Have you made plans for Halloween yet? If trick or treating is not your favorite thing, or if you don’t live in a good area for it, you might want to consider hosting a Halloween party instead. This can be a great way for your kids to get together with their friends, admire each other’s creative costumes, and generally enjoy the evening, without any of the drawbacks that go along with trick or treating. Planning a spooky Halloween party can also be a lot of fun! If you want to host your own monster mash this Halloween, here are a few ideas to help get you started.
- Games and Activities. There are lots of fun party activities that can be adapted to fit a Halloween theme. Of course, your guests will probably want to come in costume, so a costume contest is an easy choice. Give small prizes for the most creative, the spookiest, or the most unusual costumes. Play freeze dance, using “Monster Mash” and other spooky or Halloween themed tunes. If you want to incorporate some outdoor play, create a skeleton scavenger hunt in the yard, where they can search for plastic skeleton bones; bonus points to the kid or team that finds enough of them to assemble a full skeleton. You can also play pumpkin bowling, with a few small pumpkins with short stems for balls, and some empty two liter bottles for pins.
- Food. Halloween colors are black and orange, so bowls of finger foods that fit the color scheme are a good idea: think cheddar cheese cubes, blackberries, black licorice, and orange slices. You can make edible spiders by making cracker sandwiches (use peanut butter or cream cheese) and inserting eight pretzels (four on each side) into the filling. Then use a dab of whatever your filling is to affix some raisin “eyes” to the top. Make “swamp punch” by mixing Kool-aid, frozen orange juice, ginger ale, and sherbet. Use food dye to create green, orange or black pastries. Have fun with it. Halloween is great time to be creative.
- Decorations. It’s simple enough to create do-it-yourself spooky Halloween decorations. Use dry ice in buckets for artificial mist. Drape helium filled balloons with small white sheets (pillowcases may work as well) and let these “ghosts” float around the party area. Use black lights or colored light bulbs to create eerie effects. Create coffins out of shoeboxes by covering the outsides in black or brown construction paper and lining the insides with red felt. You can leave them empty or add a plastic skeleton corpse.
The great thing about planning a Halloween party is that it’s hard to go wrong. You can be as creative as you want, and as long as you have fun with it, everyone else will too. So get into the spirit of it, and enjoy!