35 Thrilling Halloween Party Ideas for Your 2021 Spookfest

From eerie decor to ghoulish games, find the best Halloween party ideas here!

Diane Hall


Are you on the hunt for the best Halloween party ideas and games to make this year’s get-together a little spookier, a little more thrilling, or just to switch things up? Perhaps you want to put those newfound Covid lockdown skills to work with some DIY Halloween party food ideas and decorations. Or maybe you want to bring in the pros to make this year’s bash one for the books. Well, my friends, we’ve got lots of Halloween party ideas to add that extra somethin’ somethin’ to Halloween 2021.

Some of these suggestions are simple while others are more ambitious and will take some planning, so let us help you get inspired and organized. Whether you're hosting a small gathering of close friends, an outdoor Halloween party or having a virtual bash, we're here to give you the best Halloween party ideas for your 2021 get-together.

And don't be afraid to go all out. Stage a Halloween show in your backyard. Book an '80s tribute band to play live at a block party! Hire variety acts to perform at a warehouse venue. Have a bartender serve up spooky cocktails. There truly are lots of ways to get creative and host an amazing event—pick your favorite Halloween party ideas and get to it.


Here are the 35 best Halloween party ideas for 2021.

1. I Spy Halloween Game

Halloween Party Ideas - Jack O' Lanterns in a park

Photo: Teri Virbickis/Shutterstock.com

I spy with my little eye....There are a couple of ways to go about setting up this fun Halloween party idea. The first is to come up with a list of Halloween items throughout your home, neighborhood or town and ask your guests to go out and take a photo of them, usually within a time limit. To make the game a little more challenging, you could come up with a list of clues, instead. The individual (or group) that captures photos of the most items, wins! 

2. Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Halloween Party Ideas - Scavenger Hunt

Photo: tomertu/Shutterstock.com

If you’d prefer an activity closer to home, plan a scavenger hunt around your house and yard. Come up with a list of questions that put a spotlight on your party decor, food and drinks. For example, ask “How many cocktails are on the menu?” or “How many carved pumpkins are on the porch?”. This is a great way to get guests acquainted with your decorations and offerings for the evening. The individual (or group) that correctly answers the most questions, wins!

3. Book a Halloween-Worthy Venue

Halloween Party Ideas - Library Event Venue

Photo: The Darling - The Library

If entertaining at home is not ideal, look into booking an event venue or private room at a restaurant. Certain types of venues with their inherent decor and atmosphere are perfect for hosting a Halloween party including a mansion, castle, farm, restaurant or library. Others, such as a banquet hall, loft, or meeting space, provide a blank slate for you to decorate to your heart’s content.

Pro Tip: The Bash can help you find the perfect party spot in major cities across the U.S.

Find a Venue

4. Halloween Party Theme Ideas

Halloween Party Ideas - Black and White Theme

Photo: Pizzazzerie

Sure Halloween is a party theme in itself, but if you’d like to try something different and add another layer of interest, choose a theme for your event, too. You could host a 90s theme party complete with a tribute band and 90s playlist, a black and white theme, or, a Dia de Los Muertos (a.k.a. Dawn of the Dead party).

Bonus: Check out these 16 Killer Halloween Party Themes for more ideas.

5. Wig Party

Halloween Party Ideas - Wig Party

Photo: Studio Romantic/Shuttertsock.com

Let’s agree that for the majority of folk, costumes make Halloween parties more fun. But for some guests, putting together a creative costume is not fun or convenient. Keep it simple by asking your guests to at the very least, wear a wig to gain entry—it’s amazing what a transformation a new hairdo can make. Tip: have a few spare wigs on hand for anyone who didn’t get the memo.

6. Mandatory Masks

Halloween Party Ideas - Costumes wth Masks

Photo: Esthermm/Shuttertsock.com

We’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to Covid-19 and so depending on where you live it could be a wise idea to make masks mandatory, too—Halloween is the perfect holiday for making the best of it. To help you out, we’ve put together these costume ideas:

7. Halloween Costume Contest

Halloween Party Ideas - Couple Costume

Photo: Deborah Kolb/Shuttertsock.com

Now that you’ve got a party full of guests in costume, it’s time to judge who has the best! Let your guests know ahead of time what the categories will be so they can plan accordingly.

Halloween Party Ideas - Costume Contest Voting Sheet

Categories like scariest, funniest, cutest, couple costume, family costume, group costume, most creative, Halloween makeup, lookalike and Halloween mask, will give your guests plenty of opportunities to win! To choose the winners, assemble a group of judges or go the democratic route and let your guests vote. We’ve put together these free downloadable (and printable) voting sheets and prize badges for you to award to the winners—simply cut them out and add a ribbon if you'd like.

8. Halloween Makeup Station

Halloween Party Ideas - Face Painter

Photo: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

Help your guests out with their Halloween costumes with the artistry of a face painter, body painter, makeup artist or a glitter bar. These professionals can take your costume party OTT with their talent and make for some stiff competition at the aforementioned costume contest.

Find a Makeup Artist

9. Hire an Entertainer

Halloween Party Ideas - Fire Eater

Photo: Vincenzo De Bernardo/Shutterstock.com

Take your Halloween party up a notch and invite a professional performer to make an appearance. At a costume party, they may simply blend in at first until the performance begins to surprise your guests. Here are some of our favorite acts:

Pro tip: The Bash can help you find and book the perfect entertainer in your area.

Find a Variety Act

10. Halloween Photobooth


Photo: Sergii Sobolevskyi/Shutterstock.com

You’re going to want to catch all the costume hilarity on film, so be sure to set up a photo booth with a halloween backdrop to encourage some snapping and sharing of photos. Create a party hashtag if you want to make it an Instagram-worthy affair or for something more private, ask your guests to share their images to a google drive or Evite page for everyone to enjoy after the festivities.

Find a photo booth

11. Halloween Slideshow


Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

On the subject of photos, why not put together a Halloween slideshow. This fan favorite could take on a few forms. You could use a slideshow to set up a festive atmosphere. Simply put together a slideshow of creepy or cute Halloween images to play in the background. (Bonus: we have these 45 free Halloween backgrounds you can download).

You could also assemble a slideshow from past parties. Ask your guests to submit photos of their old costumes ahead of time so you can include a variety of guests and even eras in your presentation. If you have the technology or hire a professional, another way to enjoy the photos is in real time! Project all those amazing photobooth images onto a big screen.

Find a Photographer

12. Pumpkin Carving or Painting

Halloween Party Ideas - Jack O’Lantern Pumpkin Carving

Photo: 4 PM production/Shutterstock.com

Pumpkin carving and painting techniques sure have evolved over the past decade. Set up a pumpkin carving or painting station with a variety of shapes, sizes and colors of pumpkins and invite your guests to show off their skillz, or at the very least, help you decorate. Depending on your guests, you could even increase the stakes and make it a pumpkin carving contest.

13. Horror Film Festival

Halloween Party Ideas - Horror Film Festival

Photo: ArtOfPhotos/Shutterstock.com

It’s amazing what you can video and edit on a mobile phone these days. Between Instagram Reels and TikTok, we’re discovering that anyone can be a filmmaker. Challenge your guests to make a short horror film to be enjoyed by all at your Halloween party. Put together some guidelines such as duration, file format and orientation (i.e. portrait versus landscape) and invite submissions ahead of time so you can plan the perfect screening party.

14. Halloween Movie Night

Halloween Party Ideas - Rock Horror Picture Show Screening

Photo: Ralf Liebhold/Shutterstock.com 

Love the idea of a screening party but with a little less work? Make it a Halloween movie night. This idea can be as simple as watching a flick together indoors or outdoors—just be sure to select a film suitable for your crowd. 

Want to turn it into a Halloween party idea for adults? Make it a game. Decide on certain sounds, visuals, words or phrases and hit a buzzer or take a drink when they occur on screen. Or, choose a movie like The Rocky Horror Picture Show to inspire the dress code for the evening.

15. Murder Mystery Game

Halloween Party Ideas - Murder Mystery Kits

Photo: Murder mystery game kits to play at home by Mystery and Game Shows

Turn your soiree into a whodunnit with this Halloween party idea. Depending on the scale of the event, you can hire a professional company or get murder mystery game kits to play at home. We’ve put together this complete guide on How to Throw a Murder Mystery Party this Halloween.

Find Murder Mystery Entertainment

16. Magic Show

Halloween Party Ideas - Hire a Magician

Photo: Ra2 Studio/Shutterstock.com

Choose tricks over treats and hire a magician to entertain your guests. You could set aside time for an amazing magic show or you could hire a magician to work the room and perform their tricks for small groups to see things up close. 

Find a Magician

17. Halloween Party Food Ideas

 Halloween Finger Food Recipes - witch fingers

 Photo: Cooklikeachampion.com

Thanks to all the food bloggers out there, finding fun and tasty recipes for Halloween is a cinch. We’ve made it easy for you by gathering up our favorite sweet and savoury Halloween party food ideas. From Jalapeno Mummy Poppers to Graveyard Parfaits, here are 24 Spooky Halloween Finger Food Recipes. Not into prepping the food yourself? Hire a caterer or baker to prep some dishes for you.

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18. Spooky Signature Cocktails

Halloween Party Ideas - Spooky Cocktails
Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Designing a Halloween drink menu can be tons of fun, too. Mixing magical potions and serving concoctions out of a cauldron can truly mesmerize your guests. Browse our list of 24 Halloween Drinks and Cocktail Recipes to select a few drinks that include a variety of ingredients. 

If you’d like to make Halloween cocktails the highlight of the evening (complete with dried ice, perhaps), consider hiring a bartender to handle it for you. Otherwise, we recommend that you set up a self-serve bar with batched cocktails and a selection of beer, coolers and wine to keep things simple. 

Find a Bartender

19. Host a Killer Dinner Party

Halloween Party Ideas - Dinner Party

Photo: VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

On the subject of food and drink, how about hosting a multi-course sit-down dinner party. Hosting a smaller soiree will let you serve up a creative Halloween-themed menu to wow your guests. For example, serving pumpkin soup in scooped out pumpkins is a lot easier for 8 people than 30. 

20. Haunted House Decor

Halloween Party Ideas - Ghost in a Hallway
Photo: Florian Lidin on Unsplash 

Make Halloween party decorations the focus and turn your home into a haunted house. Bring some of those impressive outdoor Halloween decorations indoors for your party—cobwebs, spiders, skeletons, ghosts, bats and black crows will turn any room into a spooky space. For a more authentic haunted house vibe, create vignettes in each room of the house. Scrawl messages with red lipstick on the mirrors, put skeletons in the closets (get it?), suspend a ghost in a hallway, create a crime scene in a bedroom, serve a buffet in the dining room with dishes that resemble body parts (like fingers, bones or eyeballs). 

21. Karaoke in Halloween Costumes

Halloween Party Ideas - Karaoke in Costumes

Photo: VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

What’s better than singing Karaoke? Singing Karaoke in a Halloween costume, of course! You can dress up as the artist you plan to sing to (e.g. our vote goes to Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak as Silk Sonic for 2021), stay on theme (e.g. dress up like a hippie and sing a 60s song) or keep it completely random (e.g. wear a mummy costume and perform a pop song). Whatever you do, there’s guaranteed to be lots of LOL moments.

22. Dance Party

Halloween Party Ideas - Monster Mash Freeze Dance

Photo: Lipatova_Maryna/Shutterstock.com

Prefer dancing to singing? Make it a Halloween dance party! To get everyone in the party mood, ask your guests to submit their favorite dance songs in advance. Take it up a notch and challenge your guests to learn the latest dance steps trending on TikTok and compete with a contest.

For an easier game idea that will get everyone on the dance floor, go old school with a dance freeze. How it works is to freeze every time the music pauses, and whoever moves during the freeze is out! The last one dancing wins. 

Bonus: We’ve put together this spooky Halloween music playlist to play at your party or for a larger event, hire a DJ to keep the vibe going.

Find a DJ

23. Put on a Halloween Show

Get together with some neighboring families and put on a show for your community. Staging a theatrical performance is a great way to involve kids and adults of all ages. Take inspiration from this group of families that put on an annual show for their neighborhood complete with staging, lighting, a sound system and choreographed dance.

24. Outdoor Halloween Party Games

Halloween Party Ideas - Witches Shoes

Photo: Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash 

Whether you’re hosting an outdoor Halloween Party or just want to offer some outdoor activities in addition to indoor entertainment, including some outdoor lawn games is a great way to go. You can put a Halloween take on favorites like corn hole, Giant Jenga or ring toss by using a black, white and orange color scheme. Playing in your costumes will add an additional challenge and excitement, making it fun for everyone to watch.

25. Ghost Stories Around a Campfire

Halloween Party Ideas - ghost stories around a bonfire

Photo: fboudrias/Shutterstock.com 

And while we’re on the topic of outdoor Halloween party ideas, how about lighting a campfire, and telling ghost stories. Let your guests take turns and tell a story or have them collaborate on one where each player adds to the plot to make up an original thriller. Just make sure no flammable costume bits get too close to the flames. And don't forget the s'mores!

26. Psychic-Themed Halloween Party 

Halloween Party Ideas - Hire a Psychic

Photo: n_defender/Shutterstock.com

Let your guests take a look into the future and have a night of fortune-telling and palm reading at your Halloween party. Hire a professional fortune teller, psychic, or a tarot card reader. to provide readings for your guests. Make sign up sheets so that guests can mix and mingle while they wait their turn.

27. Play Halloween Bingo

Halloween Party Ideas - Halloween Bingo

Photo: Crazy Little Projects

Bingo is a fun and easy Halloween party idea for kids and adults alike. Download these free printable Halloween bingo sheets by Crazy Little projects featuring cute graphics and use candy corn, M&Ms or skittles as markers. Don’t forget the prizes!

28. Spooky Lighting and Smoke

Halloween Party Ideas - Smoke Machine and Lighting

Photo: Dollar Gill on Unsplash 

If you only do one thing to set the scene for a Halloween Party, it should be setting up some lighting, a smoke machine, or both! These two decor elements can take your living room, an empty event space or your backyard from ordinary to Halloween-worthy. If you’re hiring a DJ, they can handle this for you. Otherwise, a search online should land you some sweet supplies.

29. Neighbourhood Crawl

Halloween Party Ideas - Fun Outdoor Decorations

Photo: Photo Spirit/Shutterstock.com

Your guests may be too old to trick or treat, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get out and about in the ‘hood. If your community is enthusiastic about decorating their houses for Halloween, take to the streets for a stroll through your neighborhood to check out the decorations and all the costumes.

Another spin on this Halloween party idea is to make it a house party crawl and host your event at a few different homes—this will let you share the workload and add some intrigue as you party in each place. Create an itinerary so that any latecomers know where to meet up with the group. This format works well for a Halloween dinner party with a course being served at each location. 

30. Halloween Block Party

Halloween Festival Entertainment

Photo: David Tadevosian/Shutterstock.com

Organize a Halloween block party for 2021 to hang out with your neighbors.This is a wonderful way to build community. Choose a few activities from this list like a costume contest, pumpkin carving, talent show and outdoor games to get everyone mingling. You could also pool your resources and hire some variety acts to give your block party a Halloween festival vibe.

Find Local Entertainers

31. Halloween Pinata

Halloween Party Ideas - Pumpkin Pinata

Photo: Robert MacMillan/Shutterstock.com

On the subject of trick or treating, give your party guests a sugar fix by hanging up a pinata stuffed to the brim with Halloween candies (be sure to use wrapped items). This is a wonderful outdoor activity but can be brought indoors if the weather is bad.

32. Pineapple Jack-O'-Lanterns

Halloween Party Ideas - Pineapple jack-o'-lanterns

Photo: Maglara/Shutterstock.com

Here’s an unexpected Halloween party decoration idea—substitute pineapples for pumpkins. This simple substitution will give your Halloween decor a whole other dimension. Alternatively, you could just include a few pineapple jack-o'-lanterns into the mix to add a little texture and humor to your displays. 

33. Spooky Halloween Party Decorations

Halloween Party Ideas - DIY Decorations

Photo: Logutenko/Shutterstock.com

Halloween decorations and vignettes can really set the mood for a successful party. Whether it’s a decorated mantle, dazzling dessert display, large marquee letters spelling “BOO” or a ghostly scene, these decorations make for great conversation starters that will have your guests mixing and mingling without you having to do all the introductions.

34. Halloween Brunch

Spooky Halloween Party Food Ideas
Photo: Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock.com

Stray from tradition and host your festivities during the day instead of after dark. Gather your gang for pumpkin spiced lattes, Halloween Ghost Pancakes, Spooky Spider Web Deviled Eggs, along with orange-hued mimosas and bloody marys.

35. Talent Show

Halloween Talent Show

Photo: Mar1kOFF/Shutterstock.com

For all the America’s Got Talent fans out there, put on your own AGT-style variety show. There are a couple of ways to go about this. Support local professional talent and hire different types of entertainers to perform for your crowd or invite your friends and family to show off their talent, sporting Halloween costumes, of course. The more variety, the better— a magician, comedian, acrobat, musician, dancers or even something weird and wonderful.

Find Local Variety Acts

Bonus Entertainment Booking Tips:

  • On The Bash, you can search through an extensive list of top-rated, bookable entertainers and party rentals in your local area. While browsing, be sure to review vendor profiles and check out photos and videos.
  • When preparing a request for one of our vendors, keep in mind that the more details you can provide, the more accurate the price quote you'll receive. If you receive a price quote that seems like it needs clarification, don't hesitate to reach out to the vendor directly to find out more.
  • Make sure you have discussed what supplies the entertainer will need for their performance. Usually, this will consist of a small table and a few chairs, but depending on the entertainment, this can vary. You'll want to know what they can provide, and what you'll need to have on hand.
  • There are tons of benefits booking through The Bash. Our guarantee ensures that our party entertainers are held to the highest standard of professionalism. All deposit and balance payments made online through our secure EventPay system are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You’ll also have hands-on support from our Account Services team who is available to help with any event needs, including a last-minute replacement.
  • For more advice on hiring party entertainment, check out these 10 questions to ask before signing a vendor contract.

Find more Halloween entertainment and party ideas on The Bash.

Published on 10/19/2021