With two weeks to go, are you and your friends still deciding how you’re going to spend Halloween this year? Here’s a thought: Why not take matters into your own hands and host a party? Entertaining people is a great way to bring together friends and family to have fun and celebrate an occasion. Don’t let the task of being a host or hostess intimidate you! If done right, throwing a party doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time or money. There are tricks and tips available to make your experience affordable and easy.
Invitations and Planning
Your first step in planning any party is deciding on a few key factors – which day to throw your party, what time frame to have people over, and how many people you can comfortably invite. Keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to make it. You’ll need to know these things before you send out invitations or plan ahead for food or decorations, so take a good look at your calendar and the space you’re working with so you can make some decisions.
As far as invitations go, the most cost effective and eco-friendly way to go is using a website like Evite to electronically invite your friends and family to attend your party. The invitations are interactive, allowing them to RVSP or ask questions. In addition, if plans change you can send an update to everyone without making a bunch of phone calls or sealing any more envelopes.
Decorations are especially important when it comes to Halloween gatherings. To capture the true spirit of things, you want your house to feel as spooky as possible. Decorations are a lot less expensive and even more effective if you make and personalize them yourself. DIY décor is an increasingly popular trend, so check out these tips for making your own indoor and outdoor Halloween decorations.
If you’re worried about keeping your house clean and your belongings in good shape, cover your couches in old white linens, splatter them with red paint or food color to make them a part of your décor. Make sure to cover your glass and wood tables with black tablecloths to further transform and protect your space.
Planning Your Menu
Deciding on what food to provide big part of your party planning, but you can keep it simple. If your party is at night, don’t worry about main courses. Stick with bowls of snacks and sweets around the house and a small selection of appetizer dishes in the kitchen.
If your guests will be there around lunch or dinner time, consider hosting a potluck! You can let your friends and family show off their signature dishes without worrying about spending all day in the kitchen. You can mention the potluck in your Evite and let guests sign up for a certain dish right when they RSVP, so you know what you’ll have to provide in the end. Focus on filling and cheap dishes if you plan on preparing the meal yourself.
If you’d rather cater food instead, more power to you! To keep costs down, order party subs, salads and pizza in advance.
First, decide if you want to have alcohol at your party based on the age range of who you invited. If you do want to have alcohol present, consider doing a BYOB situation instead of a potluck. Buying enough alcohol for everyone will be expensive and if you do BYOB, everyone will have what they like. Otherwise, make sure to have a variety of beverages available including soda, diet soda, juice and plenty of water.
Games and Entertainment
You definitely want a variety of activities at your party to keep everyone entertained. A costume contest encourages people to get in the spirit and dress up. Depending on how many people are attending, you can play Halloween-themed charades, trivia or have a scavenger hunt. If someone has a karaoke machine, borrow it to sing Halloween classics like “Monster Mash,” “Superstition,” “The Time Warp” and “This Is Halloween.”
If weather permits, have things to do outside as well. You can have a table set up with a pumpkin carving and painting station. If you have a fire pit, light a bonfire and have ingredients for s’mores outside.
Music is an influential part of any gathering, and Halloween is no exception. Play spooky sounds or make a playlist of fun songs, especially ones with a Halloween theme. You can use online radio apps or your own personal library, but make sure there’s always music playing.
The lighting should be dim to fit the occasion. Use colored light bulbs, spare Christmas lights or big glow sticks to set the right mood. Consider playing Halloween movies in another room to add another option for something to do for your guests.
Last but not least, make sure your guests are comfortable. Have somewhere for shoes and coats to go. Make sure there are garbage and recycling bins throughout the house and enough paper or plastic utensils for everyone.
There you go! Throwing a Halloween party can be a breeze if you think outside the box and make sure your bases are covered.
Are you throwing a Halloween party this year? Tell us about some of your party plans in a comment below!