Halloween is considered by many adults to be the most fun holiday all year. While Halloween is known mainly as a children’s holiday, that does not mean you should let the little ones have all the fun!

For a Halloween that’s all treats and no tricks, you can throw a fabulous fiesta with a grown-up twist. Here are some Halloween party tips that are definitely for a grown-up party!

Invitations: Set the tone of your party right from the start with the invitation you send. Paint the details for the party on a big pumpkin, or on three smaller ones all lined up.

Take a close-up photo of the “invitation” and send copies to guests in bright orange envelopes. If you grow your own pumpkins, or have access to plenty, skip the photo and send the pumpkin itself as an invitation no one can ignore.

Atmosphere: Set the tone from the moment your guests arrive by creating the perfect atmosphere. You can do one or all of the following suggestions.

  • Use the items of the season by making an artistic front-porch pumpkin display. Start by hollowing out pumpkins of various shapes, sizes, and colors. You can even drill small holes in them to create spiral or bull’s-eye designs. Then just add votive candles and arrange in a cluster near the front door.
  • Hide a boom box on the front porch to play scary Halloween sound effects or horror movie music as the guests arrive for a one of a kind special effect.
  • Set the right lighting by cutting out bats, ghosts, or pumpkin shapes from black construction paper. You can then tape cutouts to the inside of light-colored lampshades for an eerie shadow effect. You can also replace the light bulbs with orange ones that are available at most hardware stores.
  • String fishing wire over the buffet table and hang orange paper lanterns. For a fun effect you can also scatter Halloween confetti over the tablecloth.
  • If you have a fireplace you can clear it out and fill it with orange and black pillar candles in various shapes and sizes.

Menu: Halloween is not just about the candy as this is the time you can serve some grown up Halloween goodies for more experienced palates. As a starter you may want to consider serving black bean soup in small hollowed-out pumpkins.

You can also use a pastry bag to top each bowl with a ghost-shaped dollop of sour cream just before serving. Be sure not to overlook your pumpkins because they are not just for carving and decorating-you can eat them!

You can find plenty of pumpkin recipes online that will give your Halloween party a menu everyone will love! While Halloween candy is always a big hit with kids of all ages you still should not forget having some grown-up desserts at your Halloween party.

You can make a glow in the dark graveyard cake for dessert. You can cut store-bought sugar cookie dough into tombstone shapes and bake. Use icing to write RIP on the cooled cookies and then personalize them with guests’ names. When they are ready stick the tombstones into a chocolate cake to resemble a graveyard.

Fun & Games: For a fun twist, make it a party by asking everyone to bring a carved pumpkin to the party.

Set up a special table to display them to enhance your party decorations! Don’t forget the pens and paper so guests can cast their vote for the best pumpkin.

You could even use a plastic jack-o-lantern as a ballot box. At the end of the night, you can count the votes and award a sack of Halloween treats to the guest who brought the winning pumpkin.

Costumes: Having a last minute costume contest will make it less stressful for the guests to figure out a costume.

On the invitations, be sure to instruct guests not to think about their Halloween disguises in advance. One hour before the party begins, your guests must throw together costumes using whatever they can find around their homes. The key is to think creatively. Be sure to reward the guest who comes up with the best last minute costume.

You could also have awards for the best dressed couple or for people who dress up their pet!