Halloween Costume
Featured,  Seasonal

Your Ultimate Halloween Party Planning Guide

Fall isn’t complete without a Halloween party! Whether you want to throw a Halloween bash for adults, kids, or all ages, a little planning goes a long way. In fact, with so many exciting Halloween party ideas out there, there’s really no such thing as too much planning when it comes to throwing a spook-tastic bash!

That’s why we’ve put together a guide for how to throw a Halloween party, from inviting guests to serving food and drink to setting up a terrifyingly terrific atmosphere.

Halloween Party Ideas & Tips

1. Prepare your guests.

Beware – fun awaits! While that’s the only message anyone really needs to hear when being invited to a Halloween party, everyone appreciates a clear invitation so they know what to expect. The first step of throwing a great Halloween party is creating a guest list and invitations that let your friends and family know not just when and where the party is happening, but also what (if anything) to bring and how to dress.

As you create invitations, consider the following:

Age of guests

Is this an adult party, a family-friendly bash, or a get-together for your kids and their buddies? Create invitations that clarify who’s welcome, and use imagery and themes that fit the demographic.


It’s a good Halloween party idea to serve some refreshments – even better if they’re spooky (more on that later)! Let guests know that there will be some food and drink provided. For family/all-ages parties, make sure there are plenty adult- and kid-friendly nonalcoholic beverages to enjoy.

If you’re opting for a more BYOB or potluck-style event, make this clear in the invitations. Let guests know exactly what is needed. You may even want to coordinate with guests on who will bring what.


For many people, “Halloween party” is synonymous with “costume party.” However, not everyone sticks to this rule! If you’re expecting costumes, include a “Costumes encouraged” note on the invitation. Just don’t be too bummed if not everyone opts in. One sneaky tip is to set up a DIY costume table so those who show up without a costume can make one if they wish!

2. Plan your spooky setup.

Now that you’ve invited your guests and let them know what to expect, it’s time to think about your setup. Where will guests eat, drink, socialize, dance, watch movies, or any other activity you’re planning? You’ll need to think through these practical party aspects, then dress it all up with some deadly decorations.

Choose a theme

While not necessary for a great Halloween bash, a unifying theme can help you plan every other aspect of your party, including setup and decorations. If you’re creating a haunted house, you’ll need to plan a few scares and design your setup accordingly. Or if you’re having a movie marathon, the TV or projector room will be the hub of your party. No matter what theme you choose, let it inspire your decor and setup!

Optimize your space

Will guests be spending time mostly indoors, outdoors, or both? Where will you set up the food and drink table? If there will be music for dancing or movies playing, how will you separate the music or movie zones from areas where people can socialize or eat? If you’ll have hands-on activities like pumpkin-carving, make sure you’ve cleared a space for supplies, work, and mess!

One helpful Halloween party idea is to clear out any unnecessary furniture to make space for party activities. Simply move it outside or into a room that won’t be used during the party.

Music, lighting, and atmosphere

Now for the best part! Halloween decorations are half the fun of a Halloween party. Get creative and transform your party spaces into spooky dungeons, twisted laboratories, haunted libraries – whatever fits the theme or your fancy!

Start shopping as early as possible. Make sure to check out discount stores such as dollar stores and consignment stores to stock up on affordable decorations. If you have a more flexible budget, you can also shop online (think Etsy) for unique or custom decorations.

As for setting the mood, don’t forget sights and sounds. Music is a must even if you’re not throwing a dance party. Put together a spooky playlist or find one online. You can also have a fun, popular (and family-friendly, if necessary) horror movie playing in the background. Finally, grab some spooky lights: pumpkin-shaped fairy lights, candles on Gothic candlesticks, jack-o-lanterns… the more the merrier! (Or should we say “scarier”?)

3. Schedule some activities.

A Halloween party provides endless opportunities for activities, from arts and crafts to games and more. Again, consult the ages of your guests and your theme (if applicable) to help inspire some activities. Below are a few ideas to get you started!

  • Pumpkin carving (all ages but great for kids)
  • Costume contest (all ages)
  • Tarot readings (best for teens and adults)
  • Scary story “telephone” (all ages)
  • Spooky “Feel Box” – i.e., fill boxes with items that have creepy or unpleasant textures and have guests guess what’s in the box!

4. Don’t forget the refreshments!

Last but not least, every Halloween party needs frightful food and deadly drinks! Whether you’re creating kid-friendly treats or grownup libations, luckily everything can be made spooky if you try.


Create sweet and savory snacks around your chosen theme or Halloween in general. Think fall flavors like pumpkin and apple, scary shapes like spiders and ghosts, and wicked colors like orange, black, purple, and green. And of course, don’t forget candy! This is a requirement no matter the age of your guests. Set out bowls or cups of Halloween candy for guests to munch on throughout the night.


Get out your cauldron and potion recipes! There are so many fun Halloween party ideas for spook-tastic beverages, both alcoholic and kid-friendly. For a real (trick-or-) treat, make candy-themed cocktails so your adult guests can have a sweet taste of Halloween nostalgia.

Party favors

Who doesn’t love a goodie bag? Party favors are a must for kids, but adults enjoy them too. Send guests of all ages home with mini trick-or-treat bags. You can get creative with the packaging, using bags decked with Halloween imagery, mini plastic pumpkins, or anything that fits your theme. The most important part, though, is the candy! While you can include other items in your party favors, Halloween candy is the most important thing.

Ready to get the party (planning) started? Candy Club’s seasonal candies sell out fast, so get your Halloween candy orders in now! Your guests will need something sweet to wash down the petrifying perils of your ultimate Halloween party.