Thinking of having a Halloween party? Want to make sure you’re doin’ right by mother earth at the same time?
Step 1: Location
The idea here is to find a space that is low cost, near to your guest, i.e. on a bus route, walking distance and or easily coordinated for car-pooling. How about, a public park (works for both day or night)? Great for adults, kids or both. Your own house and or friends. Research friends and families who have condos that have a community center: sometimes these are for rent and or a certain amount of time per month is allotted to the renter/owner. The mall, a skating rink, local restaurant, or a night club.
Step 2: Food
Here is the fun part! I always like to make everything my self for the costumes, to the decorations to the party favors, games and all the good eats. I have a million ideas in my head and this is my favorite time of the year to try some of them out. I also really try to focus on the overall concept. No throw away napkins or paper plates – I make sure that there is very little waste by reusing and recycling everything we can and/or make it into something else later. A really great idea is to make it a pot-lock, create some cost effective healthy meals and snacks and ask each guest to choose what they would like to bring. You can even go so far as to ask each guest to bring extra utensils, glasses and plates that can easily be washed and returned the next day. I LOVE love luuuuv doing this because it sets the ambiance for a shabby-sheik and bohemian look which is a great for Halloween.
Two in One: Create a kid friendly and/or guest friendly game that includes making a scary treat or entrée. For example you can have a contest seeing who can make the most goulash brains. Place some pre made meatball shaped brains (use free range ground beef & chicken), then place 4 or 5 bowls of various pre made pasta shapes and sauces like: Gemelli, gomiti, gnocci, lumaconti gigantic, green pesto, red pepper pesto, Italian red sauce and alfredo. Add in some sides, like cottage cheese, ricotta, feta and you can tint them with some natural food coloring for added grossness! Guests then mix there own bowl of brains. The most grotesque wins!
Step 3: Costumes
Make your own using anything and everything you can mix together at home. Borrow clothes from friends and family, dig through grandpa’s old trunk of junk. Scout the internet for fun ideas and make it work. If you cant sew, don’t worry! That’s what a hot glue gun is for. Last year I used my roller derby uniform and some funky and wild make-up, my husband mixed and matched my sons Woody hat and guns for a cute 6’3 cowboy in a pinch. One year I had a “themed” yes, you heard me “themed” Halloween party, as in all white, 80’s, Pixar movies, animals of the wild, The Beetles, you get the idea. Guests loved this as it was super easy to be creative on a whim.
Step 4: Games
Well hello Mr. Pumpkin, oooohh what’s that you say scarecrow? Well, yes we can decorate you, fill you, and design you together. There is no reason to get all OCD on me, that’s my job…I digress; YOU CAN have some of your decorations done with your guests! I know it’s more work, but, more importantly, it’s more fun. Have guest bring old gourds, pumpkins and anything they want to stuff to make a scarecrow. Pre set up a pumpkin carving and scarecrow stuffing table and set aside time right after everyone arrives and let the games begin. Make it a contest to see how fast can they finish the project, and/or who can recreate the coolest pumpkin using pre-printed pumpkin designs off the internet you’ve set out.
Step 5: Goody bags
Ok, food again, I love to use food as everyone needs it, loves it and will use it. Again, this can be something done in advance and given as guests leave and/or do together at the party. My favorite treat to give out and make is frozen banana dips. I pre freeze the peeled organic bananas; add a Popsicle stick or wooden skewer to one end, (tip, make sure to add a tiny piece of string/tape and name tag on the sticks for people to write their names on) and your ready to go. I then melt several different types of chocolate, white, dark, milk chocolate and have a variety of dip coverings like chopped nuts, raisins, granola, and white and dark chocolate chips. You can use any candy you want the smaller the better. Lay out all of your frozen bananas, and then have guests dip them in the chocolate of their choice, last, they add the topping. Set them all back in the freezer to set up. You can then lay out some pre-cut recycled and cleaned zip lock baggie pieces and some festive string and guests can wrap their yummy gift to go before they leave. You can also just eat them right away, so effortless and so eco-awesome right.