3 Tips for a Frightfully Easy Halloween Party
‘Tis the season of ghouls and goblins roaming the night partnered with princesses and pirates in search of mirthful sweets. However, grown-ups deserve to participate in the Halloween festivities, too. Perhaps without the tricking or treating but instead through a more mature mask, as it were. It should be something frightfully easy, yet engaging and memorable.
On this night, take the opportunity to try on a different persona for a few hours and get together with frightful and fanciful friends ready for a scary good time. Wave your magic wand and pull together chilling potions, otherworldly provisions, and engrossing pursuits – emphasis on gross – that will regale your guests well into the witching hours.
Running around the party with your head cut off trying to cater to every little devil’s desire is certainly a shriek-inducing scenario. Better to create a spooky tablescape beforehand, so that you can focus on one staging area for all your food and props for the party. Build a Frankenstein’s castle-worthy series of turrets with an assortment of cake or cookie stands and platters from Weston Table, that will give your tablescape height and interest as well as plenty of perches to house all your chips, dips, skulls, and cobwebs.
Make one area of the construction a home for cookie decorating supplies, filling your cake stands with prebaked treats ready to be slathered in bowls of dark and dreadful shades of frostings topped with canisters of mini candies to raise the sugar levels to frightening proportions. In another area, blindfold guests through a mad scientist lab by plunging their hands into tiers of bowls containing spine-chilling scares such as peeled grapes for eyeballs, or cooked spaghetti and oil for entrails.
With all the surface area these cake stands and platters give you, one tablescape can serve up all your food as well as keeping the guests entertained with your gruesome little touches.
Unless you want to be banished to the dungeon, you best have a beverage assortment available to slake the thirsts of all your cosplaying companions. One way to let the masses serve themselves while completely staying on theme is to build a Bloody Mary bar. Let every ghost and gremlin craft their own cocktail by laying out all the components to this very customizable concoction.
Again, use your cake stands and platters to arrange your liquors (don’t limit yourself to just vodka – have you tried a Sake Mary?), garnishes (everything from prawns to celery to homemade pickled vegetables), horseradish and hot sauce (of varying degrees), and, of course, the necessary mixes (from good old fashioned tomato juice to V8 to a variety of brands with different riffs on the classic bloody base).
Your more spicy-leaning guests will certainly scream for more of the wonderfully punchy Scary Mary mix from Stone Hollow Farmstead. Set off a series of grizzly toasts with this all-too-appropriate beverage for a Halloween party.
Think pumpkin carving contests are just for kids? What about adding power tools and linoleum cutters to the mix to make it suitable for your hardcore adult crafter friends? An article from This Old House on The Best Pumpkin Carving Tools will unleash untold carving creativity and some definite vegital carnage.
Pro tip for keeping your place clean while boosting the fun factor: hollow out all the pumpkins for your guests the day before so they can jump right in on a clean canvas to work from and you’ll have already done away with the slippery, gooey, stringy bits. Want to make it even easier? Order a patch worth of the “Funkins” from that This Old House article and do away with the prep and the mess of really gourds altogether.
And no getting mushy after sitting out for a few days. Whichever route you choose, make sure to have a variety of fun accents that don’t require carving (for those who may have hit the Bloody Mary bar one too many times) like googly eyes, pipe cleaners, paint pens, and honestly whatever the dollar store has on hand. A little competition and creativity go a long way. Scare up an army of illuminated pumpkinheads with your guests and this fun and engaging activity.
Keeping your Halloween party frightfully easy doesn’t mean it won’t be frightfully fun as well. Pace yourself and your party prep over a few days to keep the stress levels down both before and during the event. Setting up your tablescape with your stands and platters a few days ahead will give you the opportunity to have a place for everything you’ll need for the party as well as everything in its place.
It also helps with the shopping since setting up the table ahead of time lets you know just how much food and decorations you need to fill out the tablescape. Order plenty of Scary Mary mix well in advance to beat the holiday rush for this perfectly pleasing sanguine sip.
Your gruesome guests will surely slurp it up eagerly. Then get your carving stations ready with the clever and job-specific gadgets from the carving tools article. To really make things easy on yourself, set up a tarp under the stations so cleanup will be frightfully fast. Now get geared up and let the wild rumpus begin!