By Jessica Wasik
Fall has officially arrived and the time has come to start planning for the ultimate Halloween party. Whether you're hosting your first monster mash or trying to top last year's bewitching bash, there are simple, affordable and creative ways to take your party to the next level. From invitations and decorations to themes, boos and booze, all of these elements work together to set the scene and mood for your grown-up ghostly gathering. Start planning with these five tips will help you craft a magical, mysterious and memorable Halloween celebration.
Set The Mood With Party Invitations
No matter how devilish the decorations, how eerie the eats or how spine-chilling the spirits you plan to serve, your Halloween party will be a frightful flop without guests. The right invites will not only let your friends know when and where your haunted happenings are taking place, but they will also set the scene for frightful festivities. Skip the typical store-bought invitations and instead get creative by crafting your own. Browse Pinterest for terrifying templates that you can either print out and enhance with fake blood, spiderwebs or magical glitter. Paperless electronic invitations are also becoming increasingly popular, thanks to sites like Canva.com and Evite that allow you to design a bewitching, professional-looking invitation and conveniently send it to your guests in minutes.
Choose A Party Theme
Themes take your gruesome get-together from the usual costume party to a new level. Your guests will love participating in a murder mystery-style dinner in which they become the stars in a classic who-done-it? setting. This type of theme works great for smaller gatherings of roughly eight to 10 guests. Perhaps you prefer to encourage a particular costume style since dressing up is a non-negotiable for a Halloween party. From the year's hottest heroic superheros or celebrity couples to Monster Mash icons or hilarious, over-the-top costumes, an unexpected ensemble will help party goers come out of their shell and get into the spirit of the evening.
Bust Out The Blood-Curdling Booze
Now that you've got the "boos," you'll need some booze. Check out Halloween-inspired drinks that are simple to make and taste great. Look for themed drinks like a Morgue-a-Rita that puts a spin on a traditional margarita thanks to a combination of green food coloring and corn syrup that oozes over the rim of the glass; a Poison Apple cocktail featuring sour apple liqueur, champagne and green sugar; or a Black Widow shot made of cranberry juice and black vodka. From there, the fun comes in finding unusual ways to serve these spirits. Consider surrounding the outside of a punch bowl with dry ice to create a frightful fog or inserting a bloodied hand decoration into the bowl's center for a ghoulish and ghastly touch.
Plan For Ghostly Games
For smaller parties, games that involve teams are always a hit. Search the Internet for free printable Halloween movie trivia sheets to test each team's knowledge of classic horror films or a pass-it-on ghost story that requires a room full of hundreds of candles that are slowly blown out as each guest adds to the tale, creating an even scarier night as the story progresses into complete darkness. Larger gatherings are great for classic guess-who games in which a piece of paper is taped to each guests' back with the name of a character or thing and they must determine who or what they are by asking questions to other attendees. A Halloween "feel box" is another way to get your guests on edge by having them reach their hands into dark, covered boxes filled with items designed to feel like gross guts, eyeballs, icky boogers, bones and even severed fingers. Everyday items you may have around your home work well, such as candy corn for vampire teeth, raisins for warts, wet tortillas for skin and peanut butter for ear wax, to name a few. The more creative you get, the more fun the feel box becomes!
Halloween is one of the holidays in which decorating every inch of your party space is very affordable and simple. From kitchen to the dining area and even the bathroom, you can pull together the frightful finishing with DIY designs or dollar decor. Look for packets of cobwebs, groupings of black and orange colored balloons, fall-scented candles, carved pumpkins, and hanging skeletons for a solid start to your party. Fog machines add a fun entrance and fill rooms with lingering eeriness. Check your local dollar stores for colored plastic ware, drink ware and streamers.
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