Jack-O-lanterns, skeletons, and witch’s brooms are about to hit front porches from east to west and north to south. The Halloween season brews excitement for pleasure seekers of all ages. This year, you may be gearing up for a special costume party and spooky festivities to enjoy with family and friends.
Throwing a themed party is exceptionally fun, and there are seemingly endless ideas for Halloween decorations, snacks, and entertainment. We’ll outline some of our own ideas, inspiring you to transform your house for a ghoulishly good time, outfit everyone with unforgettable costumes, and plan a party that brims with freaky treats and spooky activities.
Plan your party
Planning any party takes careful preparation, but Halloween requires some extra-special considerations with costuming and ‘ghastly’ treat requirements. Before jumping head-first into black and orange crepe paper, you’ll want to consider some basics, so you leave no detail ignored.
Think about how much you’re willing to spend on your Halloween party. Will you purchase or make your decorations? Are you thinking about serving a meal or party food? If so, how about having your food catered or potluck? Assign each aspect of your party (decorations, costumes, food, beverages, entertainment) and line in your budget, so you know just how much you’re able to spend.
After setting the time and date for your party, you’ll need to send out invitations. If you’re hosting a children’s Halloween party, you’ll probably want to deliver paper invitations. Otherwise, you can easily send out your invitations to family and friends online.
Decorating your home
If you love Halloween, you already know how fun decorating for this holiday can be. Because this is a popular celebration in the world, there is an immense variety of decorations and props available in stores and online. You’ll find items that are ideal for your home’s exterior as well as its interior. To throw a ‘proper’ Halloween party, you’ll want to decorate both inside and outside using commercial decorations or decorations you create yourself.
Exterior Halloween decorations
When decorating your exterior, you have lots of fun options to consider. You can add a diverse range of spooky decorations like ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, and skeletons to your porch, patio, and even your front lawn. Or, you can even stick to a theme for your exterior, choosing decorations that are reminiscent of books, TV shows, and movies such as:
- Sleepy Hollow
- Friday the 13th
- Stranger Things
- The Harry Potter series
- Frankenstein and others
You can use lots of harvest-time decorations to enhance your exterior for Halloween. Set up hay bales, create pumpkin topiaries, and pop a witch’s hat on your backyard scarecrow. Some other fun exterior decorating ideas include:
- Skeleton’s Chess Match (set up two skeletons playing chess on your bistro table set)
- Hang ghosts (made from white plastic tablecloths) from your trees
- Create a door wreath decorated with plastic snakes and spiders
- Cover your front door with a green plastic tablecloth and create Frankenstein’s head
- Add giant eyes in upstairs windows
Interior Halloween decorations
Similarly, you can decorate your interior with traditional Halloween imagery like bat garlands, skeletons, witches, vampires, and other ghouls. On the other hand, you might want to decorate with a theme in mind such as:
- Mad scientist laboratory
- Dracula’s castle
- Werewolf’s lair
- Zombie apocalypse
- Victorian masquerade
- Witch’s haunted house
Again, you can purchase Halloween decorations in stores or get creative and craft your own props and decorations for each room of your home. Here are a few decorating ideas to inspire you:
- Hang bats or ghosts from light fixtures
- Spooky candles and candelabras
- Witches capes and hats on a coat rack
- Cover chairs with spooky Halloween-themed fabric
- Mysterious prints in your photo and art frames
- Garlands of crepe paper, skeletons, or bats
- Decorate your mantel with scary stories crawling with plastic rats and spiders
- Central gothic candelabra
- Macabre centerpiece (skull filled with red grapes)
- Halloween tablecloth
- Spooky themed silverware
- Spider web decorations on windows and walls
- Bats dangling from the ceiling
- Witches cauldron filled with punch
- Witchy potion bottles labeled ‘poison’ (could be filled with fruit punch or soda)
- Carved pumpkins and gourds
- Gothic bottles filled with classic Halloween candies
- Spider webs or witches hats
- Plastic rats with red eyes
- Bathroom door sign ‘Mummy’s Tomb’
- Halloween shower curtain
- Skeleton toilet tissue holder
- Spooky face in a mirror
- Fake spiders and webs
You can find loads of decorating ideas on Pinterest or other online locations. The more elaborate your decor, the easier it will be to inspire your guests to get into the Halloween spirit!
DIY costumes for the whole family
Although it’s always an option to purchase a ready-made costume, you can get creative and put together fun costumes, and even have themed family costumes. In fact, you might mix and match costume items you make and buy to create genuinely unique costumes. Be sure to check your local thrift stores to find costume items and accessories.
Consider creating costumes inspired by:
- Addams Family
- Alice in Wonderland
- Classic paintings (Mona Lisa, Girl with Pearl Earring, The Scream, etc.)
- The Wizard of Oz
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Harry Potter
- Lord of the Rings
- Marvel villains
Food, snacks, and drinks for the party
What’s a party without great food and beverages? You can create a tasty yet cringe-worthy menu filled with Halloween treats. We’ve got a few menu items to inspire you!
- Spaghetti and Eyeballs (cover meatballs with mozzarella and a black olive slice)
- Zombie Meatloaf
- Stuffed Jack-o-lantern Peppers (carve faces into peppers)
- Mummified Hotdogs
- Spiderweb Quesadillas (create spider web atop quesadillas with sour cream)
- Charcuterie Head (foam head pinned with toothpick beef sticks, imported meats, and assorted cheeses)
- Witches Fingers (pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate with green food coloring)
- Jalapeno Popper Pumpkin Cheese Ball
- Witchy Broomstick Hats (pretzel sticks stuck onto cheese blocks)
- Spider Web Taco Dip
- Veggie Skeleton
- Jack-O-Lantern (made from the whole orange peel) fruit cup filled with berries
- Watermelon Monster Fruit Tray
- Fruit Bat Skewers
- Halloween Sugar Cookie
- Jack Skellington Pops
- Candy Corn Cupcakes
- Monster Bundt Cake
- Bowls of gummy worms
Beverages (with alcohol)
Beverages (without alcohol)
- Bubby Witches Brew (served in a punch bowl)
- Hocus Pocus Potion Floats
- Bottled Fruit Punch (with homemade label: Vampire’s Blood)
- Green Soda (Labeled: Embalming Fluid)
Remember, you can always have fun with labels if you plan to have your Halloween foods catered or you want to purchase store-bought items. You can find lots of printable Halloween labels for products like soda bottles on Pinterest.
Best Halloween party games and activities
Ensure that your guests have a ‘spooktacular’ time at your Halloween party by featuring some entertaining games and activities.
Games and activities for adults
Keep your adult party guests entertained with these fun ideas:
- Monster Corn Hole Toss (decorate your boards like monsters)
- Murder Mystery Game
- Costume contest
- Invite a fortune teller to the party
- Host a seance
- Host a horror movie marathon
Games and activities for kids
Choose these games for school-age kids. Some are perfect for preschoolers too!
- Pumpkin Ring Toss: allow children to throw rings around pumpkin stems from a distance. When they land a ring, they earn a small prize.
- Halloween Pinata
- Pin the Spider on the Web (Inspired by Pin the Tail on the Donkey: the goal is to get the spider into the center of the web)
- Halloween Bingo Game
- Candy Jar Guessing Game
Games and activities for families
Consider these fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.
- Mummy wrapping contests
- Monster movie and Halloween trivia
- Halloween scavenger hunt
- Pumpkin decorating contest
- Create a caramel apple bar (everyone can decorate and enjoy their own caramel apples)
Don’t forget to pick up or make prizes for your game participants! Oversized candy bars are an easy option, but you can also get creative with plastic trophies from The Party Store decorated with Halloween-themed accents.
Don’t forget to set the mood for your Halloween party with eerie music or spooky sound effects playing in the background. You can also make a Halloween playlist with songs like:
- Monster Mash by Bobby Picket
- Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
- Haunted by Beyonce
- The Addams Family Theme
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
- Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish
If you want to really spruce up your front or backyard with a cemetery ambiance, rent a fog machine for your party!
A lot of planning goes into creating a Halloween party, but the effort is sure to be worth it if your guests enjoy themselves. Use these ideas as inspiration to create your own Halloween extravaganza. Knowing the history of Halloween can also help! Remember that you don’t have to choose a particular theme, but picking one may help you narrow down all your great Halloween ideas.