Halloween party essentials
Halloween isn't just about trick-or-treating; a fun house party is a great way for people of all ages to celebrate the holiday. But hosting a great Halloween party takes more than just a spooky sound effects CD and some punch. If you want to create the kind of mood that makes your party one for the ages, there are some essential Halloween decorations, entertainment, and treats you just can't forget.
Not sure what to put on your must-have list? Here are some Halloween party essentials that you'll need before the big day.
The perfect costume
When you host a Halloween party, it's pretty much required that you wear a fabulous costume. But choosing the right one can be tough. It's best to start shopping early so you have plenty of time to perfect your look. You may wish to draw inspiration from your favorite book, movie, or TV characters because you can find a wide array of ready-to-buy costumes that take all of the guesswork out of planning your outfit.
And in case a partygoer arrives without a costume, have some spare masks and other Halloween-themed headwear scattered around so they can get in the spirit once they arrive.
What would a Halloween party be without a few spooky Jack-o'-lanterns to help set the mood? If there's not a pick-your-own pumpkin patch in your area, visit your local grocery store, garden store, or farmer's market and grab a pumpkin or two that you can decorate. Don't worry if you can't find perfectly round pumpkins, either. Those with strange shapes often make the spookiest faces.
If you're not confident in your ability to carve the pumpkin freehand, do a basic online search for Jack-o'-lantern templates. For spine-chilling Jack-o'-lanterns, you don't even have to carve the pumpkin -- use markers or paint to create a scary face or holiday-themed design on your pumpkin.
Not sure how to light your pumpkin? Candle and tea lights are a traditional option, but if your party is for kids or you're worried about a possible fire hazard, use battery-operated candles or a set of string lights to create an eerie glow.
For a truly frightening Halloween party vibe, you need more than a couple of carved gourds. Some inexpensive party decorations will give your guests a thrill -- plastic skulls, foam tombstones, and spiders with glowing eyes are sure party hits. Scatter the props throughout your party in order to give your guests a proper scare.
Don't forget to decorate your home's exterior, too. Use the same decorations that you have inside, or opt for a fun Halloween-themed inflatable and orange and purple string lights. Projectors that cast lighted images of skulls, spiders, ghosts, and other Halloween scares are plenty of fun for dressing up your home's exterior, too.
Movies and music
What is a Halloween celebration without some classic horror movies to build the mood? Establish an area with a TV so you can screen some of your favorite flicks for your guests. If you're hosting a children's party, you'll obviously want to keep the entertainment a little tamer, so opt for Halloween-themed cartoons instead.
If you don't like the idea of your guests disappearing to watch a movie, keep your party rocking with some fun Halloween-themed tunes. Songs like "Thriller" and "Monster Mash" aren't just spooky; they're perfect for dancing as well, so you can be sure that your party is hopping.
Perhaps even more essential for your Halloween party than all the scary decor and entertainment is some tasty candy. Along with whatever party food you plan to offer, put out several large bowls of your favorite snack-size candy bars and other treats. If your party is for kids, you may want to set up trick-or-treating stations throughout the venue so they can enjoy the thrill of trick-or-treating without going door to door.
In addition to candy, think about having some other fall-themed treats on hand for the party. Candy apples, caramel corn, and apple cider donuts are delicious seasonal choices.
Halloween may be a scary holiday, but planning the perfect All Hallow's Eve party doesn't have to be. As long as you focus on a few key essentials, you're sure to have a rockin' Halloween party.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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