This article is part of our 2019 Holiday Entertaining Series sponsored by Roots Catering

A Halloween party on actual Halloween is tricky because the Trick Or Treating takes precedence, and the kids are all amped up before going out, and over-sugared and exhausted afterwards. Even an all adult Halloween party is tough, cause the doorbell just keeps ringing.

The chance to gather with friends in costume is just too good to pass up, though, and the spooky decorations are the most fun of all the holiday themes.

If you are going with an all adult Halloween party, then the drinks can take place from 6:30 to 8:30 and dinner after the doorbell slows down (or you turn off the front lights). For the family Halloween party, dinner before is key. You all need a place to gather before setting out, it gives you something to do with the kids so they don’t start ringing doorbells at 3:45 pm, and everyone needs something a little healthy to eat before the candy onslaught.

Halloween Party Decorations

Overall, Roots Catering recommends “Business in the front/Party in the back“. Get serious with your decorations where guests will initially arrive, then go a little more subdued throughout the rest of the party / house.  Lots of themed décor on the way in and then some light accents throughout the party, the costumes will be decoration enough once everyone is there.

Here are a few of the themes we are seeing for fun & easy Spooky decor:

Skeleton Takeovers

All from 90 Awesome DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas from

Bat Invasions


Scary Carved Pumpkins

Once you pick your theme, it’s easy to carry it through the party, thanks to Etsy, Swoozies, Amazon and Target.

Halloween Party Food & Recipes

Roots suggests for Halloween you go with the Set it and Forget it Menu. Anything that can go in a crock pot or in a large casserole is what you want to do.  Appetizers that you can set out and not worry over. 2-3 Hot items and 2-3 cold items is plenty.

“If someone offers to bring something, let them, the idea is to create a party that runs itself so you can sit back and relax once the set up is complete,” says Roots owner Craig Barbour.  Or sit back and then jump up to answer the doorbell every 45 seconds. Either way.

Kiran of put together this adorable Halloween platter:

Platter includes:
– mandarin “pumpkins”
– dried apple rings
– hard boiled egg “ghosts”
– a pumpkin LARABAR
– 2 types of pumpkin seeds
– vegan caramel dip
(homemade –
– @traderjoes pumpkin cookies
– kettle corn

A Pumpkin Themed Dinner Works

Spooky Theme Food

Vomiting Pumpkins Continue to be a Popular Pinterest Suggestion = dip, guacamole, hummus, fruit and more.

No time for the complicated scary looking foods and themed dishes? No problem. Buy some cool décor for the food table and then you can do any kind of food you want, and not worry about the Halloween themed foods.

Halloween Party Entertainment

ROOTS, our party experts, suggest this is a good party to give people options for unorganized activity. The trick or treating requires plenty of organized activity, so you want to create some fun alternative options for before and after.

  • Try a fire pit with a do it yourself smores station set up next to it
  • Place a “Costume Contest” box with slips of paper for guests to vote for their favorite near the food
  • Do an old school “guess how many candy corn are in the jar” on the bar
  • At your adult Halloween party, make jello shots with tonic water and they will glow in a black light. If you choose to do this, choose a sweeter liqueur to offset the taste of the quinine in the tonic.
  • Have projector or tv somewhere at the party playing old Halloween movies or music videos of songs that you would put on a Halloween playlist. Pro tip ~ Tie the music or music videos to a spare laptop computer or tablet, don’t use someone’s phone.

Sarah Sofia Productions has a fun Pumpkin Carving Party Plan here ~ decorating rice Krispy treats, painting pumpkins and carving.

Hire Someone to Help

It is less expensive than you think to have someone come out from a local catering company (like our sponsor Roots 🙂 or bartending service to help you out for the evening. Spend a couple hundred bucks for the evening and make it even more stress free.  

This series is brought to you by Roots Catering, which provides the community with locally-sourced, handcrafted catering for any event. Led by Executive Chef Craig Barbour, who with his experienced crew can specialize any menu for any occasion. From weddings, to social gathering and corporate events to everything in between, the Roots Catering team goes above and beyond to create and execute an unforgettable experience.