I’ve long envied towns that celebrate Halloween on a weekend. It makes so much sense. Parents have jobs, kids need adults to transform them into witches and vampires (or more likely, PAW Patrol characters, Minions, and maybe human fidget spinners), and parents want to hold the hands of their little monsters as they trick-or-treat.
So, you’re thinking about throwing a Halloween party, but you’re a little nervous about Halloween being only a few weeks away? Don’t worry so much! Sure, big, extravagant Halloween parties are awesome and fun, but you can totally throw a great bash with just a few easy Halloween party ideas.
Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I love being able to throw creeptastic parties as an adult. I used to love going to monster mashes as a kid, and I’ve always had a vision for what a Halloween party should be like. But I also have to face facts — I’m not Martha Stewart, nor am I a very accomplished cook. So, the things I’d like to cook, bake, and make for a future Halloween bash need to be simple and easy. The point of having a party is to enjoy it, after all, and not worry about if your snacks and libations are complicated enough. Your guests are going to have a good time no matter what — they’re there for you, and to celebrate the most haunted night of the year.
Here are a few easy ideas to get your Halloween party planning started. I’ve even given you a few DIY costume ideas you can do at the last minute after all the food and drinks have been taken care of.
Obviously, you have to feed your guests with something besides bite-sized candy bars. But if your Halloween party is a bit last minute, you don’t want to have to prepare anything too extravagant either. Halloween is a great holiday for easy, simple recipes — whether they’re creepy, crunchy, or both. Here are a few sweet and savory options to keep all the hangry monsters at bay.
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies
Even if you’re not a fan of the creepy crawlies in real life, these delicious spider cookies are perfect for your Halloween bash — and so easy to make! A Spicy Perspective has the recipe.
2. Pumpkin Spice Pot de Creme
All that pumpkin goodness left over from pumpkin carving isn’t going to eat itself, you know. Plus, this pot de creme recipe from A Cozy Kitchen is a cute, adult treat among the mounds of candy.
3. Five-Minute Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix
What’s easier than five minutes prep time? Chex mix is always a good party food, especially since your guests will be eating this delicious take from Averie Cooks by the handful.
4. Easy Witch’s Finger Breadsticks
It’s always a good idea to have some bread around to soak up all those amazing Halloween cocktails you’ll be serving. These are just the right amount of cool and creepy — Cookie Monster Cooking has the recipe.
5. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting
Fall is pumpkin spice time, and while these cupcakes aren’t specifically for Halloween — they’re still scary good (see what I did there?). The recipe from A Better Happier St. Sebastian also calls for bourbon if you’re still on the fence.
6. Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops
If you feel like your pumpkin spice cupcakes are a little naked, top them with these cute Frankenstein marshmallow pops! A Pastry Affair lets you know how to bring these cuties to life.
Aside from food, drinks are probably your other priority when it comes to planning a Halloween party. You can plan out some really specialized Halloween cocktails for your guests to sip on, but really anything with a bit of bourbon and/or pumpkin will do the trick.
7. Maple Hot Toddies
If you’re lucky to live in a place where it will actually be cold on Halloween (it will probably still be 100 degrees in Southern California, where I live), then a hot toddie is the perfect party cocktail. The x-ray glasses Adventures in Cooking used add an extra bit of Halloween creepiness, too.
8. Basque Cider and Rye Cocktail
And if you’ll be suffering in the heat like I probably will, you can opt for a drink best served cold. This unique take on apple cider from A Better Happier St. Sebastian is way better than bobbing for apples.
9. Pomegranate Tarragon Caipiroska
Not only is October the start of pomegranate season, but this juicy cocktail also has a lovely goth look to it. A Cozy Kitchen has the recipe.
10. Ginger Pumpkin Bourbon Fizz with Cinnamon Sugar
No Halloween party would be complete without a pumpkin libation! This cocktail from Climbing Grier Mountain combines the fall flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon for a delicious, sweet drink. Add a little Halloween touch to your servings with a skull ice tray.
11. Halloween Printables
When throwing a last-minute Halloween party, printables are your friend. No waiting for things to come in the mail — just print and display! Take a page from Girl Loves Glam’s book, and frame these witchy printables for instant Halloween decor.
12. DIY Doughnut Pumpkins
Don’t have a lot of time and not big on pumpkin carving? I feel you. Luckily, StudioDIY has a cute tutorial for turning your pumpkins into delicious looking doughnuts.
13. DIY Halloween Candy Boxes
Aren’t these adorable? They are perfect for serving candy, or as party favors. Another idea: have your guests create their own — Vitamini Handmade shows you how!
14. DIY Spooky Halloween Glasses
No need to buy all new glassware for your Halloween party. Now That’s Pretty has a brilliant DIY that involves the glasses you already have and a bit of vinyl (you could also use black duck tape) to turn your glasses into Halloween drink perfection.
15. Halloween Skulls
Personally, I feel like glittery and gold skulls are acceptable decor all year around, but that’s just me. In this case, A Beautiful Mess shows you how you can have some awesome decorations for your party in no time as long as you have some glitter, spray paint, and a steady hand.
16. Halloween Witch Banner
Again, printables are your friend! I like the vintage look of this banner and the witch accents. You can buy it on Etsy!
17. DIY Brushstroke Pumpkin
Another totally easy and chic way to turn your plain pumpkins into center and accent pieces for your Halloween party. A Merry Thought has the tutorial for you.
18. Creepy Cloth
If you’re not a fan of covering things in fake spider webs (I’ve had the same blob for like five years, and it can get old), use creepy cloth. It looks a lot like spider web, but it’s a little gothier, and a little easier to hang out and decorate with.
So, you got the food, drinks, and decor covered, but you still don’t have a costume? It happens to the best of us. You can brave the party store for a commercial costume, but there are lots of easy, DIY costumes you can pull off the night before Halloween.
19. DIY Lisa Frank Costumes
This is actually a three-for-one. StudioDIY put together easy DIY instructions for making throwback Lisa Frank-themed costumes that are both cute and comfortable.
20. No-Sew Spiderweb Cape
This no-sew cape from Delia Creates is perfect for a few different costumes — spider, witch, Silk from the Spider-Man comics — and could easily be used again next year.