How to Throw a Halloween Party in Your Backyard

Thinking of throwing a Halloween party? How about hosting a backyard Halloween party?

It’s that time of the year when pumpkins are lined in every yard and the air feels spookier than usual. That’s right, it’s Halloween! Probably the most celebrated holiday after Christmas.

Your house needs to look the most haunted, your costumes need to look the scariest, and your party must be the most memorable.

Whether you have a small yard or a big sprawling garden, you can host a really fun backyard Halloween party, from the friendliest to the scariest. But out of ideas? Don’t fret, we’ve got you.

Let’s start with some general steps in planning your Halloween party in the backyard:

Step #1: Draw Out Your Plan

Backyard Halloween party
Source: Kenneth Yu (Flickr)

Every successful party starts with a plan. How many people would you be hosting? What’s your budget for the party? Answering these questions means that you’ve started outright.

Since you’re throwing a backyard Halloween party, it’s usually best to keep the attendance moderate and limited to family, friends, and neighbors.

 As much as we like to think “the more, the merrier,” you certainly don’t want strangers pulling up to your home. When it comes to your budget, if yours is a large one, don’t be scared to go all out and integrate as many of our ideas as possible.

If you’ve got a small budget, then be sure to pick out only the most eye-catching and affordable items.

Step #2: Choose A Theme

How To Throw A Halloween Party In Your Backyard

Your theme has to do with how you want your party to feel and your Halloween’s general mood. You can go for a traditional theme, a family-friendly theme, or a horror theme. And that’s the beauty of organizing a backyard Halloween party – you’ll have all the space to go all out!

This would help you to know which of our ideas would fit into your party. If you’re going for family-friendly, then your Halloween party should be brightly lit, with colorful and fun treats like smiling ghost cookies and smiley face pumpkins.

A traditional Halloween party is as much inviting as it is scary, so feel free to add a bit of everything to it. For a horror-themed party, go all out with dim lighting, hanging skeletons, fog, tombstones, and other scary items.

Step #3: Set Up Your Party

How To Throw A Halloween Party In Your Backyard

What you use for your party depends on the theme you choose, so we’ll be giving tips on decorations, treats, and games for different themes.

Now, we’ve got the general steps. Let’s look at some themes you could choose for your party.  

Family Halloween Party

Decorations

You need items like brightly-colored pumpkins (or paint regular ones), which would be placed all around the backyard.

It’s a plus if you’ve got garden gnomes because then, you can carve your pumpkins into gnome houses instead of regular jack-o’-lanterns. You can have friendly-looking witches and ghosts placed at the corners and sides of your backyard.

Colorful spiders and spiderwebs can line up the fence with skull lanterns and illuminated ghost garlands giving the whole place a pop.

Treats

Your treats should be fun and playful. You can cut your cookies into spiders, bats, a witch’s hat, and so on. Fruits can be decorated with edible items like sprinkles and frosting.

For example, the sprinkles on ice cream and cupcakes can be arranged to form ghoul faces or bats. The drinks should be mostly non-alcoholic and fitted with a spooky straw and dry ice to give that Halloween effect.

And don’t forget the candy, lots of Halloween-themed candy for kids and trick-or-treaters who might swing by.

Games

Turn regular games into some really fun backyard Halloween party games. Just replace the main elements in the game and voila! You’ve got a Halloween game.

Instead of “tag,” you can have “capture the witch.” Instead of “ball toss,” you can have “mini pumpkin toss,” and so on.

You can also include traditional Halloween games like mummy-wrapping contests and pumpkin crafting. 

Traditional Halloween Theme

Decorations

You should make your backyard Halloween party slightly scarier than if you were going for family-friendly. Your party looks scary enough to be considered a traditional Halloween party, but not so scary as to be considered a horror party.

This means that you need to line up your scarecrows, witches, and giant spiders. Stake some dried branches all around the yard and place ravens and black leaves on them. Jack-o’-lanterns can be placed on the floor along with floating ghosts.

Treats

Put out various Halloween-themed treats like “poisoned” apples, pumpkin deviled eggs, and swamp guacamole.

Make cocktails with googly eyes on the olives to make them look like actual eyeballs, top it off with dry ice to give the foggy effect, and don’t forget the traditional witches’ brew. 

Games

For the most fun part of the party, you can have your guests play mummy-wrapping contests, bobbing for apples, and telling scary stories.

To top off the mood, save some time for a Halloween movie. You can project the movie or use a large TV for this.

Horror-Themed Halloween

Decorations

Go all out with your decorations to give your guests the maximum scare. “Spookify” your backyard with giant spiders, tombstones, skeletons, and witches, but avoid putting too many of the same items.

Paint your jack-o’-lanterns black and hang floating ghosts at the corners. Make the lights very dim or turn them off completely for the final touch. If you can afford it, cover the whole floor with fog using a fog machine. 

Treats

You can get creative with the food. Coat fruits with strawberry syrup to give them a “bloody” look and paint the apples with edible food coloring to make them look poisoned.

Make martinis and punch with “eyeballs” in them, and cover the rim of the glasses with strawberry syrup, so it drips like actual blood.

Lastly, place a large pot of Witches’ brew in the middle of your backyard with lots of dry ice to maintain the smoke effect.

Games

Prepare games that would get your guest into the Halloween spirit. You can try to contact the dead using an Ouija board or “summon a spirit.

You can also bring your gadgets out to the backyard and play horror video games. To make sure that everyone gets the haunted feel of the party, close the night with a horror movie viewing.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have your backyard Halloween party planned out, it’s time to get right into it. Get your items, and feel free to ask others for ideas to make your party fun.

And don’t forget to send invitations to match your theme and share your Halloween with your loved ones!