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Tips on Throwing a Halloween Party for Adults

by Sophie Hill

Halloween provides a good excuse to throw a party and brighten up the dark autumnal days. When winter is fast approaching, we could all do with a reason to celebrate and let our hair down for an evening. Halloween parties aren’t just for kids. They can be just as much fun for adults. 

The key to any successful party is to plan it in advance and get as much done before your guests arrive as you can. That way you can relax and enjoy yourself on the night. If you’re stuck for Halloween party ideas, here are some tips to help you.


On the invites you send to your friends, as well as giving the start and finish time, let them know if they should wear a costume. It can be really embarrassing if one person arrives in full fancy dress only to find no one else is in costume! 

State whether there’s a theme, such as traditional scary Halloween costumes or a more general fancy dress theme. 

children dressed for halloween

To make sure everyone makes an effort, you could offer a prize for the best costume as an incentive.


There are lots of things you can do to make your home look like a haunted house for the evening.

pumpkin carved for halloween There’s a good choice of cheap accessories and props available in the run up to Halloween, including inflatable and animated decorations, such as inflatable skeletons and skulls with eyes that light up. 

If you’re going to spend money on decorations, it’s best to buy things you could save to reuse again next year and that are easy to store. 

Alternatively, to save money, there are several ideas for homemade Halloween props that you can make yourself. 

For instance, carved pumpkins are easy to make and with a tea light inside can provide atmospheric lighting. If you have kids, you could keep them occupied with making bats or spiders out of old egg boxes, which you could hang up to scare your guests. 


There are several good Halloween party compilation CDs available from online stores or you could have a go at making your own mix. 

Consider whether you want to play scary Halloween music in the background to add to the spooky ambiance, such as a horror movie soundtrack, or whether you want more upbeat songs that people can dance to, such as The Time Warp or Thriller. 

You might want to have a choice of different music to play as the night progresses.


Playing party games as an adult can be a lot of fun. Having a couple of games to play during your party is a good idea to help people unwind and get to know each other better. 

Traditional favourites such as apple bobbing and musical chairs are easy to organise. 

Think back to your childhood for more ideas for games to play. However, try not to make your party too structured. Adults like to have time to mingle and chat at parties, as well as play games.

lady dipping for apples

Food & Drink

At a Halloween party, especially when everyone is wearing a costume, it is easier to serve a buffet of finger foods and nibbles rather than a sit down meal. This way people can help themselves as they feel like it and you can take the pressure off yourself by preparing everything in advance. 

Good foods to serve include mini-quiches and pizzas, dips with vegetables, small sandwiches and salads. You could throw in a few Halloween-themed items, such as cupcakes decorated with spider’s web icing, or biscuits made to look like bloody fingers.

cauldron full of water over a fire A good idea is to make up a big batch of punch so your guests can help themselves. 

There are lots of different Halloween punch recipes you could use, from warm mulled apple juice to a fruity alcoholic punch. 

Serve it in a large pan (which you could decorate to look like a cauldron) and give it a spooky name such as “witch’s brew”. 

You should provide a choice of alcohol-based and non-alcoholic drinks and let your guests know which is which.

With a little advance planning, it doesn’t take too much effort to organise a Halloween party. The most important thing is that your guests have a good time and you enjoy yourself as well. Remember to take lots of photos to remember the fun!


halloween balloons



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