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Plan The Most Spook-Tastic Halloween Party This October

Easy Halloween Party Planning Ideas

Plan The Most Spook-Tastic Halloween Party This October

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If you know me, you know I love to throw a good party… especially a Halloween party! And, I know I’m not alone here. Halloween is a favorite holiday for so many people, both young and old. It’s a time to dress up as your favorite movie character, make and enjoy spooky themed snacks and drinks, and spend time with friends and family. Hosting a Halloween party is a great way to celebrate and give people the chance to show off their amazing costumes!

Fortunately, planning an amazing Halloween party doesn’t need to be stressful. Break your tasks into a simple checklist, and you’ll be party planning the most epic Halloween party in no time!

Halloween Party Checklist

Use this detailed checklist of party planning aspects to plan your perfect Halloween party:

Party Decorations

Party Decorations

Decor is king at Halloween! Make sure your party looks spectacular with great decorations. After choosing a theme, whether it be ghouls and ghosts or Hollywood horror films, commit wholeheartedly and decorate accordingly.

Some other ideas for decor around the house are:

  • Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns You can carve the pumpkins beforehand or make it a fun party activity. To make it a bit easier, you can always spray paint the pumpkins or use chalk to draw on faces. Drawing the pumpkin’s faces can also double as an activity for any kids in attendance.
  • Fake Cobwebs, Spiders, and Skeletons These are all great ways to get into the spooky spirit. Flank the walls and doorways with cobwebs and spiders to create a scary-good spot to take Insta-worthy shots of all your party guests!
  • Candles and String Lights Use alternative lighting around the space to give your house a haunted house feeling. Place votive candles (at Amazon) in corners and string lights (at Amazon) around doorways or the bathroom. This, coupled with the rest of the decorations, will give your guests the eerie feeling they’re in for a good scare.

Mood Setters

Dancing at a Halloween Party

It isn’t enough to toss some pumpkins around and call it a day; mood setters are almost as important as the party decor, and one can influence the other.

Check out these important mood-setting suggestions:

  • Fang-tastic Music The party playlist is one of the most important elements of a successful party. You can either make a playlist ahead of time with a collection of Halloween bangers such as “The Monster Mash” and “Thriller,” or you can use a premade playlist or radio station such as Martha Stewart’s Living Spooky Sounds, which includes knives being sharpened and wolves howling. Really set the mood with some spooky sounds!
  • Classic Halloween Films – Another important aspect of a great Halloween party is having some classic horror slasher films playing on mute in the background to get people into the scary mood. Another idea could be to dedicate a room or area to movie viewing with the volume on since Halloween movies are one of the best ways to celebrate the spooky season! Pop some popcorn and organize a slasher movie marathon. UPVOTE Your Favorite Halloween Movies
  • Costume and Accessory Table – In case your guests weren’t able to get a costume before the party, having a table with an assortment of grab-and-go accessories is a way to make sure everyone has some Halloween spirit. Boost the table’s appeal with some cat ears, witch hats, or Frankenstein bolts and screws for guests to choose from.
  • Photo Booth – What good is a Halloween party if you don’t get any photos? Consider electing a party guest to be the dedicated photographer for the night with their phone, so you don’t have to worry about getting any photos yourself while you’re hosting. You can also set up an easy photo booth with an iPad or iPhone and a fun background that allows guests to take their own photos.

Halloween Themed Food and Drinks

Halloween Themed Food and Drinks

Spooky drinks and fabulous food are must-haves at any Halloween party. Remember: if you’re serving alcohol, it’s important to have plenty of food for guests to eat in addition to their drinks.

Some of my favorite Halloween party snacks include:

  • Candy – Find all your favorite candy and some crowd-pleasers and lay it all out on a table that you can designate as the “sweet treat” table. Every Halloween party needs candy, so be sure to stock up on the fun-size bars and smaller treats so guests can try several of their favorites. Throw some more candy into our new “Boo Ya’ll” mugs and scatter them on other smaller tables around the space for guests to snack as they move around the party.
  • Other Sweet Treats – In addition to the candy, you can put out desserts like brownies, M&M cookies, or green-dyed rice krispie treats. In this case, candy and sweets can supplement as decorations for a Halloween party.
  • Appetizers – Serve your guests some themed small plates to balance out all the Halloween sugar. If you’re only planning to serve appetizers aside from candy, it’s important to have some heartier options to make sure people aren’t leaving hungry.
    Some ideas are:

    • Green olive pizza bites (which look a lot like eyeballs when cut in half)
    • Mini grilled cheese with optional cherry chutney (looks like blood is oozing out of your sandwich)
    • Mummy-wrapped pigs in a blanket
Boo Y'all Mug

Pro tip: To make the day of your party easier, make these apps ahead of time.

Halloween Party Cocktails

  • Alcoholic DrinksMake a potion bar for your party (at Amazon) and serve some creepy Halloween cocktails! If you’re planning to serve alcohol to guests, plan to make enough for four drinks per adult. Try out some ideas with dry ice to give the drinks a spooktastic flair;

    Some fun Halloween cocktail ideas are:

    • Blood-red sangria with a few blood orange slices to garnish
    • Franken-Tini with purple gin and a lemon peel garnish
    • Bloody Carrie Mary with a finger-shaped celery stick to garnish
  • Punch Bowl – A Halloween party isn’t complete without a great big bowl of spooked (and maybe spiked) punch! Make your punch blood-ravishing red, ghoulish green, or putrid purple, and serve with your favorite Halloween goblets.
  • Serving Supplies – Don’t forget plates, napkins, serving platters, and utensils. If you’re running low on paper party supplies, there are loads available online (at Amazon) to fit your Halloween theme.

Games and Activities For Guests

Costume Contest – Give your guests a reason to dress up and host a costume contest. Designate judges and a ranking system at the beginning of the party and award the winners at the end of the night. For more incentive (besides the glory), you can award the winners with prizes. The new NamaSlay Crew Halloween merch is perfect for the prize pot. Our Halloween Skull and Mushrooms tee or our Pumpkin Season Tote make unbeatable prizes that the winners can use all season (or year) long.

Feel and Guess Game – This party game is a fun throwback to elementary school parties. First, set up a piece of cardboard with a curtain to block the person from seeing the other side. Then, arrange three bowls of contents behind the curtain for guests to feel and guess what they are. Label each bowl as something like eyeballs or zombie guts, and the guests will have to guess what the contents truly are. See how many people can guess correctly, and make sure to have a sink available for handwashing, too.

Mummy Wrapping Contest – This is another fun Halloween party game that gets the whole party involved. Break up the party into small groups of 3 or more people and tell them they have to elect a group member to wrap like a mummy. The guidelines are up to you, but typically, the only rule is that no skin or clothing can be shown on “the mummy,” and they have to be able to mummy-walk. Give the groups rolls of toilet paper and about five minutes to wrap their mummy. Judge the contestants and choose the winner with the best mummy walk. Play as many rounds as people want until everyone at the party is part of the walking (un)dead!

My daughter Abi and I dressed for a Halloween party cir. 2017

Themed Halloween Party Ideas

Are you someone who loves a great theme on top of the traditional pumpkins and ghosts? Check out our list of fun Halloween party themes:

Ghostbusters Theme

Everyone loves The Ghostbusters movies, and it is a fun theme to plan a party around. Make ghosts and ghouls the central idea for decor and food, with ghost cookies and a couple of Ghoul-tinis. Invite your guests to dress up as their favorite Ghostbuster or even as their favorite ghost.

Tim Burton & The Addams Family

Tim Burton characters, including The Addams Family, are always a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit. Make your party centered around these iconic Halloween characters with a Frankenweenie Martini and soft pretzels shaped as hands as an ode to “Thing” from The Addams Family. This theme is also a great way for the host (you!) to dress up in a great costume and take the cake in the costume contest.

Ghostbusters Halloween Costumes
My husband, Chris, and I dressed as Ghost Busters, cir. 2012

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Another Burton classic, this unique movie deserves its own category. Maybe the ultimate Halloween movie, Jack Skellington and Sally are a dynamic duo. Play the movie in the background and offer your guests the mic for whoever wants to sing along. Serve up some skeleton-shaped cookies and some Monster Mash Margaritas to go along, too.

Haunted House

This is an iconic Halloween party theme with tons of room to take in your own direction. You could arrange your space like the Eddie Murphy movie with the crystal ball in the center of the room and dry ice to create smoke. Or you could arrange each room of the house with a different haunted and spooky decor and create a tour through your own haunted house. Serve your guests Haunted Hurricanes or Blood Moon Bellinis with artichoke spinach dip in a fun cauldron bowl.

Murder Mystery Party

I have always wanted to do this!! A murder mystery party theme is so much fun when everyone gets involved. Let people know ahead of time that it is a murder mystery party so everyone can arrive in character. You can base it on the Clue board game or the film Knives Out to give people an idea of how to play the game. Finish out the game with a round of Voodoo Vodka Coolers or Haunted House Highballs.

Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine

Throw it back to everyone’s childhood with this seriously silly Halloween party theme. Play old Scooby-Doo episodes or the quintessential Scooby movies on mute with a projector on the wall. Maybe even hide clues around the party for your guests to find and solve a mystery fit for Scooby-Doo and the mystery gang! Reward the best sleuth with a Gory Green G&T or a Phantom Plum Punch.

Tips For Hosting a Halloween Party

Playing Games at a Halloween Party

If you’ve got your party plan well underway, all you need are a few last-minute tips to make sure your party goes off without a hitch.

Here are my most critical:

  • Plan plenty of activities and things to do for all ages
    If children are invited, be sure to have enough activities for them to do during the party. Some ideas are pumpkin painting, pin the head on the zombie, and ghost cookie decorating.
  • Stock adequate food for everyone to eat, especially if people are drinking alcoholChips and snacks get eaten very quickly, so make sure to have backup bags and replenishments.
  • Set a budget and ask people to pitch in if necessaryIf you are planning to do a more in-depth theme, it is important to make sure you aren’t overspending. Ask guests if they would be willing to bring a drink or snack to share to make sure that everyone has a great time!
  • Set up the playlist ahead of time and set it to shuffleThis way, you will avoid having to constantly change the music or choose what to play.
  • Create the guest list online on an app like RSVPify or and have people RSVP to youThis way, you know how many people to expect, and it gives you the ability to plan better for food and drink quantities.
  • Hire a freelance bartender or dedicate one person to be the bartenderIf you are expecting an adult-heavy party and a lot of fun cocktail drinking, look into hiring a freelance bartender for the evening. If hiring someone is not possible, ask a friend who you trust to be the bartender for the night. This way, you, as the host, can enjoy the evening and won’t have to worry about guests over-serving themselves.

Get Ready To Have a Spook-Tastic Halloween!

Get Ready To Have a Spook-Tastic Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start planning the ultimate spook-tastic party that will leave your guests screaming for more! Whether you’re throwing a small gathering with friends or a large-scale bash for your entire neighborhood, this Spooky Season is the perfect time to let your creativity run wild. With our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create an unforgettable event that will have everyone talking long after the last jack-o-lantern has been extinguished.

From eerie decorations and spine-chilling music to devilishly delicious treats and wickedly fun party games, we’ve got everything you need to plan the Halloween party of the year. So go ahead, embrace the spooky spirit and get your scare on!

Happy Halloween!

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