Outdoor Halloween parties will be popping up everywhere – from backyards to front porches, from tree lawns to patios. This Halloween weekend, you can take advantage of all of your most bewitching ideas and outdoor spaces, allowing you, your family, and your friends to have a safe and ghoulishly fabulous celebration. Are you ready to have some Spooktacular fun? Read on as we reveal our favorite outdoor Halloween party ideas.
Haunting Outdoor Movies and Football
What do you do when the desire for Halloween fun lands in the middle of Sunday football? Choose Halloween party ideas that celebrate both. Remember all those movies you streamed outdoors during the summer? Make a plan to stream football on your backyard fence, garage wall, or sheet screen (or flat-screen TV) while guests nosh on delicious Halloween-themed nibbles. Then, when the games are over, you can screen classic Halloween titles, from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to old episodes of The X-Files or the original, 1922 Nosferatu.
Fun-Filled Family Party Games
One of the most popular Halloween songs of all time is Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett. It’s no surprise that it is also the name of a much-loved children’s game and one of Real Simple’s favorite games for all ages, from the very young to the young-at-heart. The idea behind this outdoor Halloween party game is simple: Fill balloons with water and spread them out on the ground. When you yell ‘go’ (and the music starts playing), contestants stomp and burst as many balloons as they can either until the song is done or all the balloons have been squashed. You can keep score and offer prizes for the most balloons stomped, or you can play for the joy of it. You can use the balloons you have in your craft bins already or buy ones that are orange and black or printed with a Halloween theme. Don’t forget to have towels ready for when the game is finished and the happy participants are soaked.
Len Saunders, exercise physiologist, tells Real Simple that he is also a fan of the Scarecrow Race to get the whole family involved in Halloween activities. The only tools necessary are old clothes and pieces of newspaper. Clothes that would form an outfit are placed on the ground with newspaper off to their side (a set for each player). When you yell ‘start,’ everyone races to their assigned clothing and newspaper pile. As Saunders explains to the Magazine, “‘[they] crumple up the newspapers and start to stuff the paper into the clothes.’” When the game is done, you have several fantastic-looking scarecrows.
Other Halloween party game ideas that are good for all ages include the Spider Web game (using string tied to trees and bushes), Guess the Number of Candies in a Jar, and Guess the Spooky Theme Song.
“How To Host A Murder Mystery” Halloween Event
What could be better than hosting a murder mystery event by candlelight in your backyard? Whether you choose an upscale mystery filled with champagne cocktails and glam costumes or a mystery of your own devising that closely mirrors the levity and zany creep factor of Clue, your Halloween party will be remembered for years.
Bewitching Bite-Sized Appetizers
Jalapeño poppers are a welcome addition to any football party, so it’s a given that the Mummy Jalapeño Poppers from Rachael Ray In Season are the perfect idea that appeals to both football fans and Halloween revelers. Bake and prep take less than 30 minutes, and the results are a delicious yet spooky delight.
How does a savory popper complete with sword skewer sound as a Halloween party appetizer for your adult guests? Martha Stewart Living’s Prosciutto-Wrapped Fig Hearts recipe adds just the right sense of the macabre while also being delicious. Surprisingly easy to make, the Magazine explains that “[dried] figs get stuffed with tangy goat cheese, then wrapped in rich prosciutto for a very adult Halloween bite.” Yum!
Do you want to add something seasonally appropriate, healthy, and ideal for vegan guests? You’ll love including Food & Wine’s pumpkin hummus, pita chips, and crudités to your table. It takes only 15 minutes to make, but it offers a deliciously healthy alternative that all of your party guests can savor.
Spooky and Delicious Desserts
No Halloween party is complete without decadent treats. One of Martha Stewart Living’s much-loved Halloween dessert ideas is the Devil’s Inferno Cake. Why? The Magazine explains: “[It’s] a dessert that’s also a party centerpiece … [a] truly devilish take on devil’s food cake.” Picture the sugar flames jumping from the top of this incredibly rich creation as your guests take in all the goodies that await them. Every ghost and ghoul at the party is sure to be wowed!
Do you love mud pies? If so, you’ll love the ‘I Scream’ Graveyard Pie that is also one of Martha Stewart Living’s favorites. The tiny cookie “tombstones” and skull candies make this dessert a Halloween winner. It’s also a great way to use extra Halloween candy (like those mini Mounds bars).
Vampire bites when they are in the form of indulgent brownies are always welcome. Martha Stewart Living’s Scaredy-Cat Brownies are a wonder for anyone who loves chocolate and a hint of mint. What’s the other reason they are a Halloween party tradition? The Magazine raves: “They’re easy for kids to decorate too (which saves you some pre-party prep time!).”
Are you searching for something quick and colorful? Rachael Ray In Season adores Frankenstein Cookies. If you have the time to make the basic sugar cookie, go for it. But if you don’t, the recipe works just as well using store-bought sugar cookie dough. Then it’s just a matter of baking them up with some green food coloring and decorating them with melted chocolate. Part of the fun is creating unique faces, and the kids will love giving you a hand.
Devilish Drink Ideas
Are you stumped for new and uniquely tempting adult drink ideas for your Halloween party? Start with mixing a batch of Rachael Ray In Season’s Spicy Devil’s Brew. Poured into a salted martini glass with fresh chilis acting as horns on the rim, this brew is an enticing blend of vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice cocktail, lime juice, and jalapeños. It’s almost as eye-catching as it is delicious!
Blood-Moon Punch is among Martha Stewart Living’s go-to Halloween libations. It looks fantastic on a drinks cart or in the center of a buffet. While it does take some preparation to properly freeze the “moon,” it is well worth the effort. This eerie, kid-friendly punch is “a fruity combination of grape juice, lime juice, seltzer water, and ginger soda, all of which add a bit of fizz to your festivities,” according to the Magazine. The candy bats floating on top make it a “next-level” Halloween party punch. Also, the Magazine reveals that it is wonderfully easy to turn it into an adults-only punch by spiking “grown-up ghouls’ glasses with an ounce (or two) of vodka.”
The combination of light and dark rum makes the Creepy Cocktail another favorite of the editors over at Martha Stewart Living. In addition to the rum, this cocktail features pomegranate juice, lime, and simple syrup. Black sanding sugar on the rim and the black licorice spider hanging off the glass take this tasty libation up a notch to a truly fun Halloween party drink idea.
More Halloween Party Ideas
Whether you are hosting a small group of adults or a gaggle of kids, you will want the space lit up to set a festive tone and keep people safe. LED string lights look terrific when they are draped between tree branches and around porch posts. Light your walkways with pumpkins that are illuminated from the inside with votive candles. Use solar lanterns on outdoor dining tables or buffets. Luminaries made from paper lunch bags can feature cut-outs of “Boo” or images of ghosts and pumpkins, like the ones featured in Rachael Ray In Season. Even adding a glow-in-the-dark set of “tombstones” can help guide your guests toward the festivities.
Keep the weather in mind. If you are planning a scary outdoor movie as part of your Halloween party, think about having soft blankets available for guests. Event planner Elisabeth Accardi suggests to Martha Stewart Living that a Halloween party is the perfect time to “set up a fire pit to provide an extra-cozy spot for conversation,” and that “if you do live in an area where temperatures have dropped significantly, add outdoor heaters that allow your guests to stay comfortable outside.”
Audio can make the night. Whether you want your favorite Halloween party tunes playing or have a super-creepy sound effects playlist ready to go, the right sounds can instantly elevate pumpkin carving, cookie decorating, and other family games.