Halloween Party Ideas for Kids
Halloween is the night to forget about good taste and go all-out kitschy and creepy. Here are three ways to dress up your party pad.
Orange and black are the key colors for any Halloween party, and some blood-red accents don't hurt either. If you're keeping costs down, streamers are a simple way to create some atmosphere.
Hang orange and black streamers on doorways, stairways and windows. Cut streamers to the length of your doorway and hang them with tape to create a dramatic curtain into your living room.
Line bookshelves and mantles with fake cobwebs, and replace plain light bulbs with red bulbs for a ghoulish glow.
A pumpkin makes an ingenious centerpiece. Cut off the top, hollow it out, and fill with black silk flowers.
Fill plastic cauldrons with candy and place them around your party area for guests to snack on. Want to add a trick to this treat? Bury a few plastic spiders and rubber fingers in each cauldron to give guests a fright.
An Ouija board can make a great addition to your food or drinks table. Just cover the board with plastic wrap and place drinks or hors d'oeuvres on it. You can also use it as a serving tray to pass around lighter snacks like cookies.
Not a great pumpkin carver? Draw on your design with a marker instead. Using a marker rather than a knife on your pumpkins makes them last longer, so you can make them days in advance and enjoy them well into November.
Make a spooky ghost to haunt your front porch with our simple step-by-step guide.
Halloween parties are all about atmosphere. Light your room with black candles, and create mist by filling cauldrons with water and dry ice. Place the cauldrons in your entryway to set the scene as guests enter the party.
A final, spine-tingling touch: Cut headstones out of Styrofoam, cardboard or construction paper, and spray-paint them gray. Write a guest's name on each one and use them to line your yard or hallway.
Remember the three Cs when helping the child in your life select his or her costume: comfort, climate and cost.
Comfort is key on Halloween. What starts out as fun can turn into a nightmare if you don't think about how you'll feel after sitting, standing and walking round in the costume after a few hours.
- How does it move? Practice walking, sitting and standing in the outfit for a long period of time.
- How does it feel? Itchy fabrics, heavy clothing and sweat-producing wigs will drive you crazy after a while.
- How will it hold up? Think about how your night will progress. If you plan to do a lot of walking, make sure your shoes are comfortable and your outfit won't fall apart.
The days of having to wear a turtleneck under your princess dress or woolly mittens with your ninja costume are over. There are better ways to dress for the weather on Halloween.
- Tights are your friend. From robot costumes to fairy princess get-ups, tights add to the look and keep your legs warm. If you don't want them seen, wear leggings or long johns and hike them up to the length you need.
- Use waterproof makeup. Rain making the mascara streak down your face is only good if you're going as Alice Cooper. And bring an umbrella just in case. Choose one that kind of matches your outfit or overall theme — pink and girly for princesses, camouflage for soldiers, and animal prints for animal costumes.
- Carry a flashlight or wear light, reflective clothes. A dark costume plus a dark night could mean serious hazards, especially if you will be on the street.
An elaborate costume doesn't need to cost a fortune. You can make a big impact with just a few small elements.
- Raid your closet — The back of your closet could be hiding all sorts of gems. An ill-fitting suit transforms you into Pee Wee Herman, and an old bridesmaid gown turns you into a splashy Miss America.
- Get thrifty — Thrift stores can give you plenty of costume inspiration. Polyester pants help you become a disco king, and a poufy dress can make you one tacky prom queen.
- Make it up — Household items are a cheap, easy way to put together a costume. Become the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz with just a metal kitchen funnel, silver face paint and aluminum foil. Or go as an M&M candy. All you need are a brightly colored sweatshirt, a pillow to stuff under your sweatshirt, and masking tape to write an "m" on your shirt.
Old-school Halloween activities like pumpkin carving and apple bobbing are always in fashion. If you want to skip the mess and possible safety concerns of pumpkin carving, have the children decorate mini pumpkins with markers, tempera paint and multicolored glitter instead. After they finish decorating them, you can display around their party for all the guests to admire.
Have a costume contest, and award prizes for every costume category you can think of. Make sure to have enough categories so that all the kids get a prize of some sort. Since sweets will certainly not be in short supply, reward them with toys or Halloween-themed favors instead of candy.
Counteract all that candy you're going to eat with this hearty yet spooky Black Cauldron Stew.
Add a devilish twist to your meal with deviled eggs, devil's food cake, even deviled fried chicken.
Remember, Halloween is the only holiday where it's OK to serve scary-looking desserts.
Punch is always a favorite at kids' parties. The non-alcoholic version of our Slime Punch packs both great lime flavor and fun Halloween flair.