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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! So, here's my predicament...i have two small children and over the years I've seen my parties go from all out late night fun (pre kids) to lights out by 11. We moved To our new home from a different state a year ago. All of our new friends have kids, and we all primarily live in the same neighborhood.. Should I do an adults only party and hope people can find sitters, or, another thought I had was to do the party on Halloween night after trick or treating. Kids would already be dressed up and I could put on a movie in the basement, like the Great Pumpkin. Adults could hang upstairs. The other reason I was thinking Halloween night is because we have made double the amount of friends this year versus last. We are the crazy haunted decorators in the neighborhood and I don't want to make people upset if they are not invited. I was thinking more like a open house type thing? Last year there was some confusion that our party might be just for kids because the neighbors didn't know us. So, some people didn't dress up . We were able to sequester the kids in the basement and then the parents have a really, really good time but some had a terrible morning, ha!!!
 

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Impossible to "please" Everybody,especially across the age spectrum with "Halloween"!
I was invited to a backyard Bonfire/party for adults,costumes hid identities invited by a classmate of mine..... nobody suggested to me that it was a Church-sponsered affair.
I found out later After they all saw my castrated-Nazi costume!
OOPS!
 

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As long as the Adults know that there is children in close proximity I do not really think it to be an issue at all. But that is just my opinion.
 

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I think there's some things to consider, and depending on what works best for you, you should go with that. Some people will not want to leave their neighborhood or homes on Halloween night - they want to be sure to stay up long enough to give out plenty of candy, or they have their own decorations they need to take down or bring inside. Also, some parents have their kiddos on a schedule and won't want their kids to be up so late to be AT a party with them, KWIM?

We do an open-house on Halloween night & invite friends, family & neighbors. We live out of state of most of our family, so attendance by them often depends on the day of the week or how old the kids are. We put our own kids to bed - later than normal, but not as late as we stay up. They will be 4 & 2 this year. Some of DH's family, who live nearby, don't come out to our house until after 10pm, because they give out candy themselves & prefer to wait until their neighborhoods are empty. Also, some families will come to our house and just use it as a home-base, but go out TOTing in our neighborhood & then come back for food or for the bathroom. LOL!

An open house is different than a party though, IMHO. We get a lot of people here but they all hang out differently. Some stay a while, some just pop in, others hang out at our fire pit while some prefer to stay inside by the food. While DH and I are trying to keep an eye on our kids, give out candy AND visit with guests AND keep the food & drinks stocked - well, we aren't exactly getting a lot of chances to really chat, you know? Plus, with people arriving & leaving at different times, people are always seeking us out and interrupting what we were doing. This is okay with us because it's the life stage we're in right now, but it's not the same as a party where you can really mingle & visit.

In your case, if you want to have a party, here's probably what I'd do - I'd host a party on a DIFFERENT night than Halloween, to ensure that most people could come. Then, I'd hire a babysitter to be downstairs with the kids, supervising what's going on, keeping them busy & entertained, and giving them permission to get snacks & drinks for the kids. Then I'd have the adults upstairs, knowing that the kids were being looked out for downstairs. In addition, I'd make sure that the parents knew this would be the setup, making sure that everyone understood it would be adults upstairs & kids downstairs, BEFORE the party started. Because some parents will want to keep their own eyes on the kids or won't feel as comfortable if they don't know the sitter. And some kids are just not mature enough to hang out without their parents at a new house. And if those families know in advance what to expect, it'll be easier for them to decide whether to come.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

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It's a big toss up if you're hoping everyone can find sitters, I would expect a lot of no shows or last minute canceling if that were the plan, unfortunately. After trick or treating would work, but I'd also suggest having someone downstairs keeping an eye on the kids, maybe a responsible; older child/teenager.
 

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We are doing our party for adults only on Friday the 30th, so our friends with children (about 50/50 since we are fairly young ) can take them trick or treating the next day. If you send your invitations out a few weeks ahead of time I wouldn't think there would be any issues with people finding sitters! I know from personal experience that if my children are with me the night goes drastically different than if my husband and I are out alone!
 

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I think an after-trick or treating party where there is space for the kids to hang out away from the adult party sounds like a good compromise, and will probably make it so more people come. i assume folks who want the kids to get to bed early can either plan for a sitter or can decide to go home early.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for these awesome suggestions!!! I knew I came to the right place with you party experts :)

I think I will have my party the night before and keep it kids optional but hire a sitter to help out. The more that I started thinking about Halloween night, I remembered how much work it was to host our house and take turns with DH taking the kids out trick-or-treating. We were pretty exhausted by the end of the night. I would imagine other parents would feel the same. Plus the kids would be all hopped up on sugar. They would be maniacs!

The basement worked out well last year. There is only one way in and out, and that is through a French door in the kitchen (where all adults were). Plus there is a bathroom there too. I hung string lights and gave all the kids glow necklaces, I put up game stations, but those quickly got destroyed. Towards the end of the night we put on the great pumpkin and the kids settled down to watch that. I just have to consider the amount of kids. Most of our neighbors have 2+ so I might become a zoo or too expensive . If it wasn't so cold that night, I would party outside in the back yard. Way different from when I lived in Florida!

Usually we have our party the Sat before but I'm using that day for my witches ladies night party. I can't wait for October!!!
 

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October 31st on a Saturday always means lower numbers at our Haunted house that night. People are doing other things which means the busiest night of October will usually be the Sat.night before Halloween,even though a week before.
Sat. night on the 31st meant increased attendance for our "Ghost Seekers Night",a late,late night event for most, and sometimes some "Things" would happen that night unexplained "Things", strange noises, odd things appearing in some photographs sometimes.....
Some people got truly "Scared" from these things.. sitting in a totally dark wine cellar,quietly ..waiting with video cameras,tape recorders.
We have as of yet never determined what could have made some of the odd sounds those nights.
Eight years ago with the lights "On" we saw,then photographed, a bright Green Orb floating across the floor headed toward the North wall, about 10inches off the solid rock floor,
October 31st is a peculiar night,and it has nothing to do with we mere living human beings.
 

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We host a part on the 17th that is for kids and adults. I don't dare have a party on Halloween because it would become a free for all! We have 1500 - 2000 people come by our house on the 31st. The last thing I need is for people to think that there is an open invitation to come in... I would opt for a date other than on Halloween for your party.
 
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