Good clean fun for all the family
Halloween is usually thought of as a fun time for kids, but that doesn't mean adults can't enjoy this time of the year too. If you are planning a party to celebrate Halloween the following party tips will get you off to a good start.
If you need to break the ice there are lots of Halloween party games you can play. This is especially useful if there are people who don't know each other. There are some ice-breakers on this page, but for further ice-breakers, see Ice-breaker party games.
Celebrity Celebrations party kit for up to 100 guests is perfect for Halloween murder parties.
The Superhero Mystery is a good choice for Halloween mystery parties for 10 to 30 guests.
The Action Movie Murder party kit is great for all male Halloween parties.
Outside Halloween Decorations
We all know about jack-o-lanterns, where a face is cut into a hollowed out pumpkin and a candle placed inside, but there are other ways of lighting your house and grounds in a special Halloween way and it's easy, cheap too!
Paper bag lights
Only use these outside. Placed along the edge of your path leading up to the front door, they create a lovely welcome for your guests, and will also help those who are not quite sure of your address. Another good place for them is amongst plants in a garden bed and on the letterbox.
Buy some brown paper lunch-size bags. Pour a few inches of sand or soil in the bottom and open them into a cylinder shape so the sand holds the bag flat on the ground. Push a short candle (a few inches long so it sits below the top of the bag) into the sand. The sand will keep the candle upright and when it is lit, the wind won't blow it out because the bag protects it. If the sand has made a solid base the bag will be away from the flame. Have a bucket of water handy to pour on any of the bags if they do happen to catch alight.
At the front door place a cluster of Halloween jack-o-lanterns and have a large black cardboard cut-out of a witch's face or a bat shape on the door.Warning: Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep flames away from paper, greens, or other flammable objects. Make sure candles aren't placed where partygoers will knock them over or brush against them with their clothing.
Inside Halloween Decorations
If you have decorated a party room especially for Halloween, you might like to keep the door closed until everyone arrives. Then have them enter to spooky music.
Cut bats, ghosts, spiders and witches faces out of black cardboard and tape to the inside of lampshades. Replace the bulb with an orange one. Those cheap round or square Chinese paper lanterns can also be used for this. Hang up strings of small orange or red Chinese paper lanterns, together with fairy lights, throughout the room as well. Have candelabra on the tables with orange or white candles. For a different and eerie effect use green lightbulbs.
An electric fan blowing across dry ice will produce a smoky effect in a room.
Remove any pot plants or drape them with dark cloths and spray them with cobweb spray.
Cut black spiders and bats from black cardboard and hang them low throughout the room, preferably where people will bump into them in the dark.
In keeping with the Halloween theme, label all the food on the table with ghoulish labels. For example:
It's 1961 and the world's richest man Jerry Oilman has invited anybody who is anybody to his birthday party. Marilyn Monroe is here looking for the perfect man. Something sinister and frightening is about to take place.
Halloween invitations can be made to suit the occasion. Cut out a bat shape with spread wings, a skull shape, a pumpkin or a coffin. If you're using black paper or card, write the details with a gold, silver or white pen. Choose black or orange envelopes.
Getting to know you
A good game for a Halloween party where not everyone knows one another.
Have two baskets at the front door containing folded pieces of paper with a word on each - enough for one piece of paper for each guest. In one basket have Halloween words like bat, witch, spider and Dracula, and in the other have the complementary word like belfry (bat), broomstick or cauldron (witch), cobweb (spider) and blood (Dracula).
On arrival each guest picks a folded slip of paper from one basket and goes off in search of their complementary mate. Try to evenly distribute the notes.
Scary Halloween stories
This is a chance for everyone to tell their scariest story. Ask everyone to participate. They can tell real stories or make them up. Dim the lights, or just have candles. Have everyone sit in a circle and give the storyteller a flashlight to shine up under his or her chin to create a spooky effect. Have a prize for the scariest story (eg this could be edible Dracula fangs).
Scary scavenger hunt
If you have a big yard with lots of places to hide things, another fun Halloween activity for kids is a scavenger hunt. Make sure that the hidden items match the occasion. You could have little plastic skulls filled with candy or candy bars wrapped in fake spider webs.
You can also hold a costume competition. No costumes purchased from a store would be allowed. Instead, all of the kids coming to the party should work with their parents to make their own costumes. You could then have the kids themselves vote on who has the best Halloween costumes.
Decorate the room with orange balloons. Before you blow them up place a piece of paper in some or all with a specific instruction on it. Each person has to burst a balloon and do whatever is on the piece of paper. Some suggestions are: kiss the nearest goblin, jump like a kangaroo, eat something black, hop on one leg for 30 seconds, etc.
Scary yard maze
If you do have a big yard, one of the best activities you can arrange for the kids at your party is a scary outdoor maze. The walls of the maze itself can be made in many ways, but the easiest way is to hang tarps from lines you have stung across the yard on poles. Inside the maze, you and those helping you can setup scary scenes the kids will encounter.