13 Halloween Party Ideas
How Halloween Started
If like me you feel like Halloween is becoming a much bigger deal than when we were kids then you’re right, Halloween is now the 2nd highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. After years not taking that much interest in Halloween, as my young nephew got older my interest returned with how much fun could be had at Halloween. I’ve introduced him to old classic games like mystery boxes and apple bobbing and we’ve had fun creating some fantastic Halloween decorations.
A Halloween pastime that is thought to be from recent times is trick or treating, which many people think is an American idea that has now crossed over into British & Western European celebrations of Halloween, it is in fact thought to have derived from two ancient sources.
The first an ancient Celtic tradition of putting out food to placate spirits during the scared festival of Samhain which means Summers end, that marked the end of the Celtic calendar.
The second is ‘souling’, a medieval Christian tradition where on the 1st November the poor would go from house to house offering prayers for the dead in exchange for soul cakes, a light sweet & spicy biscuit, here’s a great recipe for soul cakes if you want to make some of your own.
What have always been popular since I was a child is Halloween parties, and it’s no wonder as children are twice as likely to be involved in a pedestrian/car accident as any other night of the year, so they’re a good way to keep children safe, and it’s a fun way to get children involved at home creating spooky Halloween decorations and party food.
If you are planning on having your own Halloween party this year I've got some simple, economical and fun ideas to help you make the party a great success with decorations, food and party games.
Floating Ghost Party Decoration
One of my favourite DIY Halloween decoration ideas is a Floating Ghost. People are always intrigued as to how I made these, and they're really so easy to make! All you need is just a few materials: an empty plastic bottle, cheese cloth, Styrofoam and starch to create a spooky free standing ghostly figure. You can get most of these from a local craft shop or supermarket. For the full tutorial, click here.
Jack-o-Lantern Window Decoration
If you want to think bigger, you can turn your whole house into a Jack-o-Lantern with this brilliant idea to use a stencil in one of your prominent windows. All you need is some cardboard and a craft knife to cut out the shape - if you have some spare cardboard to hand it’s going to cost nothing at all to make! Once you're done, just wait until it gets dark, turn on the light and go outside to admire your handiwork. There's loads of different templates and designs available online and in stores and it's also super-easy to create you own, so have fun making your windows as spooky as you dare!
Hanging Bats Halloween Decoration
These black foam hanging bats can be used outdoors to hang from trees and bushes as they can handle the wettest of weather; or, alternatively, they can be hung anywhere inside your home too. I’ve only used them indoors because they stay in better condition so you can use them again, year after year. You don't have to make them out of foam either - if it's easier to get your hands on black card or paper then go with that, it looks just as good but is, of course, less durable. Just use any of the bat templates that are widely available online or in craft stores.
Flying Bats Wall Decoration
If you've not got anywhere to hang bats, then why not try these flying bats on the walls instead? It's the same principle: download and print or purchase your chosen template of a flying bat, and then cut the shape out of your chosen material. Black card works best in this instance, as it has the rigidity for the 'wings' to stick out of the wall (which looks really cool!) but is more easy to work with than foam. The best thing about card as well is that it adheres to any surface: walls, windows, lampshades and banisters - these bats can be flying all over your home!
Halloween Wall Sticker Decorations
Vinyl wall stickers are a great way to decorate at Halloween. They're easy to apply, come in a wide selection of designs including ghosts, witches, bats, skulls, pumpkins & more. They can be removed quickly and leave little or no residue behind. Suitable for walls or windows, inside or outside your home, they are very versatile. I like to use the multi packs so I can decorate inside, outside and different rooms around my home.
Easy to Make Spider's Cobwebs Halloween Decoration
You're sure to have some black trash bags around the home, so here's a fun, cheap & easy way to cut them up to look like cobwebs to decorate your home at Halloween. I was a little sceptical as to how easy this would actually be at first, but with this handy cutting guide it was so simple & effective. I'm not sure I would use them outside though; I think the wind might damage them a bi too much.
Tin Can Luminaries For Autumn Garden
These Tin Can Luminaries are perfect for Halloween decorations and simple to make. Just keep some old tin cans instead of putting them into the recycling bin, fill the cans with water and put them in the freezer. Then draw your design on the can before using a hammer to nail punch out your design. The ice stops the tin can getting bent out of shape. You can then paint it any colour you want and get some candles or tea-lights to put in the centre for a flickering, spooky feel. They're ideal to light the way to your home on Halloween.
Halloween Party Food
Edible Jelly Worms
These Edible Jelly Worms make great Halloween party food. I made these for my nephew’s Halloween party last year and they were a great success. Some of the kids were a little wary at first but once my nephew tried them and said how delicious they were everyone else tried them. They're simple to prepare and everything you need to make them will be available from your local supermarket. There's a few recipes knocking about on the internet, but this is the one we tried and we all loved it: Edible Jelly Worms Recipe.
Crispy Phyllo Wrapped Hot Dog Mummies
This year I’m really looking forward to trying these delicious looking Hot Dog Mummies. My nephew has been asking me to make these already! I've told him we had to wait until Halloween, but I'm beginning to get really tempted. The recipe looks like they're pretty easy to make and will be a lot of fun at children's parties. All you need to pick up in advance are hot dogs, cheese, filo pastry, butter and a few spices.
Healthy Halloween Witch Sandwich
For something a little bit healthier, why not get creative and make your own sand-witch?! They're super easy to make: you choose your own filling and decorate the outside of the sandwich with carrot sticks, cucumber, olives or anything else that you fancy. This is great because it's so versatile and completely dependent upon your own choices and creativity. Don’t just stop at making a witch either - I’ve made ghost and bat shaped sandwiches as well. If you have some, Halloween cookies cutters are a great way make the basic shape of your sandwich.
What To Do With A Pumpkin At Halloween?
Pumpkins do'nt have to just be for creating Jack-o-Lanterns at Halloween. When you’ve removed the flesh from the pumpkin, don’t waste it: make a delicious soup! Or instead of throwing away the seeds, wash them - simmer for 10 minutes, drain, then toast them in oven and season with salt and pepper for a festive snack. When Halloween is over, the discarded pumpkin can be use as bird food or to enrich the soil in your garden.
Spooky Banana-Berry Smoothie with Ghostly Meringue Eyes
The kids are going to need something to wash down the party food. This refreshing, tasty drink is nothing but fun! I made the meringue eyes the day before and ended up with more than I needed for the smoothies, so I just dotted them around the buffet and they made delicious sweet snacks with the other party food. The smoothie is quick and really easy to make too; I had time to make it just before serving, so it was nice and fresh. You can find the full recipe here.
Boo-Nilla Shake Milkeshake For Halloween
This was so simple to make! I just gently melted some milk chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and used the chocolate to paint a spooky ghostly face on the inside of the glass - then chilled the glasses in the fridge before I prepared the shake so the ghostly chocolate face hardened. I also painted the glasses the day before, just so the shake wouldn't wash the face away when you pour it into the glass. Any milkshake will do the trick, but vanilla will keep up the ghostly look of the drink.
Halloween Party Games
Pass The Pumpkin Halloween Party Game
A variation on the classic kids party game pass the parcel: just hollow out a pumpkin and fill with goodies like wrapped sweets or small boxes of dried fruit. When the music stops the child holding the pumpkin can take a prize and the game can start again. I like this one becasue then more of the kids get to win a prize.
Stay Dry Apple Bobbing Halloween Party Game
A game dating back to Roman times and simple to set up. It's traditionally done with apples in a bowl of water, but if you're wanting to preserve everyone's facepaint and avoid getting them wet, then you can hang the apples on string from a washing line instead. When I’ve needed to make it even easier, I’ve swapped the apples for donuts as smaller mouths can bite into them with less difficulty.
What's in the Mystery Box Game
My favourite Halloween party game as a child was mystery boxes. My mum would use old shoe boxes with a hole cut in the top and fill will a variety of food. We’d all think we’re putting our hands into all sorts of spooky and disgusting things like brains, skeleton bones, spiders, teeth or hearts. A lot of fun was had by all!
Ghost Bowling Halloween Party Game
This game is not just fun to play; having your kids help you make them in advance is a great way to improve their motor skills. Just by using some old plastic bottles, filling with cotton balls and painting or drawing a face on the outside of the bottle will create a fun and easy-to-play game. You can decorate a ball to look like a pumpkin to add a nice, festive finishing touch.
Mummy Wrap Halloween Party Game
A cheap and easy game to play. Split your teams into equal groups of two or more children. One child is to be the Mummy while the other children wrap them in toilet roll or crepe paper as quickly as they can. The winner is the group who finishes first or who has the most of the body covered when the music stops.
Eyeball Bounce Halloween Party Game
Even if you are not a very good artist (like me!) it’s so easy to decorate a ping pong ball to look like a blood shot eye. Just use some coloured markers, and I also used a sticker to draw round to create a perfect iris, then peeled it off. For the game just bounce the ping pong balls into cups or baskets: if someone gets the ping pong ball into the cup they win a prize.
I always find a Halloween party a great way for kids to have fun. It keeps them safe, it keeps them all together and you don't have to rely on the weather to be dry (unlike Trick or Treating) - especially with the Autumnal British weather.
I hope you are inspired to try some of these fun ideas at your own Halloween party. If you need some extra ideas for Halloween decorations, please feel free to check out our selection of Halloween stickers available via the Icon Wall Stickers home page. If you have any of your own great ideas for a Halloween party, feel free to let us know in the comments below!