Halloween Forum banner

Family Friendly halloween party?

1045 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dawnski
Last year, I threw a huge adults only Halloween party (Carnival of Carnage). This year, the kids want in on the Halloween party too ( and to be honest, I'm ready for a more responsible type of party). Last year's decorations included lots of blood and gore. This year, I need to scale it back. Any thoughts on how to still throw a great party and have great decorations while keeping it family friendly (ages newborn-adult)? I want it to be still really cool for adults and not scare the kids. Plus I live in a townhouse now so the scale of my decorations has changed a bit. Any tips would be appreciated !
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Hi! My BIL & SIL used to throw a Halloween party for adults & kids. They were pretty lucky to have a large house, so they had an area in the basement where they set out some folding tables & chairs, and filled the tables with Halloween-inspired coloring pages, crafts, markers, stickers, etc. They also had glow sticks & games like pin the hat on the witch up on the wall. It was great to keep the kids occupied & give them a space of their own.

The main areas of the house were a bit more adult-oriented, but they didn't have too much gory details.

At my house, we host an Open House/Buffet type event every Halloween. We get all ages - some people say awhile & hang out with our firepit & eat lots of food all night, while others pop in & out as they TOT through the neighborhood. The majority of our decorations are outside, but we do indoor displays too. One thing everyone seems to like are the tabletop props where you can push a button & something will happen. We have the eyeball doorbell that we hang on the wall inside, & kids and adults both like pushing it - just one example. I try not to have too many things within reach of kids that they aren't allowed to touch - if I want to protect it, I put it up high & away from the high-traffic areas!

We don't really do bloody or gory with any of our decorations. Outside is a bit scarier than inside - we don't want the kids to be afraid of coming in the house. Here's a photo of our fireplace from last year - we aim for spooky, a bit creepy, but not so scary. The skeleton along the left side is animated & will talk if you push his buttons.

Another way I find it easy to decorate is to try & color-coordinate things together. Our fireplace is in our family room, so I try to stick with black, white, silver & small pops of purple in there. In our dining room, I use our shelves to put up some of the other indoor decor that is a bit more traditional/vintage-inspired. It's mostly black & orange, so I keep those the main colors of anything I put in there.

Also, don't forget to cater to the kids a little bit when it comes to the food. It's fun to put together some kid-specific treats, but it's also great for the parents if you offer something more solid to combat all the sweets they'll get that night. We do a big batch of macaroni & cheese (kids & adults like it), and a large bowl of sliced fruit, which is in addition to our "real" menu. There are snacks like crackers, veggies & dip too, but it all helps to give parents a chance to sneak in some healthier stuff.

My kids are little still, so we host at least one Halloween playdate before our own Open House. Here's a photo of some fun treats we set out for the kids - the drinks are a huge hit! :D

Brunch Food Drink Table Punch

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thank you so much! beautiful decorations and ideas!
Pirates are a great theme for kids and adults. Treasure hunt, Pirate hook ring toss, tons of possibilities for games.
I think you'll have to leave gore out of it to make it family friendly, just swap it for spooky instead. We've hosted a family friendly party 3 years in a row, 4th this year. There's lots of interesting things for adults and kids alike without being too intense for young ones. People in costume will always have fun :) and obviously there's no reason why adults can't enjoy a few drinks.
We do an outdoor movie, Halloween-themed of course...usually something like TNBC. Last year we did Casper...this year, Hotel Transylvania. people come and bring stuff to eat, we supply popcorn and marshmallows for roasting...big hit for all.
Do an inventory of items you might already have that can be considered mildly spooky before buying new props like crows, simple ghosts, cats, etc. I agree that the overall mood should be spooky and not scary. A vintage feel like the one posted above is a great example. Kids love jack o lanterns so you may want to have a 'carve (or paint) your own pumpkin' table for kids and adults. :)
My kids are little still, so we host at least one Halloween playdate before our own Open House. Here's a photo of some fun treats we set out for the kids - the drinks are a huge hit! :D
This year we will actually have 2 parties, one family party & another one where my kids get to invite some friends from school! We don't do big bday parties for our kids, so I finally convinced hubby that we should throw an extra Halloween party for that reason. Hey all the decor is up, so why not! :D
I've always had all ages and have never held back on my ideas. I don't do big gore but I do include skeletons and monsters. I also had a kid-friendly room available (some string lights and kid Halloween movies) but I've done away with it as we haven't had issues with the kids being too afraid. Some blood is okay, but if you get rid of any graphic gore, you should be fine. Here are some Pinterest boards that might give you some ideas:

Classic monster party - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-classic-monsters/
Critter and insect invasion - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-critters-and-insects/
Day of the Dead - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-dia-de-los-muertes/
Gothic/Victorian look (great pairing with classic monster and hotel) - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-gothicvictorian/
Haunted hotel - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-haunted-hotel/
Haunted mansion - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-haunted-mansion/
Malice in Wonderland (could be fun for the kids) - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-malice-in-wonderland/
Monster House (think Addams family) - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-monster-house/
Scary Tales - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-scary-tales/
Voodoo/Tiki - https://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-voodootiki/
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.