Halloween is Big in Portland…
If you’ve lived in PDX for any significant amount of time, you know that Portland loves Halloween. No matter what neighborhood you live in, you’ve probably seen the cobwebs, skeletons, and the frontyard “cemeteries.” And if you’re new to town, don’t worry, you’ll catch on pretty quick.
Portlanders take Halloween almost as seriously as we take brunch. That means that a good Halloween party is pretty much the key to a happy neighborhood. If you’re new to town, a Halloween party with bold and fun decorations could be a key part of joining forces with your PDX neighborhood.
As you begin planning this year’s Halloween party, don’t be afraid to get a little bit weird. Here are some tips for throwing the best Halloween party in your new Portland home.
Start Planning Ahead of Time
Many shops in Portland begin putting out their Halloween decor just after the Fourth of July. This means that Portlanders are thinking about Halloween plans long before the end of October arrives. To host a successful Halloween Party, you’ll want to send out the party invites at least two weeks before the day of the party.
Stock up on decorations and menu items with plenty of time to spare so that you don’t run the risk of getting to the store and having that crucial item (i.e. fake blood) be out of stock because you waited too long. With at least two weeks between now and the date of the party, you should know what food you want to serve, have a general idea of how you want to decorate, and know who you want to invite.
Get Wacky With Halloween Decorations
Set aside a weekend before the party to get crafty and go all-out with decorations so that you don’t need to stress about this at the last minute. Branch out from the usual jack-o-lantern and think along the lines of vampire teeth napkin rings, spider web coasters, and ghostly lanterns made by drawing faces on clean milk gallons and sticking some lights in the hole.
You may find the best Halloween decor inspiration by simply driving around your Portland neighborhood. As you take in the neighborhood decorations, think about logistics and whether it makes sense to try to incorporate certain Halloween decorations into your party.
Spooky Snacks Are the Best Snacks
Whether your Halloween party is for the kids or adults, a few creative, spooky snacks will surely please the crowd. Caramel apples, butternut squash soup with a spider-web of sour cream on top, and pretty much anything with chocolate will go over well.
If your Halloween party is geared toward grownups, get creative with a cocktail or two. Food Network plays off the classic dark and stormy drink with a “dark and spooky,” complete with a gummy spider to float around in the glass.
Have Some Halloween Fun and Games Planned
Both kids and adults like to participate in party games. Be sure to have a playlist ready with classic Halloween hits like “The Monster Mash” and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. A murder mystery, a scavenger hunt, and scary movie trivia are all fun games that will keep your adult guests entertained.
Encourage everyone to come in costume, and set up a makeshift photobooth with some silly glasses and hats so that guests can document their fun. Have a costume contest with different categories like “best DIY costume” and “scariest costume” so that everyone has the opportunity to win a small prize.
Have you thrown a successful Portland Halloween party? Leave a comment and tell us what made it so amazing.