Checklist for a BOO-tiful Halloween Party for All Ages
The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting colder. And there is a definite sense of autumn in the air. That can only mean one thing: it’s time to get your spook on! In that lull between the end of summer and the start of the Christmas festivities, Halloween can be a real spirit (ha!) lifter. But it can also be difficult to strike the balance if you’re planning a party for all the family. If you’ve got littlies in the house you can’t have anything too spooktacular, but then there needs to be something for teens and adults to enjoy too.
So, what do you need to set the tone for a horribly good Halloween that everyone can enjoy? We’ve put together a howlpful checklist to take away the creeping dread of party planning.
A Hell of a Halloween Party Checklist
A Halloween party would just be any old party without the scary decorations and mood-makers, so it’s important to set the scene. You can make your own decorations in a weekend crafting project with the kids. And the shops are full to bursting with all things creepy and crawly. Whatever you do, just make sure that you do something! Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. Hollow them. Carve them. And cook the innards… More on that later.
- Fairy lights and lanterns. Halloween parties should really be a low-light affair, but with all those draping costumes around it’s best to avoid the use of candles.
- Wall hangings. Faux spider webs, skeletons, ghosts and scary silhouettes. Bats are also a go-to favourite as they’re so easy to make at home – just get some black paper, draw a template and start snipping!
- Serve ware. Paper plates, cups and napkins are a must if you’re catering for kids. Simple black disposable plates will do – although try to avoid the plastic-lined cups for the environment’s sake. Then you can go to town with your tableware. Witch’s hats and shoes make good platters. Skulls, hollowed pumpkins and cauldrons can all be used with great effect.
- Music. From Thriller to the Monster Mash, there are some amazing songs out there for a Halloween playlist. And young or old, they will get all of your guests smiling if not actually dancing.
OK, so we all know that Halloween is about sweets. And if you don’t get your hands on a Swizzels Halloween 5kg tub, you’re missing both a trick and a treat. But there are loads of ‘proper’ foods you can make too. Follow America’s example and use your scraped-out pumpkins to make scones, soup and pumpkin pie. They’re nutritious and scarily tasty. Forget fairy cakes and make some scary cakes, using black food colouring to turn the wings into bats, or add liquorice ‘legs’ to create a cakey spidery surprise. A ‘puking pumpkin’ can be a great way to present healthier foods such as hummus and veg sticks. Then you have meringue ghosts, fruit monsters, cheese straw snakes, and petrifying pizza. Let your imagination run wild. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look good – it’s Halloween, that’s the point!
Obviously, with little terrors running about, you can’t be too careful when it comes to alcohol. And many of your guests will be driving. But Halloween cocktails can be a fun touch for any grownup guests. And there’s no reason why you can’t make non-alcoholic mocktails for the kids and non-drinkers. You can even brighten them up by using Swizzels Drumsticks or Double Lollies as extra decoration.
For children, the key with costumes is ease of movement. While a sheet over the head to make a ghost is a good, cheap idea, it won’t stay on for more than five minutes. So, keeping the clothes simple and amping it up with face paints is probably a better idea for the young.
For adults, understatement can be awesome. And humour often works better than horror when you have children about. If you’ve left it too late you can always cut up a potato and go about your business with a chip on your shoulder.
Trick or treat
Finally, don’t forget to be trick or treat ready. Because even if you don’t get hoards of marauding door knockers in your area, you can guarantee sad faces all round if any little devils attending your party don’t get at least a little bag of booty to take home. A Swizzels 5kg Halloween Trick or Treat Sweet Tub will soon take care of that, or if you prefer something else, have a good look at Swizzels’ complete online Halloween range
Halloween parties can be a great bit of family fun. And with October 31st falling in or just after the half term holidays for most of us this year, party planning can be a wonderful way to keep children engaged during their autumn break. Stop worrying; it’ll be a scream. Mhuahahahahahahaha!