Halloween Planner

Follow our step-by-step guide to a successful Halloween.


First Week of October

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Plan a party. Now is the time to decide whether you'll be having a Halloween party this year. If so, you'll want to choose a Halloween party theme, plan your party decorations, and create a guest list.

Once you settle on a party theme, you'll know more about how you want to decorate, whether it be scary and gothic, glamorous and dramatic, or fairy-tale-esque. Your guest list will depend on whether your party is for you and your adult friends, your kids and their friends, or both. Send your invitations now.

Take our Pick a Halloween Party Theme Quiz

See our Halloween Invitations Slide Show

Choose Your Outdoor Decor

Second Week of October

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Choose Halloween costumes for you and your kids. Once you've put your party plans in motion, it's time to pick who (or what!) you want to be for Halloween. If you decide on a homemade costume, you'll want to get started making it now. If you decide to buy a costume online or at a retail costume store, place your order or pick up your costume. Then, if you're planning a party, start compiling a shopping list for food and decor.

See all our Halloween costumes in Costume Gallery

Plan a Simply Fun Halloween

Quick Halloween Party Food

Third Week of October

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Plan and place all your outdoor Halloween decorations. It's a little too early to carve pumpkins (unless you don't mind if they get mushy), but you can paint pumpkins for a bright, fun look without the mess. If you're having a party, start shopping for nonperishable grocery items and party decorations.

Last-Minute Halloween Decor

Ghoulish Goodies

Painted Pumpkins

Fourth Week of October

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Carve your pumpkins now. You might want to use stencils for a "professional" look. If you like the idea of having fancy trick-or-treat bags and want to make your own, now is the time. Select the treats you'll have at your house and buy or prepare them this week. If you're hosting a Halloween party, make sure you have everything you need.

Pumpkin Stencil Maker

Halloween Treat Bags

Healthy Halloween Treats

Halloween Night

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Here's where all your planning pays off. Tweak your outdoor decor, dress in your Halloween costume, and grab your trick-or-treat bag. If you're having a party, put up your decorations, lay out the food, and prepare to play. Happy Halloween!

Halloween Safety Tips

Classic Halloween Party Games

Send a Halloween E-Card

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