Halloween Party Ideas

Holidays & Special Occasions Halloween Halloween Party Ideas

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      October 22, 1997 It’s almost Halloween, and your little monsters are
      champing at the bit.
      They want to have a party, but you’re too busy to do much planning or
      baking. Take a cue from Sally Mills, a member of the Cedarburg City
      Council who is leaving the planning to her 13-year-old daughter, Leslie.

      Halloween is the perfect holiday to let kids’ imaginations run wild, and
      to let them practice in the kitchen. With supervision from adults,
      planning a Halloween party can be a great experience for kids.

      Leslie Mills is inviting 13 friends to her party.

      She and her friends
      will entertain another 12 kids: Leslie’s 8-year-old twin siblings, Kelly
      and Kyle, and 10 of their friends.

      Is her mother crazy?

      Of course not. She set parameters for the party and made her
      expectations clear. She told Leslie that she needed to find another
      adult chaperone — perhaps the mother of one of her friends.

      She also
      went over Leslie’s written game plan to make sure there were enough
      activities for the younger kids. Leslie, who began planning the party in
      September but didn’t get final approval from Mom until last week, came
      up with some great ideas to feed and entertain her guests. “Since we’ll
      have little kids here, we’ll get small, tart apples at the orchard to
      make caramel apples,” Leslie said.

      She’ll also buy apple cider at the
      orchard.

      Leslie may borrow a simple idea from a cable TV show for a
      pumpkin-shaped cake. (More about that later.)
      Here’s the best part: Leslie decided the rest of the party food should
      be potluck. Her friends will each bring a favorite treat to pass.

      “I
      told them ‘nothing gloppy’ because 8- or 9-year-olds will be eating it,”
      she said. “If
      they can’t think of anything else, they can bring Halloween Oreos.”

      Leslie figures the unfinished basement in her house is perfect for the
      party.

      She’ll do a black and orange theme with crepe paper.

      Each of her friends will oversee an activity booth with themed costumes.
      Two “ghosts” will be in charge of the ghost bean bag toss; two “dead
      people” with nooses will assist the little kids with a lively ring toss;
      two “fisherwomen” will oversee the fishing-for-candy game; two “gypsies”
      will be fortune-tellers who will predict a sweet treat for each child,
      Leslie revealed); and “creepy hands of scary monsters” will pop out of a
      well to dispense candy.

      At first, the witches were going to serve punch, Leslie said.

      But then
      she decided they should be stationed at the booth with the cooked
      spaghetti and peeled grapes. You know the game: the grapes are a dead
      man’s eyes, the spaghetti is his brain . .

      . “I like doing things with
      little kids,” Leslie said, adding, “kids usually say I’m the best baby
      sitter they’ve ever had.”

      Leslie figures her little brother and sister and their friends can be
      part of the party for two hours, then her friends can stay another three
      hours to have their own fun. Donna Roloff, co-superintendent of Sunday
      school at Bethany-Calvary United Methodist Church, 7265 W.

      Center St.,
      plans an annual Halloween party for children who attend Sunday school,
      plus their friends.

      She’s making spiders with the help of children who attend the church’s
      before- and after-school care program. They also are invited to the
      party. The spider’s legs are thick, black pipe cleaners bent into shape
      and glued into a clump under the body.

      The spider’s body is a square of
      nylon black netting, glued to the top
      of the legs, then filled with candy corn and tied shut with orange and
      green ribbon once the glue is dry. For the spider’s eyes, green
      Lifesavers with orange M&Ms in the center are affixed to the body with
      frosting as the glue. To attach the eyes to the spider, two round label
      stickers are stuck together with the netting layer between.

      Glue the
      lifesaver to the exterior round sticker. Each spider leg is inserted
      into a tiny gum drop foot as a finishing touch.

      Roloff also will make cat “suckers” with peppermint patty heads,
      chocolate-chip ears and noses, orange Tic Tac eyes, orange Twizzlers
      Pull-a-Peels whiskers, and orange straws as sticks to hold onto. (The
      ears, noses, eyes and whiskers are attached with frosting.) Yellow and
      green ribbons are tied under the cat faces.

      Another fun treat on Roloff’s party list is candy corn cups.

      Her helpers
      will paint Styrofoam cups — the bottom orange, the middle yellow, and
      the top left white. She’ll fill the cups with candy corn and insert a
      cookie tombstone. For each tombstone, half of a rounded-edge sandwich
      cookie (such as a Snackwell
      or Vienna Finger) is frosted and decorated with a short epitaph, such as
      “R.I.P.”

      The cups also will contain “bugs” that stick out of the top of
      the cup. The bugs are made from a miniature gumdrop pierced with a
      toothpick. Mini-M&M eyes are attached with frosting.

      If you have an artistic flair and some time to spare, an edible haunted
      house makes a showstopping decoration.

      Hershey’s Haunted House, a manageable structure at just 9 inches square,
      is built on heavy cardboard with double-thick graham cracker walls.

      The
      house is three graham cracker squares wide and three squares tall. The
      center support inside (holding up the ceiling) consists of three graham
      crackers sandwiched together so the middle one juts above the other two
      by exactly one graham cracker square. The walls and roof are “glued”
      together with icing.

      Once the structure dries several hours, it’s decorated with candy and
      more icing.

      The bricks, porch floor and front steps are made of
      Hershey’s milk chocolate bar separated into small rectangular segments.
      For contrast, the windows, front door and porch roof are covered with
      Cookies ‘n’ Creme white chocolate candy bar pieces, framed by Twizzlers.
      The windows are topped with Reese’s miniature peanut butter cup halves.
      Stacked Rolo candies make pillars to support the porch roof.

      The fence
      is built with Kit Kat wafer bars for posts and Twizzlers Pull-a-Peels,
      which also are twisted into shape to make the spooky trees.

      It may be too late for this year’s party, but you can order a free copy
      of Hershey’s Gobblin’ Up The Fun booklet with complete directions for
      the house and more ideas for treats, decorations, costumes and games.
      Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (with two 32-cent stamps) to:
      Hershey’s Halloween Booklet Offer, 704 Metro Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042.

      Back to the pumpkin cake idea that Leslie Mills is considering from
      Cristina Ferrare of The Family Channel’s “Home & Family” show.

      Here’s
      how to make it: Prepare two packages of Bundt cake mixes, vanilla or
      lemon, as directed on the box. Bake the cakes in fluted tube pans
      according to the directions, allow to cool
      completely and set aside. In large bowl, whip up 4 tubs of prepared
      vanilla frosting until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer.

      Dye
      the frosting deep orange with food coloring.

      Place one cake, round part down, on a serving platter. Invert the second
      cake and place it on top, lining up the ridges, to resemble a pumpkin
      shape. Spread the orange frosting all over top and design the eyes, nose
      and mouth with gum drops, M&Ms and assorted other candies.

      Shape a stem
      at the top out of green frosting.

      Now that the kids are taken care of, what about the adults who either
      have a party of their own to attend, or just want to enjoy the occasion
      with their children? If you’re short on ideas, Kraft Foods offers a
      Halloween Party Hot Line, (888) 572-3875, with suggestions for 18 adult
      costumes developed by Bob Ringwood, a
      Hollywood costume designer.

      The costumes are inexpensive to make. For example, you could be a bunch
      of grapes by wearing a green sweatshirt and green tights with purple
      balloons attached to your body with double-stick tape.

      Or, become a
      traffic light by wearing a black outfit with green, yellow and red
      construction paper circles attached to your front and back.

      The Kraft hot line also offers ghoulish food ideas from Kraft Creative
      Kitchens.

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Holidays & Special Occasions Halloween Halloween Party Ideas