My Halloween-o-meter kicks into full gear right about the end of September when all the stores are putting out the costumes and candy. And it just makes me want to celebrate. Once you get too old for trick or treating, it may seem like Halloween loses a lot of its verve, but trust me, it doesn’t.
Halloween just so happens to be the perfect holiday to throw a party! It doesn’t have the familial obligations that come with Christmas and Thanksgiving, it’s important enough to celebrate and it isn’t a depressing holiday like Valentine’s Day can be.
But throwing parties can also be stressful. I know, I’ve thrown several Halloween parties, and they weren’t all me watching scary movies and eating candy by myself in my dorm room. Below, you’ll find tips on throwing your first Halloween party and making it one to remember.
This may seem fairly obvious, but if possible, you should really schedule your Halloween party for earlier than Halloween. I had a Halloween party on November 1st once, and it was a great party but it just didn’t seem entirely like Halloween. Of course, that happened because the only day all of my friends could come was the day after Halloween, but if you plan earlier than me, that shouldn’t happen to you.
If you really want to, you could have your party on Halloween, but I find that people often have conflicting plans for Halloween night. Plus, if you’re not hosting a party, you can spend Halloween having fun and doing what you want to celebrate.
You MUST – I’ll repeat it – MUST include costumes in your Halloween party. They don’t have to be fancy costumes, and you don’t have to have a contest or anything like that. But the whole point of Halloween is that you get to dress up and not be who you are. So, even if your friends don’t want to get dressed up, force them. Costumes are a necessity for Halloween.
This can be as involved or as laid-back as you want it. It’ll also vary based on where you live. For example, if you live in a house, you should definitely decorate the yard in some way. Of course, that’s not possible for people living in apartments.
Wherever you live, you can get an awesome Halloween doormat, preferably one that makes noise when you step on it. I’d also stop by a discount store/dollar store and pick up goodies like skeletons, candy bowls, and Halloween signs. The decorations don’t have to elaborate. Even small items can make a room feel more like Halloween.
After your successful party, you should make sure to check out the discount items at Walmart or your favorite store. Shortly after Halloween (usually the day after), everything starts getting marked down big time because stores want to bring in Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff. So you can save a lot of money on cute items if you can plan that far in advance.
Some people get really involved in food, and if that’s your thing, go for it. There are plenty of Halloween recipes available online that you should take full advantage of. For those of who are less talented in the culinary fashion, there are Halloween cookies and treats at Halloween stores throughout October.
Remember that your main dish doesn’t have to be Halloween related. If your guests want pizza, get pizza. But if you want to add some Halloween charm, pick up Halloween themed paper plates and plastic cups. It’s a simple way to make any dish seem more like Halloween.
Oh, and candy. Make sure you have plenty of candy.
This is really going to vary by party, but you’re going to have to have some kind of activity. I recommend watching movies, and I like them the scarier, the better. But I know that a lot of people (all my friends) don’t like scary movies, so I compromised. We watched movies with a Halloween theme, including Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, and Clue. It’s particularly fun watching movies that everyone saw as a child but may not have seen in a long time.
If movies aren’t your thing or if your party isn’t going to be long enough to watch a bunch of movies, you can always fall back on the classic bobbing for apples or guessing how many candy corn there are in a jar. But if you want something different and spooky, get a box that no one can see inside and put various food items in it. Tell the guests it’s worms or eyeballs and see who can figure out what they really are. Charades and card games that involve murdered people are also great at a party.
In general, Halloween parties are pretty laid-back affairs, so you should stick to things that you know you and your friends like to do at parties. As long as you remember to bring in the Halloween theme in some way, even if it’s small, your party should be a big hit.
And don’t forget the candy. Candy always helps.