Halloween parties rank among the most entertaining of the year. Instead of worrying about dressing in formal clothing or setting a formal table, hosts and guests are more concerned about using their imaginations and creating an atmosphere for a fun, creepy bash.
As host, you may feel that expectations are high. After all, you can only host a Halloween bash once a year, so you definitely want to get it right. Also, anytime you have guests in your home, but especially on a night like Halloween when spirits may run particularly high, you always have a responsibility to keep your party safe so that the fun isn’t interrupted by an unfortunate accident. This article addresses both sides of the issue with tips for the best way to inject fun at your Halloween party while keeping it safe for you and your guests.
Preparing the Outside of Your Home
Begin your preparations on the outside of your home. Welcome guests with decorations, lights, smoky effects, and creepy sounds to put them in the mood for Halloween fun. However, before you place any decorations in front of your home, you should check to make sure there aren’t any tripping hazards on the way to your door. Many guests will be in costumes that make the normal act of walking difficult, whether it’s high costume heels on women, long gowns or cloaks, or masks that obscure vision.
Preparing the Inside of Your Home
Protect the Pets
Before you worry about anything else in your home, consider the safety of your four-legged friends. Pets can be a hazard to your guests, but there are also threats to their safety when you host a party . Candy or wrappers dropped on the floor can be dangerous if eaten by your pet. With the door opening and shutting all evening to welcome guests or hand out candy to trick or treaters, pets can get out and become lost. On the other hand, pets running around guests’ legs can cause them to trip. And lighted candles can be accidentally knocked over by a pet scrambling to get away from the invaders in his home. Therefore, put little Fluffy in a safe room that is off limits to your guests for his sake and theirs.
Clear the Floor
Just as you want to look for and clear any tripping hazards outside, you’ll want to do the same inside your house. Place fun decorations in areas that will draw attention to them, but don’t locate that life-sized Frankenstein where it will block the traffic flow. Think about the traffic patterns in your home, and remove any obstructions that would hamper the easy movement and mingling of your guests.
Proper lighting sets the mood at any party but, on Halloween, dim lights help to set the stage for an eerie evening. In place of bright overhead lights, the flicker of strategically placed candles can add the perfect touch for your party. You’ll want to make sure, however, that candles are safely placed in locations where they won’t be easily knocked over by children or mingling adults. Or, even worse, they shouldn’t be set in a place where loose, flowing costumes could be set on fire.
There’s nothing like the sound of howling ghosts and rattling chains to greet your guests and make it feel like Halloween. Toss in a bit of organ music and your guests and trick or treaters will be ready for a spooky night of fun. As the party progresses, change your playlist to more upbeat party music so that the dancing can begin. And try to avoid playing the music at such a loud volume your guests will be unable to talk without shouting.
Give Your Guests a Punch
A creepy Halloween punch serves the dual purpose of decorating your buffet table with its ghastly color, and saving the host the trouble of mixing cocktails for guests. If your party includes children, keep the punch out of reach of very young ones who might innocently try it thinking it’s fruit punch, and from the older ones who are fully aware that the punch is for adults only.
Serve Treats with an Attitude and More
Don’t disappoint your guests by forgetting to serve Halloween theme candies, treats and cupcakes. Sweets with an attitude will make all of your guests smile. If children will be attending the party with their parents, make sure you have trick-or-treat bags to give to the kids since they may be missing some, or all, of their trick-or-treating time while attending your party.
But just like you want to have enough treats and sweets for your guests, you should balance that out with enough savory food as well. Too much sugar will cause your guests’ energy levels to crash very quickly and the kids will become sick. And nobody wants to make cleaning up after the party any more difficult than it would normally be. So plan on serving Halloween theme food on your buffet as well.