We moved to a new area about a year ago, and it’s definitely been a transition. For the kids and the adults! Over the course of the year, we’ve gotten to know some of our neighbors and they’ve all been so nice. However, it wasn’t until recently that I realized that none of them really knew each other. You wave in passing, or say hello every now and then. But most of us haven’t really had a chance to talk or for the kids to play. So, with it being the start of the holiday season, I decided to have a little Halloween Party to bring everyone together under one roof. It was a success, and we all had such a fun time! Especially the kids! Giggles, screams, and sugar comas all around. With it still being before Halloween, I wanted to share some of our décor, games, and food ideas. Hopefully it’ll bring a little Halloween inspiration to anyone who’s in need.
DECORATIONS don’t have to be expensive. Even if you’re starting with nothing, hit up your local Walmart, Party City or Target and you’ll find some amazing deals. If you’re gentle with them, you can pack everything up after the holiday, put it in a plastic bin and save it for next year. Here are some of my favorite things:
• Door Covers – Only $2 at Walmart, and they make such an impact.
• Caution Tape – I bought a roll that had 100 feet from Party City for $4, and I used it in so many different ways.
• Decals & Window Clings – I got this fun spider web at Hobby Lobby for 40% off, and the skeleton came from Walmart for $1 .
• Spider Webs – Super inexpensive and can really help create a mood. A little messy though!
• Silhouette Die Cuts – I bought these on sale at Michaels two years ago, and am still using them. If you’re feeling creative you could get a good quality paper and cut some out yourself.
• Some of the other items we used are orange lights, plastic spiders, a ripped gauzy cloth over the window, hanging lanterns, and a banner.
• Paper and Plastic Products – Plastic table cloths are crucial. We had three. One on our kitchen island, one on our dinner table, and one on our patio table. When the party is over, all you have to do is lift it up and throw it away and everything underneath is clean. Super big-time saver. I also used paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and silverware. So much easier for cleanup.
Even though I knew the kids would do a lot of running around (which they did), I wanted to have some GAMES AND ACTIVITIES for them to do as well. Here are some fun ideas we came up with:
• Ghost Dart Board (Oriental Trading $7.99)
• Black Cat Bean Bag Toss (Oriental Trading $11.98)
• Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe (Target $5.00)
• Photo Backdrop & Props (Target $5.00)
• We also did cookie decorating! I baked some plain sugar cookies and put out bowls of frosting, sprinkles and candy and let the kids loose. They got right to it! We’ll be cleaning up sprinkles and cookie crumbs for the next year. I also gave them each a paper plate with their name written on it, so we could keep track and they could find them when it was time to leave.
• We had also planned to make apple mouth snacks with apple slices, peanut butter and marshmallows. They’re so cute, and my neighbor brought the ingredients but the kids got so busy that we never really got to it.
For the FOOD I tried to keep it fairly simple, but there was still too much! This was what we had on our menu:
• Pizza – Good for kids and adults. We were able to have it delivered, and for anyone who doesn’t know you can order earlier in the day and ask for a specific delivery time.
• Chips – We got the little bags so guests had a variety to choose from.
• Popcorn – Naked Popcorn from Costco. It comes in a huge bag, which is perfect!
• Harvest Chex Mix – This was delicious. I could barely keep the kids and hubby from eating it all before the party started. We combined Turtle Chex Mix, Bugles and Candy Corn. Yum!
• Fresh Fruit Skewers – The key to this is picking fruit that everyone will eat and is pretty easy to assemble. I was trying to avoid too much cutting, since I knew I’d be in a time crunch. We went with strawberries, red grapes, green grapes, and clementine’s. I prepped everything, and my 7-year-old helped me assemble them. Some went in a bowl so they could be grabbed easily, and the others became the hair for my mummy pumpkin!
• Chocolate Chip Cookies – These I bought to accompany the adorable cookie monster pumpkin my mom made. You’re the best mom! And who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?
• Mummy Brownies – Bake brownies in a 9×13 pan. Let cool. Cut into rectangles. Drizzle white frosting back and forth until you have a nice mummy pattern, and stick on some candy eyes.
• Rice Krispie Treats – Make your treats in a 9×13 pan. Let cool. Cut into rectangles. Drizzle with frosting and sprinkle! Another option: If you have melting chocolate you can dip each treat half way and sprinkle.
• Skeleton Cupcakes – Bake your flavor of choice in themed cupcake liners. Let cool. Frost with vanilla or cream cheese frosting. Create the design of your choice with black decorating frosting. I also left some with just sprinkles.
• Drinks – We kept it simple with wine, beer, soda, and juice.
Last up, we had some “GOODY BAGS” for the kids. I found these adorable glass milk jars at Target in the $1 section. I bought one for each of the kids, and wrote their names on them with a paint marker. I filled each jar with some candy, and tied orange and black ribbon around the top. In addition, my kids made some spooky lollipops spiders for each of their friends to take. All you need are lollipops, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. Super easy!
Overall, it was a great success. The adults all had time to sit, talk and get to know each other. And the kids. There was no doubt they had fun. Do you know how I can tell? At bedtime with three kids, I didn’t hear a peep!! They were out for the count in mere minutes. We’re already talking about the next neighbor get together…