Ever since I was a child I have loved Halloween. Costumes and candy and all things related to trick-or-treating – what’s not to love? I think it’s because Halloween revolves around the world of fantasy and make believe – giving you a chance to pretend to be someone or something else. Even now, as a full-grown adult, I love Halloween. And I love to throw a great Halloween party…in fact, it’s come to be expected. If my friends haven’t received their invitations by mid-October, I tend to start getting emails asking if everything is okay.
When it comes to throwing a great Halloween party, I truly believe there are some things you need to focus on…things that will ensure success! So here are my 5 tips!
1. Pick a Theme.
The first year I threw a Halloween party there was no theme – and it was great! Friends came in some of the most amazing costumes! Their level of creativity astounded me! (I have friends that go ALL OUT for Halloween!) But, as great as that first year was…the following years have become even better. Why? Because each year the invitation includes a theme. At first I was a little worried that I would stifle the creativity that my friends have when it comes to Halloween, but no…they have risen to the occasion each and every year!
*Some of my favorite themes:
Puns – Come dressed as your favorite pun! This is great if you have a lot of couples attending your party!
Once Upon a Time – This was great because people interpreted it in many ways! We had people dressed as fairy tale characters and others who depicted famous periods in time, i.e. the 50’s or the 70’s.
Ghostly White – Come dressed as a ghost all in white! The pictures were amazing! And so was some of the facial makeup!
Pumpkin Carving – We carved pumpkins and then voted on the best pumpkins giving prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!
Murder Mystery – A professional company was hired to help pull this off with guests dressed as characters for the murder mystery-whodunit!
Keep your decorations simple. I tend to decorate with a lot of natural elements – pumpkins, various types of squash and gourds, and lots of candles. I stick to various shades of orange, brown, red, yellow, and deep green. This works for me as I can use the items (and color scheme) all fall – and not simply for Halloween.
This varies from year to year – and you need to find what works for you! We’ve done potlucks in the past (Did I mention that most of my friends are amazing cooks, too?) – and they’ve been extremely successful. The great thing about a potluck is that you end up with lots of variety! And a chance to try things you may not have tried before!
But, I’ve also done all of the food myself. When I’m doing it myself…I tend to keep an eye on the weather. If it’s going to be a cool or even cold evening, I tend to serve warm and homey dishes. One cold Halloween night I set up a chili bar – with a meat based chili and a vegetarian version – with all of the fixings you could imagine! If the weather is warmer, I love to grill as we have the ability to use the backyard and people are not confined to the house. Don’t be afraid to switch it up!
4. Signature cocktail.
I love a party with a signature drink. Most of the time, I host a party that serves, beer, wine, non-alcoholic options and a signature cocktail. This is great because it keeps me from having to have a super stocked bar to meet all of the tastes of my guests. This year, my signature drink is an Autumn Half & Half. It’s super simple and screams fall! All you need is brown sugar, apple cider, and champagne or sparkling wine. Dip the rim of your glass in apple cider and rim it in brown sugar. Then, fill your glass half full of apple cider and the remainder with champagne or sparkling wine. Super easy! You can do a quick Google search for fall cocktails and something is bound to grab your eye and be perfect for your party!
5. Take Away Gift.
I love the idea of a take away gift – a little gift your guests can leave with. It doesn’t have to be super expensive and just goes the extra mile to show you’ve really put some thought into your Halloween party and your friends. In the past I have done, can koozies with the theme of the party on them – which are great for your beer or soda drinkers. I’ve done little pumpkin carving sets – which I picked up at the dollar store and then repackaged in cute Halloween bags. I’ve done a homemade granola – which was a huge hit. Just remember – take away gifts don’t have to be expensive. They just need to be thoughtful.
What about you? What are your tips and tricks for a great Halloween party? Have you thrown a themed party? Do you have a great fall cocktail that your guests love? Be sure to share with us all of your best ideas for a successful Halloween party! We can’t wait to hear about them!