Planning Your Halloween Party
By October 31st the nights are getting longer and cooler, and it's easier to imagine another world of ghosts, zombies, witches, vampires and goblins. You may be one of the many hosts planning to invite hordes of these strange creatures into your home that evening for a Halloween costume party.
Where do you start with your Halloween party planning?
First, who are your guests? Your whole approach will be different for children or adults. If a broad age range of family guests will be invited, you will need to plan how to meet the different needs of each group as the evening progresses, and make the entertainment more scary after the younger ones go to bed for the night.
Once you have your guest list, and have decided on a suitable date, time and place, its time to prepare your Halloween theme invitations. This is a fun thing to do. Part of the attraction of Halloween is how many variations there are on the horror theme. Your invitation should be novel, colorful and scary, but be sensitive about doing things like including plastic spiders to fall out of the envelope. Not everyone will see that as a joke. You should tell your guests if they are expected to wear Halloween costumes. Don't forget to include an RSVP request for confirmation so you know how many guests to cater for.
You will need to make at least some effort to set the Halloween theme at the entry to your home and in the rooms where you will hold the party. A haunted house theme is the most popular approach, with subdued lighting, images of ghosts and ghouls, hairy spiders and their webs, sound effects and perhaps even a fog machine. Halloween is about Jack-o-lanterns made out of pumpkins with a candle inside. You will need to make quite a few, in different sizes, to help set the atmosphere.
With all that pumpkin flesh left over from carving your pumpkins, your party menu might include pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie. Halloween themes have their place in your choice of food to serve. However, following the horror theme to an excess when laying out your table can detract from the pleasure and fun your guests will have at your party. Great food makes for a memorable party. Will you serve a full meal or finger food? A sit down dinner or a buffet? The meal can be a good time to distribute party favors, especially if your party bag includes jokes, games or other things that will stimulate conversation.
Buying, hiring or making Halloween costumes needs to be planned well in advance. Wearing costumes is a very effective way to get your guests into a party mood, to get conversations started and to get people laughing. Going a step further and having your guest wear masks is a traditional way of making your guests less self conscious, and to quickly break the ice.
Halloween music and sound effects should be used to help set the atmosphere as part of the party entertainment, but at some point your guests will likely want to dance to the popular music of the day. Making up a compilation of music specially for the evening on your computer can be fun. You may also want to include short or full horror movies in the entertainment.
Halloween theme party games and activities add to the spooky fun. A good organizer and some prizes help to get everyone participating.
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