Halloween party ideas: everything you need to know

The Homely Team
House decoration for halloween party.
7 min read

October is one the most fun months of the year. It’s all about getting creative with dress ups, sweets and, luckily for us, home décor. But, what is needed for a Halloween party? In this article, we’ll give you a run-down of the best Halloween party ideas and advice.

How do you throw a good Halloween party?

  • Think about your party guests: will it be adults-only, plus kids, or kids-only?
  • Have a theme and stick to it
  • Have a party schedule, especially for games. Don’t be too rigid on the schedule though, you’ll want to have fun too!
  • Prepare good food and, of course, spooky drinks
  • Don’t leave the party shopping for the last minute. With life getting in the way, it’s better to start buying décor items and materials in advance.
  • Don’t let Halloween street you out – ask for help! Close friends or family might be happy to give you a hand and help you enjoy the party.

When should you host your party for Halloween?

Halloween parties are usually hosted on the last weekend of October. Nevertheless, any weekend of October is a good time to host a spooky costume party!

Throwing a cheap Halloween function

Hosting a party can be very time-consuming and expensive. To save on costs, consider hosting your party at home if you have enough space, or in your backyard – if the Spring weather permits.

Most decorations can be purchased at a local dollar store or can even be made DIY-style to keep the costs down.

Making a scary Halloween party

How do you throw a spooky Halloween party? Start with some classic spooky décor. Graveyards, skeletons and ghosts are an easy way to make your property look like a haunted home. For added effect, set up some battery-operated toys with scary sounds at the entrance to make your party guests jump.

If you’re hosting a kids party, make sure you organise scary games like hide and seek in the dark or finish the evening with a Halloween-themed movie. Likewise, spooky baskets are a great idea for kids to take lollies and other sweet and scary treats home. It’s no secret that the lollies are what makes Halloween fun for kids – and adults too!.

kids in halloween with their spooky baskets

Halloween party food ideas

Food is what your guests will be talking about after ythe party is over. A variety of finger foods are easiest to eat at any time throughout the party. Both sweet and savoury options will keep your party guests happy.

Room temperature finger foods are a good option as they will need to be placed on a table before the party starts and guests can help themselves at any time.

Some great examples of finger foods are:

  • Small pieces of cake or cupcakes
  • Small pastries or savouries (you can add eyes to anything with a little creativity)
  • A halloween decorated charcuterie board.

Don’t forget to include Halloween lollies!

If you’re running out of time and looking for easy Halloween party food, treats for halloween parties can be purchased from many bakeries and supermarkets during October. Nevertheless, if you’re on a budget, crackers, dips, bread and chips from your local supermarket are a great alternative and always a crowd favourite.

What should you do about dietary restrictions and allergies? Dietary restrictions are a huge responsibility when serving food to others. Always make sure ingredients that could be allergens are listed or labelled, such as nuts, eggs, seafood, dairy, gluten, sesame and others.

Halloween cupcakes for party food

DIY food ideas for Halloween

Some of the easiest, yummiest and spookiest food ideas you can make yourself are:

monster burgers for your party

  • Bread and dips – make it fun and cut the bread into coffin shapes!
  • Charcuterie board – add some spooky décor on your board, like spiders, pumpkins or anything you found at the dollar store.

Charcuterie board for halloween party ideas

  • Bruschettas – put some eyeballs on top of your bruschetta with balls of cheese and olives!
  • Fruit platter – get creative and make your fruit look scary. Add some peanut butter, nuts and pieces of chocolate.

Fruits cut in scary shapes for a halloween event

  • Nachos – make the melted cheese look like spider webs.

Need more inspo? Here are some more inspirational halloween recipe ideas.

Fun halloween drink ideas

There are so many easy ways to turn a normal drink or cocktail into something Halloween-themed, but here are our favourites:

Syringe bloody mary shots for a halloween function

Green Googly Jell-O shots and lab-looking drinks for halloween

Hot tip for drinks on a budget: If you’re organising your halloween party on a budget you could do “BYO alcohol”

How to decorate a halloween event

Decorating for a Halloween party all depends on the theme and your budget. It also depends on the age group of the guests, which changes the time and vibe of the party. If you’re used to decorating your house for Halloween, there’s not much more work you need to do apart from preparing food, drinks and games.

Ideas for Halloween party games

Party games are what makes any party unforgettable. If you’re stuck for ideas on what kids can do at a Halloween party, here are some easy halloween party games ideas:

  • Piñata: This never gets old. A spooky piñata is a great idea for kids (and adults)
  • Eyeball or spider pong: guests will have to get the eyeballs or spiders into the middle cup to win. This game is kid-friendly too
  • Hide and seek: playing hide and seek in the dark is the halloween dream for kids
  • Strange things game: place strange things in bowls and blindfolded participants have to guess what it is by touching what’s in the bowl
  • Trick or treat: you could start the party by joining trick or treaters around your neighbourhood

Kids trick-or-treating in fun costumes

Halloween party invitations

Fun, creative and unique party invitations are a good start of getting your guests excited about your party. Here are our hot tops for Halloween party invitations:

  • Digital invites: You can find several online invitation templates and send them out to your guests online. Easy peasy.
  • Spook up the invitation:
    • This could be as easy as putting your Halloween invitations in a ripped envelope to make it look scarier.
    • Go for a classic Halloween colour scheme – black background with orange writing and lots of spiders are perfect for Halloween
    • Want to go all-out? Make scary halloween invitations by sending a box with a fake finger or a spooky doll with a note attached
  • Don’t forget to include the date, time, address, and the contact information for guests to RSVP
  • Make sure your invite includes the party theme so guests know how to dress

Try not to send the invites too late, and don’t forget to ask for an RSVP.

Different Halloween themes

Here are some fun and popular Halloween themes to have a go at:

  • Supernatural and magical-themed movie characters like; The Adams family, Harry Potter, Twilight and more.
  • Halloween doesn’t have to be spooky. You might opt for a more bright and happy theme. Try choosing a decade, or going with something like superheroes and villains
  • Disney characters – this one is a great theme for kids parties. Disney costumes are easy to find and purchase too.
  • Spooky science lab – this one gives ‘Frankenstein vibes’, but anything can be ‘spooky’ if you decide!

Fun halloween costumes ideas for October party

Some classic scary Halloween themes:

  • Zombies
  • Haunted house
  • Monsters
  • Witches
  • Creepy dolls or clowns
  • Graveyards

Witch theme ideas for a party decoration

What to wear for Halloween

This all depends on the party theme, but definitely GO BIG and get creative with the theme. Most importantly, don’t leave your costume planning to the last minute, or you’ll end up with a half-hearted costume that is more stressful than fun.

How do you host a Halloween costume contest?

A prize is a great way to encourage your guests to try a little harder when choosing their costumes. Announce the prize before-hand to get everyone excited and ensure you get some really interesting outfits at the party.

Think about how you will judge the costume contest. Every guest could give a score out of 5 to each costume and the one with the highest score all together wins, or you might just have one nominated person choose the best-dressed.

Party costumes ideas

Deciding what to wear for a Halloween party is definitely the best part of it all. Some of the most common Halloween costumes include princess, barbie and ken, ghosts, witches, superheroes, vampires and animals.

Nevertheless, here are some other costumes ideas :

  • Pick a movie character and give it a twist by making it a ‘zombie’ version or something else a little ‘scary’.
  • Or, just pick a movie character as-is, like; Shreck, Willy Wonka, Mr. Potato Head
  • The ‘scary’ character or villain from your favourite movie, like the mummy
  • Angels and demons
  • A sports team uniform – this is a great one if you’re turning up as a family or group of friends.
  • Try something a bit silly, like dressing up as a baby
  • Get creative and choose an art piece, like the Mona Lisa.

Adult halloween costume ideas

How do you throw an outdoor Halloween party?

An outdoor Halloween party is great for enjoying the weather as it warms up through Spring. Just make sure you have an indoors ‘plan B’ in case the weather is not on your side on that day – it is Spring after all!.

Graveyard outside halloween decorations

If you’re throwing a kids’ party, having trick-or-treat stations with a lot of candies, plenty of food and a variety of games would make the party very enjoyable. For decorations outdoors, carry through the theme you have inside. Try decorations like decorated pumpkins, flying ghosts, graveyard tombstones and even hanging spiders and spider webs would add that spooky atmosphere.

If you love hosting events, view more tips about entertaining.

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The Homely Team
The Homely Team bring you the latest in Aus property ranging from tips on buying, selling, renting, investing, building, moving house, suburb information and agent advice, all from industry experts.

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