Halloween is an excellent excuse for adults to dress up in ridiculous costumes, eat lots of candy, and play games. You may not be able to go trick-or-treating anymore, but that shouldn't stop you from celebrating the holiday with a fun (and spooky) party.
When I decided to throw my own Halloween party this year for our Gatherings from The Kitchn series, I just wanted to make sure it was fun. I skipped the standard cobwebs and ghoulish witches for something a lot more goofy with a bunch of delicious treats. We'll be sharing this party with you all week — and today, let's start with the menu.
→ Apartment Therapy threw a Halloween Party, too. Check it out: Maxwell & Ursula's Magical, Mystical Halloween Party
The Party Idea: A Spooky, Goofy Gathering with Friends
With fun being the driving force behind this party, I decided not to go in either of the standard Halloween party directions. On the one side, you have innocuous harvest celebrations with bobbing for apples. On the other you have the gross-out style of Halloween, with orange and black and lots of scary skeletons in the corners.
I wanted something different and a little crazy; a party where people could dance, stuff their faces, meet new people, and dress up in funny costumes.
The theme for my Halloween party started with some DIY costumes. We had five costumes made for the party, all funny and food-related (more on those later), and I thought it would be great to keep this colorful and goofy theme going for the feel of the party, including the decor, food, and music.
And Halloween being Halloween, I couldn't not have some kind of spooky element going on, even if it was over the top and mostly ridiculous. That's where these big black and white vegetable posters with googly eyes came into play.
The Party Look: Black and White with Colorful Accents
Everyone knows throwing a great Halloween party all depends on the decor, so having a strong color palette for this party was important. I wanted bold, fun choices. In order to get that "spooky" look I used a lot of black and white things for the base of my decor, and to get that "colorful" part I added big bright lights, big balloons, plates, napkins, and utensils.
I have a small apartment, so in order to make things look less cluttered (and to be easy on myself), I used big decor items instead of the many small crafty things you might usually associate with Halloween (Helllooo Pinterest). The main pieces were the DIY vegetable posters, big balloons I hung on the ceiling, colorful lights, and the decorative paper skulls.
The lighting was low, but along with the colorful lights there were many tea candles set in Mason jars around my living room. Spooky, but not really.
The Party Menu: Pumpkin Chili, Treats, and Sangria
With a guest list of 13 people, I wanted plenty of snacks and treats people could munch on throughout the night. The party started on the early side, around eight o'clock, so I also wanted something a little more substantial for people to eat. I went with a few easy appetizers, a big pot of pumpkin chili with some fixings, and a whole bunch of desserts.
I even bought a big bucket of candy corn, which I loathe, but any Halloween party demands its existence. Disagree all you want but you know it's true.
For drinks I went out and got an array of pumpkin beers and made a boozy apple sangria that I served in a punch bowl.
A Spooky Colorful Halloween: The Menu
This menu serves 13 to 14 people. As I mention below, it's a lot of work to make all these snacks and treats, so pull in friends to help! That's half the fun.
- Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cups
- Two-Bite Nutella Chocolate Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats
- Candy Corn
- Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
- Assorted pumpkin beers
Parties Are More Fun When Friends Help
There's was a lot to get done for this party, from setting up the decor, to making the food, and writing trivia questions. I enlisted a few of my friends, including our contributing editor Kelli (she made three of the desserts!) my best friend Laura, and boyfriend James. I wouldn't have been able to get it all done without their help.
What I'll Share With You This Week
Keep an eye out for how the whole party came together on Wednesday! Plenty of silly dancing photos to come. Also watch out for:
- A hip-hop Halloween playlist
- Colorful and just spooky enough decor ideas
- Halloween food trivia game
- Recipes for peanut butter cups with pumpkin spice, and buttery curried popcorn