How To Throw A Last Minute Halloween Party!

OMG! Halloween is just a few days away/tomorrow/tonight/oops yesterday (delete as appropriate!) and the kids (or the adults!) want a party… I’m the self-confessed queen of last-minute parties, somehow managing to pull them out of the bag at the very last moment, and so, I’m sharing my tips on How To Throw A Last Minute Halloween Party with you!

This post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog – a celebration of everything Halloween and Autumn. Now in its 8th year, the 2019 series is bigger and better, running from September 1st, all the way through All Hallows’ Eve on October 31st!

How To Throw A Last Minute Halloween Party

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Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas

Since I am the self-confessed Queen of last-minute parties, it goes without saying that I could not be without my Amazon Prime! With same-day, one-day, and two-day shipping (depending on item and geo-location) it has been my lifesaver on many occasions.

With millions of products at my fingertips, it is pretty much my one-stop-shop for party supplies (and actually lots of other stuff too!). A Prime membership trial is free for 30-days to try out and a nominal monthly fee thereafter – and there is so much more than just free delivery. Well worth checking out if you buy from Amazon a lot!

I’ve split up these tips about throwing a last minute Halloween party so that you can easily find the things that you need for your spooky soiree!

Last Minute Halloween Decorations

If there is one decoration you MUST buy, it is a bag of spiderwebs – even if you don’t have anything else, this stuff will instantly make anything look spooky. However, now is the perfect time to get to physical stores and buy a few decorations – they’ll be marked down in price (I saw some today with 40% off) so you’ll be able to grab a bargain. Everywhere seems to sell decorations these days, so you will find something!


Shop My Last-Minute Halloween Picks on Amazon


If you’ve got no time to buy decorations, but have a printer, why not print some instead?

I’ve created and shared lots of Free Halloween Printables over the years, from banners to posters to build-your-own skeletons!

Download them, print them, prepare them and bam, instant decorations!

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

You can go the old school route and cut holes in a black trash bag and use it as a witches dress; you can wrap toilet paper around your child to create a mummy; you can dress them in red and they become a little devil (although, your child may not need a costume!) Check out my last minute Halloween costumes from last year for tons more ideas!


Shop My Halloween Costume Picks on Amazon


Again, get to the shops (whilst buying decorations, see above) and buy a cheap mask/hat/hairpiece that will help finish the outfit off. You may also find reduced to clear costumes for children and adults. Or, do as I do, dress in black or red and accessorize!

Accessorize a Regular Outfit to Create a Costume for Halloween

Don’t forget to pick up some face paints too – and supplement it with your own make-up (black eyeliner, big fake lashes, and red lipstick especially!).

Check out my Simple Make-Up for a Halloween Party Tutorial

Simple Make-Up For A Halloween Party

Halloween Party Games

If you have young children to entertain, then some easy games you can play with them are – to be fair, most of these the adults would probably want to get involved with too!

  • Build-a-Skeleton (doubles up as a decoration) cut up the pieces, mix them up and get them to put the pieces together.
  • Pass the Ghost – blow up a white balloon and get the children to stand in a line, they have to pass the balloon to each other either under their chin or between their knees. You can also draw ghostly faces on the balloons!
Boo Balloon

Halloween Escape Room Printables

Buy, download, print and play tonight! Perfect for adding thrill and mystique to your EPIC Halloween party! Once you download one of the escape kits, print it out as standard photos or on your home printer. Then place the puzzle cards around your venue by following the setup guide.

  • Buy some gingerbread men, set out sprinkles and ready-made icing in tubes for the kids to decorate and make gingerbread fiends. They could create zombies, mummies, skeletons…let their imagination run wild!
  • Tell a [not-so-scary] story and have some sensory props to aid in the spooky feel – peeled grapes for eyeballs, spaghetti for guts, jelly for brains…
  • Apple bobbing – the most traditional of Halloween fun! Fill a bucket with water, throw in some apples, get the guest to dunk their heads in and try to pick an apple out using just their mouths. I’m sure health and safety would have a field day with this one!
  • Hanging Doughnuts – buy a pack of old fashioned doughnuts with holes, tie to string and then hang from a door frame: party guests then have to try and eat the doughnut with just their mouths and not using their hands at all. Hilarity ensues with this one!
  • Make A Mummy – you’ll need a couple of rolls of cheapo toilet roll, one person is the mummy and everyone has to wrap the TP around them. Do it in teams and the first to complete a full Mummy wins.
  • Pumpkin Carving or Decorating Competition – the shops will either have run out by now or have them reduced in price. Pick a few up and see who can carve the best one. Be careful with knives and blades etc, that goes without saying. Or give the little ones felt tip pens and stickers to decorate theirs. And I’ve got the 100+ Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns for you to use!

Halloween Music Playlist

I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a playlist of choons for a Halloween Party.

You could also have a scary (or not so scary) movie playing in the background – I’ve got a list of films you can pick from too!

75 Halloween Party Songs - an awesome Spotify playlist for a Halloween party! There is 4+ hours worth of music here!

Halloween Food & Drink Menus

Halloween Party Menu 1 – the quickest and easiest

  • Tomato Soup – open a can and heat up.
  • Hot Dogs – buy frankfurters and keep warm on the stove in some simmering water. Serve with pre-cut hot dog buns, ketchup, mustard, and onions – some frying involved with this, but if you super can’t be bothered, you can buy cans of fried onions. I won’t judge.
  • Baked Potatoes – throw in the oven about an hour before guests arrive – provide butter, grated cheese, coleslaw, and baked beans for toppings.
  • Some sort of Cake/Cookie/Dessert – all supermarkets have got Halloween themed dessert or cupcake you can purchase. Download some Halloween Cupcake Toppers and stick into the desserts!
  • Potato Chips and Popcorn – open bags, dump in a bowl
  • Bottles of limeade and cherryade – they’re red and green – oooh Halloweeney!

Halloween Party Menu 2 – a bit of prep required

  • Chips & Dips – and veg crudities if you like. Buy ready-made dips like guacamole, salsa, garlic and onion (to keep away the vampires), open up some tortilla chips (or cut Halloween shapes from a flat tortilla and bake/fry) to serve with. You can buy ready cut veg these days as well – or take ten minutes to peel and cut some carrots, baton some cucumber, slice some pepper and put some cherry tomatoes on a plate. Or get really fancy and cut out spooky faces in bell peppers and use them to serve vegetables from!
  • Bowl of Chili – ground beef mince, packet o’ seasoning, kidney beans, canned tomatoes. Follow the instructions on the packet and serve with tortilla chips and toppings like sour cream, guac and salsa (again, see above – two birds, one stone!) Serve it in a hollowed-out pumpkin!
  • Pumpkin Pie – we can buy pureed pumpkin in the UK now (win) so follow my recipe which is tried and tested and my go-to recipe for the past 25 years! Cheat and buy a ready-made pastry case too (I have no shame, I do that every year, and this year will be no different!)
  • Sweet & Salty Spooky Snack Mix – this is a dump and run snack – choose from things like toffee popcorn, regular popcorn, pretzels, mini marshmallows, peanuts, cashew nuts, M&Ms, candy corn, jelly beans, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips… you get the idea! Dump them all in a bowl, toss, and serve.
  • Halloween Mocktails – for kids and non-drinkers: Eerie Eyeball Fruit Punch, Oogie Boogie Mocktail and Pumpkin Juice – Harry Potter Copycat Recipe
  • Halloween CocktailsHocus Pocus Cocktail, Zombie Apocalypse Cocktail, and there are things like pumpkin beers and toffee apple ciders these days you can buy for a festive twist on boring booze.
chili served in a hollowed-out pumpkin

Halloween Menu 3 – more cooking involved, but still last minute enough!

  • Spicy Pumpkin & Butter Bean Soup – I do mine in a slow-cooker, so I can put it on and forget about it for a few hours. You can easily cook it on the stovetop though.
  • Baked Mummies – wrap sausages in strips of puff pastry and cook in the oven.
  • Candy Corn Pizza – no, it’s not sweet! Buy a ready-made pizza base and three kinds of cheese – one white (mozzarella),  one orange (red Leicester)and one yellow (Cheddar). Spread the base with some passata and a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs, then put a pile of mozzarella in the middle in a circle, followed by a ring of red Leicester and finally a ring of Cheddar. Cook in the oven till bubbling, then cut into triangles.
  • Spicy Chicken Wings – buy some chicken wings, pour over a jar of barbecue sauce which you can spice up with fresh chilies, bake in the oven. Done.
  • Corn Bread – I would be disowned if I didn’t make cornbread for Halloween. Another tried and trusted 25-year-old recipe right there.
  • Drinks – as menus 1 and/or 2!
  • For desserts and more check out my 50+ Halloween Recipes including cupcakes and quick-to-make desserts!

Whatever you are doing for Halloween, have fun, stay safe, enjoy time with family and friends and have a wicked time – Happy Halloween!

The Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween and Fall! You can check out Crafty October from 2019, 2018, 20172016201520142013 and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!

Crafty October on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

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