Halloween: An Opportunity to Connect with Neighbors
Whether you have been in your current home a while or you are the new kid in town, there is a fall holiday that promises to offer you the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors better. Halloween.
Read on for ten ideas for how to make this a hauntingly good holiday for adults and kids alike!
Plan Your Party
If the word party sends you into a panic, consider naming it a get-together, a porch gathering, or just an informal hangout. The first step in having a successful Halloween is to determine the date, time, and guest list.
Set Your Menu
Once you know the specifics of the event, especially who and how many will be attending, it’s time to set the menu. Going to simple and easy? Order pizzas or make it pot-luck. If a Pinterest-worthy affair is more your speed, gather thematic recipe ideas to really level up the spooky factor.
Send Your Invites
Whether you choose to print a formal invite, send a group text to the neighborhood thread, or send a digital invitation, get the word out to those attending. Be sure to ask for a specific R.S.V.P. time so you can plan for food, drink, and party favors. Keeping it casual or drop-in is fine too, but you will want to get an accurate count of who will be coming.
Give Everyone a Job
Even if you are providing all of the food and beverages, don’t hesitate to assign jobs to guests throughout the evening. Put someone on candy duty to keep the trick-or-treat bucket full. Assign adults to walk around the block supervising the kids. Have another guest managing the bar cart, another on safety patrol, and another in charge of keeping the kitchen garbage emptied and bags replaced. There’s no better way to make guests feel at home and part of the event than to give them easy jobs to lend a hand.
Create a Photo Op
Guests old and young alike will want to memorialize the evening, especially when fun costumes are involved. Many stores now carry prop sets for fun photo booths. Is there a cleared-out, well-lit spot for guests to pose for photographs? Consider also creating a fun, quippy hashtag for your events in case guests would like to share photos on their social media channels.
Show a Movie
In the event that the trick-or-treating is a bust or the weather doesn’t cooperate, consider having a backup activity for guests to enjoy. Most streaming services offer at least a few seasonal, holiday-themed movies that are appropriate for all viewing audiences. Even if everyone isn’t down to sit quietly to watch a movie, it can offer a fun background to keep the vibe of your party going strong.
Gather Up Some Games
Speaking of entertainment, might you also plan for some fun and friendly Halloween games? From Best Dressed awards to relays and games like toilet paper zombie wrapping or a marshmallow toss, games can keep the fun going long after the candy crash from guests of all ages. Bonus points if you think to offer prizes for the winners and double-bonus points if you ask one of your guests to be in charge of organizing these games!
Set Up For Safety
In all of the haunted hoopla, it can be easy to overlook safety concerns. Make sure you keep your indoor and outdoor areas well lit and free of hazards. Consider asking guests to park down the street to keep the driveway clear for trick-or-treaters. Provide flashlights for the parents who will escort kids around for candy collection. Think about offering an alternative treat for those little guests who have food sensitivities or life-threatening allergies. Pencils, stickers, or small toys are a great option.
Skip the Germs
Over the past eighteen months, most of us have become increasingly germ-conscious. Whether you are asking guests to wear actual masks–not of the costume variety, keeping the event outdoors in the crisp fall air, or making sure you have plentiful hand sanitizing stations, each measure you take to keep guests healthy and happy this Halloween with be greatly appreciated. Gone are the days of bobbing for apples or passing donuts on a stick during fall festivities. Get creative to keep your guests safe.
Savor the Moments
In the end, people will remember few details about the perfect menu or precisely executed games you provide. Instead, they will mostly remember the way you made them feel in your home. Keep the proper perspective in mind. You are creating an opportunity for your family and others in your neighborhood to connect and have fun on Halloween. That can be a BOO-tiful thing!