Summer is over, Christmas seems a long way away and inspired by crisp sunny autumn days, leaf kicking and digging out the favourite jumpers and scarves you suddenly decided that it would be great fun to hold a Halloween party. If this sounds like you then read on for a few quick tips on holding a simple Halloween bash.
‘Halloween Party’ sounds too similar to ‘Birthday Party’ and suggests entertainment, games, lots of lovely food and a shattered parent at the end of it all. I’ve therefore rebranded my children’s Halloween get together this year as a ‘Halloween Play Date’ which I hope suggests a more relaxed event with less entertainment and generally less effort made by me.
2. Fill the time
Whilst a birthday party will have games, a meal and cake cutting to structure the party, even if you have a simple Play Date event you probably aren’t going to get away without at least one Halloween related activity. I’m planning on making Halloween themed biscuits and then giving the children tubes of bought icing to squeeze on to decorate but you could always keep it really simple by printing out themed colouring sheets or try your hand at a craft activity.
3. Enlist help
Hopefully you have other parents coming along. At a birthday party they might feel they can get away with hiding in the kitchen with a drink but the joy of rebranding it as a playdate is that they’ll feel they have to be more involved. Sign then up to supervise various tasks or if you know them well and they have the time and inclination then assign them an activity to bring along. Maybe try apple bobbing, a Halloween treasure hunt (like an Easter Egg hunt), pin the spider on the cobweb or something similar.
Rather than a party style tea which involves lots of prep cutting up sandwiches and slicing fruit you might find it easier to cook a filling meal such as pasta or wraps where the children can choose their own fillings. Something warm to see them through Trick or Treating and carb heavy to neutralise the sweet haul to come.
5. Trick or Treating
The standard etiquette is that if there is a lit pumpkin in the doorway then the household is open to Trick or Treaters. Depending on where you live, how popular Halloween is near you and how well you know your neighbours you may want to just visit a few houses that you know and forewarn those neighbours so they know to expect you.
Remember to take your own pumpkin in once you run out of treats or if you don’t want the door knocking once the children are in bed.
6. Treat yourself
Put them to bed, hope for a lie in after all the excitement and pray they got something worth pinching in the Trick or Treat haul.