Last Minute Halloween Parties That Pop!
Halloween is almost upon us. Want to pull off a hot holiday bash, but short on time? Here are four stylish ideas you can pull off at the last minute. (See also: Fabulous Party Ideas For The Frugal-Minded)
The High Society Bash
Send out some formally worded email invitations (the honor of your presence is requested, etc.) and a link to purchase theater tickets. Have everyone over for champagne and those chocolate truffles from Lindt with the orange foil wrappers. Instruct guests to get dressed up in semi formal attire for a night on the town and wear Venetian style masquerade face masks.
Make several stylish pumpkin shaped cakes by putting two bundts together and drizzling with powdered sugar glaze.
Use dry ice to store the champagne on top of and throughout the house for an spooky effect. Use loads of candelabras for romantic Halloween atmosphere, and have scary organ music playing. If you feel like going the extra mile, drape a few things in cheap muslin or gauze to give that “house has been empty for years” feel and maybe a few fake cobwebs. After meeting for champagne, dessert or perhaps a pumpkin latte or two, everyone goes out for a live production of Phantom of the Opera. This requires living near a theater, but the movie would do in a pinch.
Incidentally, champagne is apparently more of an appropriate Halloween drink than I would have thought. Since it was basically invented / discovered as a mistake and considered a waste of a good harvest, certain people originally referred to it as vina de Diablo or wine of the devil. Now of course, it is considered a highly prized beverage. Not everyone has mega bucks to spend on it however. Since I've only ever sprung for the cheap stuff, I called a colleague of mine who follows the market closely and asked for a couple of recommendations in the "under twenty bucks but nicer than the three dollar stuff" category. Her picks? Zardetto Prosecco and Juve y Camps Reserva de la Familia 2003 . Some of you may have other suggestions or ideas as well.
The Couch Potato Bash
Throw a bunch of pumpkin beer on some dry ice in a large galvanized steel bucket (or in the case of broke college students-the bathtub), have everybody bring a few Halloween themed movies and the snack of their choice to share, and do a scary movie marathon.
If you feel the need to make a bit more of a splash, throw together some coffin sandwiches and have everyone bring a T-shirt to bleach stencil with a Halloween design. I think this one would also be fun in the city where it’s hard to lug a bunch of stuff. This keeps it simple, and is also good for those workaholics with absolutely no time to spare.
The Family Style Bash
This is a great idea if you want the grown ups to have some fun as well, but need to accommodate those with children.
Set up a buffet table with loads of holiday specific pot-luck food, have some kid friendly movies like the Nightmare Before Christmas or the Great Pumpkin, and work in a couple of activities like pumpkin carving or apple bobbing. People can trick or treat for a bit with their kids before hand, and have some place to let the kids wind down with a movie and some real food to balance out that sugar.
The Dinner and Dancing Bash
Have a fall or pumpkin themed menu and a classy sit-down dinner tablescape. Some items to include could be a salad with homemade pumpkin vinaigrette, a pumpkin bisque soup, stuffed squash . . . you get the picture.
Or you could borrow the pumpkin beer on dry ice idea from above and do a simple BBQ in the backyard. It all depends on the feel you want. You can do costumes or not, according to your time schedule.
Pick out a cool selection of tunes to rock out to. Personally, I’m a Werewolves of London fan from way back. Some other tunes? Superstition, Black Magic Woman, Sympathy for the Devil, Monster Mash, Masquerade, Witchy Woman, Bad Moon Rising . . . there are loads of ideas out there. Just rock out and have fun.
That’s it. Four Halloween party themes you can pull off at the last minute and not feel overly stressed. As usual, I’d love it if you’d chime in with your ideas and suggestions.