Follow this step-by-step guide to the spookiest bash ever.
If you'd like a creepy-crawly good time for your guests, then plan a party for your most fiendishly fun friends. We have all the ingredients needed to make such a successful Halloween party that no ghoul or goblin will ever forget.
It's a Party Countdown Planning is the secret to a successful party. Once everything is thought out, your party will not only run smoothly, but you'll have fewer pre-party jitters. To help guide you in your planning, follow this easy-to-use checklist.
One Month Ahead: Decide on the date, time, place, theme, and number of guests for your party. Plan on one guest for each year of your child's age. For a 7-year-old, invite no more than seven guests. Start by making your own invitations. They can be spellbinding or spooky -- it's all up to you. Plan the party length with your child's age in mind. Two hours is enough for your 1- to 3-year-old, and three hours is appropriate for a 10-year-old. If necessary, make arrangements for hiring entertainers, renting a party room, or planning mini-trips.
Two Weeks Ahead: Call your child's best friends to make sure they can make the party date before you invite the other guests. This gives you the opportunity to pick a different date so your child has his special friends at the party. Phone or mail the invitations, but if you're mailing them, be sure to ask for an R.S.V.P. so you'll know exactly how many kids will be coming. Instruct guests to wear their Halloween costumes to the party and to be ready to do a trick -- tell a joke, sing a song, or stump everyone with a riddle. Also make plans for the menu, activities, prizes, and decorations. Plan more games to play than you'll have time for. This allows you to go on to another game if your guests aren't having fun.
One Week Ahead: Make or purchase the party favors, prizes, and decorations. If you've made any special arrangements, check on the final plans. The big night will be here before you can say "BOO" so don't forget to shop for the most important thing -- the FREAKY FOOD! See our recipes on the next page.
Two or Three Days Ahead: Double-check the final guest list and make a tentative schedule for what you'll be doing at the party.
An all-time kids' favorite, these adorable chain rattlers have a cereal and marshmallow base and are coated with vanilla-flavored candy.
The kids will love these treats! Just whip up a batch of popcorn balls, then add a few gummy worms, black licorice bits, candy corn, or other candies in Halloween colors.
A cookie pizza becomes a spooky cemetery when decorated with cookie tombstones, candy eyes, and jelly worms.
Seeing is believing with this Halloween treat. Peanut butter candy is shaped and decorated to look like bloodshot eyes.
Use orange and green gumdrops to make candy pumpkins. Cut, press, cut, press, and you'll have these darling little pumpkins to help you celebrate at trick-or-treating time.
This mouthwatering cheesecake is topped with Halloween sprinkles and edged in orange-colored candy coating. All you need to do is decorate a frozen cheesecake for an easy dessert.
Decorate orange-colored spritz to look like pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving.
Decorate these chocolate-and-orange-flavored cutouts with bright orange icing. Decorate the cats pictured by piping the icing, or double the icing recipe and spread it on with a knife.
The yummy cheese spreads easily on crackers for a quick snack.