Thursday, October 24, 2013

When the spookiest night of the year arrives amidst an atmosphere of fog and the dark cover of night, it’s time to host an eerie evening soiree! Sure, Halloween once meant going door to door gathering candy from yourneighbors, and hoping for that rare full size Snickers bar, but just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have a little ghoulish fun. Gather your friends for Halloween festivities that balance the silliness of being a kid (think gummi worms in the punchbowl!) with the entertaining savvy of a grown-up (à la your chic bar cart). So here we have gathered 5 Halloween party ideas to make your festive gathering a spooky success!

1. Create a signature Halloween cocktail: One of our favorite Halloween party ideas is serving a signature cocktail for the evening. Naming suggestions: any cocktail that is red should include the word “bloody”, any drink that is purple can include “nightshade”, and any white drink can be “ghostly”…so have fun mixing up your eerie libations and creatively naming them! We're particularly loving this Black Magic Frocktail from our friend, Natalie, of the SoHo blog! (Remember her Friday Frocktails series?!)

2. Make a dessert bar of critters and cupcakes: Who says cupcake decorating bars are just for kids? Bake the cupcakes but leave the toppings for your guests to decide. Lay out frosting in assorted colors in icing bags, and provide toppings like Halloween colored sprinkles, candy corn, M and M’s, and a variety of creepy candy. It combines two things your guests will love: creativity and a satisfied sweet tooth! And let the bats swoop down on your cupcake bar with these cute printables from A Beautiful Mess for an adorably eerie finishing touch!

3. Get festive with the tablescape and decor: Your tablescape and party décor can range from a simple harvest theme with pumpkin and squash, branches and berries, to something a bit more playful or darkly gothic. One fun way to incorporate the witching hour is with your place cards! Candles and lowered light are an essential way to create atmosphere, whichever theme you choose. Or try adding a rustic touch to your table with this cute DIY burlap runner from HGTV.

4. Think seasonally: With the arrival of autumn comes a harvest of seasonal bounty! Serving fall favorites like spiced cider, apple crisp, and pumpkin baked goods will ensure happy party guests. Instead of serving a full on dinner, you can stick to small dishes with seasonal produce as well, like butternut squash, eggplant, and brussel sprouts, and also consider doing a few cheese pairings with wine (don’t forget a baguette!). We're especially partial to these pumpkin muffins and mini apple pies from Bakers Royale, and baking them before your party will fill your home with the most delicious of autumn scents!

5. Costume party: One thing we wouldn’t change from childhood is donning a costume! On one day of the year you get to be anyone and anything you want. You can consider suggesting a fun theme for the evening to your guests, like “classic movies”, “literary characters and authors”, or let your guests come in any costume they want.  And if you end up running out of time to hit the costume shop, see some of our fun costume ideas that you can put together with clothes that are already in your closet.