I’ll be the first to say it – Halloween is not just for kids. In fact, it’s one of my favorite holidays. Although the days of trick-or-treating are long gone, some other annual Halloween traditions have remained a staple in my adult life. Halloween movie marathons, cladding my house with tacky decorations, and an annual Halloween dinner party all have a spot on my October calendar. Having hosted several Halloween bashes in the past, I’ve become a bit of a pro in knowing what to do. Here’s your go-to Halloween dinner party guide that will have your guests screaming with delight.
Theme – I know you’re probably thinking, ‘It’s Halloween theme, duh!’ But you need to decide on what sort of Halloween mood you want to set. Think of it on a scale from cute harvest pumpkins to full-out thrasher movie and then set up your party accordingly. I tend to go for a happy medium with a mix of cute and scary decorations.
Décor – Creating a creepy ambiance for your dinner party is an absolute must. You don’t have to break the bank with Halloween decorations. The Dollar Store and Pinterest will be your two best friends for cheap and easy Halloween decorations and you can easily recycle some things you already own. It’s amazing how scary Barbies and stretched cotton balls can be with a little imagination.
Music – Play Halloween sound effects upon your guests’ arrival, then switch to more fun music during dinner (trust me, meowing cats and creaking doors get old, quick). Your playlist doesn’t have to be classic Halloween songs (think - Disturbia by Rihanna or Highway to Hell by AC/DC), but you have to play Monster Mash at least once. It’s like Rudolph on Christmas.
Food – My favorite part and the reason why everyone is there! There are SO many amazing recipes out there that are either orange and black or Halloween themed that the hardest part about creating your menu is deciding on which items to make. My go-to rule, no matter how big or small the party, is to have at least two appetizers, a knock-your-socks off main, a dessert, and some sort of fun drink (Red Rum punch anyone?). This year’s main on my menu is squid ink pasta with Zima™ tomatoes and garlic (to fend off the vampires, of course).
Don’t Forget the Tricks – You’ve been treating your friends all night, but don’t forget the tricks! Motion-censored decorations, decorating your dinner plates with fake spiders, and setting someone up to bang on your windows are easy ways to spook your friends. It’s dumb fun but it’s all part of the experience.
Once you nail down these five things, I guarantee you will have a frightfully awesome dinner party!