Family tries out different Halloween party ideas and costumes.

It used to be that the scariest thing about Halloween was the fear of imaginary goblins and ghouls coming after you. But now you realize the most frightening part about the holiday is planning a Halloween bash that’ll please all your party guests. Fortunately, the task at hand isn’t as monstrous as you might think.

To help you out, we’ve come up with this can’t-miss list of Halloween party ideas — including themes, decor, activities, food, and drinks — that work even if your budget is chillingly low. Once you have your plan, you can send your Halloween party invitations and get ready for an unforgettable celebration.

8 Halloween Party Themes

Party goers pour punch while discussing Halloween party ideas.

Whether you’re going for full-on macabre or just a little creepy, here are some smashing Halloween party themes that are sure to scare up some fun.

  1. Haunted House: You don’t need a lot of money to set a spooky scene with easy DIY haunted house ideas. From gruesome shower curtains in the bathroom to creepy doll mobiles hanging from the ceiling, there are plenty of ways to make this party theme pop.
  2. Halloween Seance: For a truly supernatural soiree, there’s nothing better than a ghostly seance. Summon spirits, connect with the great beyond, and foretell futures as the host (or hire a real psychic medium.) Light candles, use a fishbowl or cloche to serve as your crystal ball, and get ready for a night to remember.
  3. Zombie Prom: Revive your high school heyday with this fun Halloween theme. Encourage all your party guests to don their most ghoulishly glam gowns and suits.
  4. Murder Mystery Dinner: Show your guests a killer time with an interactive murder mystery dinner party based on the popular board game Clue.
  5. Outdoor Movie Night: More fun and less fright, an outdoor movie night is perfect for the little ones. Set up a DIY movie screen with a white sheet, place some blankets and chairs on the lawn, and provide a table of treats for guests to enjoy while watching the show.
  6. Halloween Brunch: Who says you have to wait until dark to celebrate the spookiest season of the year? Gather your friends for an afternoon of spooky delights including pumpkin pie mimosas, homemade coffin-shaped Pop-Tarts, and Halloween deviled eggs.
  7. DIY Halloween Craft Bash: Ideal for keeping kids engaged, a DIY craft-making party is a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit without getting too spooked. For a few crafty ideas, try a popsicle stick cemetery, paper bag monster puppets, Halloween sugar drawings, eyeball monster lollipops, or cotton ball ghosts.
  8. Flight Night: Break out the boos and brews for a frightfully fun night of beer tasting with pumpkin ales and other seasonal libations. Or host a wine tasting party with flights of red wine and different cheeses for a bloody good time.

7 Halloween Decor Ideas

The front of a house is adorned with Halloween decorations.

From DIY to low-budget buys, these Halloween decorations are sure to transform any area into a hauntingly good party space.

  1. Halloween Mask Wreath: For fun and ultra-affordable door decor, use printable Halloween masks to create a colorful wreath. Use a hot glue gun to attach the masks to an 18-inch craft ring and layer them as you go. Boo-tiful!
  2. Menacing Candlesticks: For this DIY Halloween party idea, spray paint empty wine bottles in Halloween hues and insert black candlesticks for a creepy glow.
  3. Spooky Centerpiece: Display big jack-o-lanterns and add plastic skeleton hands, faux cobwebs, and other ominous elements for an eye-catching (and affordable) way to get in the spirit. You could also fill vases with black faux roses accented with matching spray-painted branches.
  4. ​Halloween Tree: For a spooky spin on a yuletide tradition, give your artificial Christmas tree a makeover with Halloween-inspired ribbon, skull cut-outs, and ornaments in black, silver, and orange.
  5. Floating Witch Hats: Whether indoors or outdoors, DIY floating witch hat luminaries are an easy way to enchant guests and light the way for a wickedly fun time.
  6. Mummy Pumpkins: No time for pumpkin carving? No problem. For this simple DIY hack, all you need are some pumpkins and gauze. Simply wrap up the gourd, cut out some eyes, and boom. It’s a wrap!
  7. Bloodshot Eyeball Decor: For a truly eye-catching Halloween party idea, transform old beach balls and play balls into eerie bloodshot eyes to decorate your lawn, porch, or any area that needs a little spectacle.

8 Halloween Party Games and Activities

Children enjoy fun Halloween themed party games while in costume.

While a Halloween costume contest is always a fun activity, these Halloween games will help you summon even more festive flair for kids and adults alike.

  1. Donuts on a String: You could always bob for apples, but trying to polish off a donut hanging from a string is a lot funnier. Contestants have to keep their hands behind their backs as they race to finish the sweet treat first without letting it fall.
  2. Trick or Treat Mystery Box: For this silly and creepy game, fill different boxes with gooey-textured foods like Jell-O, gummy worms, shirataki noodles (or cold spaghetti), peeled grapes, and smashed avocado, tofu, or bananas. Participants must hold their nose and avert their eyes as they reach into the boxes and guess what’s inside.
  3. Skeleton Scavenger Hunt: Show your little goblins a good time with this fun take on an Easter egg hunt. Hide plastic skeleton bones around the house or yard and watch them bones add up!
  4. Pumpkin Carving Contest: Buy small pie-size pumpkins and have guests carve their own jack-o-lantern. Raise the stakes by adding a timer for 15-20 minutes. For kids, forgo the sharp tools and have a pumpkin decorating contest with markers, stickers, and other crafty supplies.
  5. Toilet Paper Mummy: This budget-friendly game requires nothing more than toilet paper (and just a bit of wrapping dexterity). Break up into teams of two or three — one mummy and either one or two wrappers. The first team to finish using the roll of toilet paper wins!
  6. Pin the Spider on the Web: A creepy-crawly twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey, this fun Halloween party idea requires nothing more than a blindfold and a free printable version of the game.
  7. Horror Movie Trivia: Test your party guests’ knowledge of the scariest movies on the planet with a variety of horror movie trivia games that you can print for free!
  8. Halloween Charades: You can always count on a game of charades to liven up a party. Only this time, all the acting is specific to Halloween themes.

7 Tasty Halloween Food Options

Decorative Halloween themed cupcakes are ready to be eaten by partygoers.

No party is complete without plenty of eats. Be sure to check out our complete guide to Halloween party food featuring Halloween recipes for appetizers, snacks, and desserts.

  1. Mummy Brie: This delicious appetizer is an instant crowd-pleaser thanks to the crispy puff pastry and ooey-gooey cheese inside.
  2. Halloween Monster Burgers: Your party guests will squeal with delight when they dig into your homemade monster burgers that are shockingly meat-free.
  3. Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers: No need to freak out with these nutritious and delicious stuffed peppers filled with shredded chicken, rice, and tasty seasonings.
  4. Spooky Sundae Station: For an inexpensive sundae-making display, fill a cupcake tray with various toppings like candy corn, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, crushed cookies, sprinkles, and fruit. You can also use ramekins as topping holders.
  5. Halloween Cupcakes: From easy boxed bat cupcakes to candy corn cupcakes, you can’t go wrong with serving these sweet treats. You can also buy store-bought cupcakes and add a DIY marshmallow cobweb topping.
  6. Bag o’ Goodies: Your party guests won’t need to go trick-or-treating when you provide fun goody bags filled with classic Halloween candy and other snacks.
  7. Halloween Candy Kabobs: Stack skewers of Halloween treats (think marshmallow Peeps and gummy worms) and place them in a glass jar filled with candy corn for a totally sweet spread.

6 Spooktacular Halloween Drinks

This themed cocktail is one of many Halloween party ideas.

For the ultimate sippers for your soiree, you can’t go wrong with this handful of devilishly good drinks.

  1. Pumpkin Punch Bowl: Hollow out a real pumpkin and pour in your favorite spiked Halloween punch for the grown-up ghouls. Or fill it with an alcohol-free version for underage goblins.
  2. Vampire Killer Martini: This garlic-spiced vodka cocktail gets its red hue from pickled baby beets. Add a pair of plastic fangs on the glass rim for a visual bite.
  3. Caramel Apple Sangria: For a drinkable twist on caramel apples, try this Halloween recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes.
  4. Witch’s Wicked Punch: This eerily delicious non-alcoholic green potion requires just two ingredients — lemon-lime seltzer and green sherbet. For the most visual appeal, serve in a clear bowl with a witch’s faux finger poking out of the side.
  5. Skeleton Key: Make no bones about it — this spicy cocktail unlocks a world of flavor thanks to bourbon, ginger beer, and Angostura bitters.
  6. Halloween Milkshake: Shake it up with this tasty Halloween milkshake recipe that you can dress up in three different ways.

Fun Halloween Party Ideas Everyone Will Love

Whether you’re hosting a Halloween bash for adults, kids, or both, there are plenty of affordable ways to create a memorable celebration. Now that you’ve had a chance to peruse this list of fantastic Halloween party ideas, party planning no longer has to be a spine-chilling experience.

Even better, when you send online invitations, you can choose from dozens of designs and automatically track RSVPs. For more ways to make the most of your special occasions, don’t miss out on the Stationers blog loaded with ideas for crafting the perfect event.