How to Throw a Halloween Dinner Party

As a kid, your Halloween plans are set: you’re wearing a costume and going trick-or-treating. But as an adult, the plans get a little tricky: do you party all night or fall asleep early watching scary movies? Have some grown-up fun that falls somewhere in between by hosting a dinner party. Set a spooky tone with simple decorations, and unveil a comforting meal that’ll share the buffet table with an array of sweets. Add in a costume contest and some themed tunes, and you’ll pull off a night that’s fun without feeling over-the-top.

1

Display Jack-O-Lantern Planters on Your Porch

This concrete pumpkin planter is a great option for outdoor decor: it’s understated and cool, just like your grown-up guest list. Go more macabre by planting something gruesome, or simply change up a potted plant for fall. Either way, this will last you year after year.

2

Place Pumpkin Flower Arrangements at Your Entryway

Although these lovely floral pumpkin arrangements aren’t the scariest Halloween decoration, they definitely will bring the colors and textures of fall to your entryway. Ditch your carving tools in favor of foam balls, flowers and raffia, and you can turn your favorite autumn colors into the perfect seasonal adornment.

3

Grab a Handful of Pumpkin-Spiced Caramel Corn

Greet your guests with a bowl of this pumpkin-spiced caramel corn as soon as they walk in the door, and there will be no looking back. Be sure that there are a few pumpkin seeds mixed in, and this will be one treat that will never rest in peace.

4

Make a Drink Tray They’ll Give Guests Chills

Since arachnophobia is a common fear, no Halloween party would be complete without spiders. So why not make. Load it up with drinks, and watch as your guests get the Herbie-freebies as the spiders are uncovered.

5

Drink Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters

These delicious appetizers will have your friends saying, “I vant to drink your bloody Mary oyster shooters!” when they see them displayed on the buffet table. Just throw together the ingredients, shuck a few oysters and add a healthy shot of vodka — no trip to the blood bank required.

6

Hang a Haunting Branch Centerpiece

Complete your table with a hanging branch centerpiece just spooky enough to make your guests step back before taking their seats. The gnarled branch, creepy hanging bats and shudder-inducing cobwebs look hauntingly realistic overhead.

7

Feed a Crowd With Beer Can Chicken

There isn’t much that can compare with the taste of roasted chicken, and this beer can chicken is guaranteed to clear plates. Serve it to a crowd, and the chicken’s perfectly crisp skin and flavorful meat will make everyone think they’ve died and gone to heaven.

8

Award the Best Costumes With DIY Medals

Before you pull out the desserts, take a minute to have a costume competition with your friends. Give out awards for the best costumes — like “scariest,” “most original” and “best couple,” for instance — using printable award ribbons. Everyone should win something, unless you have guests who failed to wear costumes. (Boo.)

9

Make Caramel Apples With Customization Costumes

With this recipe for homemade gourmet caramel apples, you can create a customization dessert that everyone can put their own spin on. Put out an assortment of sprinkles, chocolates and nuts, and let guests add their favorite toppings.

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