Halloween is not just for kids!
Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays (just after Chanukah – presents – duh!). It’s been that way since I’ve been old enough to go Trick or Treating. Oddly, even though I’m not a sweets person per se, I can’t get enough of the miniature candy that shows up this time of year. Almost any type of candy, I’ll even eat black licorice. Incidentally, if it’s licorice, I always prefer Red Vines, in case anyone is curious.
I went Trick or Treating all the way through my High School years. There’s nothing like a pillow case with holes cut into it (you gotta be able to see!) for a quick costume solution. I can’t say that I’ve been Trick or Treating since those High School days but I do love a good Halloween party and it’s that time of year again! There’s a couple of rules that need to be followed if you’re going to plan one too.
The very first thing you have to decide is what kind of party are you having. Every other rule follows from this one decision. Is it a party for friends with children and everyone is going out to Trick or Treat together afterwards or is it just for the adults? Just know that if you want to have an adult party on Halloween and the friends you are inviting have children that will be going out Trick or Treating – they probably won’t be coming because they have to take their kids out!
So here are my rules for a successful Halloween party with the kids:
- It has to start early enough for everyone to get to your house, eat something and still get out into the neighborhood before it gets dark. Little ones get scared and they have bed times! Or at least at my house they did.
- Always make the food easy. You could do potluck but, if you’re like me at all and a bit of a control freak then – NOT!
- Do bulk food – you know the kind that basically is easy to serve like a big pot of Chili on the stove with all of the fixings on the counter for everyone to help themselves, or a big platter of deli sandwiches and salads. Something quick and easy to eat. Definitely nothing that requires plating and sitting around a big table. The whole point is to get SOMETHING into the kids’ tummies before they are faced with all of that inviting candy.
- Use paper plates, cups, etc. You want to have fun too. No cleanup is seriously the only way to go here.
And here are my rules for a successful Halloween party for adults:
- The best day to have an adult Halloween party is the Saturday BEFORE Halloween – for a couple of reasons. For one thing, nobody is excited for Halloween AFTER Halloween – only before! You can set up on Friday, party on Saturday, break down and recover on Sunday. Even if the adults that are invited have children they won’t need to take them Trick or Treating on the Saturday BEFORE Halloween.
- There are so many places to find ideas for really cool food for Halloween. Look to Pinterest first. You will find a lot of fun and easy recipes for finger food in particular. One of the funniest I saw was a take on Pigs in a Blanket – still using hotdogs and crescent rolls but in a very clever way.
- Be VERY CAREFUL if you’re planning on using dry ice for anything (it’s the usual way to get “smoke” on a drink). Dry ice – which is much colder at -109.3 F than regular ice – can cause serious burns due to frostbite if you don’t handle it properly with insulated gloves. I’m not using any dry ice in any drinks I make.
- Find fun things to put in your drinks – I went to Amazon and found “eyeball” ice cubes. They’re shaped and look like bloodshot eyes that you can freeze and then use as “ice” in your drinks.
- To Theme or Not To Theme – That is the question! Themes and costumes are fun but just know that you may get a few people that won’t come because they don’t want to “dress up” (sad but true) and even some who will come but show up in street clothes for the same reason. NOT FUN!! There are so many themes – some of my favorites are: Your favorite ghost – TV or otherwise, dead celebrities, a character that starts with the first letter of your first name, movie monsters, etc.
So the question is, what are you doing for Halloween and will it be as fun as you want it to be?