You only need a couple of weeks to plan a fun Halloween party once your "planning committee" has met and made a few basic decisions.
Hand deliver a flyer to a few mailboxes with an invitation to meet about a neighborhood event. Meet in your own front yard for an hour to see who is willing to have some fun. Involving both the adults and the kids in decorating and role-playing makes for a better, safer evening.
Decide on a theme. One year we did Pirates of the Caribbean: paper hats and eye patches, striped t-shirts and a couple of stuffed bird toys go a long way to creating the illusion. Add a couple of bed sheet sails and a "plank" to the porch, skull and crossbones stuck on or carved right into your pumpkin. Harry Potter characters are simple... capes, wands and a bit of makeup! Candle stubs in juice glasses make any scene spooky and magical. If you get really stuck, a whole neighborhood dressed as Minions will do the trick! Overalls, yellow shirts and big sunglasses, anyone?
Halloween night of course, but start early enough to accommodate the little ones — maybe 6 p.m. — and plan to go until about 11 p.m. to allow for clean-up time. Post a few flyers along the block about a week before the event, inviting all trick-or-treaters. Encourage cameras!
Aye, there's the rub! There are a few options:
How will the party come together successfully?
Everybody loves a party — a reason to get dressed up, be silly, make new friends and exercise their creative muscles. Neighborhoods are safer when folks know one another, and nothing brings people together like a fun common cause. Take things to the next level and include donations to the local food bank, have prizes for Best Costume, Best Yard, Best Acting or Best Pet Costume. Everyone involved will come away with a good story to tell — and the desire to do it all again!
Don't make the neighbors who choose not to join in feel guilty. Leave the invitational door open. There's always next year, especially once they see what you can do!
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