It’s that spooky time of year again! Time for zombies, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns and some frightfully fun monster bashes! If you’ve decided to host a Halloween party this year, we’re here to share some quick tips and tricks so everyone has a wicked good time.

Select a theme

Just like with any party, you’ll want to pick a theme for your party. Yes, “Halloween” can be a theme in a general sense, but dial down to the specifics: will it be a costume party? An homage to horror films? Are you going with the traditional “orange and black” color scheme or would you prefer something more sophisticated? Having a theme will help you select the right decorations, invitations, and even your menu.

Set the scene

Thankfully decorating for Halloween is easy: pumpkins and decorative gourds are always a good idea. You can also hang fake cobwebs and spiders in the corners of your room to amp up the creepy factor. Candles are always a great way to add a dramatic flair. Scatter LED or flameless votives throughout your home and group pillars of different sizes together.

For music, put together a playlist of your favorite Halloween-themed songs (not just Monster Mash); songs like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Annie Lennox’s “I Put a Spell on You,” or The Doors’ “People are Strange” are great options. If you want to skip the themed playlist, just play songs you know will get your guests excited to party.

You can also play classic horror movies in the background on mute. You can go super scary with “The Exorcist” or “Halloween,” go funny with “Ghostbusters,” or family-friendly with “The Addams Family” or “Hocus Pocus.”

Set a Menu

Don’t overthink your menu! Unless you’re having a formal sit-down dinner party, select appetizers and snacks that are easy to enjoy while mingling. This can be frozen appetizers or a party platter (like a meat and cheese board or fruit platter) from your favorite grocery stores or restaurant. If you prefer to make the food yourself (or host a potluck), pick simple items that are filling and easy to make (or can be made ahead) to keep the stress of preparing food beforehand at bay.

Be sure to stock your bar with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options for all your guests. Having a specialty cocktail that guests can make themselves is a great way to extend your party theme without needing to hire a bartender.

Just because you’re not going trick-or-treating doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on Halloween! Following these tips will help you host a memorable Halloween bash at home.

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