Halloween is just a couple weeks away and (at least for some of you) it is the first celebration of the holiday season. You get to decorate the house, dress up and experiment with some fun, but gruesome, foods. You want to make your Halloween party kid-friendly but adult enjoyable, which can be a tall task. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Decide What’s Age Appropriate: Not every child has the same tolerance to spooky stuff. A toddler may find masks and loud noises terrifying whereas a preteen will love a jump-scare in a labyrinth. Before you start planning your party, think through your guest list. Then, set up your party so there are centers like in school. Make your party flow so the parents of young children can be together without needing to be separate from the rest of the party. Put the scary stuff farther away from the main party area so the older children and adults can get a spooky thrill.
- Set the Mood: Halloween is all about the mood. Dim the lighting in your house and make it look like a haunted graveyard with some fog. Use dry ice to make your drinks look like smoky potions. You can safely place dry ice near food, but make sure that none of the kids eat or touch it directly. However, dry ice can change the flavor of the drink, so you should float a bowl of water inside the larger punch bowl with the dry ice in the inner container. Smoke machines are another great way to make a lot of mist at a reasonable price. Most fog machines use a mixture of water and glycol, which is safe for indoor use. Just be certain not to over fog any small spaces. Also, remember that ground fog may only reach an adult’s knees but will be over the head of a small child.
- Play Fun and Spooky Music: Take your smartphone and fill it with classic Halloween music. According to Billboard magazine, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the best Halloween song. Others on the list are “Werewolves of London” and the theme from “Ghostbusters.” Since smartphones like the Galaxy S7 have 28 hours of battery life and enough space for several thousand songs, you will have no problem keeping the party moving.
- Serve Weird Food and Drinks: Delish has a robust list of Halloween food ideas that range from simple gelatin molds to involved recipes that take a bit of artistic skill. Like the layout of the party, you may want to segregate the food so that the faint of heart are still able to enjoy the fair. Squiggly edible worms may promote the theme but can put some people off. With food and drink, always have a mix of scary with cute.
- Costumes are a Must: The fun of Halloween comes from dressing up. For younger kids, this is the party in a nutshell. They need nothing more than a great superhero costume and a villain to defeat. Make your party a costume party and let it take a life of its own.