How to host a spook-tacular kid-friendly Halloween party outdoors
For some, the end of summer marks the end of many outdoor gatherings. Halloween is right around the corner, and with the weather still being nice in most regions, there are still many ways to spook up those outdoor living spaces for an eerie Halloween party that both parents and kids will remember for years to come.
Even if the adults don’t plan on dressing up in costume, parents can still adopt this haunted holiday to throw a creative, spirited event for the kids and their friends to enjoy. All that’s required are games, food, outdoor living space and, of course, your best costume design!
Little kids will love to go Frankenstein bowling on the lawn. With artificial turf, there are fewer pests, pesticides, and allergens for visiting parents to worry about. Simply take empty coffee cans, tin cans, paint cans, or even 2-liter bottles and paint spooky faces on them. Set them up on the turf and let kids use a tennis ball to see how many they can knock down. PRO TIP: Sharpies are a great way of turning that ordinary tennis ball into an eerie Frankenstein head!
The paver patio is a great place to set up a game of spidey webs corn hole. Children and adults love to play this classic game of aim. Existing corn hole sets can be covered in fabric painted with a web motif, or painted anew for years of Halloween fun. Traditional corn hole bags are swapped out for fuzzy spiders with googly eyes and eight pipe-cleaner legs.
Underneath the pergola, parents can call out a game of candy corn bingo. Kids will love the pictorial version featuring ghosts, ghouls, and other spooky treats. Bonus: There’s no need to worry about a marker mess. Instead, kids can mark their spots with candy corn- as long as they don’t eat them all first!
Kids and parents alike are sure to think a buffet full of on-theme Halloween goodies at the outdoor kitchen or patio area is a perfect trick.
White chocolate ghost bananas. These little guys are easy to make and always a hit with the little ones. They’re creepy, sweet, and a bit healthier than regular ice cream. Start by cutting bananas in half and sticking each on its own popsicle stick. Next, dip each banana half in melted white chocolate. Next, use mini chocolate chips as eyes, and freeze until melted white chocolate hardens.
Cheese and pretzel broom-breadsticks. Guests craving something salty and savory will line up outside for these. This carnival-inspired snack is easy to prepare with frozen breadstick dough, half-sticks of mozzarella string cheese, pretzel salt, and a little baking soda trick. After the dough thaws, wrap it securely around the cheese, sealing it in. Now, boil the sticks for one minute in a solution of water and baking soda. To finish, they’re brushed with butter, sprinkled with pretzel salt, and baked in the outdoor oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Cake pop spiders. These creepy crawlers are an ideal grab-and-go treat for busy game playing, trick-or-treating kids. Thin, baked snacking pretzels are broken in half to make bent legs for each “spider”. These pretzel legs are pushed easily into frosted cake pops. From there, bite-size candy-coated chocolates sit on top for eyes. Clever, presentation-conscious cooks can line their outdoor counter space with parchment paper, and use melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle to paint webbed designs on which to place their spiders.
So this Halloween, trade in the usual trick or treating for your own spooktacular party and let the festivities begin with fun, games, food, and friendship in the comfort of the backyard. It’s the perfect way to gather up classmates and neighbors to keep the spirit of Halloween going after the school celebrations have ended.