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7 Tips for hosting a Halloween party for teens

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Throw a party they'll love

Halloween is a tough time for teens. They’re too old to trick-or-treat, so they’ll probably end up roaming the streets if they don’t have something to do. If you want to keep them at home without squashing all their Halloween fun, consider throwing them a Halloween party yourself. If you’ve ever thrown a party for a teenager, you know it’s usually easier said than done. Teens tend to be fickle and tough to please. Follow these tips, though, and you’ll be golden.

1Throw a party they'll loveThe guest list

Figure out where you're going to hold the party and decide how many people can fit in the space. Factor in the teen-to-adult ratio, as well as the behavior of your teen and his friends. You know how they act when they get together, so if they're a rowdy bunch, drop that number just a bit. Communicate the guest limit to your teen, and make sure he knows that you're not budging. Come up with a plan for dealing with extra guests, because you'll probably have at least one or two.


Stress with your teen the time limit for the party. Decide what time you want the party to end, taking into account local curfew laws. Be firm on the end time, and be prepared to start showing kids to the door when that time comes and goes.


As moms, we think every party needs to have a theme. Teenagers don't always think that way. Before you think up a theme and run with it, run it by your teen. She may not think it's as cool as you do. Every aspect of the theme should be discussed, from costumes to decorations. Also discuss any activities you have planned, because most teens don't get too excited about planned activities. It may hurt your party-planning heart, but less may be more in the mind of your teen.

Homemade Halloween party decorations >>

If he'll let you, get spooky. Dim the lights and use a fog machine to make the room creepy. Gone are the days of bright and cheesy décor from his elementary days, but you can probably still have a little fun making things scary.


The last thing teenagers want is a bunch of adults lurking around. Give your teen and his friends some privacy. Stay close by -- but in a different room, if possible -- so you can ensure things don't get out of hand. Peek in every now and then, but be discreet about it.


One thing teenagers love to do is eat. Provide a smorgasbord of food, from pizza to chips to baked goods. Keep an eye on the plates and bowls, and fill them up as soon as they start to run low. Consider any special dietary needs of guests and work those into the menu, as well.

6Halloween food and recipes >>

Keep it clean

Let your teenager know that this party will not be a place for drugs or alcohol. Assure him that if you spot any, the party's over.

If you want to throw a really big party, get together with other parents and pitch in for a great location and lots of food. You'll be surprised at how many parents will pay to know where their kids are on Halloween night.

More tips for a happy Halloween

5 Halloween safety tips for teens
Fun Halloween alternatives for teens
5 Fun Halloween party games

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