Halloween undoubtedly appeals to the kids. It’s the one night of the year when it’s perfectly permissible to dress up in a costume and eat all (some) of the candy. And if your hand happens to reach in there for a little snack-size bar, too? Totally OK. But what if the spookiest day of the year inspires you with a bigger vision — one that doesn’t involve the kids?
Easy: plan a grown-up Halloween party! Of course, the theme is already written for you, but you can spin-off from plain “scary” and transform your gathering into something truly memorable. What’s the best way to have a spooktacular good time while throwing a party that’s decidedly more for the big kids? Throw on your favorite Halloween-themed cardigan sweater and get planning! From food to décor, here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan the festivities.
When better to refresh your home with a few seasonal accents? Create an eye-catching tablescape that will naturally draw your guests to the center of all the social action. Set the tone with miniature pumpkins and votive candles set on a Halloween-themed table runner. Add warm orange or black placemats and napkins to create an eye-catching look whether you’re planning to sit down to dine or not.
Hang some decorative hand towels in the guest bathroom to lend every area of your home where guests are likely to venture a festive quality. Remember the other details, like hand soap — why not offer a pumpkin spice or apple caramel scent? Placing small dishes of autumnal potpourri throughout the house is another easy way to elevate the ambiance.
The best dinners are unforgettably good — so why not make your grown-ups-only Halloween party the occasion for some spectacular dishes? Whip up a hearty main dish, like rosemary garlic chicken or pumpkin pasta with pine nuts, and serve some crusty bread glazed with olive oil and garlic to start. Add a salad with Brussels sprouts, apples, cheese, and walnuts for a crunchy side.
It's not a party without dessert! While the kids are munching on chocolate bars, now’s a good time to experiment with that sweet recipe you’ve been saving for a special occasion. An apple spice or pear frangipane tart is a beautiful addition to your festivities. Add some rum for a little bit of a kick. If you’re feeling more traditional, a mouthwatering apple crumb or pumpkin pie (or both!) will be just right. Planning to eat outside on the patio or deck? Make sure your outdoor furniture is properly spruced up with festive accents, whether it’s an autumn bouquet as a table centerpiece or a few seasonal throw pillows placed on the chairs.
It may be the kids who get giddy with nervous excitement about haunted houses, but you can easily make yours the envy of the neighborhood if you want to throw a memorable party this Halloween. Go all out with all kinds of décor. Add faux cobwebs to corners and entryways, run a fog machine and fill the air with a smoky haze, fill bottles with smoky magic potions, and beneath glass domes, display spooky objects from skulls to eyeballs. Swap your usual personalized doormat for one adorned with ghosts and goblins.
Be sure to set up a table full of spooky-meets-yummy Halloween treats! Fill a “cauldron” with a mouthwatering cocktail and scare up some delicious hors d’oeuvres. You’ll find recipes for all kinds of goodies that may look a little frightening, but taste amazing. Cookies decorated with cobwebs, cheese sticks shaped like rotting witches’ fingers, jalapeno poppers wrapped up like mummies, and pizza bagels with melted cheese “ghosts” on top are just a few ideas that will make your guests smile — and satiate their appetites at the same time.
Unless you’re all planning to go trick-or-treating, you’ll want to plan some enjoyable activities for the evening. If it’s a small group, that might be something as simple as gathering everyone on the couch and enjoying a scary movie marathon. If that’s the plan, encourage everyone to wear their favorite comfy clothes.
Plan a spooky scavenger hunt, have a pumpkin-carving contest, or turn a guest into a mummy with a trusty roll of toilet paper. And have a blast taking pictures galore and sharing them with friends or on social media. If you’re so inclined, give your party a hashtag in your invites and encourage your guests to use it throughout the festivities. You’ll have a real-time album full of moments from everyone’s perspective.
With a little bit of ingenuity and creativity, you can easily plan a Halloween party everyone will be talking about for days — grown-ups only!