A couple of weeks’ ago I mentioned that we were planning to throw a Halloween party.
We’d decided to make it a bit of a village affair — invite all the neighbours and their children — and decorate the house and garden in a suitably spooky manner.
Although we spent hours scouring Pinterest for games and Halloween party food to entertain our guests, I didn’t have to think too hard about where I could find a decent selection of Halloween inspired props and decorations.
Earlier in the year, I discovered the most amazing company called Party Delights who sell literally EVERYTHING you could want, for practically any party theme.
I got all the props for the twins’ pirate themed party from there — there’s such a lot of choice and everything was really fantastic quality — so they were my first port of call for Day of The Dead Halloween Party accessories.
Happily, they didn’t disappoint and a boxful of skulls, cobwebs and other ghoulish goods arrived the week before the party.
So last weekend dawned — dry, overcast and gloomy— the perfect weather for our spooky soirée.
I made a gazillion more sugar skull biscuits — you can pop and read the recipe here in case you missed it — and my boy made some little marshmallow pumpkin crispy cakes and a zombie punch served in a giant hollowed out pumpkin.
Then we set to and decorated the cottage.
We’d decided to cordon off the dining room using the most amazing scene setters — to look like a corridor in a spooky mansion — and pinned some huge sheets of ghoulish pictures up the staircase.
The effect was pretty amazing — especially once we’d added a ton of cobwebs and spiders!
The house was mainly out of bounds, with the party being held in the garden and conservatory.
This was a pretty good plan as it meant that we could concentrate all of our efforts in a fairly small space — and the clean up operation was a little easier too the next day.
Skulls, bats and spiders hung from every corner and the table was decorated with a black cloth, skull runner and enough sparkly Halloween confetti to sink a (ghost)ship.
The garden had a little bit of a Halloween Party makeover too.
Sugar skulls hung from the trees and we created a little graveyard in one corner, complete with a witches hat hoopla.
Super easy to play — just throw a glow-stick hoop over a hat to win a prize.
My boy also made an amazing feed the Cookie Monster game; he got the kids to throw toy food into the mouth and anyone that managed to feed the monster won a handful of sweets.
There were lots of different seating areas with cushions and fairy lights, and in one corner we lit the BBQ, so we could toast marshmallows for the kids.
In total we were 31.
16 adults and 15 children ageing from 1 to 12.
We ate chilli and rice — and sausage casserole — and the littles ate hot-dogs (and all the biscuits). The Champagne and cocktails flowed and there was such a lovely festive atmosphere. Weird for the last weekend in October but lovely nevertheless.
The tiny ones ran around, collecting handfuls of glow-sticks and the bigger kids were entertained by an elaborate bush-tucker challenge game, concocted by the Twinkles’ daddy.
He took great delight in asking them to put their hand in a covered box full of gruesome delights — bleeding hearts (tomatoes), eyeballs (lychees), maggots (rice) and worms (noodles) to retrieve a token.
It was hilarious watching them and anyone that was brave enough to have a go — and won — could help themselves to as many sweets as they could fill their pockets with.
A hit for sure.
At the end of the evening, when some of our guests had gone home, I was drinking Champagne out of a mug (ever classy) and chatting to one of our neighbours.
We watched on, as our children ran round the dark garden, squealing with delight as they collected glow-sticks and sugary treats off the lawn.
I said — ‘Aaah look at them. That’s the best thing in the world when you’re a child isn’t it? Being able to play outside in the dark, while your parents are nearby; laughing and chatting with their friends.’
And she said
‘Yes. They’ll remember this, definitely. Being a parent is all about making memories isn’t it?’
And that’s exactly it.
I have such fond recollections of my own childhood and I want to ensure that our boys grow up with full hearts and heads bursting with a million lovely memories that we’ve created for them.
The Halloween party was such a success — I think it may become an annual event — it was so lovely to get all the neighbours together. All too often we don’t have time to stop and chat — life is so busy — and it was lovely to gather everyone together and catch up on all the gossip.
Plus it was the perfect backdrop for my October Me and Mine pics.
Looking slightly odder than usual, resplendent in full Day Of The Dead garb.
My boys and me.
Because there was way too much to show in one post, I made a mini-film of our Halloween party. It’s less than 2 minutes long but really shows all the amazing props off in their best light.
Pop and have a look and if you’re having a party of your own, I highly recommend Party Delights. They have an incredible range of product, the delivery is super-quick and everything is fab quality too.
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This is a collaborative post but all images, thoughts and words — as ever — are entirely my own.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.