Halloween parties can be tricky. Either the party is focused on kids and the adults get bored, or it’s focused on adults and the kids stay home with a babysitter and get hyped up on sugar. Both are okay, but neither are ideal. Why not host a party that appeals to both and gives families the opportunity to celebrate and laugh together?
Unlike Hollywood might lead us to believe, parents rarely don a costume to take their kids trick-or-treating. As a result, adults miss out on some of the fun and kids think adulthood will be boring. As the host of the party, encourage everybody to wear a costume by having a family costume contest. Families can choose to come as a costumed group, like the Scooby Gang, or in an overall theme, like the 50s. (Note: just for kicks, you might set up a photo booth so families can get a picture of their Halloween togetherness to remember for years to come.)
Since everybody’s already dressed up, you might as well make the most of the silly atmosphere by including a Halloween karaoke contest (scary-oke) as well. To ensure a wide variety of song titles, as well as a personality to encourage participation, bring in a San Antonio wedding DJ and let them know you’ll want a karaoke set-up. Families will work together to sing a song and perform together. (If it gets tough to convince them to sing, the DJ can always allow for lip-syncing.) The trick to “judging” this contest is to judge for things other than singing ability: creativity, scariest song, fits the costumes the best, etc.
As the final event (although the order doesn’t really matter) in the Halloween triathlon, families work together to carve the most unique jack-o-lantern. In case you have overly competitive adults in attendance, it might be good to set up a few rules.
- All family members must participate in the design.
- Only adults are allowed to use sharp objects.
- Families may only use the supplies available on the carving table. (The supplies can be up to your discretion. This rule just keeps people from rummaging through your house looking for just the right gory addition.)
To reward families for participating and being good sports (and to motivate kids of a certain age who think they are “too old” for such celebrations), provide prizes. Prizes could range from a golden pumpkin to a Halloween movie basket (Hocus Pocus is a family favorite) or a gift certificate to something everyone in the family would enjoy.
Ask everyone to bring a creepy side dish. Most people are more than willing to bring something to a party if they are asked. You can provide kid-friendly food like spaghetti and eyeballs (meatballs with stuffed olives attached to look like an eye) or cheeseburgers on which the cheese has been cut to look like jack-o-lanterns before being melted on the patty. Hint: if you don’t want a lot of sweets as side dishes, you should probably mention that on the invitation.
Tiffany Marshall is a freelance writer and former event planner of sorts. She writes about everything from wedding flowers to disc jockey service, San Antonio to solar panels.