45 Easy Halloween Party Ideas

Throw an unforgettable monster mash with our easy ideas for DIY Halloween decorations, snacks, party favors and games you can craft.

July 15, 2020

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Marian Parsons Mustard Seed Inte

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Gabriela Hardan

©Sam Henderson

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Michael Hall

©Layla Palmer

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Michael Hall

Photo By: Michael Hall

Set the Scene

Get your haunted house ready for the festivities by decorating any areas where guests will gather, including outdoor spaces. But, be sure to adjust the scare-factor based on what age groups will attend. If only adults are on the guest list, spook it up — but — if kids, particularly small children, will attend, nix the blood and gore and keep the decorations family-friendly. Our printables, like this free banner, and our best Halloween decorating ideas below will help you set the scene in a way that all ages can enjoy.

SEE MORE: 45 Easy Halloween Party Ideas

Serve Fun Foods

Who knew creamy mini cheeses, olives and a little food coloring could look so creepy yet taste so yummy?! Fill up your party guests with these savory little mouthfuls for a fun take on standard cheese and crackers.

GET THE RECIPE: CHEESY EYEBALLS

SEE MORE: 50+ Sweet & Salty Halloween Snacks

And, Don't Forget the Drinks

Spending the night disguised as a superhero, fairy princess or member of the undead is hard work for a kid; help them hydrate by stocking a tub with plenty of ice and their favorite drinks. Give your tub a quick-and-easy makeover with a costume of its own: a friendly mummy. Learn how with our step-by-step instructions below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Entertaining: Make a Mummy Beverage Tub

Let Guests Help Themselves

Lay out a spread of sweet and savory nibbles so each guest can choose flavors to please their palate. Best of all: Serving buffet style frees you up so you can join your guests in partying like the undead.

Host a Kids' Costume Party

Hands down, Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays for kids. Celebrate this Hallowed Eve by inviting your favorite little ghouls over for a fun get-together. Ask the kids to come dressed in their best Halloween finery and treat them to a spooky spread. Get tips, free printables, menu suggestions and even easy costume ideas to make throwing a costume party child's play, below.

SEE MORE: Host a Halloween Costume Party

Or, Keep the Guest List Adults Only

Truth be told, many adults love Halloween just as much (or maybe even more) than kids. If only adults will be in attendance, you can make the party's decor and mood a bit darker. Also, make it easy for your guests to get their boos with a self-service bar area. A bewitching project to try: Magic up our DIY wine cauldron.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Party Magic: Make a Wicked Wine Cauldron + Ghostly Garnishes

Adults Only: Magic Up Potent Potables

Unleash your Halloween guests' hidden wild side with this Mr. Hyde cocktail. Made with vodka, aromatic herbs and blackberry liqueur, it's frightfully refreshing.

GET THE RECIPE: MR. HYDE POTION

SEE MORE: 45 Scary-Good Halloween Cocktails

For Kids: Serve Sinister Sips

Give storebought bottles of fruit-flavored soda an easy Halloween update with our printable bottle wraps. Complete the look by tying coordinated striped straws to each bottle with baker's twine.

Add Fun Surprises

Let the kids kick off the party with a bang (literally!) with English-style crackers or other interactive games and activities. Read on for links to our favorite DIY Halloween games and party favors.

SEE MORE: 31 Fun Halloween Games & Activities for All Ages

Serve Safely

Dry ice + Halloween parties = a match made in hosting heaven — but, you must use this subzero substance safely. Get all our tips for spooking up your monster mash without getting burned. Learn how to safely use dry ice by following our step-by-step instructions below.

Learn How to Safely Use Dry Ice This Halloween

Halloween Game: Snake Eyes

In less time than it takes to watch your favorite scary movie, you can turn empty water bottles and inexpensive mailing tubes into a Halloween party game that kids of all ages will love. Get crafting with our free printable template and step-by-step instructions.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Party Game: Snake Eyes

Decor: Pick a Palette

Limiting your decor's color palette to just a few shades creates a look that's perfectly pulled together. For our Halloween mantel, we chose black-and-white and shades of orange. Metallics are a must for any well-styled vignette so mix in copper, gold or silver for an added touch of glam. Get more of our best Halloween decorating tips below.

SEE MORE: Our 100 Favorite Halloween Decorating Ideas

And, Don't Forget to Deck Out the Outdoors

A decorated foyer or front porch signals to guests that they're in for a ghoulishly good time before they even enter the party. Whether you opt to keep your decor kid-friendly or terror-inducing, be sure to include several sources of illumination, like battery-operated candles or mini lights, to light the way to the festivities.

SEE MORE: 73 Front Porch Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Plan for Guests of All Ages

When planning your party, pick activities and menu items that will keep everyone happy. If babies and small kids will attend, avoid super-scary surprises and provide plenty of easy-to-eat small bites. Learn how to make this cute mom-and-baby kangaroo costume at the link below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Make a Matching Mom and Baby Kangaroo Costume

Boo on a Budget

Throwing a kids' Halloween party doesn't have to be a terrifying prospect for your bank account. Learn how to give dollar-store paper goods a chic-on-the-cheap Halloween makeover.

SEE MORE: 56 Halloween Dollar Store Hacks That Give You More Boo For Your Buck

Halloween Game: Pumpkin Pickin'

Entertain trick-or-treaters or Halloween partygoers of all ages with this DIY game of chance. Felt jack-o'-lantern flaps (instead of paper that would tear) and an open back make it easy to reload the game with candy and small toys to keep the fun going. Craft your own with our step-by-step instructions below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Party Game: Pumpkin Pickin'

Set Up an Outdoor Trick-or-Treat Station

Weather permitting, bring a lightweight table or shelf outside then fill it with an assortment of kids' favorite treats packaged using one of our free printable templates. Have adults on hand to make sure everyone gets their fair share and with cameras at the ready to snap photos of the neighborhood kids enjoying the spread. Get more tips for setting up a candy station below.

SEE MORE: Halloween Trick-or-Treat Candy Station

Party Favor: Mummy Candy Cans

These adorable treat cans make upcycling look good! Kids will love helping you craft the cans as much as they will devouring their sweet contents. Make one for each Halloween guest, then send them home with the kids as party favors.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Party Favor: Mummy Candy Cans

Turn a Pumpkin Into a Serving Dish

Cut a faux pumpkin in half to create a cute lidded container for serving Halloween candy. The waterproof foam interior also makes these a great cooler when filled with ice and beverages. Get step-by-step instructions below.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Pumpkin Candy Dish

Halloween Game: Craft a Candy Corn Pinata

What's Halloween without the candy, right? Construct this colorful piñata to serve as both a party decoration and a crowd-pleasing game for your Halloween guests. Get started with our free templates and step-by-step instructions.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Candy Corn Pinata for Halloween

Tempt Their Sweet Tooth

Concentric rings of colored sugar give dense, chocolatey brownies a candy corn makeover for Halloween — our free printable template makes the tricolor effect a snap.

GET THE RECIPE: CANDY CORN BROWNIES

SEE MORE: 62 Frightfully Delicious Halloween Dessert Ideas

Hang With a Few Friendly Bats

These friendly foam bats are a snap to craft. Made using our free printable template and inexpensive foam sheets, they're a weatherproof decoration you can display indoors or out.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Kids' Craft: Hanging Foam Bats

Don't Forget Your Best Friend

Pets are family so be sure to include them in your Halloween party plans. Let outgoing pets join in the fun by dressing in costume; alternately, provide a safe, quiet place away from the hubbub for pets who are timid around strangers, afraid of loud noises or are not feeling well. Get step-by-step instructions for making a cute pet costume for your furry best friend below.

SEE MORE: DIY Pet Costumes for Halloween

Halloween Game: Cookie Stack

Here's a game that's easy to set up and kids will love playing. All you need are sandwich cookies and a plate for each child. Have the kids compete to see who can stack the most cookies in one minute — without the cookies falling over. Time them to keep the game fair and have small prizes on hand to reward the winners.  

Party Favor: Trick-or-Treat Tote Bags

Trick-or-treating is serious business for kids. Use one of our three free printable templates to help them turn an inexpensive canvas tote bag into a cute carryall to stash their candy haul. Get complete step-by-step instructions below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Kids' Craft: Glittered Trick-or-Treat Bags

Point the Way to the Party

Give trick-or-treaters and Halloween party guests a (slight!) scare with this smaller-than-life-size headless horseman figure. Place his jack-o'-lantern head in one hand and a sign leading the way to the festivities in the other. Add a little character to your front porch with our free template and step-by-step instructions below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Make a Headless Horseman Figure for Halloween

Offer Some Healthy Snacks

Mountains of Halloween candy are great but your party guests need something a bit more substantial to munch on too. This Halloween take on chips and dip fits the bill and is actually healthy to boot!

SEE MORE: 50+ Sweet & Salty Halloween Snacks

Sap Their Sugar Buzz

Interactive games, like this Halloween version of musical chairs, keep your littlest guests entertained while helping them burn off a bit of the candy they've certainly consumed. Get more ideas for Halloween activities + games below.

SEE MORE: 31 Fun Halloween Games & Activities for All Ages

Gather the Ghouls

What would a party be without a cute invite, right? A few weeks before your monster mash, mail or hand-deliver this printable chevron invitation. Fill in the details so guests come ready for the frightful festivities. 

Plan a Plot

Whether you choose to add funny sayings or be deathly serious with traditional designs, our step-by-step instructions show you how to turn inexpensive foam sheets into realistic-looking grave markers.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make Foam Halloween Tombstones

Halloween Game: Ghost Marshmallow Toss

Get a little help from the kiddos to craft this easy party game. You need just a few inexpensive supplies and our free printable to craft a Halloween game that'll keep kids happily occupied for hours. Learn how to set up the game, plus download the point circles below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Party Game: Marshmallow Toss

Let Kids Help With the Decorations

Welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests with a litter of black cat pumpkins. These carve-free kitties are easy to craft, making them a fun project for older children or small kids with a little help from a crafty adult.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY BLACK CAT PUMPKINS

SEE MORE: 70 Halloween Kids' Crafts

Party Favor: Sweet-and-Salty Snack Mix

Pretzels and white chocolate-covered popcorn combine with M&M's for a crunchable snack your Halloween guests won't be able to get enough of. Add our free printable labels to cut-down brown paper lunch bags then fill with this addictive mix for a budget-friendly (and crowd-pleasing!) party favor.

GET THE RECIPE: Sweet and Salty Halloween Snack Mix

Halloween Game: Pin the Spider on the Web

Whether you're expecting a houseful of Halloween guests or are just looking for an activity to keep the kids entertained, this fun-to-craft game is one they can help you assemble then play on their own for hours. Learn how to make a yarn web and download printable spiders below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Pin the Spider on the Web Halloween Party Game

Cast a Spell With These Clever Place Cards

Made from a twig, raffia and a scrap of paper, these diminutive brooms add an enchanting touch to a sophisticated Halloween soiree, plus they're a fun party favor that guests can take with them.

GET THE HOW-TO: Witch's Broom Halloween Place Card Holders

Set Up a Devilishly Delish Snack Table

Keep guests refreshed with a snack station where they can help themselves. For an easy decoration, print then cut out our free bat templates and attach them to the wall above the table; place the largest bats near the bottom and smallest bats at the top for a trompe l'oeil effect.

Halloween Game: Toss the Spider on the Web

For less than $20, turn a hula hoop, masking tape and cotton balls into an interactive game that'll keep kids happily occupied throughout the party. Craft your own with our step-by-step instructions.

GET THE HOW-TO: HALLOWEEN SPIDER WEB GAME

Party Favor: Put Chocolate Under Wraps

Kids love candy bars — after all, who doesn't? For a super simple party favor, use one of our printable designs to give a classic candy bar a Halloween makeover. Just print either the orange stripe template or black stripe template onto standard copier paper, cut out the design and use double-sided tape to attach the Halloween wrapper to a chocolate bar.

Spook Up the Front Porch

Give your entryway an eerie, ghostly atmosphere with billowing, tattered draperies made from budget-friendly cheesecloth. Craft your own with our step-by-step instructions.

GET THE HOW-TO: GHOSTY DIY DRAPERIES

SEE MORE: 73 Front Porch Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Light the Way to the Party

Fill clear buckets or cylindrical glass vases with battery-operated tea lights and sand to easily craft kid-safe, fireproof luminaries to light up your Halloween celebrations. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Jack-o'-Lantern Luminaries

A Tasty Favor Kids Can Craft

Combining a creative craft project with sweet + salty treats, these pretzel skeletons are sure to make your smallest Halloween party guests smile. Set up a craft table for the kids; stock it with a few inexpensive grocery- and craft-store materials then let the kids make (then munch!) their own edible character.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Kids' Craft: Pretzel Skeletons

Take Storebought Cupcakes Up a Notch

Our free printable cupcake toppers make it a snap to give bakery cupcakes a customized, baked-just-for-you look. 

Halloween Game: Follow the Ball

This classic game with a Halloween twist is a low-cost, fuss-free way to provide tons of fun for the kiddos. Just add eyes to 3 white paper cups so they resemble ghosts. Give kids a marble or gumball and show them how to play the game with a partner by hiding the ball under one of the ghosts, moving the ghosts around, then having their partner guess which ghost has the ball.

Party Favor: Glittered Treat Bags

Give plain muslin bags a custom touch with one of our 4 free printable patterns. These little sacks are just the right size to give out as party favors, take to the kids at school or use to surprise your favorite trick-or-treaters. See the full tutorial and download templates below.

GET THE HOW-TO: Glittered Halloween Party Favor Bags

Throw a Cupcake-Decorating Party

Let them eat cake — cupcakes that is. A Halloween cupcake decorating party is the perfect not-scary theme for all ages. With a little help from an adult, kids can top prebaked cupcakes with their favorite flavor of icing and assorted Halloween-themed candies. Our free printable invites, cupcake toppers and favors put the finishing touch on this (sweet!) party.

SEE MORE: Throw a Halloween Cupcake-Decorating Party

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