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In a pickle: How to throw a last-minute Halloween party in 20 minutes

I'm Sarah - wife to my amazing husband, John, and mom to two little girls, Cami and Maisie.  I used to work in the finance industry before having my daughters, and now I'm a freelance personal finance writer and blogger.  I love being wi...

Halloween party on the fly!

Want to throw a Halloween party this year, but haven't done much in the planning department? Stress no more — we've got you covered!

Halloween party on the fly!

Throw a creepy, spooky, one-of-a-kind Halloween party complete with decorations, entertainment and food and drink — all in 20 minutes!


Since you're on such a tight deadline, there's no time for fancy invites or even Evites. Send out a mass text to family and friends who live close by. We recommend keeping it small — so text no more than 8-10 friends or family and most likely half will show up.


Hopefully, you've already spruced up your home for Halloween, so you'll only need to add a few spooky touches. Head to your local Target, Wal-Mart or grocery store and grab a few scary items for the party. We love this light-up white reaper for the front door and these white blood dripping candles for the table.


This one takes no time at all! Gather up your scariest movies and rotate them throughout the evening. If you don't have a good collection, check the television guide. Most likely, a few different stations will be playing Halloween movies at night.

If kids are coming: Skip the scary movies if little kids will be in attendance and put on some eerie background music instead. Since kids aren't normally content with sitting around talking like adults are, plan on doing some easy Halloween craft-stick crafts.


If you're going to be watching scary movies, it only makes sense to provide delicious, homemade popcorn for the viewing (or try this homemade microwave popcorn). Pop some kernels over the stove top and let each guest add in their favorite seasoning. A variety of popcorn seasonings can be found at your local grocery store. Other quick and easy options for food include:

Halloween party on the fly!


Arguably the most important part of throwing a Halloween party is the drinks! Since this party's last-minute, feel free to ask the guests to bring their favorite beverage. If you do want to provide a few drinks, though, consider these festive cocktails:

Halloween party on the fly!


Costumes are the most challenging aspect of last-minute Halloween parties. Since you won't have time to go rent or buy a costume, you're going to have to use what you already have. Keep it simple — possibly recycle your costume from last year or dress as a black cat (all black clothing with a cat ears headband). If you're a TV geek, check out these quick ideas; and if you have a baby, check out these 16 easy Halloween costumes for babies.

A few other quick & easy ideas

If you have a few extra minutes to spare, set out some pumpkins on your patio (carved or as-is), light some candles and dim the lights to create a spooky atmosphere, put some Halloween candy in a dish for guests to munch on and get out some games (Halloween-themed or not) to provide some additional entertainment. Remember, it's never too late to throw a Halloween party!

Have a spook-tacular time!

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