Halloween Party Planning

jack o lanternSo you wanna plan the scariest Halloween party ever with the least amount of fuss? Look no further. We've got all the information you'll need to organize a party for both kids and adults. You'll find plenty of ideas and quick tips to help you get started and have some fun.

Once you know that you're throwing a party, there are several things you should decide before you buy any supplies, favors, or decorations. If you're part of an organization, it's best to begin a committee and work together. This means settling on a budget and assigning tasks to members. If you're the lone ranger and want an elaborate Halloween party, you should find some friends or family to help with shopping, decorating, and cooking to make things easier.

Themes

This should come first. A general Halloween theme is quite broad and just about anything goes. If you are having or plan on having an annual party, consider narrowing down decoration and costume choices with a specific theme or topic. This will differentiate your party from year to year. Fun ideas include a graveyard theme that embraces coffins and dirt-dwellers such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves, and ghosts.

A horror movie theme will allow you to invite terrifying guests such as Freddy Krueger, Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers. A cartoon or superhero theme will appeal to young children and not keep them up at night with bad dreams.

Murder Mysteries are quite popular for adult Halloween parties and require intricate planning to pull off. They're unique, lots of fun, and have everyone talking the next day. Different themes allow you to host a new mystery party every October 31st if you wish to make it an annual event.

Location

Most private parties are held on the host's own property but there are alternatives. When choosing your venue, several things need to be taken into consideration. The weather, cost, and safety are all important factors to the success of your party. If your party is outdoors, you will need to have an alternative location available or you will probably be forced to cancel or postpone your Halloween party if it rains or snows. If you wish to rent, look for a clean place that is well-maintained.

Stay far away from "abandoned warehouses" and look for a reputable banquet hall, clubhouse, or convention hall. Remember, safety comes first and adults should be available to supervise the children and spot any danger.

Party Invitations

If you chose a theme, your invitations should compliment that theme. You can find pre-printed invitations at your local party shop, design and print your own from your computer, or make homemade ones with construction paper and supplies. If you're an adult with no desire to make invitations, think about "outsourcing" the work and having some children make them at home. Your guests will appreciate effort and originality.

Invitations should be sent out two to three weeks in advance. You'll want them to arrive soon enough to allow your guests to plan on attending but not too soon that they forget. If you send them too late, they won't have adequate time to prepare for a costume party or may have prior plans. Try to get the word out about your party before you send out invitations. On your invitations, you should include any information about a theme and costumes so that your guests can dress up accordingly.

Halloween Decorations

Decorating for a Halloween party is probably the most time-consuming but it is also very rewarding. This is where you will set the entire atmosphere for your party and hope to get many favorable reactions. Your decorations don't have to be elaborate, you can simply adorn the area with colorful balloons, crepe paper, streamers, and confetti. This is certainly appropriate for a children's party. If you're incorporating a horror theme for adults, creepy props and animated objects are sure to get some scares. Add special effects such as fog and black lights to set the scene and make costumes look incredibly ghoulish.

Food

When planning the menu, please the palates with foods associated with harvest and the autumn season. With your guests wearing costumes, finger foods are probably the easiest to serve, with the least amount of mess. Use cookie cutters to cut out sandwiches into bats, pumpkins, ghosts, witches, and spiders. Make some deviled eggs dipped in food coloring to dye the whites orange, green, and black. Halve and serve. Carve out a pumpkin to create the best bowl for party dip.

Speaking of pumpkins, for scrumptious treats, look no further than your local pumpkin patch. After carving up your jack 'o lanterns, use the innards for a fresh dessert. Bake a pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, cake, or roast the seeds till they're golden brown. Don't forget traditional Halloween candy such as candy corns, suckers, and chocolate candy bars.

Pictures

The importance of pictures cannot be overstated. Assign someone to take pictures of your guests in their costumes. Put them in a photo album to show at next year's Halloween party (if you have one annually.) We've had many annual parties and have separated the pictures by year, having them all in separate albums. Everyone really enjoys seeing costumes and decorations from previous years and sometimes it gives them inspiration and ideas for next year's party.