How to Host an Outdoor Halloween Party

How to Host an Outdoor Halloween Party

With the days getting colder and the dark nights closing in earlier and earlier, we can put summer behind us and start to prepare for the winter ahead. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom, because for many of us this is the start of the party season. Bonfire Night is just around the corner and Christmas will follow less than two months later. But before all that, it’s Halloween!

Like Bonfire Night, Halloween is an evening to be spent outdoors, wrapped up against a chilly night, whether you’re ‘trick or treating’ around the neighbourhood or enjoying a fun party in the garden with family and friends.

If you’ve not held an outdoor Halloween party before, there are a few must-have elements if you want a ghost of a chance of it going well! 

Creepy costumes 

Everyone loves fancy dress and never more so than at Halloween. Encourage all your guests – but especially any kids attending – to wear a spooky costume, with prizes for the best at the end of the evening. To give more people a chance of winning, you could have prizes for several categories, including scariest costume, funniest costume, most realistic costume and best home-made costume. 

Petrifying pumpkins

Another essential for any Halloween party is carving pumpkins to create jack-o’-lanterns. Again, you can encourage your guests to make their own in advance so that you can have a large display that won’t just create a creepy decorative feature, but also light up your garden. You can even hand out more prizes for the best, most creative and biggest jack-o’-lanterns on show.

Disturbing decorations

You’ve already got your jack-o’-lanterns lined up, but there’s a great deal more you can do to turn any corner of your garden into somewhere for the nervous to tread warily. Bats and spiders’ webs hanging from trees and branches or well-placed skulls, skeletons and tombstones in the flower beds are all good choices, but do rein it in if you’ll have really young children attending, because their parents won’t thank you if you send them home too scared to sleep! 

Ghoulish games

Obviously, if you’ve got kids at the party, you’re going to need to entertain them and keep them occupied with games. Here are a few we tried out in the office recently:

  • Pin the tail/nose/eyes on the black cat/spider/pumpkin – basically, a Halloween version of pin the tail on the donkey! Just use whatever you have to hand and your imagination.
  • Apple bobbing – not that scary when done in the traditional way, but instead of apples you could decorate marshmallows or jelly to look like eyeballs!
  • Dress the mummy – you’ll need a lot of loo roll for this, as the game is to see who can turn someone into a mummy fastest by wrapping them with toilet paper. Getting kids to turn adults into mummies will always make this much more fun!

Frightening food and beastly beverages

No party is complete without food and drink, and there’s any number of things you can turn into scary finger food or blood-red drinks if you have the time to make them in advance. Or you could keep it straightforward and keep everyone happy with pizza or a barbecue. If you do opt for a barbecue, using top-quality cooking charcoal to grill your burgers and sausages will produce a far more intense flavour perfect for the night’s entertainment.

Macabre movies

If it’s a dry evening, set up a corner of your garden as a mini-cinema and show scary or creepy films all evening. You can go old school with 1930s black-and-white classics like Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dracula, comedy horror favourites like Ghostbusters, Scary Movie and Beetlejuice, or genuinely frightening horror movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist. Just make sure that your films are suitable for everyone attending your party!

Spooky songs

Every party needs music and there are plenty of tracks out there ideal for Halloween. What you include on your playlist will depend on the age of your guests, but here are a few of our favourite Halloween-themed songs that are suitable for all ages:

  • Taylor Swift – Haunted
  • Michael Jackson – Thriller
  • Ray Parker Jr – Ghostbusters
  • Siouxsie & The Banshees – Spellbound
  • Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers – Monster Mash
  • Johnny Cash – Ghost Riders in the Sky
  • Little Mix – Black Magic
  • Olivia Rodrigo – Vampire
  • DJ Jazzy & The Fresh Prince – A Nightmare on My Street
  • Kanye West – Monster
  • Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy (ideal for trick or treating!)
  • Lana Del Ray – Season of the Witch
  • Phoebe Bridgers – Halloween

What others can you think of that can make your party go with a spooky swing?

Download the PDF below >>> Halloween Checklist

Halloween Party Checklist


However you decide to celebrate Halloween this year, your garden will be better prepared for the night’s events with our great range of garden and landscaping solutions and your barbecue food will taste far better with our professional grade cooking charcoal – all available now from KG Smith & Son. 

Order online today for fast delivery or get in touch with us for more advice and information.



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