In this Halloween season, adults often miss out on all of the trick and treats. Why should kids have all of the fun? It isn't too late to scare up a great Halloween party that will have everyone partying until dawn.
Megan Leib of Dover Township has held a pumpkin carving party for the past 14 years. She has some great tips to plan for the perfect night.
Get the word out.
Evite, an online invitation service, spreads the word quickly at no cost. Users pick from a variety of themed electronic invitations. After filling in details about the event, messages are sent to the entire guest list within seconds. Evite even tracks guest replies.
Plan a few games and activities that will keep the guests howling.
If ever there is a night to feel young, it is Halloween. Pull out the sacks for a race and bob for apples. A favorite at Leib's party is the Mummy Wrap.
Guests are paired and each team is given a roll of toilet paper. While one person stands deathly still, the other wraps him or her from head to toe. The best, spookiest mummy is the winner.
Carving pumpkins is another great activity for all ages. At Leib's party, the pumpkins are a central part of the night. Everyone brings their own pumpkin to carve.
"It is so fun to see all the different pumpkin faces that people create," she said. "We have some very artistic friends! It is always new and different each year."
Plan ahead and buy a large pack of votive candles. Nothing says Halloween like a row of jack-o'-lanterns alight on a dark, October night.
Let the guests pitch in.
Ask guests to bring a treat to share. For dinner gatherings, provide the main dish and let them bring a dessert or side dish. For evening parties, appetizers are perfect for nibbling.
Don't overdo it.
The biggest pitfall that Leib has fallen into is over-inviting. When the party gets too big, it is too hard to manage. Her usual party has 50-90 people in attendance.
"Every year, you meet new people and make new friends - you want to invite them all," she said. "It just gets out of control."
Consider the space that you are going to have the party. Leib's party is held outside and can accommodate more people. Also remember that October days aren't always warm or dry. Be prepared to move the party indoors or cancel the event if the weather doesn't cooperate.
Whether guests come in costume or come as they are, send them off right.
Stuff little trick-or-treat bags full of adult favorite candies. Everyone is bound to leave smiling and counting down the days until the next ghoulish get-together.
- TARA HAWKINS, FOR FLIPSIDE