Tips on hosting a Halloween Party

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From Metro Creative Services

Halloween has surged in popularity. It’s not uncommon to see decorations in stores as early as mid-July, and Halloween decorating is rivaled only by Christmas.

The National Retail Federation indicates 65 percent of Americans planned to celebrate Halloween in 2021, and the overall spending for Halloween each year tops $10 billion. Part of that spending may include hosting Halloween parties. Whether designed for adults or children, parties can be safer than roaming neighborhoods due to the high propensity for pedestrian accidents that occur on Halloween.

Hosts planning Halloween festivities can derive inspiration and some scary good ideas from these tips.

Make it a potluck. Hosting a party can get expensive. With inflation driving up prices for just about all household goods, party hosts can offset some costs by asking guests to pitch in on the food and refreshments. Consider making main dishes and having guests bring sides and desserts. Provide beer and wine, but make any hard liquor BYOB.

Gear decorations around the audience. Adults can stomach some gory decor, but young children may need decorations to be toned down. Pumpkins, candles, dimly lit lights, cleverly placed cobwebs, and other details in black, purple, orange, and silver can set the Halloween scene for all.

Rely on make-ahead foods. Halloween parties tend to be open-house events where guests stroll in at their leisure. Chili, soup, stew, or casserole left warming in a slow cooker will fill stomachs and chase away the chills. Finger foods also are easy to display and distribute. With a little ingenuity, regular appetizers can be given a Halloween spin. Turn cheese sticks into creepy fingers with pieces of red or green peppers as “nails” on the ends.

Light a bonfire (or firepit): Bonfires once were traditional ways to celebrate Halloween. Guests can warm up and circle the fire, which creates its own mysterious ambiance.

Provide some easy costumes. Some guests may not want to come decked out in full costume. Note that costumes are optional on the invitations. Have a basket of easy costume elements at the ready, such as masquerade masks, silly glasses, hats, or clown noses for those who want a small touch of Halloween whimsy.

Keep themed games at the ready. Treat guests to a few activities while they’re enjoying the party. Break off into teams and give each a roll of toilet paper. The teams have to create their best “mummies” by wrapping up one of the teammates in each group. Additional party games can include hanging doughnuts from strings and seeing who can eat the fastest with no hands or a horror movie trivia contest.

Plan rides home. If alcohol will be served at the party, make a plan to get guests home safely, whether driving them yourself or keeping a list of cab companies at the ready. End the party early enough if it is a weeknight and school or work awaits in the morning.

Halloween parties can be great ways to gather and enjoy some scare time together with friends and family.

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