It can be a bit harder throwing Halloween parties in Australia as Day Light Savings has already kicked in well before October 31 so a lot of ideas such as your hopes of a headless horseman arriving through a flaming archway in the still of night are dashed. But never fear, we’ve thrown plenty of huge memorable Halloween parties in the daylight and you can too. Here’s a few pointers.
It’s rare that Halloween is actually on a weekend (it’s a 2 in 7 chance, right?) so plan your party to be after school. The kids will be so excited to rush home and get dressed up. Even better, if your child is in Prep, this can be a great time to invite the parents too. For many, it may have been years since they’ve been to a costume party and they’ll relish the chance to get dressed up and come along to meet all the other parents. Kids loving getting dressed up with their parents and the family photos will last a lifetime.
So kick things off with a grim and grizzly invitation – you could make it in the shape of a pumpkin or a severed hand. Needless to say, the line for where tasteful ideas become distasteful moves a long way south for Halloween.
Prepare your party room by moving all the furniture either out or to the periphery of the room. These kids are going to be on the move all night. Some people think you need to black out all the windows, which makes sense if you are doing a lot of work with lighting or candle light, but if not, as mentioned above, daytime Halloween’s are a fact of life so just embrace it.
We find using stretchy spider web EVERYWHERE is a great way to spookify any party space. You’ll be amazed how far this stuff stretches and that’s when it looks its best, when it is pulled long and tight, not drooping anywhere. Clean up is not difficult either.
A Halloween dessert table makes a fantastic centrepiece for the whole Halloween party and can show off all of your clever ideas. Some of our favourites include Halloween shaped sugar cookies, Diaper Dip, Zombie Brain mousse, a creepy cupcake tower and more. Once you have these main elements arranged, then introducing some personalised Halloween favours adds some real flair.
Personalised fairy floss in greens and whites looks great, coupled with creepy chocolate freckles or chocolate bars – you can add each guest’s name to each one with tombstone messages like “Here lies John, who ignored the sage advice, “BEHIND YOU”!!” You can also create jelly bean bag favours in your chosen party colours.
Finish the dessert table off with one of or fabulous balloon garlands which takes less than an hour to setup and look fabulous. Add a Halloween party banner underneath with your child’s name on it to create a great look.
On the entertainment front, in our family we have a pretty clear cut rule about who does what. Wifey takes care of the creepy culinary delights and I take care of the activities. This is a shout at to all the men out there who think they need only be an extra pair of hands – a Halloween party is your chance to create a story that the kids are going to love. Here’s a few that we have run with over the years.
Find yourself a villain, a creature that you can tell everybody about that everybody has to get ready for because when they come, if everybody is not prepared, there’s going to be trouble. It could be The Mummy of Tutankhamun, or Count Dracula – the choice is yours. Then you can base every activity around getting ready to fight them when they arrive. This could involve creating slime to throw at the creature, or Holy Water Waterbombs whatever you like.
One year we had a home made wooden coffin that we told everybody had a vampire inside and so all the kids spent 20 minutes hammering nails into the lid to make sure it stayed shut. Unfortunately, our actual vampire got into the coffin too early and had to sit inside while the kids pounded away on the coffin.
When your villain arrives (our Mummy came out from under the stairs (wrapped in toilet paper of course) make sure you have a clear path for where the kids have to go. If we didn’t have our living room doors open, the kids would have blown a whole in the wall trying to get out. Then let the kids unleash with their slime, water bombs, etc. They’ll love it. I’ve always liked these kind of party story/game ideas because it gets everyone working together for a common goal, and everybody can help.
Finally, once all the excitement dies down, finish your Halloween party with prizes for best dressed – try to give these to the kids who have not just gone and bought a costume off the rack at the local $2 shop and reward kids for their creativity. Send them off with some personalised jelly bean favours and then collapse – mission accomplished!