The majority of Halloween parties and events will be themed ones. Some groups and families opt for a traditional theme such as vampires or witches or even zombies. There are also traditional fancy dress events such as for Mardi Gras or a plain, old-fashioned masked ball. Children usually love costume parties which have been themed around a favorite superhero or princess or cowboy or cartoon character. If the party is to be held at a home, then there are a few things to keep in mind.
Parties where adults dress up and have a great time have been around for hundreds of years and were popular in Europe amongst the gentry and royalty. Perhaps even Vlad, who was the inspiration for Count Dracula and vampire folklore, held parties in his castle in Transylvania. A modern party planner needs to think of a theme first, then plot out accessories and costumes as well as many decorations and even games. Movies can be rented that are themed, along with the party, although this is usually for a smaller and more intimate group.
Half the fun of a costume party is trying to guess who is under that Luke Skywalker or Mr. Spock or Cinderella or mad monster costume and mask. If children are present, a party cannot get too wild or gory. The whole point of a great costume party is having fun and slipping into another character — if only for an evening. A family meeting is called for in order to settle on a theme and costumes and certain accessories need to be ordered a few weeks ahead of time, so that if there’s a backorder, substitutes can be made.
Food recipes abound for Halloween parties and items such as purple punch with dry ice spilling over, and floating eyeball ice cubes always make an impression. Kids love Gummy worms anyway and other creatures may be draped over a punch bowl. Finger sandwiches, literally looking like fingers, can be created and any food served at a party may be laid out on a appropriately-themed buffet table. It’s best to keep glass away from a party and often, decorated and disposable glasses and cups can be bought, along with other party supplies.
A lot of costumers love to make their own costumes year after year, or enhance and update their outfits annually. This depends on how much time there is to do all of the sewing and gathering and hot-gluing etc. A person’s own clothing may be used as a base for the outfit and this can also be time-saving. One year, a movie theme may be hot, or a group of characters, and another year they are relegated to the dungeon of costume parties and outfits. A few classic ensembles are vampires, mummies, zombies, animals, celebrities and politicians. Some of the costumes at any random party defy description.
If there are several messy games that are to be set up then consider using the backyard. Children should have their games and creative area and the adults may have a few separate ones. The outside of the house or building can also be well-decorated with cobwebs and jack o’ lanterns and spiders and bats, if the theme is a generic Halloween scary one. Remember lighting (red or purple or black lights are wonderful and atmospheric) as well as sound FX and motion. Anytime a skeletal hand emerges from a box or a croaky voice ways “welcome” trick or treaters get a real kick out of it. Remember to decorate age appropriately.
Costume party planners can put on a fantastic “spread” and themed party. If they use a little creativity and whatever is at hand, supplemented by a few purchased decorations and accessories and supplies. A good and well-planned party will be long remembered and talked about at the office or at school, the next day.