Halloween is all about atmosphere. If you’re throwing a party this year for an intimate group or the entire neighbourhood, make it memorable by infusing everything from the menu to the games with that quintessential eerie vibe. Here are several ideas to help you get started creating a party that screams Halloween!

Food

Try these Mummy Dogs for a festive spin on traditional pigs-in-a-blanket. Using breadstick dough, wrap your hot dogs/veggie dogs and bake according to package directions. Once they’re out of the oven, add some mustard dots for eyes! You can even add a “cauldron” of bubbling cheese for dipping.

Adults and kids alike love a taco bar, and it’s such an easy party meal to prepare. For a Halloween spin, make a couple of tacos ahead of time to display as the “model” for spooky eyeball tacos. When you prepare your taco meat, use a portion to form into meatballs that you can bake ahead of time. These meatballs go on top of the other taco fillings and then turn into spooky eyes with sour cream and olives.

Many pumpkin dishes are sweet, but these cheesy pumpkin puffs are a savoury option sure to impress your guests, and they’re fairly easy to make! Use a pumpkin cookie cutter to shape the puff pastry dough and cover your filling made from several kinds of cheese, pumpkin puree, and spices like ginger. The surprising mix of cheese and pumpkin will make these the talk of your neighbourhood well into the new year.

And for the fanciest, spookiest, and most impressive appetizer on the block, try these spiderweb deviled eggs. By boiling the eggs in coloured water, then cracking the shells slightly at the end to allow web-like lines to form on the egg, you’ll create a truly unusual deviled egg base. Use your favourite filling recipe or try the one included in the recipe for a tasty dish.

Drinks

Serving exciting drinks is one way to make sure every aspect of your party says Halloween. Pumpkin juice is as delicious as it is festive, and kids will think they’re drinking something truly magical. With its apple cider base, this sweet drink is delicious and fun to look at.

Blood Orange-Bourbon Coolers are a colourful adults-only beverage choice, and garnishing with some dry ice will make them appear even spookier. The blood orange juice, lemonade, and pomegranate juice all serve to temper the bourbon’s harshness.

Photo: SolStock via gettyimages.com

Decorations

Going all-out for your Halloween party doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. For an inexpensive lighting option either outside your front door or in an interior hallway, try these Halloween lanterns. You can buy the frame pieces from your local thrift or dollar store, then get some vellum paper and choose spooky images to print. Consider having several groups of lanterns in different spots with different themes.

Balloons are a great way to fill your space with festive colours for a low cost. Think about whether you’d like to create a balloon archway over your food table, drape balloons down your banister, or even create some of these spiderweb balloons! With an inexpensive balloon pump, you can blow hundreds of balloons quickly to get an abundant look.

Candles make great Halloween décor, but keeping dozens lit for the whole evening is a chore (not to mention a fire hazard). These faux dripping candles are a great, inexpensive option to fill your space. Place these on tables, the bathroom counter, and even among the food to add ambience.

Games

Any good party needs entertainment, so plan a few games for your guests to play before and after trick-or-treating. This classic Halloween mystery box game is popular for a reason! Kids and adults alike can’t help but squeal and scream when they feel some of these objects. You can easily tailor this game to use items that you already have at home.

If you have a competitive crowd, try this pumpkin penny pitch idea. Place the pumpkin far away for adults and closer for the little kids, then think of a great prize for the winner!

For a group of mostly older kids and adults, this Halloween movie master game is a great way to get everyone involved in the fun. You’ll need some prep work to make the props, but the lively chaos that ensues as you play is worth it.

By taking the time to add spooky details to all elements of your party, your guests will feel transported to an evening full of the Halloween spirit!

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