Halloween Party Ideas for Little Ghosts and Grownup Goblins


By Corey Whelan

Nothing’s scarier than getting an invitation to another ho-hum Halloween party—except maybe hosting one.

You (and every other parent) are craving the good old days of red-as-blood martinis and monster mashing ’til dawn. Your kids want a party that makes trick-or-treating seem like second-best. You’ve got to own the night, keep the kiddos happy, and stop parents from running for the front door looking like they’ve seen a ghost.

Clearly, you need some ghoulishly good Halloween party ideas. Family Halloween costumes are just the beginning. Borrow your neighbor’s black cat, unlock the skeletons scratching on your closet door, and get ready to ring in an All Hallows’ Eve to remember with these fun ideas:

Set the (Scary) Stage

Even the best Halloween party ideas will fall flat if your home isn’t filled with ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. If your digs look like a Halloween fantasy come to life, you’re halfway home to hosting the perfect party.

You can go the haunted house route: hang eyeballs from the chandelier and get the grown-ups to play along as ghouls. It’s also fun to theme up your home like a Halloweeny movie such as Harry Potter or Ghostbusters. Of course, you’ll need fabulous props, like the colorful, motion-activated Hanging Ghost Halloween Decoration that you can hide in the coat closet for unsuspecting guests to find.

Be Afraid . . . of Not Having Enough Games

If the kids aren’t engaged, their parents won’t be able to sneak another sip of a cocktail or enjoy that rare party activity: talking to other grown-ups. The most engaging Halloween party ideas center around games. Just about any activity your child loves can be themed to fit a Halloween party—think “pin the pitchfork on the phantom,” “Frankenstein face painting,” or “graveyard tag.”

It’s also fun to invite your guests to choose themed family Halloween costumes. Of course, your own crew has to look fabulous in family Halloween costumes that are unique. If you’ve got a junior pirate in the family, opt for a charrrrrming outfit like the Toddler Rogue Pirate Costume and play along in a Shark Attack Adult Costume. You can even go as a sandwich—parents are the bread, and the kids can dress up as fixings like cheese, bacon, and tomato slices.

Batwing Stew, Anyone?

The younger set probably won’t eat anything but candy. Even so, you’ll want to serve some fun foods that keep the theme (and the conversation) going. Deviled eggs made to look like eyeballs are always fun.

If you don’t happen to have enough time to bake dozens of cupcakes, opt for adorable ready-made Halloween Dipped Cupcakes in decadently delicious yellow cake or chocolate. Of course, you’ll also need to have spirits of the adult kind on hand. Think themed cocktails like tequila-based “El Diablos.”

You can never go wrong with a supply of eclectic, autumnal craft beers. If you’re looking for an interesting brew that doesn’t come out of a witch’s cauldron, try Post Road Pumpkin Ale by Brooklyn Brewery. It has a biscuit-like, malty taste—and a toasted pumpkin aroma that will keep your guests hanging around just a little bit longer.

No Halloween party is complete without adorably spooky cupcakes! Let the folks at Harry & David do the baking for you, and order these yummy Halloween Dipped Cupcakes in chocolate and yellow cake.


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