Halloween might just be the best excuse to throw an awesome party. Unlike Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are no expectations when it comes to Halloween: you can throw a party that's as goofy, spooky, or relaxed as you like. There are no traditional expectations. That's why a couple weeks ago I invited thirteen of my friends over to my small New York apartment to dance, eat delicious things, drink boozy beverages, and play a Halloween game (no, not bobbing for apples).
The Days Before the Party
I had about two weeks to plan this party. Like with most parties, the bulk of the work fell on the two days leading up the party, and then the actual day of the party itself. The party started on a Friday night at around 7:30pm, so people could come over whenever they got off work.
The first thing I decided on was a theme. We had five costumes made for the party, all of which were food related, so I let this humorous force drive the theme of the party. I wanted something silly and colorful to go along with the costumes, and then something a little spooky for Halloween. Thus, a spooky colorful Halloween was born.
I knew I wanted all the decorations to be big and bold to make my little apartment appear bigger. I settled on some big black and white DIY posters I made on Fedex's black and white plotter, some bright colorful lights, colorful balloons, and black and white paper skulls.
→ Get our instructions for making big posters like these: How To Make Really Big and Cheap Photo Posters for a Party
The hardest part of this entire party was simply gathering all the stuff in time. Lugging stuff around the subway in New York can sometimes be a pain. But once all the groceries and decorations were in the house, it was smooth sailing (or at least for the most part).
The Day of the Party
Despite my best intentions to make at least some of the food ahead of time, or put up a couple decorations in advance, it just simply didn't happen. Trying to gather stuff for the party proved to be more difficult and time consuming that I had thought.
The first thing I tackled in the moring was food. I tend to get a little carried away with making food for parties, and bite off more than I can chew. I had decided to make a few favorite appetizers, a big vat of pumpkin chili with fixings, and lots of desserts (which Kelli helped make). If I could do it over again, I'd make sure I did the pumpkin spiced peanut butter cups a couple days ahead of time (at least). Waking up and melting chocolate first thing in the morning can be a little tricky.
After the bulk of the appetizers were ready and the pumpkin chili was on the stove, I got to work on reorganizing my living room and putting up all the decorations.
I bought an assortment of pumpkin beer for the party, which I thought would be fun for people to try throughout the night. My personal favorite is Pumpking from Southern Tier Brewing Company – it tastes just like pumpkin pie in alcoholic form.
As I set the table and dimmed the lights, the guests started trickling in. Five of the costumes were made specifically for the party: Quinoa Woman, Captain Kale, Trader Joe-Bot, Sriracha Jumping the Shark, and Funfetti Mug Cake. Stay tuned until next week where we'll show you how to make them yourself!
I had told a few of my friends about the food costumes that we had specially made for the party, and a couple of them decided to come with food-related costumes of their own making. How great is that?
Here are all 13 of the costumes we had going on at this party!
A Goofy Night Filled with Dancing and Trivia
The first thing everyone did was tackle the food table. Drinks were the first thing people saw, followed by the savory stuff, and finally the sweets. Word to the wise, make sure you make yourself a bowl of pumpkin chili before you serve it to guests – it goes way too fast. That, or my friends are a bunch of wild animals.
Not all of my guests knew each other, which I think makes for a great social setting. Because everyone was dressed up in crazy costumes, it immediately made everyone and everything more relaxed. The Hip Hop Hallowee playlist my friend Laura made also definitely helped in this matter.
Halloween Game: We Ended with a Game of Trivia
Instead of going the traditional route with Halloween games (a la bobbing for apples, monster mash, and "guess the squishy thing in this bowl"), we played trivia. My boyfriend James decided the categories and questions and the party was split up into four teams.
I liked how trivia didn't seem to disrupt the flow of the party. If I had tried to do another game that felt unnatural or forced because it's Halloween, it wouldn't have been nearly as fun.
Grown-Up Game Tips!
- When choosing a game for a whole bunch of adults to play, choose a game that you know everyone will love even if it goes against the theme.
- If the game is a little competitive, even better.
The categories for trivia were Food, Halloween, and America. On Friday I'll share the questions (with a neat downloadable PDF) so you can use the game for your own Halloween party! It's a lot easier than making up questions. Trust me.
People lingered around after trivia for a few more bites of graveyard dirt cake and another glass of sparkling apple cider sangria. The candles slowly burned out and the peanut butter cups were demolished. Till next Halloween!
Featured Party Resources
- Colorful Lights: Rainbow Strand (48 balls) from BrightLab
- Spooky Vegetable Posters: DIY with help from FedEx printing
- Glow in the Dark Googly Eyes: Giant Googly Eyes from Amazon
- Black and White Skull Print: Sugar Skulls Black on Cream Fine Paper from Paper Source
- Black Wreath: Black Branch Wreath from Crate & Barrel
- Giant Balloons: 36 Inch Giant Latex Balloons from Amazon
- Beer Bucket: Wit & Delight Metal Beverage Tub from Target
- Napkins: Large Harlequin Napkins from Paper Source
- Plates & Bowls: Disposable Tableware from Susty Party
- Coasters: Wit & Delight Wood Cork Coasters from Target
- Bat Glasses: Bat Punch Cups from Crate & Barrel
- Boo Picks: Boo Cocktail Picks from Crate & Barrel
- Tablecloth: Spectre Tablecloth from CB2
- Cupcake Liners: Halloween Cupcake Liners from Crate & Barrel
- Candy Corn Bowl: Cauldron Bowls from Crate & Barrel
Serves 13 to 14 people
- Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cups
- Two-Bite Nutella Chocolate Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats
- Candy Corn
- Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
- Assorted pumpkin beers