Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Party Ideas

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With our Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Party Ideas, you can throw a Halloween party that even Jack Skellington would approve of!

The Nightmare Before Christmas Party Ideas

Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Party Ideas

This Halloween party theme is a must-do for fans of the iconic movie, and what better way to celebrate the spooky season.

Bring the town of Halloween to your own home with our party decoration ideas, along with a host of free Nightmare Before Christmas printables.

Whether you’re a fan of the Pumpkin King or have a soft spot for Oogie Boogie, we’ve got the ultimate party guide that’s jam-packed with mouth-watering snacks, delicious drinks, fun party games, and so much more!

Let’s make this year’s Halloween party an event to remember, shall we?

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Nightmare Before Christmas Movie

Tim Burton’s movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, has entertained Halloween fans since 1993!

The stop-motion Disney family movie stars Danny Elfman as the voice of Jack Skellington and Catherine O’Hara as the voice of Sally.

It tells the story of Jack—the king of Halloween Town—stumbling upon neighboring Christmas Town and wanting to take it over as “Sandy Claws.”

Along the way, we meet iconic characters like Oogie Boogie, Doctor Finkelstein, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, among many others.

We are BIG fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and it’s one of those Halloween movies we watch yearly!

Some argue that it is a Christmas movie, but if you ask director Henry Selick, he’ll tell you, “It’s a Halloween movie.” So that clears that up!

Before we get to all the party inspiration, make sure you print out our Free Printable Nightmare Before Christmas Party Invitations because that’s where all parties start!

Nightmare Before Christmas Decoration Ideas

Depending on your budget, you could buy some party supplies to decorate your party with or go down the DIY decorations route.

Black and White Decor

Paper streamers are a great way to create a backdrop around the party room. Simply cut lengths of the crepe paper streamers to the height of your room and hang them to recreate the black and white stripes of Jack’s suit. We did a similar thing with streamers for my nephew’s Baby Shark party, which was so effective!

If you can’t (or don’t want to) decorate the whole room, why not create a focus wall as a photo backdrop? A black and white striped shower curtain hung from the ceiling is a perfect addition to your decor.

Jack, Sally, & Oogie Boogie Cut-Outs

To add the perfect pop of color to that monochrome background, print out one of our large buildable printables to hang on top:

Spider Webs

Don’t forget spider webs! Cut them out of paper like Jack does in the movie or make giant webs from black trash bags to hang in the room’s corners.

Fairy Lights

What’s this, what’s this? It’s Fairy Lights! They’ll add whimsical mood lighting and bring in the holiday season, too! Alternatively, why not change the bulbs in your regular lights to red, orange, or green?

Cemetery Fence DIY

Use cheap, lightweight black PVC pipes (or white ones you’ve spray painted in black) to create a cemetery fence. Cut them to different lengths and secure them with horizontal pipes and hot glue. Set the fence up at the main entrance or around the party table.

Table Settings

Speaking of the party table, you could use that striped shower curtain as a tablecloth (super handy as it’s wipe clean!). Add some carved pumpkins, small Munchkin Pumpkin Tealights, and black candles to complete the look. (For safety, use battery-operated candles.)

Free Printables

As mentioned, we have a whole bunch of Nightmare Before Christmas printables for you to download, including the following decorations:

Ingredient Bottles

Turn some bottles and jars into creepy ingredients straight from Sally’s cupboards. Check out cheap stores like Dollar Tree (US) or B&M (UK) for shaped bottles that you can paint black, green, or purple, and add labels like “Deadly Nightshade,” “Frog’s Breath,” and “Worms Wort.”

Depending on how crafty you are, you could make labels on your Cricut machine with vinyl, hand draw your own, or download our Free Printable Sally’s Ingredients Labels.

We’ve included a blank set of labels for you to write in your ingredients. Why not dip the labels into brewed coffee or tea to give them an aged look? There is a whole tutorial on YouTube if you’re unsure how to do it.

Nightmare Before Christmas Pumpkin Carvings

And you can’t have a Halloween party without some carved pumpkins! Head over to our post 100+ Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns, where we have templates with Oogie Boogie, Jack, Sally, and Zero.

Easy Nightmare Before Christmas Costume Ideas

It’s not a Halloween party if you don’t dress up! The easiest option is to buy a ready-to-wear costume, but it’s not always the cheapest. Going the DIY route is an option:

Buying a character mask, wig, and/or face paint is more affordable than a whole outfit. Here are some easy ideas:

  • Pair a Jack Skellington mask with a pinstripe suit.
  • Wear a long red wig and paint your face blue to become Sally.
  • A white sheet with eye holes becomes Zero – don’t forget to stick on a glowing pumpkin nose!
  • Wear a green onesie as Oogie Boogie – hot glue some bugs and snakes, and don’t forget a big pair of fluffy dice!

Nightmare Before Christmas Party Playlist

Dive into the eerie world of Halloween Town with our Nightmare Before Christmas Party Playlist on Spotify.

Featuring iconic tunes from Tim Burton’s classic film and other haunting hits, this playlist sets the perfect mood for a spooktacular celebration. Enjoy!

Jack Skellington Quote - I’m a master of fright, and a demon of light, and I’ll scare you right out of your pants.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Quotes

A straightforward way to decorate is with famous movie quotes—this idea is perfect for a movie party! Here are some quotes from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas to inspire your designs:

  • Just because I cannot see it doesn’t mean I can’t believe it! – Jack Skellington
  • There’s only 365 days left until next Halloween! – Halloween Town Mayor
  • 364! – Wolfman
  • Come with us, and you will see this, our town of Halloween! – Shadows
  • This is Halloween, this is Halloween! Pumpkins scream in the dead of night! – Pumpkins
  • This is Halloween; everybody make a scene! – Ghosts
  • Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King! – Corpses
  • I’m a master of fright, and a demon of light, and I’ll scare you right out of your pants. – Jack Skellington
  • That’s twice this month you’ve slipped deadly nightshade into my tea and run off. – Dr. Finkelstein
  • You’re jokin’, you’re jokin’! I can’t believe my ears! Would someone shut this fella up? I’m drowning in my tears! – Oogie Boogie
  • What’s this? What’s this? – Jack Skellington
  • I had the most terrible vision. – Sally
  • She’s the only one who makes any sense around this insane asylum! – Santa Claus
  • Well, well, well. What have we here? – Oogie Boogie
  • Jack said we should work together. Three of a kind. Birds of a feather. Now and forever! – Lock, Shock, and Barrel
  • For it is plain, as anyone can see. We’re simply meant to be. – Jack Skellington and Sally

Nightmare Before Christmas Party Food Ideas

Food is where you can let your creativity shine at any kind of party, from a Baby Shower to a Birthday Party to your Nightmare Before Christmas party!

The good news is we have many fun ideas and recipes for Halloween night!

Satisfying Savory Dishes

Deadly Nightshade Soup – this is just in name only! Commonly known as belladonna, it is a toxic perennial herbaceous plant in the nightshade family, including tomatoes and potatoes (which are safe to eat).

So why not label a batch of spicy Tomato Soup with one of our free printable Party Food Labels? For a cocktail party with a TNBC theme, why not serve Deadly Nightshade Shots!

Jack’s Pumpkin Soup – Add a drizzle of sour cream to a bowl of Pumpkin Soup and use a toothpick to shape it into Jack’s face for an added wow factor!

Spooky Sandwiches – Use Halloween cookie cutters to make shaped sandwiches, Halloween Quesadillas, or homemade tortilla chips for dunking in Tomato Salsa or Guacamole.

Creepy Crudite – Cut a pumpkin face into a whole bell pepper (seeds and top removed) with a sharp knife, and fill with vegetable crudites—-perfect for dipping!

Mummies – A platter of Mummy Meatballs and Hot Dog Mummies are both simple and so much fun to make!

We also have Mini Mummy Pizzas, Jalapeño Popper Mummies, and Mummy Meatballs and Spaghetti.

Sensational Sweet Treats

Our Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Cake will make a showstopping centerpiece. Every layer of the marbled cake is sandwiched with black frosting and decorated with vibrant hues of pink, yellow, and teal frosting, mimicking the iconic patterns from Sally’s dress. The result is a stunning cake that’s a feast for the eyes—both as a whole and when sliced up!

Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes – If you’d prefer to make cupcakes, then we have recipes for the main characters:

Or, if you want to buy some cupcakes from a store, you can jazz them up with our free printable Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcake Wrappers and Cupcake Toppers.

Zero Kibble – Make a snack mix inspired by Jack’s pet ghost dog! Using our Reindeer Chow recipe as a starting point, replace the red and green M&M’s with orange ones as a nod to Zero’s cute pumpkin nose!

Oogie Boogie Bug Cookies – Inspired by the bugs that Oogie Boogie is filled with, make a batch of our Chocolate Dirt & Worm Cookies and top them not only with gummy worms but with other candy bugs and sprinkles, too!

More Sweet Treats – Add more sweetness to your dessert table with our Sally Skellington Fudge and Jack Skellington Rice Krispies Treats recipes

Additionally, use our Marshmallow Ghost Pops as the inspiration to make Jack Skellington marshmallow pops, and use an edible black marker to draw Jack’s face onto Halloween Cookie Pops.

Dip strawberries into melted white chocolate chips, and when set, use a tube of black icing to add Jack’s face. You can do the same with apples – check out our Hocus Pocus Apples for a recipe to guide you.

Nightmare Popcorn – Use our Hocus Pocus Popcorn Recipe as a guide, but use melted green, blue, and white candy melts (matching Oogie Boogie, Sally, and Jack) instead of the colors in that recipe.

Then, add some Wilton Halloween Sprinkles containing bugs, bones, pumpkins, and skulls. Serve in our Free Printable NBC Popcorn Boxes or Popcorn Cones.

Nightmare Before Christmas Cocktails and Mocktails

No party is complete without some bewitching beverages.

Whether you’re looking for something potent with liquor for the adults or something alcohol-free and/or kid-friendly, we’ve got you covered.

Kooky Cocktails

We’ve got a list of Halloween Cocktails for your delectation! Simply pick your favorites and give them a themed name. Here are some suggestions:

For a smoky, spooky vibe, consider using Dry Ice In Drinks for Halloween—this post has all the tips and tricks you need to know.

For a boozy treat, make Boozy Pumpkin Gummies!

Mesmerizing Mocktails

For non-alcoholic drinks, all of our cocktail recipes have alternate mocktail versions.

But we also have the Oogie Boogie Mocktail made with lime sherbert, vanilla syrup, lemon-lime soda, and gummy worms!

Here are some other Nightmare Before Christmas mocktail recipes to serve:

  • Zero’s Flight – Fill a glass with ice. Pour 1 part Orange Soda into the glass, then slowly top with Lemon-Lime Soda to create a two-tone drink. Garnish with a Pumpkin Gummy.
  • Halloween Town Thirst Quencher – Mix equal parts of Orange Juice and Mango Juice and top up with Lemon-Lime Soda, Fizzy Lemonade, or Club Soda. Garnish with a Slice of Orange.
  • Lock, Shock, and Barrel – Combine equal parts of Red Grape Juice, Apple Juice, and Cranberry Juice. Garnish with a lemon peel twist.
  • Two Witches Brew – Pour a can of Sprite into a glass, add Kool-Aid Grape (powder or liquid), and stir to combine. Add a scoop of Lemon Sherbert (sorbet) and some Whipped Cream. Garnish with Gummy Worms, Eyeballs, and Spiders.
  • Jack and Sally Spritz -Shake 1 part Blue Raspberry Syrup, 2 parts Pineapple Juice, and 3 parts Lemon-Lime Soda together in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a glass and add a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. Garnish with some Halloween Sprinkles.

Use our Nightmare Before Christmas Bottle Labels to wrap around bottles of water.

Nightmare Before Christmas Party Games

Games are the lifeblood of any party, and when they’re themed, they’re even more fun! The types of games you play will depend on the demographic of your guests, but these ideas are great for all ages!

Pin the Bowtie on Jack

A fun twist on the classic party game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” But use the large version of our Free Build Jack Skellington Printable for Halloween and print several of Jack’s bowties for players to pin.

Blindfold the players and see who can pin a paper bowtie closest to Jack’s neck. Make it more challenging by spinning the players around several times before they take their turn!

Pin the Snake on Oogie Boogie – Similarly, use our Free Build Oogie Boogie Printable Template and take turns pinning the snake in his mouth.

How Many Bugs?

Fill a large (2 quart/2 litre) jar with candy bugs (count them out as you do it), and everyone has to guess how many are in the jar. The person who guesses correctly (or the closest) wins the candy jar.

Costume Contest

Everyone dresses up for a Halloween party, so a costume contest is vital!

Who Am I?

Hand out sticky notes to each guest featuring a Nightmare Before Christmas character. Guests stick these notes to their foreheads and then mingle, asking yes-or-no questions to determine which character they’ve become. It’s a spooktacular way to break the ice and get everyone chatting!

Oogie Boogie’s Monster Mash Dance-Off

Crank up some Halloween tunes and show everyone their best dance moves. Choose a judge to pick the winner, or let the crowd decide. Provide a prize for the winner.

Oogie Boogie’s Gambling Den

For an adults-only party, why not have a creepy casino with games like Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, and Craps. Depending on your guests, play for real money or exchange chips for candy!

Board Games

There are several Nightmare Before Christmas board games out there, so for smaller gatherings, these are ideal.

Other Ideas!

Before we end with party favors, here are a few more ideas for your Nightmare Before Christmas party!

Photo Booth

Immortalize the magical moments from your party with a photo booth—trust us, they’re always a crowd-pleaser! Use a black-and-white striped backdrop, and offer an array of DIY or store-bought props.

Props like a pumpkin, fluffy dice, rubber snakes and bugs, and a Santa hat/beard are a great starting point. Print some movie quotes, cut them into speech bubbles, and attach them to a wooden skewer for guests to hold in their photos.

You can opt for smartphone snaps for that digital touch or kick it retro with a Polaroid camera for instant keepsakes!

Craft Table

Depending on the mood of your party, you may like to set up an activity table with crafts for people to make (and can double as a party favor). Here are our Nightmare Before Christmas Crafts:

Movie Screening

End the night by screening “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Provide cozy blankets and popcorn for a perfect movie experience. This is a great way to wind down the party!

Nightmare Before Christmas Party Favors

Sending your guests home with a memorable party favor is the cherry pumpkin on top of a fantastic event! Here are some ideas that are both fun and functional.

You can attach our Free Printable Favor Bag Labels to a cello bag filled with Halloween treats (store-bought or homemade) for a super easy thank-you gift to your guests. Here are some more ideas:

Jack Skellington Hot Cocoa Bombs – Follow our Pumpkin Spice Jack o’Lantern Hot Cocoa Bombs Recipe, but use white candy melts instead of orange.

Sally Skellington Fudge – Send your guests home with a few squares of this homemade Sally Skellington Fudge Recipe.

Oogie Boogie’s Bug Bag – Place gummy worms and bugs into brown paper bags, and write “Bug Bag” on the front with a black marker.

Pumpkin Pails – Fill small pumpkin buckets with candy, stickers, and small toys. These are perfect for kids and can serve as game prizes, too.

Sally’s Potion Jars – Fill small glass jars with colorful bath salts or bubble bath liquid and attach a label that says “Sally’s Potion for Relaxation.” Adults will love this thoughtful, homemade gift.

At this time of year, check your local or online party shops like Party City, Party Delights, or Oriental Trading for themed items to use at your party or give out as favors or prizes.

Awesome Nightmare Before Christmas Party Ideas

And there you have it, folks! Your guide to hosting a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Halloween party that’s sure to be a hit. So go ahead, start planning, and let the spooktacular festivities begin!

Happy Haunting!


The post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog and is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween! You can check out Crafty October from 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 for awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!

Crafty October on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

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