Spooktacular Halloween party ideas
Hosting a Halloween party for kids? Here are Mumsnetters' top tips for setting the (spooky) scene with homemade decorations, party food and plenty of fun and games
1. Pumpkin carving made easy (well, easier)
When the time comes to carve your pumpkin, draw the pattern on the pumpkin first, then stab along the lines – in a dot-to-dot fashion – with something pointy. Then carve.
Related: nine ways to use up your leftover pumpkin
2. DIY decoration inspiration
Homemade props are satisfyingly spooky
Collect empty clean milk bottles, draw ghost faces on the side with a marker, fill with water then drop in blue glowsticks.
Raid the pound shop – and the cupboards
Buy a plastic brain, put it in a clear plastic tub and fill it up with green jelly. It will look like one of those medical specimens. If you can't find toy brain you could always use a cauliflower.
The appliance of science
I bought UV light bulbs for the living room (so cool), and had bottles of tonic water around – they glow under UV light.
… and some simple trickery
Make floating ghosts: balloons draped in crepe paper, suspended from the ceiling on invisible thread.
Related: Running out of time? Here are 18 easy DIY Halloween costumes for kids
3. Frightfully fun Halloween party games
Cast a spell on your guests
Pin the Witch on the Broom is great. We also made 10 broomsticks using long wrapping paper tubes with strips of cardboard taped round the end. We then had broom-racing around the garden.
Give party game favourites a ghoulish twist
Play a version of musical statues where they have to stomp during the music, then when it stops they pull the scariest monster face/pose and freeze.
Get wrapped up in the fun
Make a mummy – teams of two have a loo roll each and have to mummify a team member in 60 seconds.
The spider web game: sit the children in a circle, give one of them a ball of wool and ask them to throw it to someone else in the circle while holding onto a piece of the string. Keep going til a web forms and throw in some plastic spiders for added squeals.
Forget being scared – Halloween's the perfect excuse to get silly
Hang ring doughnuts on a string – the kids have to eat them without using their hands.
Blindfolded jelly-eating is hysterical – two children at a time trying to feed each other jelly.
4. Raise spirits with these Halloween-themed food ideas
Presentation is key
I made pumpkin soup and served it in a pumpkin shell like a cauldron, and gingerbread skeletons and mummies.
Related: try our easy pumpkin soup recipe
Let your imagination run wild
Make monster hands by stuffing clear plastic disposable gloves with popcorn that's been shaken in green food colouring.
And don't forget even little monsters need refreshments
Spooks Punch – it's basically a blood red punch (mainly cranberry juice) with ice hands floating in it. Freeze water or lemonade in surgical gloves tied at the end – they look really effective.
Check out our video below to find out how to make Halloween cocktails for kids (and grownups) to get you in the spirit.
Read next: more Halloween party food ideas – with recipes