Times have changed, and the fun of trick or treating has waned with concerns about safety and worries about the types of costumes most prefer these days. While trick or treating can be a lot of fun, it is not always possible, whether your concerns for your child’s safety are at the root of your reluctance, or you simply do not live in an area where trick or treating is viable, parties can take the place of this activity.
Halloween parties have been going on for a long time, popular particularly in rural area where trick or treating is not possible, barn parties or haunted houses were filled with fun, friends, foods, and treats. If you are tired with how macabre Halloween has become, then a silly, fun, old fashioned Halloween party may be just what your community needs.
Planning an Old Fashioned Halloween Party
Finding a Place to Have the Party
Your first task is deciding where to have the party, while you can always opt to have the party in your home, there may be other places that could make the party a lot more fun. Enlist the help of neighbors or the parents of your child’s friends. Look for someone that has a barn, garage or basement that can be converted into a great party space, and leaves a place for a haunted house and plenty of games.
It can be fun to have an outdoor party as well if the climate allows for it. If you know someone who has a farm this can be the perfect place to set up your party.
Once you know where your party will be it is time to think about decorations. Bales of straw and pumpkins are easy to obtain and can make great decorations. You can even have a pumpkin carving contest during your party to bring your pumpkins to life. Add some black and orange crepe paper and a few paper lanterns with LED tea lights and you have the makings of a great party.
If you are having your party outside, then clear a space for a campfire. Getting the kids around the campfire to roast marshmallows and have smores can be a lot of fun. Depending on your audience prepare a few old fashioned traditional ghost stories as well such as the headless horseman.
These luminaries are easy to make, (your kids can help) and are perfect for lighting indoors or out. http://www.redtedart.com/2011/10/20/quick-craft-post-halloween-lanterns-vlog/
You will want to have a punch bowl filled up with some ghoulish punch concoction, there are several great recipes perfect for Halloween. The type of food you serve will depend on the type of party you are having. If it is a community party, potlucks can be a lot of fun and a great way to get to know your neighbors are bit better. If the party is for kids serve a few finger foods, mummy dogs and spider eggs, make great entrées, and snacks can be things such as candy corn, caramel corn, pretzels, cookies or candy.
Here is a new twist on an old favorite, these popcorn balls have been around for a long time, but these ones have candy corn and rice krispies to jazz them up a bit. http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2012/10/candy-corn-popcorn-krispie-balls.html
Here is a simple recipes for caramel apples no extra fluff so the kids can help you with them or you can go one better and set up a caramel apple bar. Put your caramel in a crockpot, provide chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, and decorations for the kids to roll their apples in. http://candy.about.com/od/fruitcandy/r/caramel_apples.htm
This is a great time to add a piñata to the festivities too, part game part treat, the kids will line up for a change to hit the piñata and snag some candy for their treat bags. Make sure to offer up little treat bags for the little ones who may not be able to participate in the piñata festivities very well. http://www.craftjr.com/printable-halloween-treat-bags/
Games, tricks, and all manner of silly fun
Games are really the heart of the old fashioned Halloween party. Those of us old enough to remember parties when we were young, enjoyed bobbing for apples, building scarecrows, pie eating contests and so much more. Of course no true party would be the same without a haunted house or if there is no such room Story telling games.
A Hallowe’en Post Mortem
This game has been around since the 1930s when it was written for the boy scouts by Charles F. Smith. Popular still today there are many variations on the original game which include sensory tables, and other stories. You can find the original story and the props to use with it here: http://ep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/yhst-57190479284260/HalloweenPostMortemGame.pdf Simple sit your guests in a semi dark room with blind folds and pass around the items listed in the story as you tell it. After you are done you can opt to give them a copy of the story so then can see what they were really touching.
Bite the Apple
If you are not up for wet kids in the apple dunking game, string an apple from the ceiling instead. Have you guests try to capture the apple using only their teeth.
This game is really more of a craft, but can be a lot of fun. Have the kids make masks from paper masks. Tell them to make them as outlandish as possible and then let their creativity do the rest. Make sure to provide plenty of glue, paint, felt pens, yarn, construction paper, fabric and whatever type of craft bits you might happen to have on hand.
Using white paper bags that you can obtain at a local bakery or candy store, put different objects in each bag. Hang the bags up and put a light behind them. If you have no source of light you can use a flashlight and do one bag at a time. Turn out all of the lights and have everyone guess what is in each bag, without touching the bag or getting too close to them.
Odds and Ends
Don’t forget some fun music you can get your Favorite Halloween songs as a free instant download on Amazon. Buy one or as many as you would like. You can play them from your mp3 player or computer or burn them.
Halloween parties are not complete without a goodie bag to take home, which can be filled with all of their favorite candy or party favors. You can pick up party bags on Amazon for a great price here, or you can find them in your local stores.