October 26, 2010

A TBS Primer: A Halloween Soiree On A Budget for the Chic, Fabulous and Us Procrastinators

I usually do little more for Halloween than try to evade the candy-grubbing kids in our neighborhood—all six of them! Hey, why should I buy a monstrous bag of candy for only six kids? I’d rather pretend that I’m not home. Furthermore, since The Boy is off at college (Go SMU Mustangs!), the fun for me has almost been vacuumed out of Halloween.

Since Halloween 2010 is over the weekend, I’ve been giving some thought to a soiree. A few friends, a few cocktails, a few bites, and a few BWUAHAHAAHAHAS are the perfect potion for a swanky Halloween cocktail party! If you’re not sure what’s on your agenda, I’ve included tips for a budget-friendly partay!

Costumes? On such short notice, encourage everyone to simply wear black. Masks are optional. One of the most stressful elements of Halloween is trying to figure what you’re going to “be.” Make it easy for your friends. You might also have favors; they are plentiful in Dollar Tree-ish stores.

Your backdrop? Rent Carrie, Friday the Thirteenth, or any scream-inducing movie, pop it in, and put the TV on mute! Dim the lights, ignite a few candles, and pop in your iPod with a Halloween-inspired play list. I’ve included some suggested tunes below:

  • “Ghostbusters,” Ray Parker, Jr.
  • “Thriller,” Michael Jackson
  • “The Monster Mash,” Boris Pickett
  • "Jaws"theme
  • "X-Files" theme
  • "The Munsters" theme
  • "The Adams Family theme
  • “I Put A Spell On You,” Nina Simone
  • “In the Midnight Hour,” Wilson Pickett
  • "Twilight Zone" theme
  • Also include various Halloween-esque sound bites.

Decor? If you’re inspired to carve a pumpkin or two into jack-o-lanterns, do so this weekend. As mentioned above, your lighting will be the saving grace, so pop a couple into the scarily-etched gourds. Not that ambitious? Well ... buy a few of those $1 plastic jack-o-lanterns and place them throughout your entertaining space. Fill them with treats! If you’re so inclined (and it’s in your budget), pick up festive cups and napkins.  My dear friend Eddie Ross whipped up a fiendish feather wreath for just a little cash. Here are his instructions.

Libations? Dependent on your audience, grab a case of beer and a few bottles of wine. It is critical that you whip up a signature drink! Try a Almond Joy or Milky Way Martini or Witches’ Brew.

Bites? Finally! Think tapas. An antipasti platter. Nuts. Popcorn. Skewers (veggie, shrimp, chicken satay, etc.). Reference The Minimalist’s small plate recommendations for ideas.

Entertainment? Should the natives grow restless, keep them entertained with: karaoke, Halloween MadLibs, or Halloween-inspired charades (using a stack of index cards write words related to Halloween, split in two teams and the guessing game begins).

Cheers to hoping you’ll do something fun on All Hallow’s Eve. All that’s missing from this concoction is you and a group of great friends!

What are YOUR plans this year?


  1. I linked to this on my blog today - my readers should become your readers too!http://frugalhostess.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-halloween-party-ideas-and-new.html

  2. Nothing more fun than adults doing stuff we used to do as a kid! Well...plus the libations of course. ROFL!

  3. Thanks so much, Frugal Hostess! You're too sweet.

  4. Sounds like some fun and easy ideas...just wish I had the TIME..haha...I am going to get the ingredients for the almond joy martini...sounds delightful!

  5. Thanks for the suggestions, these are great! I'm hosting a slumber party for about 15-20 kids plus some adults on Saturday (now that's scary!) and I will definitly put some of your magic to use. THANKS!!

  6. Great tips! The Witches Brew sounds like it would really be able to make the night!

  7. YYIIKKEESS!! Can't believe we missed this fantastic Halloween entry on your blog, Broke Socialite! Super tips here! Keep them handy for next year - it's always sooner than we think, right? But for now,it pays to be prepared, and this is the perfect time to get Halloween supplies at deap discounted prices for next year - Happy Post-Halloween Shopping!

  8. LOVE these tips, especially the one suggesting we play scary movies on the TV with the sound on mute. *shivers* And the Almond Joy Martini? What?!


  9. OMG! I love the feather wreath! I;m not having a halloween fete, but might make one of those wreaths just 'cuz!

  10. Thanks for the signature drink links. I'm not having a HallowBash but I'm sure I can find a perfectly suitable occasion for them!

  11. I like the "wear black" idea. I went to a halloween party on halloween this year (for kids and adults) and was told to wear a costume. I cobbled together a cute pirate costume from my closet at the last minute, although it stressed me out. I arrived at the party and 70% of the adults did NOT have on a costume!


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