Ah, Halloween – one of my favorite holidays!

With my birthday being November 4th, I think this time of year just always brings back great memories from when I was a kid. My birthday parties always, naturally, revolved around Halloween time and seeing people putting up their fall decor signaled that my birthday was near!

Growing up, my family was big on celebrating Halloween. My mom, who is a professional makeup artist, always did something cool for me and herself as far as costuming. I trick-or-treated with a gang of about 10 kids from my grandma’s neighborhood. Every year my family and I were actively engaged in Halloween festivities.

Now, as an adult, I don’t get many opportunities to celebrate this fun fall holiday the way we used to. I think folks are so looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, we miss a great opportunity to host a fun Halloween party too! 

Below I’ll list three tips and tricks to make the most of the Halloween spirit, and throw a great party to boot. Start small! Plan some fun things with your family and maybe, if you feel so inclined, expand upon these things and have a full on Halloween blow out for you and your friends!

  1. Pick a theme. There is nothing that gets my creative juices flowing more than a good themed Halloween gathering. From decor to costumes to food, it is so fun to plan a party around a central idea. Maybe  a 1920s Gatsby-esque soirée, with champagne in coupe glasses and flapper outfits is right up your alley. Something more spooky? Have a “Monster Mash” themed party and see what people show up as – Frankenstein, Dracula, Zombies – the possibilities are endless. One year, I threw an Alice in Wonderland themed party and hung random household objects from our staircase landing with fishing line to mimic falling “down the rabbit hole” The sky is the limit!
  2. Create a signature drink – going hand in hand with the idea of theme, why not throw together a special drink for guests to enjoy! You can always make non alcoholic versions for the kids 😉 I’ll include one of my favorite signature Halloween drinks below!
  3. Get in the competitive spirit – I am not one for games, generally, but think of a good, competitive activity and I’m all in! The natural choice here is a pumpkin carving contest, but you could also do spooky gingerbread houses, fall wreath making, or a themed scavenger hunt! 

Favorite Halloween Signature Drink – Black Magic Punch

(Adapted from Good Housekeeping)

Ingredients:

1 (750 ml.) bottle dark dry red wine

2 c. dark fruit juice

1/4 c. brandy

1/3 c. elderflower or raspberry liqueur

1 c. blackberries, plus more for garnish

1 c. sliced black grapes

2 sliced plums

Orange twist, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Mix red wine, fruit juice, brandy, liqueur, blackberries, grapes, and plums in a large pitcher. Chill 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Pour into glasses and garnish with blackberries and orange twist.
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