Host a Great Halloween Party for Teens

This Party Planner Will Help You Stay Organized and Have Fun!

Cookies at a Halloween party.
Cookies at a Halloween party. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Whether you are planning a large Halloween party or a small get-together, use this party planner to stay organized, keep within budget and ensure a good time for all of the teens at the party.

Halloween is such a fun time for kids. They can use their creativity by stepping into a new identity and have a blast with their friends.

The Ground Rules

The first order of business if your teen wants to have a successful party is to set the rules.

Who will be responsible for what?

  • Write all of this down so that it is clear what your teen will be expected to do and what your teen expects from you.
  • Go through the planner below dividing the jobs as you go.
  • You should also discuss any other rules you will have for your teen and their party guests.

Open communication between you and your teen will make this time a memorable event instead of a huge headache.

Quick Tip: Plan the party with another teen and their family. This way you are guaranteed some help with the budget and chaperoning.

4-6 Weeks Before the Halloween Party

Make the basic decisions

  • How large will the party be?
  • Can you have it at home or do you need a bigger space? Secure the location.
  • What day and time will the party be?
  • What does your teen want?
  • What are the rules?

These questions need to be answered before you plan anything else.

Quick Tip: Choose a part of the house to have the party in, preferably with direct access to the bathroom. Block off the rest of the house with spider webs, black sheets, or other decorations. Let your teen know that no one should be roaming around the house.

Plan the budget

How much will your teen be allowed to spend? Do this job together. Take that figure and split it between the expenses for decorations, food and activities - plus the location if the party is not at home.

You can save money by using one thing for two different jobs which is easier to do than you may think.

For instance, Halloween punch with a floating frozen hand makes a great Halloween table decoration and glow in the dark bat decorations can be a 'count the bats' party game too.

Choose a Halloween theme

Is your party going to be spooky or based on celebrities? While a theme isn't always needed, it can help you and your guests choose what to wear and sets the tone for your party.

A party theme can be as simple as 'Ghoulish Gathering' or as specific as 'Dead Rock Stars'. Whatever your teen picks for their Halloween party theme is okay, as long as it is fun for everyone.

Invite the guests

After you set the date and time for the party, your teen will need to get invitations ready.

  • Be sure to make a list of all those invited complete with phone number.
  • Include a column that can be checked off when they RSVP.
  • If you do not want the guest list to multiply, write on the invitation whether or not the guest is allowed to bring a guest.
  • Send out the invitations at least two weeks before the party. Four weeks is best.
  • Have the invitation list readily available so that anyone can check it off when someone calls.
  • Parents should be ready to answer questions that other parents may ask.

Quick Tip: On all invitations, write a note to the parent. Let them know they are free to call and attend! You may even want to call them. Most of the time, you will get offers of help to make treats.

2-4 Weeks Before the Halloween Party

Pick a Halloween costume

This should be done as soon as the theme is chosen. Otherwise, your teen may find that what they really wanted to wear is no longer available.

Parents and other chaperones should dress up and get into the spirit of things. It is also good for chaperones to have something that distinguishes them from the guests, in case a guest needs to find an adult. Pumpkin flashlights work well for this.

Quick Tip: Don't look like a chaperon, dress up! Try to keep a 1 to 6 chaperone ratio.

A few DIY Halloween costume ideas:

Decide on a menu

Will your party include a meal or just finger foods? Either way, there are so many fun Halloween recipes you can use:

Pick foods that you can prepare before the day of the party so you can free up time for decorating and costumes.

Quick Tip: Unless your theme involves a dinner, make all food edible while standing up. Teens love to mingle and have the energy to remain standing during a party and often do.

Decide on activities and decorations

Having games and activities that teens can do when each finds time during the party works best. Things like sign-in boards and don’t-say-these-words games free up those who just want to chat and entertain those who need it.

Decorations should go with the theme if you have one. They can be made or purchased.

  • Make a sign-in board. Place it near the door with colorful markers and have guests to sign in.
  • Time to get out the Christmas lights! Using white Christmas lights and candles will add to the eeriness of the party room and they fit in the budget.
  • Set the stage. Place scary objects and spooky noise effects in the foyer or entrance room just outside the party room.
  • Keep the party active. Put on a pie eating contest or go bobbing for apples. Use a black plastic table cloth to keep the house clean.
  • A fun apple contest. Replace bobbing by stringing up apples from the ceiling at different heights. See how fast your teens can eat the apple with their hands behind their back.
  • Run a costume contest. Use categories like the most original costume, spookiest costume, funniest costume and best group costume.
  • More Halloween Party Games

Quick Tip: Instead of buying expensive pumpkin pies for a pie eating contest, fill pie shells with whip cream.

Note: If you are ordering supplies online, do so now. You want to be sure you have the order in plenty of time. Make a list of everything you have ordered and who you ordered it from complete with phone number. Keep this handy in case you need to call the company.

The Week of the Halloween Party

Tie up any loose strings

  • Call the guests who haven't responded yet to get an accurate account of who will be attending.
  • Do the outdoor and out-of-the-way decorating.
  • Did your teen order something and it hasn't come in yet? Call the company and be sure it's on its way.

Purchase supplies

Make the lists by store (party store, grocery store, etc.) and write it all down. It is easy to forget the simple things and a pain to go back to the store for a much-needed recipe ingredient.

Take the time to get ready right and delegate jobs

Be sure there is enough time and help the day of the party area to get everything ready, including yourself!

  • Enlist friends who will be attending, older siblings and other chaperones.
  • Anything that can be readied beforehand should be - like outdoor decorations.
  • This is also the time to set up a clean up crew.

At the Halloween Party

Relax and enjoy the event

  • Help your teen greet guests and start activities.
  • Chaperones should 'be around' but not be obtrusive.
  • Keep the food table stocked, the supplies for activities available and send gate crashers packing.
  • In a few hours, help the clean up crew clean up the mess.

More Halloween Party Tips

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