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  • Writer's picturedeborahreinhardt

10 tips for a Spooktacular Halloween Party

These simple decorating and menu ideas will help make your celebration, no matter how large or small, frightfully fun.

Halloween party with woman in witches hat and four kids in costumes. photo

Recently I was surprised to hear my daughter (now in her mid-20s) say the Halloween party I held for her and the neighborhood kids remains an important memory. I had food and games waiting as the costumed kiddos filed into my house. As I remember it, that may have been the first Halloween in our (then) new house, so like any mom, I wanted to win over the street for my daughter to help her make new friends. I sort of winged it, which is not a recommended strategy. I picked ground-in sticky cold spaghetti (“monkey brains”) out of my carpeting for weeks.

A great Halloween party starts with a plan. According to, make lists for your menu, decorations, and guests to have almost everything done in advance so the party runs smoothly. Here are 10 of my favorite tips to make your Halloween blast absolutely boo-tiful.


If you’ve got the budget to shop for wicked Halloween décor, go for it. Most of us, however, will go the DIY method. Remember that lighting plays a role in the party’s décor, eLivingToday experts say. Candles, lanterns and dimmed lights provide a great backdrop to the rest of your decorations.

Guests will see the front of your house first, so pop in purple and orange bulbs in your outdoor sconces. Set out a few carved pumpkins or luminaries simply made with paper lunch bags, sand (I’ve even used clean cat litter in the past) and these LED tea lights from The Dollar Tree.

Trick out your buffet table by filling clear vases with candy corn. Nestle a pillar candle in the middle and voila, instant panache. Line tiny pumpkins from the grocery store down the middle of your table to finish the look.

Here’s another idea using candles: Hot glue first-aid gauze (you know there’s some under your bathroom sink) around clean glass canning jars. Buy google eyes and glue them on front of jar and you’ve made an adorable mummy votive. Place one of these in your guest bathroom and for another creepy trick, drop a plastic bug into the bottle of green hand soap.

Make ghost with helium-filled white latex balloons (Michaels stores should be able to hook you up). Draw a simple face (a la ‘The Scream’) and tape white crepe paper at the bottom around the knot.

The menu

Simplicity is the name of the game. Have a pot of finished chili warming in your slow cooker when guests arrive. My White Chicken Chili would be perfect for this.

The rest of the buffet can be apps, sweets and drinks. Pull Apart Piggies are a fun appetizer and something you can make ahead and have ready when guests arrive. Dress them up for Halloween with a few of these creepy plastic finger favors poking out of the pan.

I made Jack’s Bean Dip last year as part of Three Women in the Kitchen’s Frightfully Fun Fridays Facebook series. Assemble the dip and have ready to bake when your guests start to arrive. Print out the recipe card below and set it next to the dip and chips; guests can snap a photo with their phone if they want to take along the recipe.

And remember, your guests will likely want to contribute by bringing a snack or drinks. Take them up on their offer! You don’t have to do it all, plus this can yield new recipes or ideas you didn’t have in your arsenal of culinary tricks.

lime sherbet punch in two skeleton hand goblets for Halloween party

Here’s a fun drink that works for adults and kiddos. To make Chilled Witches Brew, just add one large scoop of lime sherbet to a champagne flute, 1 ounce lemon vodka, and top with lemon-lime soda. (Obviously, leave out the booze for the little gremlins.)

Whether you'll be entertaining friends or simply want a festive night at home with your family handing out candy, conjure up a few of these tips and make memories this Halloween.

About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

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