Top tips for throwing a grown up Halloween party

My friend Claire absolutely loves Halloween and most years she plans some kind of Halloween party with costumes, props and themed food -her events are most definitely not for kids.

Zombie bride and groom costumes  for Halloween

She's very good at organising some spooky fun for all of our children and we often take them trick or treating together during the earlier part of the evening. Once they are satisfied and have their sweets she moves on to partying with her friends. I'm actually not a big fan of Halloween but mention the magic word cocktails and you can count me in for pretty much anything.

We usually mix the traditionals - I'm very partial to a WooWoo (recipe here) but check out these American Horror Story themed cocktails! I fancy the Hypodermic Sally served with raspberry syrup in a plastic syringe!

halloween cocktail ideas

I am lazy and almost always just wear black and stick on a pointy hat but Claire has worn some amazing costumes over the years including a zombie wedding dress. I love this picture of the two of us dressed up, taken a couple of years ago when she hired the village hall for a Halloween/birthday disco.

madmumof7 and friend in Halloween costumes

She spends ages sorting out spooky food and I particularly enjoyed the year she bought plastic test tubes and filled them with varying cocktail mixes!  There are usually creepy sound effects playing until she moves onto playing some music. She does love to dance - she famously performed an extended solo display to Michael Jackson's Thriller at a friend's wedding. We still laugh about that one!

 For this year's event she is planning a house party and I am sure she will be scouring the shops for new props. I love this prop she put in the bar area once - barmaid dead, get your own drinks!

Halloween party  ideas

She has lots of imagination (and spends hours on Pinterest) but if you fancy some quick and easy tips for Halloween you can pick up some great ideas from the Festive Lights website where they cover decor, costume, drinks and adult-only Hallowe'en games. Now now, mind out of the gutter! Think apple bobbing with the apples floating in cider and a horror movie drinking game where you take a shot every time someone screams or dies.

Halloween games for adults

Claire, if you are reading this- let's not play the horror movie game. I'm terrified of anything spookier than Ghostbusters! For those of you who are not complete wimps, there are lots of "top horror film" charts including this one to help you choose your Halloween viewing.

Of course there have to be costumes and I love some of these ideas below. My son goes everywhere as Pikachu but I am not sure I will squeeze into his onesie. My hair is too short to be Harley Quinn but perfect with a touch of green to be the Joker I think. I love that Donald Trump is a suggestion. To be fair he terrifies me more than any horror movie!

Halloween costume ideas

Decorating your home or party venue is actually easy nowadays when every shop in the High Street seems to be fully loaded with ghosts, ghouls, skeletons and skulls. But these cheap and original ideas might save a few pounds and give you the edge in originality. I particularity like the idea of the bat lamps - I think that would look really effective! Add in a few good props and your home will look spooktacular. (sorry -wouldn't be a Halloween post without bad puns.)

Halloween decor ideas

You can find lots of food ideas all over the internet, even on supermarket websites at the moment. Of course you have to serve something pumpkin based to use up the inners of the pumpkins you have carved into lanterns. If you are sick of soup and pies try this pumpkin cake recipe.

Whatever you do for Halloween remember to make it safe and fun for everyone. Sort out a taxi in advance if you plan to drink and if you are taking children trick or treating (or are letting older one's go out alone) remind them to only visit people they know or who are displaying Halloween decorations. Some people might be scared by strangers knocking and some people don't approve of the festival or don't want to be bothered. Respect their opinion and move on to someone who is happy to hand out sweets.

Make sure the "trick" is harmless and not messy. And check over their sweets before you let them eat them. I'd advise throwing any unwrapped sweets. We always have a big swap session so everyone has treats they will enjoy. I *may* occasionally help eat some of them. To save their teeth of course!

By the way, if you can't read the Halloween idea posters easily on this page you can view the originals here where you can also download a PDF version.

Halloween mummy candle jars

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.

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