Summer is coming to an end, and fall is around the corner! Most people think about the change in weather, eating comfort food, and the many holidays in the colder months of the year. Holidays are always fun and one of the most popular fall holidays is none other than Halloween! Kids and adults love the holiday, and it serves as an excuse to let loose and have fun.
You may be wondering how to celebrate Halloween this year as you continue to social distance and shelter at home. While our favorite spooky day may look different this year, it does not mean you cannot have some spooktastic fun! No matter the “how,” the point is to enjoy your family and friends. With a little bit of creativity and a strong internet connection, your Halloween can be better than ever! Here are some ways you can host the best virtual Halloween party.
Choose a Virtual Meeting Platform
Under normal circumstances, location is always first when it comes to planning a Halloween party. In this instance, although you may be opting to host online, the virtual meeting platform is still important. To ensure you and your guests have a fantastic time, you must research and choose the platform that fits your needs from the beginning of the party until the very end — just as it would be in person. Zoom, Google Duo, WebEx, or Skype are the most popular platforms based on cost, ease-of-use, and familiarity.
When conducting your research, don’t forget to look for information on time limitations, mobile vs. desktop functionality, and extra features, like recording capabilities. Each platform is unique and may offer different versions depending on what you need for your virtual Halloween party to be a success.
Send Spooky Party Invite
With a virtual event comes a virtual invitation! It is essential to send your virtual invitations far enough in advance so people can plan accordingly. In your invitation, be sure to let your guests know that your event is virtual and share the platform name and link to sign in. Share your telephone number in the invitation and be available a few minutes before the event’s start in case guests need assistance with logging on.
Unique invitations are a great way to show your creativity and get your guests excited about the event. Choose an invitation that matches the look and feel of your party. Is this a cute and kid-friendly party, or are you hosting a gory and scary event for adults? The invitation should have the same energy. You should also let guests know if they should dress up in costumes. Are you giving away prizes or hosting a costume contest? Share it in the invitation.
Remind your guests to have Halloween treats on hand so you can all share a treat and no one will feel left out. If you do not know how to create your spooky party invite, websites like Evite and Canva have free customizable templates that allow you to include your event link in the invitation.
Choose a Halloween-themed background
Just because you are hosting a virtual event does not mean your ambiance has to be plain and boring — in fact, it is actually the opposite. Your event can involve a spooky Halloween background, and you can achieve this look through physical and virtual decorations.
Decorations will make your virtual celebration more festive and visually pleasing for your guests. The only difference between decorating for a virtual party versus an in-person party is that you do not have to accessorize an entire venue, only the area visible on camera. Go to your local Dollar Store and grab a few fake pumpkins, friendly ghosts, skeletons, and mummies and get to work on making your space as authentic as possible.
Use a Virtual Background
If you do not want to take the time to decorate your seating area, you can choose a virtual Halloween backdrop. Most virtual conference meeting platforms have great Halloween backgrounds that you can use for your event. Depending on the platform you use for your event, you can also search for a virtual background and upload it when you prepare and log in to the party.
Create a Spooky Playlist
Virtual or not, any great Halloween party has to have a fantastic soundtrack to keep the mood fun and upbeat. Create a playlist with Top 40 songs, great throwback songs, and of course, Halloween-themed songs. “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett & The Crypt Kickers, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, and of course, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson are all great additions to the playlist.
Upgrade With Halloween Visuals
If you have enough time and availability to add a video to your party, you can stream a classic TV show or movies like Casper the Friendly Ghost and The Addams Family. You don’t have to play the entire show or movie, but this can serve as a source of entertainment while guests are logging on and waiting for other guests to arrive. These songs and visuals will undoubtedly get your guests into a ghoulish groove.
Plan Virtual Halloween Party Activities
Now it’s game time! It is an excellent idea to incorporate at least two activities into your planning so your guests can loosen up, step out of their comfort zone and engage with everyone. You can plan a Halloween scavenger hunt, tell ghost stories, invite everyone to dance, or hire entertainment. Guests will enjoy having some friendly competition and will continue to stay entertained.
Halloween Themed Food and Drinks
Although not in person, you and your guests can still enjoy Halloween-themed food by creating a sample menu or sharing recipes. Guests can either cook together during the party or just eat similar store-bought items. Need some ideas? You can incorporate these Halloween-themed foods into your plan:
- Silly monster apple bites
- Black velvet ghost cupcakes
- Spooky ghost cookies
- Pumpkin spice latte or hot chocolate.
Are you thinking of incorporating some real spirits into your menu? Try Black Magic Jello Shots or Candy Corn Jello shots for the adults. Once you have your snacks and beverages planned, you can email your guests with recipes and links to let them know what food you will be serving. This allows your guests to have the same foods and drinks as you so it feels like an in-person party.
Host a Costume Contest
What is Halloween without a costume contest? Your virtual event does not mean that you can not have traditional Halloween fun and have a costume contest. When planning your costume contest, consider adding a fun prize for the winner. Remember to let your guests know that there will be prizes for a costume contest in the invitation; this will up the ante and make your guests want to be more involved.
Use incentives like gift cards, baked goods, or candy to encourage participation. Depending on the size of your virtual event, you can also designate judges or even use a voting system that allows all of your guests to have a say in choosing the winner.
When creating your costume contest, be sure of the personalities of your guests and be mindful if children will be participating too—you do not want anyone to feel left out.
A virtual Halloween party may not feel like the real thing, but there are ways to bridge the gap and make a virtual Halloween party fun. With the right people, an efficient virtual platform, and fun activities, you can still make happy memories and spend time with your family and friends during this holiday. Take your party to the next level by using these suggestions so you can host an unforgettable night.