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A Festive Halloween

The one night of the year where you can dress up and get a little wild! Leave your inhibitions aside this Halloween and prepare a fabulous party for all your friends.

1. Invitations. Halloween party invites should really set the tone for the whole event. Remember that a little bit of effort goes a long way, use gothic font, cardstock and a wax seal for something really unique.

2. Theme night. Let your inner child take control when deciding on a theme for your party. Haunted house? Wizard’s castle? Vampires in coffins? It’s all up to you, but costumes are definitely a must. 

3. Get out the carving knife. Carving pumpkins is always a fun idea, although it can be a bit tricky with younger guests. For a more mature guest list, this can easily become a friendly competition and a welcome ice breaker.

4. Decorate. From your front door to your kitchen, Halloween should reign supreme. Think orange and black, cotton wool cobwebs, dim lighting and loads of creepy things in jars.

5. Time for games. A few fun games are bound to get people in the party spirit. Be warned, scheduling every minute of the party might be a bit overwhelming for you and your guests.

6. Set the table. Before ladening your table with all your delicious dishes, cover it with a tatty white lace tablecloth and tons of silver or gold hued chalices and candlesticks. A couple of fake spiders and mice will finish off the look perfectly.

7. Serve finger foods. Halloween parties are really not the time for a sit down dinner, unless of course you’re looking for a more intimate gathering. Finger foods like veggies and dips, deviled eggs, and tiny sandwiches will hit the right spot for a larger crowd.

8. Get creative. Take the time to create elaborate names for what you serve. It just sounds better if your guests can say they’re drinking “Nuclear Waste” and not just plain old orange juice.

9. Put on a soundtrack. There’s nothing worse than an audible silence during a party. Play classics like “Monster Mash” to get your guests in the mood for fun.

A CHILDREN’S PARTY

10. Set a date and time. The party doesn’t have to be held in the evening or even on the last day of October. Choose a date and a time that works for you and your young guests.

11. Pick a number. An easy way to decide how many people to invite is to consider the age of your child. Running after seven seven year olds or five five-year olds, is far less daunting than chasing fifteen toddlers.

12. Be specific. Remember to tell your guests and their parents how long the party will last, where it will be held and what time kids should be picked up.

13. Keep it kid friendly. It’s definitely not the time to break out your wedding china or your grandmother’s silver. Disposable plates, cups and utensils in Halloween themes, colours or patterns are your best bet.

14. Crafts and games. Plan something for your young visitors to do — make Halloween decorations, go on a scavenger hunt or bob for apples in a big black cauldron.

15. Put on a movie. Older kids will appreciate a good scary movie. Set the mood with dim lighting and treats but make sure you don’t pick anything too terrifying.

16. Add fruits and veggies. Offer more than just sugared doughnuts at your party. Try fruit and cheese skewers with rubber spiders at the end to get the kids interested.

17. Make it a competition. Get into the party spirit by asking your guests to dress up and hold a costume parade. Prizes can be given to all participants with something extra special for the one with the best costume of the night.

18. Limit the damage. Close doors to rooms and spaces that you want to keep off limits. Putting up “BEWARE” signs or caution tape will still allow you to maintain your theme.

19. Goody bags. Send your guests home with glowing goody bags full of little treats. Think small pieces of candy and gag gifts.

20. Stay Calm. You might be faced with several children on a sugar high, but remember to keep in mind the whole point of it all — to have a good time.

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