Halloween Party Ideas

I love fall because of all the amazing Holidays. This is when I really get to some mean baking. But October is my favorite month for 2 reasons: Halloween is my favorite holiday and October is my last time for some breathing room before my work season starts and I have no life till April. Therefore, Halloween is a cause to go big!

Katie and I sporting our best Halloween spirit

Periodically, I post about ideas for parties, mostly when it pertains to food and gifts. Other than that, I scrapbook, but it isn’t the best scrap booking you’ve ever seen, let me tell you that.

I am going to put down some of my Halloween party ideas today, and hopefully in the next few days, add some photos once the gift making and partying begins. I just want to leave instructions now so no one misses out on something cool and Halloweeny.

Drink Ideas

My Spiked Punch
Making a punch or jungle juice is an easy way to make alcohol go a long way. Plus it looks great at a party, especially when you add a few things. Normally, my punch recipe looks like this (halfway down the post). But for Halloween, we need to make sure we stick to the spooky theme.

1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1/2 cup frozen purple grapes
1 8oz can pineapple juice
1 can frozen lemonade (follow directions on can to make the lemonade)
1 can frozen fruit punch (follow directions on can)
1 cup Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade
4 drops red food coloring
*If adding alcohol, either add 2 bottles of champagne or 1 handle of your favorite vodka*

Mix all ingredients together. Make the concentrate according to the can. Stir and enjoy. To make the drink spookier, see below.

Halloween Hands

In addition to making punch, there are a number of ways in which you can up the scarey factor. One of my favorite is to take latex gloves and fill them almost full with water. Make sure you rinse the glove out first so there isn’t an odd taste from the glove. You also don’t want to overstretch the glove. Just fill it. Tie off the ends and freeze them in the freezer. Once you are ready to serve the punch, take the hands out, cut off the latex, and place in the punch. Voila!

You can also add marshmallows to the punch, which will start to melt in the liquid, giving it this Halloween feel. Also, try dying adding Halloween ghost peeps to your punch for a different less scary effect. Lastly, if you dare, you can buy really cheap plastic dolls at the 99 cents store, dismember them, and leave floating legs are arms in your punch bowl. It really depends on how creepy you want to get.

Add some marshmallows and drip some food coloring down the hand for an added effect.

Ice Bottle Cooler
I found this idea for a way to decorate your alcohol bottles for a party. Check out the original post here. Instead of using fruit, which also looks gorgeous, I wanted to make this a little more halloweeny.

Photo from the original post

A 3-liter empty soda container that you will cut the top
Distilled water
Purple Grapes and Orange peel/rind
Red and Yellow food coloring
Duct tape (only in case the bottle floats up in the water)

Place the bottle of vodka inside the 3-liter container and fill with an inch or two of the distilled water. Add a 2 drops of yellow and one drop of red food coloring, mixing the bottle around. Freeze until solid. When the base is frozen you can grapes around the bottle and fill with more water to just cover the fruit layer – freeze until solid.

Once the first fruit layer is frozen you can add your next layer in the same manner, filling with distilled water, adding 2 drops of yellow food coloring and 1 drop of red.. This layer should take you to the top of the vodka bottle – freeze until solid. Once the cooler is frozen, take it out of the freezer so it can thaw slightly – enough to work the 3-liter container off of the ice (about 30 minutes). You may still need to dip in warm water to help ease it off. Once you have the ice cooler out of the container store it in the freezer until ready to set on your bar.

When setting the ice cooler out on your bar, set it in a shallow dish or tray that is lined with a small towel. This will prevent the ice base from slipping around on the dish, as well as help contain the melting ice. Under normal home temperatures this should last a few hours.

Food Ideas

Halloween Party Mix
This is simple. Think about what goes into Chex mix and how easy those ingredients are to get. Now… think of fall colors. How lovely would it be to have a homemade bowl of party mix that represented what you wanted out of Halloween? Now get to it!

The below recipe is a suggestion of what I like to do in my Halloween party mix. However, you can always add or change whatever you like depending on your preference.

6 cups Chex
2 cups pretzel sticks
2 cups original Corn Nuts
1 cup candy corn (you can even use Halloween shape candy corn)
1.5 cups Reese’s Pieces
1 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
2 cups Kettle Korn (homemade or store bought)

Throw all ingredients together in a large festive bowl and mix around until thoroughly incorporated.

Dirt Cake
I used to work for the city of Los Angeles for 8 years as a camp counselor and, when I worked in Day Camp, we had a “Kitchen” activity 2 times a week. One of the kids’ favorite homemade meals was the dirt cake because it was fun to make and delicious to eat. This recipe is a grown up version of what we used to make in pudding cups.

For a on the go party planner, making everything from scratch can be time consuming. For this recipe, I would make the chocolate cake and brownies from box mixes if I was running short on time. Everything is going to be crumbled up together anyways. Also, making this in a trifle dish looks the best, as you can see the layers.

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box brownie mix
2 cups homemade whipped cream
1 cup chocolate pudding
6 Oreo cookies
1 package gummy worms and other shapes (for Halloween, you can use ghost peeps or candy corns too. Try and find tombstones)

Bake the cake and brownies per instructions on the box. Let cool completely. If you are making the whip cream, make it now. Make the chocolate pudding. Set all ingredients inside.

Take a large bowl and crumble chocolate cake and brownies together, in medium to large chunks. Mix thoroughly. On the bottom of your Trifle dish, put in a 1 inch layer of cake and brownie mixture. Top with 1 cup whipped cream. Add another layer of cake and brownie. Then add chocolate pudding. Add the last layer of cake and brownie. Top with remainder of whipped cream.Crush Oreo cookies and sprinkle top layer with Oreo Cookie crumbs. Add worms on top to give the appeal of worms in dirt.

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