It's that time of year again. The kids are back in school, leaves are changing, there's a chill in the air, and Halloween is right around the corner. If you're planning to host a party - whether it's spooky and haunted, or rustic and autumnal - we've got your Halloween festivities covered. Here are three ideas for making sure your Halloween party at home is one your guests will never forget.
1. Design a spooky living room.
Use your decor to set the tone for the party. In your living room, you could toss around some furry accent pillows to give things a "monster" feel, and place some decorative coasters on your coffee table for guests to use. Then try out some of the following ideas for a more spooky feel.
- Drape "cobwebs" over doorways and furniture.
- Create eerie lighting with candles and red/orange-tinted lighting.
- Decorate with cute items like dolls and teddy bears - placed in the right spot with the right lighting, cute toys become creepy.
- Cutout figures out of cardboard (like monsters or witches) and place them in your windows--at night with the lights on inside it will create some spooky silhouettes.
- Play a spooky Halloween soundtrack in the background to set a ghostly atmosphere.
No matter what, you want to make sure you have enough comfortable indoor seating for your guests. If you're hosting a large party you may want to maximize space by setting up additional indoor and outdoor seating areas.
2. Break the ice naturally.
You want to get your guests talking, but not everyone appreciates the typical icebreaker activities because they can feel awkward and forced. Instead, consider giving some of your guests assignments, like passing around the hors d'oeuvres or checking on people's drinks. For guests who struggle striking up conversations with strangers, this provides an open door but doesn't hold the same pressure as coming up with a cool story or unique fact about themselves as most of the standard icebreakers do. For a Halloween-themed party, a fun way to get people mingling could be a pumpkin-carving activity. Set up a carving station out on your patio, and keep things cozy with a fire table or space heaters. With everyone seated around a long outdoor table, it's a great way to get some natural face-to-face interaction started.
3. Create a haunted house.
For a truly haunted and memorable party, you may want to consider transforming your home into a haunted house. First of all, be sure to keep it age-appropriate. If your guests are adults, have fun spooking things up and go all out with the scares. But, if you're going to have children running around, maybe leave out the chainsaw-wielding zombies, and focus instead on design elements - such as creating a spooky atmosphere. Some fun haunted house ideas include:
- Drape white sheets over sofas and chairs.
- Create a haunted graveyard in the backyard with styrofoam cutouts of gravestones.
- Go crazy with glow-in-the-dark stickers.
- Turn your dining room into an "operations room".
- Write scary phrases on the wall with red lipstick.
The next step is planning out the haunted path through your house. What do you want the guests to see? Do you want to go all out in every room of your house, or just focus on a few? Outdoors, indoors, or some of both? This can be as grand- or small-scale as you want it to be. Now that you have a few ideas for a haunted Halloween at home. Decide just how scary you would like your party to be and happy planning!