Throw a Halloween party that’s haunting, not daunting, with these simple and affordable entertaining ideas. Scare up some fun with a spooky potion bar (watch out for the Drink of Doom!), DIY decorations and a delicious “booffet,” complete with candy alternatives (they’ll get a bagful of that soon enough!).
1. Trick or treat
Put old jars to ghoulish good use with this fun and colorful DIY craft, our Halloween Treat Bar.
2. Leaf no ghosts behind
This one doubles as a kids’ craft. Have kids collect leaves from outside, then paint them white with acrylic paint. Using a black permanent marker, make three dots: two eyes and a ghostly mouth. Scatter about tables and shelves for a perfectly creepy craft.
3. Jack-o-little holders
Small pumpkins known as “jack-o-littles” are perfect for creating candle or treat holders. First, snap off the pumpkin stem and trace around your votive or ramekin. Then, using a paring knife, cut a hole slightly larger than the one you traced and remove that part of the pumpkin. Insert your votive or ramekin and fill with treats: candy, grapes, etc. A battery-powered tea light can also be used as a safer substitute for candles.
4. Jack-o-little placecards
For a more formal party, use the jack-o-littles for place-cards. Just cut slits across the top of the jack-o-little stems, then nestle small, hand-written cards featuring guests’ names in the slits.
5. Blacklight bar
Treat adults to a “Potion Bar.” Serve specialty cocktails or mocktails (for the kids) in large glass pitchers. Use hand-written cards featuring drink names, and be sure to label which ones are kid-friendly and which are not. Pro Potion Tip: Add tonic water to your beverages and they will glow in the dark under a blacklight!
Potion bar recipes
Equal parts spiced apple cider and prosecco. Float thinly sliced clementine orange spheres on top.
Equal parts ginger beer, pomegranate juice and cucumber-infused vodka. Garnish with thinly sliced limes.
Drink of doom
⅔ spiced chai tea mix, ⅓ whiskey. Serve over ice; garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Mocktail (alcohol-free) recipes
Spiced apple cider with ginger beer (which is a strong ginger ale) infused with rosemary.
Pomegranate juice and limeade garnished with sliced limes.
Instead of a buffet, make it a booffet, setting out a “Cauldron Soup Bar” using your favorite fall soup or chili recipe, and grilled cheese sandwiches cut into ghost shapes. Call your juice or punch “Witches’ Brew” and dinner rolls “Dead Bread.” Ketchup? What’s ketchup? Here, it’s “Dragon’s Blood!”
7. Tempting treats
Trick or treat! Give them something good to eat with these pumpkin pinwheel sugar cookies, made using a classic sugar cookie recipe. Or make gingerbread “skeleton” men, using colored icing and cookie decorations.