Halloween is one of those times of year in which we can all revert to being kids. We dress up and enjoy a little extra candy and parties. Planning a Halloween party can be so much fun. However, it’s also easy to get carried away and find yourself spending a small fortune. Save the scares for the party, not opening your bank or credit card statement. Use the following ideas to plan a spooky good party while not getting “tricked” out of your money.
Whether your party is for adults or kids, it’s a good idea to start with a theme. You can then gear all of your decorating and food around that topic instead of having a mishmash of ideas. It’ll help make your party look more put together (and possibly like you spent more than you did). A few ideas:
Spiders and webs: Think black and white color scheme. Stretch fake cobwebs (you usually can find bags for around $1 or $2 at craft stores–I found these on Amazon for 88 cents) over your table, chairs, doorways and more. Here are some tips for how to hang them. Sprinkle small plastic black spiders here and there. You can also hang black spider webs on the walls–here are some inexpensive ideas for making them out of trash bags, yarn, or pipe cleaners. You can also put small plastic spiders (washed first) in the bottoms of your cups.
Bats and vampires: Use lots of black and white with some drips of bright red blood here and there. Clear plastic drinking glasses dripping with “blood” are perfect for serving drinks. Decorate doors and walls with bats made of cardstock. Cut small fangs out of white paper and stick them to family pictures around the house.
Ghosts and graveyards: Line your sidewalk with gravestones made of foam. Hang ghosts of different sizes from the ceiling and light fixtures. Label foods on the buffet table with cards resembling gravestones and get creative with your food names such as bat wings (chicken wings), calzombies (calzones), chocolate-covered flies (chocolate covered raisins), and (of course) witches’ brew. If these names are a bit too tame for you, you’ll find many more gruesome names here.
While these decorations can be used at parties for little creepers or big creepers, kids are more likely to be interested in activities such as games and crafts. Here are a few ideas.
Ghost lollipops are easy and fun. Start with round lollipops, white tissue or cocktail napkins, ribbon or pipe cleaners and googly eyes or markers. Simple steps are here. If you do not have googly eyes, the kids can draw eyes and a mouth with a black marker.
Milk jug jack-o-lanterns can be made easily and used as decorations at the party as well.
Spiders are scary to some people no matter the time of year. Try making some of these easy spiders from craft balls and pipe cleaners.
Play spooky musical ghosts. Try a round of musical ghosts by laying out sheets or towels (put out one fewer cloth than the number of children). Play music. Stop the music. Each child must grab a sheet or towel and put it on like a ghost. The child without a sheet or towel is out.
Bobbing games. Of course there’s the old-fashioned bobbing for apples. You can also try bobbing for doughnuts. Gently tie plain or powdered donuts with a string. Hang them by strings from a tree branch, clothesline or even a door frame. See who can eat their donut first.
Halloween movies. Kids love movies, so have a few on hand. Movies can fill in the gaps and satisfy those who really don’t get into games. Scooby-Doo mysteries, Casper the Ghost, or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown could even serve as a theme for your party.
Frighteningly good food is essential at Halloween parties. Some adults may prefer an alcoholic beverage to sip. While beer and wine can be fine, why not serve up some sinister cocktails to help set the mood. Adults may also enjoy food that’s on the more gruesome side such as tasty but creepy ghoulish Halloween “fingers,”
disgusting interesting ways to serve dip, mini hot dogs, meatloaf, and more.
Kids prefer foods and drinks that are more on the fun side. Try these: black punch, apple teeth, mummy dogs and banana ghosts and pumpkin oranges. Frankenstein, jack-o-lantern, and ghost pudding cups or ghoulish fingers are easy and yummy. What kids’ Halloween party would be complete without spider web cupcakes? Not a baker yourself? You can easily buy pre-made white frosted cupcakes and a tube of black frosting/gel for a quick version.
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