Given the season, you may request that guests don their costumes for your party. Be sure to remember that small children may be afraid of guests in their costumes. Be prepared to ask people to de-mask themselves quickly if this situation arises!
7. Supervise Pumpkin Carving or decorate the pumpkin instead of carving If you are planning on having adults carve pumpkins for a party activity, make sure to supervise carefully where the knives are placed. Little ones will be running around and can easily pick up something dangerous like a carving knife as the party excitement is underway. Supervise when the carving takes place carefully to make sure an unfortunate incident does not occur.
Lisa Kothari is the founder and president of Peppers and Pollywogs, a kids’ party planning company that provides parents with ideas, entertainers, and interesting web-based tools (customized rhymes and cards for your invitations!) to make kids’ party planning easy. She has recently written and published Dear Peppers and Pollywogs…What Parents Want To Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties which is available at Amazon.com and Peppers and Pollywogs.