Halloween is a favorite celebration among all ages, from kids to grandparents. Spooky fun can be easy to create with just a little planning ahead. The tradition started as the eve before All Saints Day, where children dressed up as their favorite saint and visited their neighbors. Each neighbor had a treat for the children when they came to visit. Today, kids still enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters to visit the neighbors for treats, and parties are gaining popularity with friends and families.
Making Your Event Special
Scream for These Decorations
Everyone has an idea of how scary or lighthearted the fun should be on Halloween. Add your own flair to the fun, and take it inside or out.
Place outdoor decorations indoors including the jack-o-lanterns and corn stalks. Or, keep the fun outside by clustering the decorations around a few picnic tables.
Corn stalks and bales of hay can set the scene quickly while providing extra seating.
Create tombstones for the front yard featuring guests' names with funny epitaphs.
Scatter real or plastic fall leaves, gourds and small pumpkins on tables.
Hang some simple white gauze, old sheets or curtains from trees.
Add dry ice to shallow water in a plastic black cauldron.
Music always sets the mood with creepy moans and spooky tunes available on CDs.
Ghostly Games & Activities
Plan ahead and have several pumpkins cleaned, with pre-carved mouth and eyes. Guests can select a prepared nose, ears or hat made with construction paper, and secure additions in place with toothpicks.
Place electric or flameless candles in jack-o-lanterns for extra party lighting.
Create masks when guests first arrive to put everyone in the Halloween mood. Supply construction paper, ribbon, markers, etc.
Turn an old favorite into a Halloween scream by pinning the tail on the black cat, or neck bolts on the Frankenstein, the bandage on the mummy, or the fangs on Dracula.
Have your guests guess the body parts. Put items in a sealed shoebox with a small opening at the top. Use peeled grapes for the eyeballs, any shortly-cut pasta (cooked, drained and cooled) for the brains, and celery sticks for skeleton bones.
"Ghosts around the Campfire" is as easy as musical chairs with the right music.
Invite guests to come as their favorite animals, as clowns or as storybook characters.
Select a few simple games, read spooky stories, ask the children to tell jokes or perform magic tricks for entertainment.
Make Witch's Brew by adding orange sherbet to a carbonated clear soda. Make eyeball ice cubes by inserting a blueberry into each ice cube tray section prior to freezing.
No party is complete without lots of delicious treats, and for the time-crunched mom, Eagle Brand® recipes help take the hassle out of baking. Just pick up a can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk and you can impress the best of them.
Make an edible ghostly graveyard by combining whipped topping with your favorite flavor of pudding prepared with Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, and layer in a 9 x 13" pan. Crush a bag of chocolate sandwich cookies in a blender or food processor and layer on top of pudding. Top with your favorite miniature toppings (gummy worms, candy pumpkins, etc.). Break vanilla wafers in half to use as tombstones with names written across the top.
The jack-o-lantern is a great take-home gift.
Make small goody bags by placing treats on a small paper plate placed in the center of a large, opened white napkin. Gather the corners and secure with orange and black ribbon.
Make small Halloween tin-punch lanterns ahead of time. Fill cleaned tin cans (any size) with water and let freeze. When frozen, using a nail and hammer, punch small holes into the side of the can creating different images: pumpkin, witch, bat, cat, skeleton, etc. Make two slightly larger holes on top left and right, and secure a wire handle (from coat hanger or electric wire). Let the ice melt, dry and paint as desired. Place a small flameless or electric candle in each and hang from tree branches or use to decorate the table. But remember to ask each guest to take one home!
Make traditional caramel apples ahead of time, rolling the bottom half of apple in crushed peanuts or nuts. Let cool on waxed paper until dry, place in paper cupcake liners, and wrap in fanciful cellophane secured with colorful ribbons.