Host A Halloween Party!

Ah, yes. It is now, once again, time for Halloween parties
and all of the trickery that entails. Now I don’t plan to be a contemporary to
Martha Stewart or any big wig host, but I once was a party planner and know a
few tricks of the trade. This post is written for those who are looking to
create a party environment that ensures that each guest has a spooktacular
time!

When planning any party, after deciding on a theme, I always
consider my guest list. Once that’s set, I move on to decorations. I’d
recommend that when hosting you make your party appropriate for your guests. For
instance, when choosing your décor, you might not want anything too spooky for
young children. If your party has a mixture of ages, I recommend having little designated
areas of interest for each age range you are entertaining. You may want to plan
a haunted house in your basement for older kids and adults while younger kids
might prefer a huge hay pile to jump in.

Party games can be super fun! Here are some ideas I have
found to be a big hit!

  • With little ones, I recommend a cupcake walk
    done to the song “The Monster Mash”.
  • Pumpkin bowling
  • Pumpkin 4-square (played like the playground
    game, only w/4 adjacent pumpkins instead of squares.
  • Flashlight tag
  • Candy/caramel apple eating contest
  • Jack-o-lantern corn hole (game played
    w/bean-bags and a jack-o-lantern target)

If you choose to have trick-or-treating as part of your
party, I recommend sending out two separate chaperoned groups. One for slow
trick-or-treaters and one for the kids who take trick-or-treating to a whole
new level! I also recommend that you give away flashlights and glow necklaces
to all participants. This is a fun and safe way to tend to your guests.

For an outdoor party, garage bands are huge fun. Just a
warning though… AUDITION your band before hiring them for your event! My
husband and I ended up deciding against a garage band this year due to lack of
talent. The best band we could find had two mediocre songs and spent the rest
of the time tuning. L
Whether your party is indoors or out, you should definitely plan to have music
to at your event. I’m sure you can find some fun Halloween dance mixes in most
stores but I recommend visiting iTunes and downloading your favorite Halloween
throwbacks like “The Purple People Eater” and “The Monster Mash” to name a few.
Quick hint: An adequate selection of party music has a minimum of ninety
minutes of play so as not to sound too redundant.

For later in the evening, I recommend planning different
activities for guests of different ages to retire to. Young children might like
to watch fun Halloween movies like “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. Older
kids might like to see how far they can get through a “Harry Potter” marathon. Teen
girls, of course, will probably want to watch “Twilight” while teen boys would
probably want to just play video games and eat Halloween candy.

At the end of most parties and functions, adults tend to like
to visit and relax. I recommend you create the perfect environment for your guests
to do just this. You may want to have a sitting room decorated with a fun
Halloween theme along with fall smelling candles, but if you’re able to, I’d
use this as a back-up for inclement weather. For plan A, I’d take the adult
party outside where you can all snuggle together and chat by outdoor fires
while sipping on cocktails and cider.

After planning party activities, all that is left is your
menu plan! After checking with each guest for food allergies (there seem to be
a lot these days), be sure to plan food to fit the taste preferences of your
party goers. When planning, I always like to couple sweet dishes with savory. I
also like to have the menu reflective of the season. When planning your table,
try to have pops of color throughout to make it beautiful. Lastly, I always try
to make sure that the food can be held with one hand and eaten in one bite so
as to allow for easy conversation.

For younger children, you may want to include items like macaroni
and cheese on a stick, cheese puffs, carrot sticks and chicken fries (witch
fingers) dipped in green ketchup (goo). For some over-the-top amazing kid
Halloween party food ideas, visit http://www.hostessblog.com
and prepared to be wowed!

Teens like all things junk, so why not cater to that just
for one night? You could make personal nacho bites by loading scoop tortilla
chips w/nacho fixin’s and serving them on a platter. Bite-sized pizzas are also
a hit as are Nacho Cheese Doritos. Caramel/nacho cheese popcorn mixes tend to
be a hit as are sliced candy and caramel apples. Because teens have slightly
more mature audience, they might really enjoy the gruesome recipes found at http://www.tipjunkie.com/creative-halloween-party-food.

Adults tend to like a lot of savory dishes when the weather
is chilly. You may choose to celebrate this by hosting a chili cook-off! Party
supply stores carry shot glasses that will hold warm liquids. I find this the
best way to serve soups at parties. Other savory dishes include fondues (use
toothpicks), cheeses, fig and goat cheese crostina and stuffed mushrooms. I
recommend calling in the big guns and visiting http://blog.foodnetwork.com for more
recipes that your adult guests will find hauntingly delicious.

For the sweets, I love the classics like popcorn balls. Kids
and adults alike tend to really enjoy these. I do recommend, however that your
popcorn balls not be too gooey and that they are made as small as possible.
Some skilled ballers can make these little delectable desserts bite-sized! Other
classics include spiced cakes, again, sliced caramel apples and caramel corn. To
splash in some more Halloween color, I add treats like candy corn and Reece’s
Pieces. I also like to serve warm apple fritters with hot apple cider. De-lish!

I recommend continuing your theme with the beverages you
choose to serve. There are lots of fun Halloween punch recipes, but if you’re
too strapped for time, just toss some ginger ale, some cranberry juice and
orange sorbet into a punch bowl and you’re golden! I also love the smell of hot
apple cider this time of year. Who doesn’t? You can be like Stephanie and heat some
in a big pot over your open fire or be like me and take the simpler route by
keeping some warm in a crock pot. Either way, your guests are sure to enjoy!
Orange and brown juices and sodas are always fun to serve at Halloween parties,
for their festive color and because they usually go with whatever you’re
serving. For adults, some fun Halloween cocktails might be in order. Many adults
are big fans of the Oktoberfest beer which, I might add, just happens to pair
really well with most chili recipes (hint!).

Whether you choose to trick it or treat it, Halloween is
super fun! With a little bit of planning, your next Halloween party can become
the hauntingest event of your dreams!

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Categories: children, Crafts, Entertaining, Food, Party Planning, Social Life, Whimsey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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