halloween party planning

Want to Plan the Perfect Halloween Party? Here’s How

Sure, you can’t go door-to-door trick-or-treating anymore, but you can still capitalize on the chance to be whoever (or whatever) you want for just a day. With this spooky holiday looming on the horizon, we can’t help but start thinking about the upcoming monster mashes. If this is the year that you’ve finally decided to stop being just a party goer and want to become a Halloween party planner, check out some of our planning tips below!


Pumpkin, ghosts, cobwebs, and stray bones are this haunted holiday’s mainstays, but the décor doesn’t have to be so tried and trite. Just a quick search on Pinterest or YouTube will bring up hundreds of DIY décor ideas that will impress all your guests. As with some of our previous event décor posts, Martha Stewart is always coming through for us. Check out this terrifying iteration of a wreath that you can further decorate with plastic bats, eyeballs—whatever tickles your fancy!


But don’t just limit yourself to the visual decorations of the room—appeal to the other senses! If you’re planning a more relaxed get-together, light some ambient candles, spin some spooky tunes (Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is always welcome), and pop in a Halloween-themed movie. Beetlejuice is a great option for the easily spooked guests. And if they’re more serious about their Halloween scares? You can’t go wrong with The Exorcist!

Party games

What’s a party without games? We’ve all been to a couple Halloween parties that turned out to be absolute duds. While heavily organized party games don’t do so well if people have had a couple of drinks, having some simple games in your back pocket can save you a lot of grief. We’re going to stay away from the games that are questionable when it comes to sanitation (ahem, bobbing for apples) but that still leaves us plenty to work with.


If the people at your party are feeling particularly competitive, why not keep a deck of Cards Against Humanity on the coffee table? As the party wears on and people have already had time to mingle and settle down, party games will naturally start to happen. If your guests are of age, why not make a drinking game for hunting horror-genre tropes in a classic horror flick? Just make sure you don’t let your guests get too rowdy…


Don’t just go to Walmart, buy a bag of stale candy, pour it into a bowl, and call it a day. If you’re going to be spending lots of time and attention putting together your costume and decorating your party space, don’t skimp out when it comes to food. Even if all you’re doing is decorating chocolate cupcakes with orange icing and black sprinkles, a little love goes a long way!


Since we’re all going to be hopped up on sugar that day, why not do a healthy take on your party treats? We all seem to think that healthy treats won’t work, but the trick is to include variety. The biggest thing you have to remember is to keep your appetizers light. Say no to the Halloween lasagna, and no to the horrifying vampire turkey dinner…unless you’re planning a dinner party. Especially if you’re having more than just a few guests, keep the energy flow moving and mingling by serving a range of bite-sized finger foods.

Costume Party Themes:

It may seem counterintuitive to have a theme for a Halloween party—the whole holiday is a theme, after all. But it doesn’t hurt to narrow your focus, especially if you and your guests will be attending more than one Halloween party this year. The key is to be more specific to get those creative juices flowing, but not to have it be too constricting. Does it really make sense to throw a Frozen-themed Halloween party when there’s only a handful of characters you can dress up as, and not everyone may be as enthused about the film as you are?


Why not try a Dynamic Duo theme? Many people may think that this is just a couples-costumes party, but romantic pairings are just the tip of the iceberg! Think famous couples from history (or television!), superhero-sidekick combos, or a two-part pun costume (the party classic Hawaiian Punch!). You can even expand it to more than just groups of two. As the lovely characters on How I Met Your Mother have shown us, Cumin DOES have a place with his Salt and Pepper compatriots. You may also want to keep the door open for those especially crafty individuals who want to try the ultimate balancing act of becoming both halves of a duo in a single costume.

Got any other creative Halloween party planning ideas we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

Halloween isn’t the only fall party you’ll be planning this season. Expect to plan these other events!

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