How to Throw the Best Halloween Party Ever
by Tina Ferguson
Consider all the guests and their experience – If you have guests of varying ages, let’s say 3-year-olds to 10-year-olds, you’ll want to choose games that can be scaled down for the youngsters and made more challenging for the older kids. Often, party planners just plan separate events, but that fragments the group, and think of the parent who might have a child in each! By choosing simple games that keep the party centered, you’ll be able to ensure everyone, including the parents, have a good time!
Remember to include yourself – Many people who throw a party rarely have time to enjoy the party. Don’t fall into this trap! You are a big part of the party’s success! Plan your party so that when the guests arrive, you are ‘finished’ with the food so you can enjoy the party, too! Simple appetizers fill the bill and free up time for you to mix, mingle and direct the activities.
Stick with familiar favorites – The oldies are goodies. People find familiar things comforting. While it is tempting to make up all new games and activities, be sure to include enough of the familiar to allow the kids to have a sense of comfort. When we first started, we thought the kids would not like old-timey games like the egg race (where you put an egg on a spoon), but they loved it – and still do. Appetizer favorites fall into this category, too. Of course, be sure to ask parents about any food allergies!
Choose a ‘Centerpiece’ activity – We chose a donut bounce as the ‘main attraction.’ This was the activity the kids couldn’t wait for as they ran around and played; every 5 to 10 minutes, they would run up and ask, “When are we doing the donuts?” Since then, as soon as the kids hit the door, they ask, “Are we doing donuts again?” A ‘Centerpiece’ activity is one that builds anticipation during your party. It is the highlight of the event. It need not be complicated or expensive: ours was tying donuts on a string by little strings and then bouncing these up and down until one child ate the entire donut! The activity only needs to lend a sense of thrill or novelty.
Develop a timeline and use it – With children especially, starting on time and ending on time is important: for example you never want a child to have to leave before all of the games are finished. By sketching out a simple timeline with the games you intend to play, approximately the time you will play them and the items needed for each, you can stay organized and on track. This will keep the activities moving from one to the other and again, ensure that a great time is had by all.
Layer Your Party – Ever notice how some parties, although they have expensive games and decorations, feel flat? That’s because one or two of the critical elements is trying to do too much of the work! Just like in fashion, every party needs layers. If you’ve ever attended a play, you know there are many layers to the perforance. You can achieve this same rich feeling at your party. Here are five important layers to consider: music, theme, interaction, decorations and food. The music goes along with the feeling you want to impart. Be sure to consider music that is appropriate to all ages (nothing too scary for the little ones). Theme can be as specific as The Haunted Mansion or as loose as Halloween Party. The games, the food, the activities all follow the theme. Interaction is all about how you are going to interact with your guests, how they are going to interact with each other and how the kids will interact with the games, activities and each other, and how all will interact with the food. Decorations create a back-drop that support the theme and the feeling you want to leave your guests with. Look at each of these individually and then how they will work together to ensure a rich, memorable party experience.
Throwing a Halloween party can cost as little or as much as you decide, and can be one of the most memorable experiences for you and your family.
Tina Ferguson, a.k.a., The Queen of Dreams, is a life & business strategist, consultant and award-winning author. She loves to ignite the fire in people to do what they dream of and to create the life they love to live. She has loved Halloween since childhood when her mom made her costumes. She believes life is too short for boring parties. For more information, visit