A little preplanning can go a long way in creating an unforgettable Halloween party. Consider the types of food, activities, atmosphere, and décor you will have for your event to get started. Use these tips to help you plan the perfect seasonal party.
Halloween Party Planning Timeframe
Begin your Halloween party planning about two to three months in advance. This will allow you plenty of time to make decisions and get your party supplies. Send party invitations about five or six weeks before the party and request RSVPs so you’ll know how much food and drink is needed. If it’s a costume party, be sure to mention this on the invitations. Purchase items like paper products, decorations, and non-edible party favors well in advance; purchase and prepare whatever food possible the day or so before the party.
Create the Right Ambiance
There are many ways to create the right atmosphere and ambiance for your Halloween party. Scents can be evocative and really set the mood, so plan to have diffusers and plug-ins that infuse the area with fragrance. You can choose scents that create a happy, warm atmosphere, infuse the air with energy, or opt for those that promote a feeling of relaxation. Personalized fragrances for a Halloween party might include sophisticated smoky notes, woody aromas, fruity scents, spicy and warm notes, or sweet or vanilla scents.
Use Festive Halloween Décor
Enhance your home with festive Halloween décor for a party to further set the mood. Along with traditional Halloween party decorations, you can create more understated looks with a Halloween theme for a sophisticated look. Consider fresh or faux flowers in orange hues, wreaths with a Halloween theme, and DIY centerpieces with things like mini pumpkins or gourds. Surround tapered candlesticks with faux spider webs or create clusters of autumn-colored candles to add a special touch to tables. Consider a monochromatic color scheme with flowers and painted pumpkins for an elegant look. Make the entrance appealing with colored lighting, frame the front door with artfully arranged cornstalks, or dress up the front door in a creative Halloween theme, like a mummy or condemned building. You could also have a specific theme, such as zombies, a haunted mansion, or a classic Halloween movie like Frankenstein.
Serve Fun Food and Drinks
A Halloween party is the perfect place for fun themed food and drinks. Keep things simple by focusing on appetizers or finger foods with a Halloween theme, or create a buffet table where guests can help themselves to main dishes. Create a separate drink station where guests can refill their drinks. If you’re serving adult beverages, get creative with cocktails and serve things like “poison apple” cocktails (vodka, sour apple liqueur, and champagne, garnished with green sugar) or “black magic” cocktails (orange juice, triple sec, and black vodka). Place small dishes of candy throughout the party area to keep with the Halloween theme, or have a dessert table with spooky sweets like ghost-themed biscotti and “graveyard” mousse cups garnished with a cookie headstone.
Plan Halloween-Themed Music and Activities
Create a playlist with favorite Halloween-themed songs to play during the party. If you’re not keen on playing solely Halloween music during the party, mix things up by alternating contemporary favorites with Halloween classics like “Monster Mash” and the Ghostbusters theme song. Decide whether you want guests to just be able to relax and socialize, or if you’ll have planned games or activities. Some activities to consider for a Halloween party include:
- Murder mystery game
- Themed scavenger hunt
- Trivia game based on horror movies or Halloween history
- Pumpkin carving contest
- Bocce ball using pumpkins
- Palm reading, tarot, or fortune telling
- Halloween-themed charades
- Costume contest
- Halloween guessing game (such as guessing the names of spooky cocktails)
Halloween Party Favors
While party favors aren’t a requirement of a great party, it’s a fun way to thanks guests for coming and give a little token of your friendship. There are a variety of simple Halloween-themed party favors you can make yourself, such as plastic wine glasses filled with candy or mini picture frames accented with Halloween details, or you can go with ready-made favors like mini votives, coasters, themed bottle opener, keychains, and more.