Halloween parties can be some of the most memorable of your childhood and your entire life. From apple bobbing and trick-or-treating to getting dressed up and playing youthful and more adult games, there is a wide range of fun and fantastic activities and party ideas for people of all ages to enjoy at Halloween.
Whether you like to keep things classic or throw in a modern twist, here are a few top party ideas and traditional games to help you plan your own unforgettable Halloween bash this year.
Halloween Party Ideas
When it comes to planning your Halloween party, it can be helpful to think about the vibe you are going for and the kind of night you want to have. Is it a simple costume party with music and drinks? Are you going for something a little more macabre? Do you want any particular activities to be included?
Whether you are planning a party for kids or something a little more adult, here are a few spooky suggestions to get you started:
A Haunted House
Nothing says Halloween quite like turning your house into a den of monsters and fun. You can make it more kid friendly or go all out with friends ready to jump out of closets and grab passing feet from under the table or bed.
Make it a murder mystery
There are so many fabulous murder mystery games perfectly suited to play on Halloween, including Murder at Monster Mansion, where you can ring in Dracula’s birthday by trying to work out who broke his heart – with a stake!
You could organise a dinner party complete with creepy courses, play with a select group of friends and family or opt for a larger mingling mystery game where a larger group can play, it is up to you!
Do a scavenger hunt
For group games more suited to younger children and adults alike, you could make your party into a scavenger hunt with creepy clues to solve that lead your guests around the room, involve taking part in activities like apple-bobbing and eventually lead to a prize.
Hold a séance
Whether you opt to hire a professional for the evening or have a good go at doing it yourself, holding a séance can be a fun way to celebrate Halloween for family and friends alike. You can also offer palm readings, tarot cards and anything else you can think of to keep this theme going all night.
How do you make a good Halloween party?
For some people, a good Halloween party should be nothing but pure fun, while others would say that it should have a spooky and even scary edge to make it truly successful at this time of year. There are a few key components that make up pretty much every great Halloween party, and here are some of the most important to get you started:
Food and drink
The right food and drink are essential to any Halloween party, whether you are offering up finger food with ‘actual’ fingers, a feast for the eyes complete with ‘eyeballs’ or just going all out in typical Halloween colours like green and orange.
Halloween can be the perfect time to try out some weird and wonderful cocktail recipes, unusual desserts and so on, so really let your creative side run free and have fun making a spread to tempt and terrify all at once.
Finding enough music to play all night on Halloween can be challenging. There aren’t endless songs on Halloween albums that you can pull up, so you may have to get a little more creative, set a mood and even make it a competition to get your guests to pick their favourite Halloween songs from Tarantula to I Put a Spell on You, and see if you can’t raise the roof, and perhaps even the dead too!
No Halloween party is complete without tons of fun and fantastic decorations. The fake spiders’ webs and indeed the spiders that go with them, the pumpkins and skeletons and all the rest are among the very first things that come to mind when you picture a Halloween party, so don’t be afraid to go all out.
Of course, from a young age going trick or treating; heading out clubbing; or throwing parties for your own kids and grandkids, costumes at Halloween are a must. You can go gory, silly, classic or even flirty, as long as you are dressed up!
Pick a more specific theme like movie characters, original book characters and macabre authors, puns and more or just let everyone come as they want, it is up to you.
What are traditional Halloween activities?
When we are talking about traditional Halloween activities, we could go all the way back centuries to practices that probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense now, and wouldn’t make the best party today. Instead here we will focus on some of the top activities and aspects of Halloween parties from childhood to see if any inspire activities this year:
One of the most fun traditional activities around, the kids (or adults) have to get an apple out of a bucket or barrel or water without using their hands. For those in the know, the trick is to commit to getting wet, push the apple to the bottom and use that leverage to bite it and lift it out.
If that doesn’t sound like your thing, or if you want to add more games along the same line, why not try playing doughnuts on a string instead? While perhaps not quite as healthy or damp, it is incredibly amusing to try and watch someone eat a doughnut on a string without using their hands, and if you go for a powdered doughnut, they also have to attempt not to lick their lips at the same time.
Fancy dress competitions
We all know that costumes are an integral part of Halloween parties, with trick or treating the main event for many kids to enjoy. For adults and kids alike, adding a competition for best dressed, scariest, lookalikes and so on has long been a feature of Halloween parties and look to continue that way.
You can also add in games like musical statues, where you have to dance in the style of your outfit until the music stops then strike a suitably fearsome pose until it starts up again. This will soon have your guests in stitches and is a crowd pleaser for people of all ages.
Pass the parcel
For kids, the anticipation of holding that parcel in your hands, trying to hold on for an extra second in the hopes that the music would stop, is a classic and well-loved part of any Halloween party. The idea is that you all sit around in a circle and pass the parcel around to the next guest as the music plays. When it stops, you remove one layer of paper which usually holds some sweets or a toy for you to keep. This continues until there are no more layers left.
Pass the parcel, much like many Halloween games, isn’t just for children. You can still play with sweets if you want, but for a fun twist while playing with older guests you can also include a dare or forfeit that suddenly makes it harder to know if you want the music to stop or not.
Pumpkins, and before them, turnips and other vegetables, have been carved at Halloween for hundreds of years. Originating in Ireland and then Scotland, Jack-’O-Lanterns are now arguably the best known symbol of Halloween and an essential feature at any Halloween party.
While many still enjoy carving the classic eyes, nose and crooked mouth, you can see some truly spectacular shapes carved into lanterns at Halloween. You can also come up with plenty of uses for pumpkins, as an activity, lights, decorations, holders for drinks, an ingredient for recipes and so much more.
Telling ghost stories
Another truly old tradition is that of telling ghost stories, which has been going on for centuries and longer. The gothic works of Mary Shelley and others in the mid to late 19th century sparked a new wave of interest in all things scary, and this has never really faded since. Sitting around a fire or holding up a torch to your face and regaling a group with a scary story is a classic part of Halloween.
You can choose the level of scariness depending on your guests, or even make it a game by having each person say one line or write one down and then read them all out together. You can also act out different tales or characters like charades, or play a ghost story based game of articulate or similar if you want.
A Halloween party doesn’t have to be truly terrifying to be a success, it all depends on your guests, their age group, and the kind of party that you want to throw. All Halloween parties tend to include fancy dress, fabulous decorations, spooky food and drinks and a variety of fun, silly and scary games and activities for you to enjoy.
Whether your party will be more tongue-in-cheek for your guests or leave them speechless with terror, have a great time this Halloween, be safe and make it a night to remember.