It isn’t really that hard to throw a decent Halloween party. If you dress up, your guests dress up and no one leaves early, you can pretty much call it a success. Throwing a memorable Halloween party your guests will be raving about for weeks takes a little more effort. Here are ten Halloween party theme ideas that can help take your party to the next level and ensure your guests have a great time.
Simple, classic and lots of fun, you can take a zombie theme and really run with it. The best zombie theme party I ever went to features a video projector (you can rent one at a decent price) showing classic zombie movies on a billowy white sheet. Everyone dressed as the zombie version of either a Hollywood icon that had passed away or a literary figure. I lacked creativity and went as zombie Marilyn Monroe. Snacks were all ‘brain’ themed – cauliflower, cracked walnuts with half the shell remaining and things like that.
09: The Films of Stephen King.
This one can be a lot of fun if you’re willing to spent a little time and money on decorations. Tell your guests to dress as their favorite characters from Stephen King movies and then focus on your decorations. You can either go with a general Stephen King theme using pieces from different movies or books, or you can choose one in particular. I chose to do the living room up with decorations similar to the ones shown at Carrie’s prom in the original Carrie film. The Shiningis also full of awesome imagery you can use. For snacks, serve cupcakes decorated with crowns and symbols used in various Steven King works. Serve red drinks or make a red punch and serve it in a bucket. Just make sure you have another container inside the bucket.
08: Classic Sitcoms
This is a great theme for television buffs. It doesn’t take much to do and your friends will enjoy the challenge of trying to come up with costumes that fit the theme. From Everybody Loves Lucy to The Honeymooners to All In the Family, there are tons of great classic sitcoms your guest will be able to choose from. As for decorations, just stick with simple décor with a retro sort of feel. Arrange all of your furniture as if one of the walls in your home is open. Hang pictures of video cameras on the four wall along with pictures cut out of magazines to make your ‘audience’. For snacks, serve cookies and cupcakes with the old standard Tang to drink.
I know this one sounds crazy but a chewing gum theme will give you some fun decorating and snack ideas and give you the chance to challenge your guests to really get creative with their costumes. Offer bubble gum, lollipops with a chewing gum center and pink frosted cupcakes for snacks, and decorate the party room with lots of bright pink decorations. Your party will definitelystand out among all of the other doom and gloom Halloween parties. You can also have a contest for the most creative costume with something bubblegum related (a bubblegum machine or a huge bag of gum) as a prize. If you’re willing to spend a decent amount of money, hold a ‘bubble gum sculpture’ contest as well. Your guests will love it. As for drinks, if you’re serving alcohol, choose something tangy for shots like Sour Puss.
06: Freak Show
While perhaps freak shows are no longer politically correct; having a freak show themed party can offer a whole lot of fun and entertainment for you and your guests. Ask your guests to dress up as sideshow freaks – the bearded lady, the strongman, Siamese twinsetc – while you dress up like the ringleader. Decorate your home with various oddities that you can make yourself. Serve popcorn, peanuts (as long as no one is allergic), candy apples and other carnival type foods for refreshments.
05: Video Games
The video game theme is one of the easiest themes to pull off because you don’t really have to do much in terms of decorations. The central point of this theme is the costumes and the actual video games. You don’t have to actually go out and buy a bunch of game systems or televisions. Ask friends to loan you anything you need and hold video game tournaments. Ask your friends to dress up as their favorite video game characters and serve cupcakes decorated with Super Mario symbols (mushrooms, power ups, stars, etc) or symbols from other games. Your friends will have a blast and will be talking about your party long after its over.
04: Board Games
A bit of a spin on the video game theme we just talked about, a board game theme can be a lot of fun and gives you some great options for costumes and decorations. You could go as one of the iconic game pieces from Monopoly or even Uncle Moneybags himself. You could go as a character from Clue. This theme works well with the Yahtzee couples costumeas well. As for decorating, you’re going to want to move all of your furniture out of the living room and decorate the floor with ‘game tiles’. You can make the game tiles out of fabric or poster board. They’ll get pretty beat up over the course of the evening, but your guests will enjoy the theme all the same. You can have a lot of fun with this one if you really take the theme and run with it.
03: Horror Movie
You are the director of a horror movie and your guests are potential cast members in that movie. Decorate your party room as if it’s the set of a horror movie completely with phony severed limbs, puddles of fake blood, fake blood on the walls and monster masks lying everywhere. Ask your guests to dress us as typical horror movie characters – either victims, killers, monsters or survivors. You should dress us as a sleazy movie director. Serve typical ‘set’ foods such as sandwiches, bagels, cupcakes and things of that nature. For drinks, offer soda, coffee and tea alongside a red punch that can be served in some creative way that fits in with your theme. Hold a ‘scream’ contest with the best horror movie screamer getting some sort of prize.
02: Your Funeral
It’s morbid, sure but it’s Halloween. Invite your friends to dress up like mourners and decorate your party room as if your memorial service is being held there. Blow up a nice photo of you, frame it and place plastic flowers around it. You’re going to need to build a phony casket but in all honesty it’s not that hard to do. Paint the wood a nice dark color and make sure you put hinges on the lid. You’ll need to be able to lie down inside. Place the ‘casket’ on a table that is strong enough to support your weight and climb inside to wait for your funeral to begin. Once your guests have arrived, flip back the lid and pop out all dressed up like a zombie. You can then close the casket and serve your snacks on it. Your guests will absolutely love it but you do need a partner to make this one work as they’ll need to let your guests in and let you know when it’s time to reveal your costume.
01: Showtime’s Dexter
This one goes great with the Dexter and his victim couples costume but it’s going to require spending a bit of money on materials and take a lot of time to set up. Your guests can guess up as whatever they like, but I would recommend asking them to dress up as criminals or victims. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your costume, snacks or drinks, but you are going to need to spend a decent amount of money on decorations because for this one, you’re going to be transforming your living room into Dexter’s kill room. You’ll need a whole lot of plastic sheeting, and a large table. You can use a folding table or even a dinner table. Move the furniture out of your living room and cover the walls and floor with plastic wrap. Set the table up in the middle of the room and serve your snacks on it. If you have baking skills, you can bake several small cakes to make up the form of a human body which can be laid out on the table. Guests will absolutely love the theme and your party will definitely stand out.
Next up in our Halloween series, we’ll be sharing some excellent recipes for great Halloween refreshments including snacks and punches your party guests will love. Make sure you don’t miss that one. Questions or comments about any of the themes on the list? Suggestions for themes you’ve tried and enjoyed? Leave ’em in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter.