6 Tips for Throwing a Perfectly Spooky Halloween Party

by Shannon Salzano

Published October 12 2023

6 Tips for Throwing a Perfectly Spooky Halloween Party

Halloween is considered one of the biggest holidays in North America, right after Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. With children across the country putting on a Halloween costumes and participating in the time honored tradition of trick-or-treating, for many Halloween is a favorite day of the year. In fact, 70% of adult Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year. But as you grow older, your options for celebrating become more restricted, leaving most adults to attend a Halloween themed party. If you’re in need of tips on how to throw a Halloween bash to remember, you’ve come to the right place. Here's our best advice on how to throw a halloween party:

Setting the Mood: Halloween Decorations that Make a Statement

One of the easiest ways to set the right spooky and fun mood for your Halloween party is to go all out on decorations. This holiday is a very visual tactile one, with a strong visual identity, so putting together great decorations is a breeze. Your local general store will have things like purple and orange colored lights and fake cobwebs. If you’re the handy type, you might consider making some fake gravestones or coffins. And if you want to really go all out, you could have a different theme for each room of the party - allowing your guests to explore their own haunted house.

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The Soundtrack to Your Fright Night: Halloween Music

Beyond halloween decorations, a sound track is always a fantastic halloween party idea. You want to make sure your music matches the energy of the party, if you want people to dance make sure to play pop music. If you are going for more of a creepy, eerie vibe there are loads of Halloween spooky soundtracks online to blast. And you absolutely must play the Monster Mash at least once.

Ghoulish Goodies: What to Serve at Your Halloween Party

No party is complete without something to snack on, and Halloween is known as a major dessert holiday. Upgrade from just candy and provide your party guests with treats to get them in the Halloween spirit. From sweet to savory, there are loads of recipes that can match your Halloween party vibe. Caramel apples, pumpkin flavored goodies, and mummy wrapped hot dogs are some of the classics to serve, but get inventive and put your own Halloween touch on your favorite party bites. A Milk Bar Pumpkin Coffee-Cake Cake is always popular. And don’t forget about drinks. Carving out a large pumpkin as an ice bin for your beverages can add a seasonal touch.

Costumes: Dress to Impress

No Halloween is complete without costumes, and you’re never too old to go all out. Whether your guesting or hosting, make sure you take your halloween costume duties seriously to keep the feelings festive. Costumes can be one of a few types: scary, funny or even just a current pop culture reference. For an added activity, organize your guests into a costume contest with judges and a special prize for the winner! Who doesn’t like a little competition right? Look at more DIY Dress UP ideas for some inspiration to prevent anyone else from having a chance, as you are deciding on what to bring to a halloween party.

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Party Games: Keep the Fun Going with Halloween Activities

Aside from chatting and snacking you may want to have some activities at your Halloween party for guests to partake in. Carving a great pumpkin is a holiday go-to for a reason, allowing guests to get creative and make a little mess. A caramel apple station is a fun way for party-goers to DIY their own desserts. And of course a good game of operation or charades feels more fun on this spooky holiday. And, if you're looking for some deliciously eerie Halloween dessert ideas, we have you covered.

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Setting up a Halloween Photo Booth

With everyone looking their best, a photo booth is a nice way to send guests home with a memento of their holiday. Setting up a scrappy photo booth can be really simple. You just need a simple backdrop, like a wall or a curtain. A tripod for folks to use their own phones, or someone designated to work a camera helps folks get the perfect shot. And don’t forget to add a box of boas, top hats, glasses, and Halloween theme trinkets for guests to use.

With Halloween being a fan favorite holiday, there are loads of fun and easy ways you can host a party to remember. Paying attention to things like halloween decor and soundtrack is key. Serving up savory and sweet snacks keeps your crew fueled and having fun. Setting up a few games and activities helps folks get in on the fun. And don’t forget the importance of a good costume!

About the author

Shannon Salzano is a New York Times best selling author and hospitality industry veteran. A graduate of Northern Illinois University's Literature and Communications program, Shannon spent half a decade in editorial publishing before making the pivot to hospitality. She served as the Creative Director to Chicago's lauded Girl & the Goat restaurant empire for five years where she oversaw the design and launch of several brick and mortar concepts, a line of home chef sauces and spices, and multiple cookbooks. In her Director of Special Projects role at Christina Tosi's Milk Bar, Shannon has executed partnerships with household names like Google, Verizon, Converse, Cheetos and Pillsbury, and oversees brand voice.