This is a guest post from Jessica Oakes.
Halloween is nearly upon us, and that means that it’s time to start planning your Halloween party. Fret not if you’re a bachelor, college student or white collar worker who routinely spends 60 hours of each week in the office, and is unaccustomed to such things. Planning a Halloween party doesn’t have to be hard. Quite the opposite in fact, it can be quite easy.
Now, if you’ve already decided that you’re not going to host your own party – that it would be easier to simply attend someone else’s shindig – rethink that right now. Perhaps more than any other holiday year-long, Halloween brings out the fun in people, and an invite to a Halloween party is all but guaranteed to be accepted. And if you’re throwing the party, you get to send out the invites. Don’t just sit around and watch ESPN and Game of Thrones – get out there and be social! Here’s how!
It should go without saying that if you’re throwing a party, you’re going to need some food. Now, Halloween food ideas run the gamut, so the first thing that you’ll need to do is decide what kind of party you’re throwing. Are you planning on impressing a date or making a solid first impression on that person you’ve been eyeing? If so, consider going upscale; think outside the box and go with lox instead of goldfish crackers. On the other hand, if you want a more casual and accessible vibe, you can’t go wrong with cheese dip, BBQ wings and brats. Either way, make sure there’s food! Here are some awesome Halloween food ideas that are creative, delicious and (most importantly) easy to make.
Don’t have your guests aimlessly shuffling their feet and wandering around your apartment or backyard with nothing to do. The key to a good party is keeping everyone occupied and engaged. And this means having entertainment on hand (entertainment that will be enjoyed equally by both sexes, mind you). Want a game that will help break the ice? Make flash cards with famous movie or television characters on them, and tape them to guests’ backs as they walk through the front door. Throughout the night, guests can ask each other clues about their identity, a la “20 Questions.” Just hope that it goes better than it did in Inglorious Basterds (hey, there’s a costume idea).
Unless you’re Penn (or Teller) from comedy and magic duo Penn & Teller, you’ll probably want to avoid overdoing it on the decorations. Yes, it’s important to put some effort into it, but you don’t want to come across as that guy who just spent a month’s salary on decorating your home for a simple party. With that being said, don’t underdo it either. Don’t give off the impression that you’re only hosting a halloween party as an excuse to drink, hang out with your friends, and flirt with any single guests that you might come across. Spiderwebs, smoke machines and black lights are all easily had, and can dramatically transform a room without it becoming the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
Just as it’s important to consider the Halloween decorations, it’s also important to put some thought into your costume. In fact, what you choose for your costume may leave the biggest impression on your guests. No pressure, right? Thankfully, you don’t have to do all of the work; there are some fairly well vetted approaches to Halloween costuming, all of which you can safely assume will work to varying degrees of success. There’s the funny costume, the topical costume, the pop culture costume, the obscure costume (for the inevitable “What are you?” conversation), the scary costume, and the ironic, I-barely-had-time-to-put-this-together (but actually put a lot of thought into it) costume. The choice is yours – just don’t do it half-way!