Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween GreetingVintage Halloween Greeting

These old fashioned Halloween party ideas were popular back in Grandma's day when money was scarce, and you made your own fun. And they are perfect for planning your special holiday celebration today, since Halloween (October 31st) as a party night, grows more and more popular every year.

And why shouldn't it, since in our dull, everyday world of work there's often too little simple, wholehearted, and wholesome fun? Both children and adults love the fun of Halloween because it's one night when realities can be laid aside, and everything is delightfully make-believe.

Old Fashioned Halloween Party Ideas

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Just imagine throwing a Halloween party with an old fashioned theme. It's so affordable, and your guests would love its novelty. The homemade decorations described below are easy to make, and the traditional party games are simple and fun to play.

Use these clever old fashioned Halloween party ideas when you go to plan your next holiday get-together and create fond family memories to look back on. They are adapted from a vintage magazine article published in the 1920s.

Homemade Costume Ideas

Old Time Halloween PartyGreat Aunt Betty's Halloween Dress-up Party, c. 1915
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Everybody who's young in heart loves to dress up, and Halloween is a perfect time to do it. In Grandma's day, you made your own Halloween costume, and to make your party fun and affordable, you could request your guests to do the same.

The simplest party becomes an event when we have special costumes to wear. They need not cost much, and with a bit of ingenuity, they can often be had for no cost at all.

Is anyone fond of sewing? There are always odd lengths of fabric to be had cheaply. An old curtain will make fun skirts for the ladies and young girls.

A stunning clown suit can be quickly run up on the sewing machine if you can find two good-sized remnants preferably black and white, and leftover gingham makes a cute Pierrot dress, cut on simple romper lines.

Children Dessed in Costumes For HalloweenChildren Dressed in Halloween Costumes
(Source: ©claire-norman/123RF)

Old clothes can offer a goldmine of costume choices, and the exploration of a basement or attic often yields rich gifts to the youngsters searching.

The clothing styles of other days are joyfully made use of by the present younger generation in their quest for odd or comic costumes.

A glance online at the pages of an old magazine of twenty or more years ago shows us a world clothed in styles now forgotten that offer wonderful Halloween costume ideas.

In addition, the traditional tiny black or silver face masks are very attractive, cost very little, and may be worn with any homemade costume. They add a touch of mystery very right for the occasion.

Vintage Halloween Decoration Ideas

Halloween Dessert Table Decorated With Owl CenterpieceVintage Halloween Table Decorations
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Real pumpkins and golden cornstalks from the farm, bright autumn leaves, pine cones, and ripened stalks of grain make realistic decorations.

Sharp scissors and black paper are all that are needed for conjuring up shadowy bats, spitting cats, and menacing owls, while yellow and orange paper leavens the mixture with mellow full moons, pumpkins, and grinning jack o' lanterns.

These fall colors form the traditional color scheme, but some silver paint and paper add to the brightness. An amusing change is to have Picasso-like cubistic jack-o'-lanterns in an artsy ultramodern fashion.

These may be made from square cardboard boxes covered with bright orange tissue or crepe paper. They beautifully show up in shadowy corners of a room, and it's an old fashioned Halloween party idea that adds some color to the occasion.

Party Ice Breakers

Eye TeasersEye Teasers Challenge

Games should be made ready beforehand so that there will not be any ice to break after everybody arrives. First-comers should be engaged in some simple game or silly stunt at once, and others as they come may join in.

For example, for old fashioned Halloween party ideas, try these Halloween tongue twisters that can be handed out when guests arrive:

  • Jolly, Jack jokes about Jack-o'-lanterns

  • Do Big Black Bats Blow Black Bubbles

  • Pretty Polly pecks pumpkin pips

  • Six spooky spiders spread a silky sticky web

  • Pumpkin pickers are prone to pick plump pumpkins

The games will help guests to break the ice, and the decorations will make your party an event to be remembered — be sure to have a camera handy to record the fun.

Party Refreshments

The summons to mealtime may be the beating of a toy drum or the piercing whistle — something loud and sudden to capture people's attention.

Refreshments may be served cafeteria style for the sake of convenience. The food is arranged attractively, and guests serve themselves. This method is easy and adds a cheerful informality.

Spread the dessert table with a white cloth bedecked with owls, cats, and bats cut from black and silver paper.

The table centerpiece may be the last bright flowers from the garden, or field; or half a pumpkin scooped out and lined with leaves to form a bowl for apples and nuts; or any other attractive seasonable arrangement.

Using an old fashioned Halloween party idea, polished red apples make creative candlesticks by using an apple corer to form a hole into which to thrust an orange or white colored candle. A candlelit room lends a wonderful Halloween night atmosphere to the room.

Halloween Party Menu Ideas

These old fashioned Halloween party ideas and menu suggestions will help you stay within your food budget.

  • Classy Skyscraper Sandwiches can be served one on each guest's plate and are of several kinds, with varying sizes piled one on top of another. Here's the Halloween sandwich recipe to make them:

    The base is a sweet sandwich made of three thin slices of white bread, the two bottom ones spread with jelly. On top of the base sandwich is a smaller one made of nut bread filled with a thick layer of cream cheese, then comes a smaller one still, made of white bread or brown bread filled with chopped ham and sweet pickles. On top of this is a square of cheese and a pickle slice, or an olive.

    Beginning with the ham sandwich and finishing with the sweet one makes a meal in itself. The fillings may be varied if the order of hearty to sweet is followed.

    Skyscraper Sandwiches served with ginger ale, root beer, or lemonade would be enough for most families, but you may add other novelties or even serve a complete supper.

  • Traditional apple pie may be served whole for dessert, each guest helping themselves by putting a spoonful of homemade ice cream from a chilled bowl on the table, on top of the still-warm piece.

  • Warm, buttered popcorn, red apples, pumpkin pie, and homemade doughnuts play a prominent part of this night and as they are simple and low cost, they earn their popularity.

  • Freshly made gingerbread with fruit salad is a very good combination, while coffee, hot chocolate, and lemonade are popular beverages to offer.

You'll find a good selection of Halloween party recipes on this site for making traditional desserts and treats for your Halloween get-together.

Halloween Party Games

Young Boy Bobbing for ApplesBoy Bobbing for Apples
(Source: ©iStock/sjlocke)

After refreshments, we should not neglect to try some of the time-honored and always thrilling Halloween stunts such as apple bobbing. It's an old fashioned Halloween Party idea that never grows stale.

Fill a clean washtub with fresh water and paired two by two, duck for apples. Or, with hands clasped behind the back, guests attempt to bite a chunk from an apple suspended by a string.

Familiar board games like checkers, backgammon, and snakes-and-ladders are engaging and fun for all ages. The vintage board games are always popular and provide novelty to the party.

Why Not Party Outdoors in the Shadowy Dusk?

Of all the old fashioned Halloween party ideas, hosting an outdoor party is one that's hugely popular. Children of all ages will enjoy a SPOOKY party outdoors in the shadowy dusk, weather permitting.

For outdoor Halloween decorations, have pumpkin lanterns on fence posts or tables and if possible, have bales of hay arranged for seating. If not already costumed, garb each merrymaker in an old white bed sheet. Warm clothing can be worn underneath. Costumes add to the occasion and put zest into the games.

By the flickering candlelight of a jack-o'-lantern everyone bobs for apples in a tub of fresh water or tries to bite an apple suspended by a string from a tree branch.

Finally, a white sheet in a dusky corner of the yard is lifted to reveal a table with a large basketful of tasty sandwiches, a jug of hot cocoa and one of fruit punch, slices of Halloween cake with chocolate coins hid beneath them, or a crock of homemade doughnuts and molasses cookies, apples, nuts, and chewy molasses Halloween candy.

Thus, high spirits are not confined in the house and the very essence of an old fashioned Halloween party seems distilled for the children who are fortunate enough to have a party planned for them.

It will be a night to remember!

Hand Out Nostalgic Halloween Candies

Additional old fashioned Halloween party ideas:

Why not make traditional candies for your party?

Today's guests appreciate the novelty and taste of homemade party treats when the commercial varieties are so commonplace and predictable.

Use Grandma's Halloween candy recipes to make homemade pull taffy, chewy caramels, and popcorn balls. You'll also want to browse her large collection of old fashioned candy recipes for making chocolate fudge, peanut brittle, old time Seafoam candy, opera creams, and lots more.

Imagine the thrill kids of all ages will have when they open their take-home trick-or-treat bag and discover your homemade candy treats!

Freely use these old fashioned Halloween party ideas to plan a traditional Halloween party that will be a family night to remember.

1945 Party Dress StylesHalloween Party Dress Styles for Teen Girls and Boys in 1945
(PD Source: Calling All Girls - Oct 1945)

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