Halloween is not just fall’s ghoulish holiday for floral autumn decorating, jack-o’-lantern carving and pumpkin-flavored everything. It’s also an especially spooktacular occasion to gather with friends and family. Get into the spirit of Halloween and put your expert party planning skills into action with these hauntingly fun Halloween party ideas.
Kiddos Halloween Party Ideas
For many parents, it doesn’t have to be Halloween to see their kids as miniature monsters or little devils (actually disguised as tiny humans). But Halloween is an especially great time of year for kids to let loose in their natural element — be mini-sized monsters who crazily run around on an excess sugar high. (Okay, chocolate-covered cake pops and Mummy Halloween Twinkie Pops are for moms and dads too.) Give kids a ghostly good time with a Halloween party and these fun activities and treats:
- Haunted House: Paint a few large boxes midnight black and inside-out with chalkboard paint. Cut two flaps on one side to create doors for the cardboard haunted house. Kids can use colored chalk to decorate the haunted house with spooky ghosts and mischievous jack-o’-lanterns.
- Ghosts on a Rope Game: Thread jumbo-sized marshmallows on kitchen twine with room in between each and hang the string in a doorway. Each child will eat a marshmallow as fast as they can with their hands held behind their back. The first one to make their “ghost” disappear wins.
- Face Painting: Paint spider webs, spiders, jack-o’-lanterns or ghosts on kids’ cheeks to get them in (evil) holiday spirits.
- Guess the Gross: Put wet, cold spaghetti, grapes and candy corn into individual bowls and decorated paper bags. The bravest kids reach inside each bag to guess what’s inside. Kids will be grossed out when they realize they’re touching worms, eyeballs and zombie teeth.
- Spooky Snacks: Serve spider or crescent mummy dogs as festive Halloween fare. As a fruity side, take individually packaged mandarin orange cups and use a black sharpie marker to make a jack-o’-lantern face on top. You can also fill a rubber glove with water and freeze to make an iced hand. Then use the creepy iced hand to keep Halloween punch refreshingly cool.
Murder Mystery Dinner
Hosting a Clue-inspired murder mystery dinner adds a unique, mysterious twist to a typical Halloween-themed soiree. Instead of Halloween costumes, guests attend your party dressed as their characters. (Characters can be based on movie stars or celebrities, for example.) Punchbowl.com explains that each guest is considered a suspect of a murder and the group tries to solve the crime using clues. The number of guests should match the number of rooms you have (including shared spaces like the kitchen and living areas) and the number of characters and weapons should be the same as well.
The Game: Divide the game into rounds. Clues in envelopes unfolding the mystery will be distributed to each suspect during each round. Distribute the first round of clues over Halloween-esque cocktails (i.e. blood orange margaritas and mulled red wine are a favorite!). A certain guest will also learn that he or she is the murderer during round one and secretly try to frame someone else. Then start the second round during appetizers (think pumpkin cheese ball with crackers or spider deviled eggs). Each clue contains one to reveal (share with another person) and one to conceal (keep to yourself). After dinner, everyone will receive a final round of clues and guess who the murderer is. Finally, reveal the murderer over mouthwatering desserts like sea salt caramel milk chocolate-covered strawberries or candy-cookie cheesecake.
Spooky Boozy Bash
Halloween is not just for costumed trick-or-treaters to stock up on a year’s worth of candy. Adults can regale and celebrate too. Sure, libations aren’t necessarily the theme of this Halloween revelry, but festive, eerie cocktails and fancy Halloween beverages are a delicious way to get the festivities started. First, you have your fall favorite beers and ales. Cheers to Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and Southern Tier Pumking! Then everyone can sip on tasty Halloween drinks made from the following great recipes:
- Black widow martini
- Pumpkin spiced latte
- Ashes to Ashes chocolate espresso cocktail
- Spicy and fruity Witches Brew
- Candy corn-infused vodka martini
You can even turn traditional drinks into creepy cocktails with decorative accents like:
- Orange food color
- Black rim sugar
- Creepy-crawly black licorice strings
- Black and orange sprinkles
- Bloody teeth pomegranate seeds
Now to get the party started, play Halloween games like sugary Doughnuts on a String or harvest-themed Squash Bowling. And of course, don’t forget the costume contest—the scariest and most creative costumes win. Check out these Halloween gifts to use as prizes for the contest winners!