Believe it or not, Halloween is just 10 days away! Are you looking to throw a party for your friends and family and their kiddos? If so, you’re in luck! Lifestyle expert Justine Santaniello stopped by this week to share her favorite tips for throwing a “spookacular party” – from the decor, meal planning, costume and pumpkin carving contests the entire family will enjoy, and much more!
Candace Rose: With Halloween less than two weeks away, how can we throw a spooktacular party for our guests?
Justine Santaniello: “Halloween is a great holiday to plan a party around because your key entertainment – the trick or treating is already built in, so you can have a pre trick or treating party. Kids love it, adults love it, and it’s a lot less work for you as the host.”
Candace Rose: How about when it comes to food, do you have any snack ideas you can share with us?
Justine Santaniello: “You want to cut down because we’re going to be having so much sugar, so you want to serve savory snacks and finger foods. But you want them to stay within the theme of the party – that spooky theme. Here we have some broken witches fingers which we made very easy out of hot dogs and ketchup. You just cut up a little chunk at the top so it looks like a fingernail and the ketchup looks like blood.
And then we have some bloodshot eyeballs here (please see video above) that we made out of deviled eggs. Kids love stuff like this! It’s fun and festive. Another thing that kids love – Wonderful Pistachios has these great Frankenweenie pistachio packs. They’re so cute, they’re bite size treats so kids like them and parents like them too, because they’re certainly a healthier option.
Fill their tummies before they go trick or treating so they don’t overdo it with candy.”
Candace Rose: How about when it comes to drinks?
Justine Santaniello: “Sure when it comes to drinks you want to keep it festive. I always like to serve a hot apple cider. Apples right now are at their peak and it’s such a great time to go to the orchards. You can get apple cider right from your orchards or you can get them at your local supermarket. But that’s a perfect drink and kids also love cider.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any fun game ideas you can share with us?
Justine Santaniello: “Halloween – so many fun game ideas! You can do a Halloween egg hunt instead of an Easter egg hunt. So you get black and orange eggs, fill them up with candy or prizes. Scatter them around your house, let the kids go look for them like a scavenger hunt – kids love that. This also allows the parents a few minutes to themselves to chit chat.
You could also do some fun contests. You can do a costume contest, they’re certainly easy enough to do. Encourage the adults to dress up to, this way you can even do a best family costume as a category; best homemade costume; scariest costume.
You can also have the kids decorate little mini pumpkins and then do a contest there – scariest pumpkin, funniest pumpkin. You’re doing categories so this way there are no winners or losers, everybody is a winner.”
Candace Rose: How fun! Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Justine Santaniello: “Decorating is such a key to making your party, and Halloween is such a fun party to decorate for. You can make it really easy- get those gel cling on decorations and put those on your windows and mirrors. Of course the classic cobwebs that we all love. You could put this inside or even outdoors on the trees and bushes- I used to love that as a kid.
Now here’s a trick: pumpkins and gourds are great Halloween decorations, but you can keep these up all throughout the fall season as home decoration. All the way up until Thanksgiving even. So it really makes your money go a little further. And then if you want to make a Jack-o’-lantern you can do this without having to have the mess of cutting the pumpkins. You can use things like paint or markers, or even glue on felt or glitter. You can really get creative with it. It’s fun, the kids love it, but it’s a lot less mess for you.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Justine Santaniello: “You can check me out on Twitter @JNSantaniello. I’ll be posting a ton of tips up until Halloween, and of course you can go to AlmondAccents.com for the great Wonderful Pistachios Frankenweenie packs.