How to Plan a Halloween Party

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It is also one of the most fun parties to plan between the spooky food, creepy music, and all the costumes. Follow the steps below for how to plan a halloween party.

Fortunately, you don’t need a lot to throw a fun Halloween party. The mood can quickly be transformed by low lighting and some spooky Halloween music.

31 Days of Halloween Movies

How to Plan a Halloween Party

Set budget

With any party planning, always start by setting yourself a budget. For me, it is easy to go crazy with Halloween decorations so make sure you start by setting a firm budget.

Hot Tip: While I love to look at all the Halloween decorations at Target, I personally like to shop at the local dollar store for decor and candles. You can get a lot more bang for your buck by also shopping after Halloween and stocking up for next year.

The cheapest way to throw a Halloween Party is in your own home rather than going through the effort of renting out a space. However, if you are having a large event then consider a spooky space like a barn that can be easily transformed.

Set date & time

It is important to know your crowd and determine what date and time will work best for your party. The weekend before Halloween is often a good option for a Halloween party.

You might want to have a party on Halloween night itself, but if you are inviting kids then they will likely want to go trick-or-treating. Therefore, Halloween night might work better for adult only parties if it falls during the week.

Trick-or-treating usually starts between 5-6pm. So, if you plan to include trick-or-treating, consider an earlier start time for your Halloween party.


If you want to take your party up a notch, choose a theme for your party. Having a theme helps dictate which decor, food, and costumes you to have at your party.

Good themes include things like zombies, monsters, worst fears, or a mad scientist lab. You could also base your Halloween party theme off of popular horror shows and movies like Stranger Things or The Last of Us.


Decorations are what help your Halloween party have character and it doesn’t take a lot to make a big impression. I recommend stocking up on Halloween decorations in the off season or scouring your local dollar store for discounted Halloween supplies.

Start by setting the mood with lighting, whether that be black lights, candles, or orange string lights. You can also add a creepy vibe by investing in a fog machine.

My family also loves to make DIY Halloween decorations! We have made mini ghosts out of white trash bags and a swarm of bats using black construction paper. You can also make large spider webs by folding up black trash bags and cutting them, similar to how you would make paper snowflakes.


No Halloween party is complete without costumes! If you have chosen a theme, then advise your guests to dress up accordingly.

If you are looking for relatively affordable costume options, then I recommend looking at options on Amazon or from your local Party City. Walmart and Costco also offer a wide variety for younger children.

Creepy Foods

The best part of any party is the food. I find that finger foods and appetizers work best for Halloween parties so guests can choose to graze throughout the night.

Be sure to serve up some spooky themed snacks. Keep things creepy by adding spiders and other insects to your table settings.

Explore More: Check out my post for easy Halloween snacks that will be a hit at any Halloween Party!

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Sticking with the spooky foods theme, make some Halloween punch or fall-themed cocktails. A “poison” appletini might be a good fall choice for those with a sophisticated palate.

If you’re looking for something even creepier, serve some Jello shots in syringes made to look like blood.


Music can really set the tone for your party. You can create a soundtrack of creepy ambiance music or enjoy some of the classics like “Monster Mash”.

Enjoy my personal Halloween playlist below for some inspiration!


Halloween games and activities can be a great way to make a party more engaging, especially if your crowd has a lot of children in it.

One of my favorite spooky activities is blindly sticking your hand in jars to feel certain “body parts”. For example, grapes with the skin removed feel like eyeballs or cold spaghetti feels like guts. Dried apricots can feel like ears, while celery can seem like bones.

If you are looking for a calmer activity, then consider Halloween cookie decorating. You can make a lot of sugar cookies and then put different frostings and toppings out on the table for everyone.


You don’t necessarily need favors for a Halloween party, but it is something to consider. Favors can be great parting gifts if you are having a kid Halloween party.

Small bags of Halloween candy are the obvious choice that are pretty easy to assemble. My kids are also big fans of the plastic vampire teeth.

Share your own Halloween party tips! Tell me below about the best Halloween party you have ever been to and what made it so great.

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