Tips for finding a perfect theme for your Hallowe'en parties.
Halloween is approaching, and many people will be holding costume parties for family and friends. The National Retail Federations estimates that people in the United States will spend approximately $6.86 billion on Halloween-themed merchandise this year.. With the growing popularity of this holiday, it may seem difficult to come up with unique ideas for Hallowe'en parties. Here's a few suggestions to help you and your guests have a ghoulishly good time this year.
Find Your Theme
If you're looking to throw a party that's different from the usual 'come as you are' type, where your guests wear a random assortment of different costumes, consider setting a theme for your party. If you have a favourite horror monster, throw a bloodsucker-based bash. Vampires are trendy now, thanks to the popularity of the Twilight books, the True Blood television show, and the Underworld movie series, so your guests are sure to find plenty of inspiration for costumes.
Think about what types of 'blood' like refreshments you can prepare. A basic non-alcoholic punch of ginger ale (or club soda) and red fruit juice will satisfy the younger set, while adults can tipple from a selection of red wines. Need a snack for your hungry vamps? How about barbecue chicken wings, meatballs or cocktail wieners with red dipping sauces? For dessert, strawberry or cherry flavored recipes are fitting choices, from simple cups of gelatin to red fruit cheesecakes.
You don't have to stick to the familiar Halloween monsters for your theme. People looking for a challenge can select a less familiar monster, such as the Mummy, to base their parties around. In that case, you could send out invitations with hieroglyphics and serve a selection of Egyptian-themed dishes. If werewolves are more your style, a barbecue party with steaks, chops, and ribs could be a perfect fit for the carnivores on your invite list.
Of course, your guests aren't limited to just the monsters. Every Dracula has his Van Helsing. Every werewolf can be brought down by a silver bullet, and every zombie outbreak has its group of survivors.
Halloween may be about frights and scary sights, but it doesn't have to be. If you're not into goblins, ghosts, and ghouls, you can base your party around a completely different theme. If you're into history, pick your favorite era and use it as the foundation for your brainstorm sessions. Fantasy fans can even use Halloween as the perfect night for lords and ladies, elves and dwarves, and knights and mages to rub shoulders.
From Page to Screen
Halloween parties give horror bookworms and movie buffs the perfect opportunity to turn their favorite entertainment options into a great party idea. If you're a fan of all things that go bump in the night, think about your favorite scary books or movies. If you're a fan of 'slasher' movies, invite Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Leatherface, and Freddy Krueger to the festivities, and encourage your guests to come dressed as victims if they prefer.
Books are also great sources for party ideas. If Stephen King's works are your favorites, serve a red 'pig's blood' punch (Carrie) and corn-based foods (Children of The Corn). Think about the settings for his novels, and see if there are ways you can incorporate those elements into your theme.
Even classic literature can be a perfect springboard for your creativity. If you're a fan of Edgar Allen Poe, why not bring elements from his most famous poems and stories. Decorate your home with ravens, false bricked-in walls, black cats or whatever else strikes your fancy. Lovecraft buffs can bring a little Cthulu to their parties, from cardboard 'Necromonicons,' to green squid-gods decor.
No matter what type of theme you select, make sure to plan your party beforehand. Set a budget that includes all your possible expenses, list how many guests you want to invite, decide on your refreshments and decor, and set the location for your bash. If you're serving alcohol, consider what kind of transportation you'll arrange for your guests. In short, jot down your ideas on paper (or a computer document) before you start shopping. With some planning, your guests will have a great time, and you will, too.
(Image via morguefile)