Tips for Throwing A Halloween Party for Kids


I have always loved to host gatherings. Whether it’s an intimate dinner with family friends, a celebratory birthday party, a deep conversation around motherhood, or a themed event for the kids – it brings me a lot of joy. I am going to start by sharing my top tips for hosting gatherings, and then dive into a few notes on how to host an awesome Halloween Party for the kids.

Hosting Is A Choice

If you do not like to host parties – stop reading and stop hosting, immediately! I’m half kidding – even if you don’t love to host, you might learn a thing or two from this article. If you don’t love to host – let go of any and all pressure that says you should host. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay.

Set Clear Expectations

Whenever I am hosting, I love to set expectations upfront. I share what I’ll be “offering”, a sense of the event schedule, and anything that my guests should know. For example, when I host a pool party, I always make a note on the invitation that “while there may be a lot of adults around, each parent is expected to watch their own child”. It sounds obvious – but for safety reasons, this expectation is a must. Additionally, I will share up-front what dietary restrictions I am planning for, and let folks know to reach out if additional support is needed – “We’ll have plenty of vegan and gluten-free options available. If you have another restriction, let me know so we can include it!”.

Answer Questions Before They Are Asked

For larger gatherings, I’ll generally share directions to the restroom in the reminder email and will physically put up a note to help guide guests (it removes the awkwardness and helps put folks at ease). I’ll also put out a basket with “things you might need” – if it’s summer, this may be sunscreen, water diapers, and wipes; in the winter, it might be tissues, cozy socks, and hand sanitizer.

Make Each Person Feel Loved

Last season I was at a gathering hosted by a fellow CMM writer, Ari. She knew I couldn’t eat dairy and went above and beyond to make sure I had options throughout the party that I could eat. It made me feel oh-so-loved and was a reminder of how important taking care of our guests is. Greet each guest and make sure to introduce them to someone else, take note of things they might have celebrated recently so you can congratulate them, and think about the little things that make someone feel loved when they come into your space. Depending on the gathering, send a note afterward (handwritten or otherwise) to let your guests know how much it meant that they joined you.

The Halloween Party

With that – let’s throw a Halloween Party! We always hosted one when I was growing up, and I’m thrilled to re-start the tradition this year. Here are the steps I’m taking:

1. Invite Your Guests

I use Paperless Post for all of my invitations since I love the designs and the tracking options. They have lots of cute Halloween invitations – and with a few clicks, I was able to ensure I was using one that is free to send. I googled language to help me make the invitation cute – “calling all little witches and monsters…”

2. Plan The Activities

I am keeping it fairly simple and focused on three core activities that make sense for the core age group. We will be painting pumpkins, doing the (apple cider) donut on a string activity, and playing the “What’s This?” game, where I’ll fill up boxes with things like grapes and spaghetti and have kids guess what’s inside. Brains, anyone?

3. Share The Load

With the amount I have going on in my life, I knew I couldn’t do everything I usually do – so I have asked each family to bring a snack to share. It takes some of the hosting burden off me, and I hope it is fun for each family to bring something – festive or simple, all are welcome.

4. Think About the Adults

When hosting kids’ parties, I try to think about how I can engage the adults as well. I will have a Halloween-themed cocktail (and mocktail) and will make sure I’m connecting those who don’t know each other by encouraging meaningful conversations.

5. Have Fun

Most importantly – have fun. Parties are not meant to be perfect, but they are meant to be enjoyed. I’ll be throwing on the Monster Mash theme song, soaking up the seasonal fun, and embracing all the chaos that comes with a kid’s party. I know this party will also evolve over the years, as the kids grow, and I’m excited for that, too. Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll have a haunted house, do a scavenger hunt, and have a pumpkin carving contest! 


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