If you’re hosting a Halloween party this year, add a theme to your costumed event that will get guests interacting and having fun. With a bit of pre-planning, you can create a Halloween party that keeps people staying longer and singing your praises long afterwards.
Channel your inner Mad Man (or Woman) and take your guests back to the 50s and 60s with more than just costumes. Hire or appoint a dance instructor to teach everyone how to Frug, Shag and Twist the night away. Don’t forget the Bat Dance, or how to “Do the Freddie.” Find the songs that were most associated with these dances and download them and research the steps on YouTube to make sure you get it right. Some of these dances are little more than a move or two, and combining all the moves from several dances during one song can be fun. Have your guests dress the part in poodle skirts and lettermen sweaters and serve a variety of old-time comfort foods from the era.
Popular dances from the era include:
•Stroll (a great group dance)
If you’ve got a big basement or the weather will be nice and you can use your yard, host a sports-themed party that lets guests compete with scaled-down versions of volleyball, tennis, basketball, baseball, football and darts. Use kids’ foam balls or slower beach balls and smaller racquets and bats to create a circuit of fun sports games people can pick and choose throughout the evening. After your initial cocktail and snacking hour, get everyone together for “competitions” that award prizes for the best performances. Create targets and give people a few warmup tries, then five chances to hit the targets, keeping track of their scores at each station.
Nothing gets people talking and learning about each other more than a scavenger hunt. Depending on how much time you have and how ambitious you want to be, you can get guests out of the house driving around the neighborhood (or farther) to find items. To make it more interesting and to create more interaction, use clues that hunters must decipher in order to find each item. If you have friends or neighbors who will be home during the night passing out candy, they might be willing to participate by giving items to your guests who can find them via your clues. Have first-, second- and third-place gifts (or more) for participants that motivate them to finish first.
Another way to get groups of individuals talking, working together and making new friends is to host a trivia night. You can let people create their own teams or appoint the teams so you can get specific people you want meeting on the same team. A common format is to ask a question, then play a song while people work on their answers, snack, drink and chat in between. Do not let people use their phones or computers to find answers. You can add hints to your clues by including photos, or use photos as the clues (e.g., “Who is this American president?”). Make sure you include questions that cover all of the ages and backgrounds of your guests so no one feels left out of the fun. Add plenty of Halloween and horror movie questions to make your trivia party relate to All Hallow’s Eve.