Crystal drinking glasses with straws on a table surrounded by jack-o-lanterns and LED light strings

How to Throw a Great Halloween Party

Time to stock up on your candy corn and get your pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, because you are going to need them. You are going to need them to plan the most spooktacular Halloween party!

Let’s walk through some ideas for your very own Halloween party. Get your totes of decor out and dust them off because it’s time to get started!

Decide on a Theme

First, you want to pick a theme for your Halloween party. You can do something traditional like a costume party, a jack-o-lantern carving party, or a haunted house.

Some more non-traditional themes could include asking everyone to dress in pink in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Ask invitees to bring a donation or an extra party treat that people could purchase with proceeds going to a breast cancer research group.

Or how about a Halloween brunch and save the costumes and trick-or-treating for the little ones in the evening. Your menu could include mummy brie and bloody mary syringes to get that Halloween vibe started early.

Once you have decided on a theme, it’s time to pick a location.

Choose a Time and Location

Pick a time that you want the party to start, and then decide where to hold the party. If you are having a small soiree, host it in your home. If the party is more of a massive bash, then find a local hall that you can rent.

Also, decide if you want to make all the party food, have guests bring items, or have it catered. Whatever you decide, remember to include that on your invitation too.

Front lawn decorated with inflatable Halloween train

Set your Scene

Once you have decided on a theme and location, it’s time to start decorating.

Don’t skip the entry: The outside must look just as spooky as the inside. The first thing that guests are going to see is the front entrance. A great way to spook up any front entry is with some carved jack-o-lanterns!

Load up the carved pumpkins with candles or flickering LED lighting for an extra spooky effect. If you are hosting a kids’ party, set up a pumpkin carving station. Kids can place their creations at the entrance and take their masterpieces with them on their way home.

Put up a sign on the front door that is both creepy and witty like “Enter at your own risk” or “Welcome to our haunted house.”

Spider Webs and Creepy Crawlies: These are simple additions that add an instant spook factor. Scatter fake spiders and webs around. Make sure you run to your local craft or party store to grab up all the faux spider webbing that you can find.

Place the spider webs around doorways, cover lights (do not place it too close to the light bulb), and hang it in the ceiling corners. Put it anywhere that you want to create an aged, abandoned look. If you are at a rented space, make sure your decorations don’t cause any damage to walls, floors, or furniture.

To spook guests, place fake rats, spiders, and snakes in unsuspecting places. With low lighting, some of them may pass as real!

Lighting: Low lighting is an absolute must for a Halloween party. Invest in some battery-operated LED candles for a safe, yet spectral effect. For extra fun, get some colored lights. Black, blue, red, and green will make the house look eerie.

Make a spooky playlist

It’s essential to have some good music for a party that matches your theme. Create a playlist loaded with songs that will add flair to the party. Here are a few great choices:

  • “Disturbia” by Rihanna
  • “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
  • “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett
  • “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • “People are Strange” by the Doors

iTunes and Spotify have pre-made Halloween Playlists so that you can leave all the work up to them. Music is a great way to entertain guests at a party.

Halloween monster burger made with a pickle slice tongue, cheese slice fangs, and stuff olives on toothpick eyes

Plan the Food and Drinks

The menu for a Halloween party does not have to be intricate and time-consuming. However, it can be some of the most fun and creative food of the year.

Desserts: A Halloween party must are candied apples. This is another piece of the party where kids can help. Or set up a DIY station and let your guests customize their apples.

Set out an assortment of nuts, sprinkles, small candies, and chocolates for added decoration. You can find directions and a supply list here.

Another easy dessert is Giada’s Halloween Popcorn Treats. It is a combination of popcorn, almonds, Reese’s Pieces or M&Ms, marshmallows, crushed candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies.

Appetizers: With all the candy, desserts, and various sweet treats, guests are going to want something savory to snack on as well.

Try this simple Pumpkin cheese ball! All you have to do is throw the ingredients in the blender and let it chill in the fridge! You can whip up this crowd-pleaser in less than 30 minutes.

You can also “mummify” meatballs by wrapping them in puff pastry. To make things easier, grab a package of pre-made meatballs from Teal’s Market!

Drinks: Make a Witch’s Brew to impress guests with the magic of dry ice. Refreshing and spooky, now there’s a Halloween Party win-win.

Swiss shepherd dog in a white sheet ghost costume with a plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin

Pick your party attire

Now that everything else is taken care of, what are you wearing?!?!

For a low-key Halloween soiree, you are going to need to find the perfect party dress. Urban Escape in Spicer has plenty of cute dresses to choose from, and you can shop them online as well.

If you are going the costume route and need some authentic accents for your vintage costume – check out Bell Tower Antiques.

Want to go as the Tool Time guy from Home Improvement?  Check out Bonnema Hardware for all the parts you will need.

Whatever the party attire, don’t forget a prize for best costume or best dressed!


Tackling the task of throwing a party can sometimes feel overwhelming. Remember that a party does not have to be extravagant to be a good time.

However, if you think like Nancie J. Carmody — “I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.” — you know it is all worth it. Have fun and enjoy!

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