Want to kill it this Halloween with your own hit party? Here are a few expert (yet simple) pointers that will have your guests raving about your spooky soiree for many full moons to come!
Disclaimer: Before we dig in, we assume that you are going to have guests at your party. No guests equals no party, unless you plan to celebrate with the ghosts in that abandoned house down the street. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Mail out spooky invites if you’ve got time to spare, but a simple Facebook or email invite will do. Digital invites often yield better turnout this day and age, especially for guests who like to do things on the fly.
1. Theme to Inspire Costumes
Halloween without costumes is like…every other day of the year! What better way to encourage your partygoers to dress up than a theme? Whether you want to put on a masquerade ball or host Goth Prom, you can find dozens of ideas here and here.
You need a fitting place to throw your monster bash! Ideas include your home or a friend’s, a church gym, or a local event venue you can rent out for the night. Wherever you decide to party, make sure it accommodates your budget and number of guests, and is (ideally) centrally located if your attendees are traveling from various directions.
3. Spooky Decorations
Take time to spookify your atmosphere according to your theme. Simple as they are, carved pumpkins, crepe paper garlands and cheesecloth “cobwebs” crawling with fake spiders really do go a long way, especially in the glow of spooky lighting. Browse scores of spine-chillingly fabulous decor how-to’s here and here.
4. Danceable Halloween Music
Breath is to life as music is to party! Whether you plan to groove out in a full-volume dance-a-thon or simply maintain a subtle backdrop to conversation, great Halloween tunes are a must. To help you assemble yours, here and here are playlists featuring golden oldies (beyond just the Monster Mash,) dance floor favorites like Michael Jackson’s Thriller and modern hipster hits like Howlin’ For You by the Black Keys.
5. Delicious Festive Food and Drinks
Indulgences alike, great parties and great food go hand-in-hand. You can’t skimp in this area. Include finger food appetizers, sweets and drinks in your lineup. If you’re not serving alcohol, you can still impress guests with monster mocktails , haunted hot chocolate, and spider cider.
6. Activities Grown-Ups Can Enjoy
In addition to dancing, provide things for your guests to do beyond bobbing for apples. For a small gathering, grown-up games might be right up your alley. A photo booth is always a hit. You can rent one from your local party-supply store or DIY on the cheap. Set up a festive backdrop like this, incorporate a table laden with easy-to-make props like these (downloadable and printable) or these, and get a friend to man the camera on a tripod.
7. Time for Socializing
Remember to make your get-together as much about the people as the festivities. Try to avoid getting so wrapped up in your party agenda that you fail to leave time for conversation and catching up with the people you invite. Furthermore, hosting a party needn’t be all stress! Plan it in a way so that you can participate as much as everyone else (even if that means simplifying your to-do list) and have fun! Your guests—not to mention your own sanity—will enjoy a more relaxed you.