The Ultimate Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. For fear enthusiasts, the first of October might as well be the first day of a month-long Halloween celebration. But where did Halloween come from? And how can you have the best Halloween ever? We are here to make your Halloween decorating, party planning, and celebrating the best ever, with tips and tricks for the ultimate Halloween.

The History of Halloween

Halloween finds its origins in Samhain, a Celtic holiday that once spelled the end of harvest and meant that winter was coming. In the Celtic tradition, the changing of the seasons was a time when the dead could walk the earth. This became the foundation for many of the Halloween traditions that are still popular today, including dressing up in costumes and carving pumpkins.

Over the centuries, Halloween has become less about warding off literal ghosts (though scary movies about ghosts, demons, witches, and the like are still a popular part of holiday celebrations), and more about warding off stress and having a little fun. Trick-or-treating dates as far back as colonial days, when children would dress up and go from house to house, asking for money or sweets.

Trick-or-treating itself may have sprung out of the tradition of leaving food and wine out as offering to the roaming ghosts that were believed to cross into the physical world on Halloween night. Dressing up was also a way to placate the ghosts—by wearing masks, they could not be recognized as humans, and the spirits would think that they humans roaming the land were just other spirits.

Halloween really became what it is today in the mid-1900s, with community parties, parades, and games being the norm, as well as the cultural expectation that children will go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Especially during times of economic downturn, Halloween became an inexpensive way to give back and show community support.

The Costumes

Today’s costumes are less about not being recognized by ghosts and more about making a statement or having fun with friends. Most people will opt for something exciting or funny, rather than just a plain costume. Some people opt for the very scary, from authentic recreations of their favorite slasher movie villains, to the gruesome and morbid. If there was ever a time to get a little gruesome, though, it would be on Halloween.

A favorite in the recent years has been the “pun” costume, ranging from a One Night Stand (wearing a nightstand over your shoulders and a lampshade as a hat), to more complicated costumes like Raining Cats and Dogs (a queen or king with stuffed cats and dogs tacked to his or her cloak). These can be fun to come up with, but you may spend the entire night explaining your costume to other partygoers or trick-or-treaters.

Some of the most classic costumes include witches, wizards, and ghosts. You can never go wrong with one of these! Check out our range of Halloween costumes and accessories to help you find the perfect, easy costume that will impress your friends.

The Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins was once a practice employed to scare away evil, wandering spirits. They would carry carved turnips, beets, or potatoes, with a light inside or hang them in their windows, so as to scare away any unsavory ghosts. Called jack o’lanterns because of the story of Stingy Jack (who tricked the devil and became a roaming evil spirit), this practice dates back well before the foundation of the United States.

Today, carving a pumpkin is all about creating a great design for your porch or (if you live in a neighborhood where hooligan teenagers will try to steal your pumpkin) window. There are many different ways to achieve this, either with a template, or by using your own imagination. The classic carved pumpkin is a grinning face, with triangle eyes. You can add some vampire teeth for extra Halloween flair, or choose a much more elaborate and impressive design.

Part of pumpkin carving is having the right tools. A power pumpkin carver or a pumpkin carving kit will make the carving process much easier. For kids, you can even just provide them with paints and let them paint a pumpkin, instead of giving them dangerous knives.

The Decorations

Decorating for Halloween can be as much fun as decorating for Christmas. Setting up a spooky scene to frighten trick-or-treaters or just a fun, whimsical display may take some time, but for those who are Halloween-enthusiasts, the perfect time to show off your creativity is with a great yard.

Start by stringing lights around your home. Orange, dark purple, and black are the most popular colors for Halloween and they can give your home a creepy glow. Almost every party supply store has grim reapers and ghosts you can hang around your yard, in trees, or on posts, to add some extra flair. Making a graveyard is as simple as picking up some Styrofoam gravestones or making your own with some foam and some gray spray paint. Come up with a concept and go all out!

Halloween Traditions

One of the most obvious Halloween traditions is trick-or-treating. Young kids love dressing up and going door to door with their siblings or with a group of friends. Parental supervision may be required, depending on your neighborhood.

Another Halloween tradition is bobbing for apples. This game is usually reserved for community Halloween parties, where a large bucket is full of water. Apples float on top and game players try to grab an apple using only their mouth.

A scary movie marathon is a favorite among many families, whether the movies are only mildly scary (safe for the kids to watch), or really scary (no kids allowed). This can even be a great basis for a Halloween party—have everyone dress up and bring their favorite scary movie.

Halloween Party Ideas for Kids

Halloween Napkins

A Halloween party, either before or after trick-or-treating, is a great way to keep kids in the spirit of Halloween. Even if they are too young to appreciate the spooky and scary parts of Halloween, they can still have fun on the spookiest night of the year. Putting together a great party doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. In fact, coming up with decorations and games can be majorly fun and remind you why Halloween was so great when you were a kid. It’s time to put the fun back in one of the biggest kid holidays of the year!

Costumes

If your party is going to be before or after trick-or-treating, costumes are probably already sorted. Kids can feel Halloween approaching and have probably been alerting you for weeks about what they want their costume to be. If they haven’t picked something yet (or haven’t picked something reasonable yet), there are a few simple costumes you can whip up in less than an hour that will still leave your child looking great.

A black cat is as simple as dressing your child all in black and making some ears and a tail out of felt. If you are really feeling industrious, you can glue the ears on to a black headband and sew the tail and stuff it with fluff to give it some body and movement. Either pin it to her pants or to a belt and she will be ready to go.

Turning your little man or woman into a super hero is super easy. All you need is a length of red or yellow fabric to make a cape, and maybe some felt to make a letter for his chest. If he has some red, yellow, or blue clothing, use this as a base, and then pin on the cape and letter. For an added touch, make him a mask to hide his secret identity, either out of some felt or some leftover fabric from the cape.

A robot is as easy to make as a box and some tin foil. Painting on some buttons and accents will make him look like a real metal man.

If your party is a few days before Halloween, you might consider having pre-made costumes prepared for your guests that show up without anything. These could be as easy as capes to turn them into super heroes or tiaras to turn them into princesses.

Games

Games are definitely one of the best parts of any party, especially for little kids. There are plenty of games that are fun, easy to set-up and easy to clean up, once the party is over. For example, take a classic dart game and give it a spooky twist. Use orange balloons and arrange them like a pumpkin, or use white balloons and make a ghostly figure. Then, let kids taking turns popping the balloons. Whoever pops the most gets a candy prize!

Another twist on a classic game is bobbing for donuts. Instead of putting a bunch of apples in water and letting kids try to fish them out using only their mouths (though that would still be fun), tie donuts to a string and suspend them from a tree or from the ceiling. Then, let the kids race to see who can eat their donut and free it from the string the fastest.

Take pin the tail on the donkey and give it a Halloween theme. Cut out a big pumpkin from a piece of orange paper and pin it to the wall, then cut out pumpkin faces from black paper. Then, after blindfolding the guests, let them try to pin a face on their pumpkin, doing the mouth, nose, and eyes separately. This is a great way to get all of the guests involved and everyone will laugh looking at the silly faces that are created.

For little kids, Halloween is all about candy. And what’s a better way to get candy than from a piñata? Buying or making a bat or ghost piñata will give this classic party game some Halloween punch.

Especially if your party is before Halloween, you can get a bunch of pumpkins and let the kids decorate them with glitter, stickers, and markers. If they want to carve them, let them draw on their designs, but be sure that only adults are wielding the knives.

Food

Food for a kid’s Halloween party should be spooky without being too gross. If you tell the kids the spaghetti is brains, they are probably not going to eat it. However, spiders made out of Oreos and pretzel sticks, tombstone cookies, and carrots in the shape of fingers are probably all safe. They will look great on the plates and add some creepy flair while still being kid-friendly.

You can add some dry ice to your punch to make it fog and bubble like witch’s brew, but just be careful that none of the children get any of the ice into their glasses. Other creepy classics include eyeballs made of carrots, cream cheese, and olives, and cakes decorated to look like graveyards.

Decorations

halloween skeleton

Decorating can be one of the best parts of any Halloween party. Making spooky pumpkins, ghosts, and skeletons out of paper is a great way to cut down on costs without cutting down on décor. If you want some authentic looking decorations, look at our party supply store. Not only do we have high quality plastic goods, we have themed cups and plates, plastic flatware, and just about anything else you could need to outfit your party.

 

Want to go big?  Tent Rentals, Party Rentals & Event Rentals in Philadelphia can be found here: BucksMontParty.com

How to Make Halloween Great for Children

Halloween can be one of the best nights of the year for kids, but one of the most stressful for parents. In today’s day and age, it is often not an option to let children go trick-or-treating by themselves, and before October 31st, there are plenty of preparations that must be made, both to the yard and house, as well as the costume for your kid or kids.

While it might seem like something of a production to make all of these preparations for one night, Halloween can still be majorly fun for kids of all ages, with just a few preparations on the part of the parents. When it comes to costumes, decorations, and trick-or-treating, we have a few tips to make Halloween smooth and fun for all parties involved, even if you’re not a fan of the scary or spooky.

Costumes

When it comes to costumes, the best place to start is a costume store. Even an online costume store can have a great selection and make it easy for you to buy or rent the costumes you want for yourself and your child. However, in some instances, it might be easier or cheaper to make the costume, instead of buying or renting it.

If your child wants to be something very specific, you may not be able to find a cheap pre-made version of that costume in stores. This is where hitting the craft store and picking up a pattern and a few fabrics is a great plan. If you’re handy with a thread and needle, you can fashion exactly the costume he wants, in his size, and maybe be able to get two or three years of wear out of it before he moves on to another costume.

If hand making a costume from scratch is not an option, there are several costumes that you could make just out of things you have lying around your house. A great costume doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, a yellow sweatshirt and tights can be dressed up with strips of electrical tape, in order to make a bumblebee. A black cat can be as easy as cutting some ears and a tail out of felt or sturdy black paper and dressing the child up in all black.

If you are going trick-or-treating with your child, a costume is not a necessity, but it can make the night more fun. Check out our list of last minute costume ideas for a better idea of how to whip up a quick costume, without breaking the bank or spending the entire afternoon making something.

Yard Decorations

While yard decorations might not be an essential part of every neighborhood’s Halloween festivities, it is a great way to have a little more fun with this holiday and make sure kids know that your house is giving out candy this year.

Yard decorations can be as simple as a few gravestones, bought from your local party supply store or as complex as a tableau of classic movie monsters. Whatever decorations you decide to implement, make sure they are well-lit, so that all of your hard work can be seen from the sidewalk and driveway.

If you want to create a few easy decorations, we do have some ideas to get you started. If you save Styrofoam from deliveries, you can use a knife and some dark gray spray paint to create custom tombstones. Just cut out their shapes, and given them a coat of the paint. Keep in mind that if you want a marbled look, you shouldn’t completely cover the entire piece with paint.

Other easy decorations come in the form of pre-made ghouls and monsters. All you have to do is buy them from the party store and stick them in your yard. For an extra scare, stick them in your side yard or in a tree, with just a little bit of light on them, so that when they’re spotted, they’ll be extra frightening.

Trick-or-Treating

Now that your costumes are made and your yard is decorated, it’s time to hit the streets and start trick-or-treating. This part of the night can be some parents’ worst nightmare, but with just a little pre-planning, it can actually be an enjoyable time.

Instead of taking your kid out alone, try coordinating with the parents of your child’s friends. Trick-or-treating is more fun in a group of friends, and if you all live in the neighborhood, it will be easy to switch off watch duty. In some cases, there might even be a parent who volunteers to stick with the group for the entire night, so the rest of the group’s parents are off duty all together and can just stick to giving out candy.

Candy to Give Out

Choosing what kinds of candy to give out doesn’t have to be difficult. Most companies make mixes of fun-size candy bars, so all you have to do is open the package and let the kids choose their favorite out of the bowl. If you want to give out something more unique, try mini packages of pretzels or even a little toys, instead of candy.

If your neighborhood doesn’t see a lot of trick-or-treaters, you might consider buying full-size candy bars, to reward those intrepid kids that do make their way out to your street on Halloween.

What if my neighborhood isn’t great for trick-or-treating?

If your neighborhood isn’t great for trick-or treating—and some neighborhoods just aren’t—but you still want to give your kids the trick-or-treating experience, don’t be afraid to take them to another neighborhood or to connect with a parent of one of their friends who does live in a kid-friendly part of town. Just because your neighbors are all in bed before eight doesn’t mean the kids shouldn’t have a great time on Halloween.

DIY Halloween Decorations

While most people will want to buy most of their Halloween decorations, there’s nothing wrong with trying your hand a few craft projects to personalize or supplement store-bought decorations. If you get trick-or-treaters were you live, decorating your house is a great way to encourage kids to come up and get their treats (and stop the tricking). Don’t be afraid! These projects are simple and cheap. You can even get the kids to help you, if you want to get them into the Halloween spirit! Whether you want your house to be creepy and spooky, or just a little more charming, here are some great DIY Halloween decorations that anyone can make.

Deck Out the Door

It’s the first thing that many people see as they’re coming up to your house, and you can seriously deck it out with just a few simple craft supplies and a little bit of time. This is especially great for college students that live in apartment complexes, where putting up a lot of other decorations isn’t feasible.

Want to turn your door into a mummy? All you need is a roll of white streamers and some tape. Just start layering pieces of streamer across the width of your door, angling them, so that it looks like it has been wrapped up. As a finishing touch, add some eyes.

Using construction paper, you can easily turn your door into a graveyard. All you have to do is make some grass, by cutting out strips of green and fringing the edge. Then, cut out some gravestones and put them in the grass. You can add some names and dates for even greater detail. Add a full moon and maybe a dead tree and your door is a spooky graveyard!

Turning your door into a zombie, vampire, or werewolf is as easy as using construction paper to cut out the shapes and then taping them to your door using masking tape. As long as there isn’t a heavy thunderstorm, your creation will last for days and is an excellent addition to your decoration. A decorated door can even be your own decoration. Because it’s so big and is where trick-or-treaters will wait to receive their candy, it is plenty of decoration for most homes.

Add a Spooky Presence to a Tree

If you have a tree in your yard, it can be a great place to stash some creepy specters. The easies tree decoration is to make a pair of scary eyes. All you need is a pair of white beach balls and a permanent marker. Blow up the beach balls so that they are the same size, and then color on pupils with the marker. For an added touch, insert some LED lights into the beach balls, so that the eyes glow in the dark. Frightening!

For an extra scary tree, get lots of beach balls and repeat the process, adding many pairs of glowing eyes to your tree, observing every costumed kid that walks in front of your house.

Another great way to utilize your tree is to hang a gaggle of ghosts from it. Using some white fabric (like an old sheet), and some fishing line, string up some ghosts. Again, you can use lights to make them look like they are glowing as night descends. These ghosts will move in the breeze and look they are lilting back and forth in your tree, just waiting to spook the next trick-or-treater who comes to close. To really give these ghosts life and dimension, use a foam ball (available from any craft store), as the head, and drape the fabric over it.

You can also create a colony of bats in your tree, simply by cutting them out of construction paper and affixing them to some fishing line. Then, tie the line to the branches and let the fall breeze blow them back and forth.

Give Character to a Yard

Making a graveyard is as easy as gathering up a bunch of leftover boxes and pieces of packing foam, cutting them into the right shape, and spray painting them. If you have a dark yard, without any light shining out into it, you can even forgo putting names and dates on the tombstones, as no one will be able to read them. This is a quick fix for any yard!

If you want to put a little more time and effort into your decorations, one of the easies things to build is a grim reaper. He looks super scary, set back from your house, in the shadows, and will be a memorable yard decoration kids will talk about for years to come. All you need is a plastic skull, some black fabric, a long piece of wood, and a piece of wire. Prop the skull on the end of the piece of wood, and stake it into your yard, wherever you want your specter to be.

Then, bend the wire into a U-shape. Staple fabric around this U to make a hood, and then attach the hood to the skull. Then, cover the wood in the remaining fabric, ensuring there is enough to blow in the wind and create the appearance of a cloak.

To really up the creepiness factor, find some alien noises or monster sounds online and download them onto a CD. Put the CD player outside and out of sight and press play before the trick-or-treaters come to visit. They may not be able to see the monsters creeping behind your house, but they will definitely be able to hear them. And hearing them, without seeing them, is certainly frightening!

Want to go big?  Tent Rentals, Party Rentals & Event Rentals in Philadelphia can be found here: Bucks-Mont Party Rental

Unforgettable Halloween Party Decorations!

Halloween is approaching fast and I can hardly contain my excitement! I’m still working on figuring out my Halloween costume. My fiance and I are thinking about doing a couples costume, so fun ideas are always appreciated! What are your costume ideas for this year? Although figuring out a costume can be stressful, decorating your home for Halloween is a blast, especially when you find super spooky and unique Halloween party decorations like some of the ones we have here at Parties2order. Whether your simply looking for some fun Halloween decor or throwing a Halloween party, we have decor to fit all of your needs!

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Delicious Halloween Cocktails!

brain-hemorageHalloween is wonderful for so many reasons! You can dress up to be whatever you want to be, attend fabulous parties with delicious food, enjoy Halloween cocktails and games, eat all the candy you want and entertain yourself at haunted houses and hayrides! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for all of the above reasons.. Although I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to be this year. My favorite part of Halloween is definitely the food and cocktail aspect. You can find so many exciting recipes for cocktails and treats. The possibilities are endless! I did a search to find some of the coolest Halloween cocktails. I’m going to provide you with three recipes: two alcoholic and one non-alcoholic. Hopefully you’ll check them out this Halloween and let me know how they are! Combine these fun drink recipes with some of our Halloween party decorations for a perfect party!

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The Perfect Fall Décor – A Lighted Canvas

Fall will be here much sooner than you may think! As it gets a little cooler outside, you will be ready to add some warmth into your home décor. The colors of fall symbolize warmth and comfort, with golden yellows, oranges and reds. Add even more warmth within your décor with some lighted canvas art.

A lighted canvas uses a small light to shine through a canvas in selective areas to create the perfect balance of art and light. These beautiful pieces of art provide a warm, welcoming invitation to any room in your home. With fall right around the corner we have the perfect lighted canvas art for you!

Harvest Display

Our Harvest Display lighted canvas features a seasonal arrangement of pumpkins, berries and candles. The mini lights in each of the candles provide a unique warming glow for your fall décor. Keep this up throughout Thanksgiving to give your guests something to talk about.

Country Gifts PA - Lighted Canvas

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