The season of spook and haunt is upon us. With the leaves turning their vibrant red and golden hues, it’s time to carve the pumpkins and pull out the punch bowl. If you’re planning a Halloween party this season, here’s how to make your monster mash a real smash. These hot tips for an outdoor haunted party will give everyone a fright.
First, you’ll want to set the mood. Be sure to put out the spooky hand towels, table cloths, and serving bowls. Use fun-filled decor that celebrates the season like spider webs, spooky creatures, tombstones, skeletons, and even purple light strings to set the mood. Go one step further and create a small, haunted yard scene for kids and visitors. If you host your bash on Halloween, be sure to have someone handing out tasty treats at the end. Get creative and go for a spooky scene that suits the age group of the party. For younger kids, make it cute, but for older teens, go for an all-out haunt.
Outdoor parties are a great option if you live in a warm-weather climate. If it’s cooler, consider renting gas heaters or having a fire pit (with s’mores, of course!). Be sure to include a few fleece blankets for anyone who gets cold. Next, have a separate area for kids and adults. Halloween is fun for all ages, so be sure to cater to parents as well as kids, so your children can get some playtime in while you get to relax and socialize. Consider using the Halloween theme for both sides of the party. Come up with a haunted cocktail and keep it separate from the kids. You can share foods, but perhaps have a few adult options such as charcuterie that are just for the adults. This lets you entertain a wide range of people with one spooky event.
Put some life in the party with a few fun games. For kids, have a mummy sack race—where you wrap kids’ legs in toilet paper like a mummy and have a race to the finish. Or a bean bag toss into pumpkins carved with a large mouth. Another popular activity (especially during the day) is a spooky scavenger hunt in the yard. Have a variety of games that everyone will enjoy. Even adults will want to get in on a game of bag toss. You can opt to give away prizes, or you can give everyone a small gift baggie at the end. Keep it fun and encourage people to play in costumes for plenty of fun photo ops too.
No Halloween party is complete without a costume contest. Let guests know there will be a contest with the invite and let them know the categories to plan ahead. You can have a variety of different prizes for options like the best DIY costume, best family costume, most creative kids’ costume, and the funniest adult costume. The sky is the limit here, so select categories that entice your guests to go all out. Create a fun photo area where people can snap pics of their incredible outfits as a keepsake. Give away a canvas tote bag stuffed with fun prizes like a gift card to a local ice cream shop, a few bath products, and a small kid’s toy, or hand out DIY certificates.
Okay, so we all know that no party is complete without the most important element—the food! The best foods for an outdoor Halloween party are of the finger variety. Think lots of small bites and a few bigger shared plates (like chili, dip, small tacos, or sandwiches). Be sure to offer a variety of options, from healthy veggie sticks and dip to sweet treats. Keep a balanced menu with salty, sweet, spicy, and tart foods. That way everyone can simply choose what they like. Keep with the spooky theme by using creative plating, orange, black, and green colors (food dye is encouraged).
You can make specific spooky dishes or just one to two items that put a freaky flair on the party. Afterward, offer little doggie bags for party-goers. Then pack up a few extras in your kids’ lunchboxes to keep the festivities going for a few extra days.
Hosting an outdoor Halloween bash really celebrates the spooky season. Enjoy a haunted decor and unwind with fun-filled games and treats your entire clan will enjoy. Plan a few activities to keep your guests engaged. Choose games that every age will enjoy—even the spectators. Give away spooky goodies and cute little prizes for participants. Oh, and don’t forget about the costume contest!