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How to Host a Halloween Shindig Fun for Kids and Parents

Between spooky decorations, creative costumes and buckets of seasonal sweets, Halloween is a holiday filled with party potential. It’s one of the few nights where we actively encourage camaraderie among strangers while dressed as someone (or something!) we’re not. Every age group has its own traditions, though, and one of the hardest parts to planning a fun Halloween party is finding activities that will hold appeal for children and adults alike.

Here are my tested and true tips to throwing the ultimate Halloween haunt for people of all ages.

Know your guest list and plan accordingly!

Let’s assume you’re hosting a party primarily for neighborhood kids and their parents. How spooky are you reasonably going to make your activities? A four year old might find a bowl of cooked spaghetti disguised as brains too scary, but his preteen sister might roll her eyes. What are some of the dietary restrictions you’ll have to follow? If the food needs to be nut-free, are there alternatives for other allergies (like gluten or dairy-free guests) as well? Everyone will appreciate the care you took, and a good host always finds a way to accommodate!

Keep your candy bar organized and well-stocked!

Don’t worry - we’ve got your back. Here’s our how-to guide!

Keep things physical!

A rambunctious group of youngsters on a sugar high is no parent’s idea of a good time, so they need the chance to burn off all that extra energy. Physical games are a great way to channel it into something fun. The young people in my life love pumpkin bowling in the backyard. Set up a small pyramid of toilet paper and have everyone roll small whole pumpkins to try to knock them down. Have a Mummy-style three-legged race. Organize a scavenger hunt.

Have a quiet space!

Parties can be a lot of stimulation - music, yelling, screaming, crowds… your guests will appreciate having a space away from the pandemonium if they need it. It should be comfortable (think squishy pillows, low lighting, no music) and inviting (have phone chargers available).

Costume karaoke!

Take the costume contest one step further by having your guests sing a song dressed as their character, and give bonus points for a creative musical choice. Dorothy could sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” or she could sing “Africa” by Toto (get it?). It’s easy to find karaoke versions of most songs on YouTube.

A Halloween party should be a little spooky and loud and full of candy, but by following these tips you’ll be ensuring a good time for everybody - kids, grownups and everyone in between.