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How to throw a festive adult Halloween party

How to... get the spooky party started

Halloween's one of the most exciting holidays of the year. It involves a lot of costumes, candy, drinks and one big opportunity for you to go as over-the-top as you want. If you're throwing a party this year, here are a few tips on how to make it fun, successful and festive!
Spooky Halloween cocktail

Step 1: Monster Mash Menu

Food and drinks can really make or break a party, and Halloween is all about being creative -- and this applies to your menu choice as well. Serve drinks that are orange and black or give your beverages a scary Halloween name. Try calling your ordinary bloody Mary "Dracula’s Bloody Mary," or if you plan on having a cooler of beer or a keg you can call it "Witches' Brew." This may sound silly, but it's festive and your guests will have a good laugh. Check out Martha Stewart's list of spooky Halloween spirits for a few ideas.

Try this: DIY pumpkin keg and harvest sangria recipe >>

Finger foods are the wisest choice for your party, since they allow for a wide variety of food. You'll also want a little solid food to balance the alcoholic drinks.

Party munch: Fresh corn cakes with avocado salsa recipe >>

Pinterest is a great place to get recipe ideas for your Halloween party. It provides some of the most creative recipes and a variety of ways to make your dishes look festive. Serving veggie dip or salsa in a miniature pumpkin or making pigs in a blanket look like mummies are just a few of the fun ideas Pinterest shares.

Step 2: Dracula’s decorations

Decorating may be the most time-consuming part of throwing a Halloween party, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. If you're throwing a Halloween party, you want it to be memorable and the decor has a lot to do with it! But don't fret, especially when you have places like Target selling fun Halloween decor and sites like Pinterest for decorating ideas.

Spooky, stylish Halloween decor ideas >>

As a host, you want to catch your guests' attention right as they walk into your spooky party. A good way to welcome your party guests to your Halloween festivities is to embellish your front door with an orange and black Halloween wreath and swap out your regular doormat with a Halloween-inspired mat. And as most of us know, a fake cobweb around the house is always a sign that it's October. Spread the cobwebs on the mantel and drape them from the candles mounted on your wall, on the chandelier in the living room and scatter them on the top of the coffee table.

Try this: DIY Halloween painted pumpkins >>

Carved pumpkins are one Halloween decoration that will never go out of style. Another classic look: Wrap your fake skeleton around the big jug of the drink of choice for the night for more spooky flair. Little touches like this will really add some life to the Halloween theme.

Step 3: Mummified music

Whether you hire a friend to DJ or you make a killer playlist for the night, the music's what's going to keep your guests lively at your party. The No. 1 song on Halloween playlists is Michael Jackson’s Thriller, of course. Billboard.com's top 10 Halloween songs can also be inspiration, so if you're in need of some rockin' Halloween music, that's the place to check out. Get out your best speakers or borrow a friend’s, and get this party going from the moment people walk in.

Step 4: Addams Family activities

Halloween-themed activities can be just as fun today as they were when you were a kid. An apple-bobbing station is always a great activity to participate in and watch others do. Because most parties this year will occur the weekend before Halloween, setting up a pumpkin carving area with the appropriate utensils is another fun socializing activity that gives your guests a little souvenir to take home. Another fun idea is a costume contest -- everyone loves a little competition, right? Setting up a poker table or borrowing your neighbor’s ping-pong or foosball table are other ways to provide some free and easy fun for your guests.

More Halloween tips

A pumpkin carving alternative: Painted pumpkins
Sabrina Soto shares her Halloween home decor ideas
Decorating Diva: Spooky but stylish decor ideas

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