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As we continue to practice social distancing during COVID-19, events like Halloween that involve numerous attendees, have a new set of rules to follow. Keeping up to date with government regulations in your area is crucial to ensure your outdoor Halloween bash is as stress-free as possible!
Along with maintaining preventative measures, having your Halloween party outdoors helps toward ensuring the health and safety of your guests with fresh air and open space. From functional furnishings and Halloween decorations to Halloween party entertainment ideas and rentals, this guide will assist in planning a great Halloween party outside.
If you have the room to host a Halloween party in your backyard, now is the time to utilize the outdoor space! There are also plenty of event venues that will host private parties set in gardens or patios if an outdoor area is needed. Choosing an open space will help to casually limit your guests from being too close to one another.
Keep your Halloween celebrations intimate with a low-key soiree of close friends and family. Having a smaller than usual guest list will help avoid crowding your party space, keep the post-party mess manageable, and decrease the chances of line-ups for the bathroom.
Once you’ve settled on a guest list, create and send Halloween themed invitations to your guests so they can RSVP! Knowing who can attend ahead of time will help the party planning go smoothly.
Send digital invitations simply via email, or with spooky templates from websites like Evite. If you’re the DIY type and want to craft homemade invitations, check out an art supply store like Michaels for an assortment of beautiful paper. Be sure to include any extra information in the invites, like what to bring or where to park if necessary.
This Halloween, look for dishes you can portion out to your guests individually instead of providing snacks that require sharing. Classic BBQ appetizers like burgers or skewered veggies and meats can cut back on unnecessary food handling by your guests. If you’re keen on providing a unique dining experience, look to a caterer for professional and safe food handling that will take some of the responsibility off your shoulders so you can enjoy the Halloween festivities too!
There are plenty of ways you can provide COVID-safe beverages for your outdoor Halloween party this year. One option is to stock your bar with canned beverages for the sake of avoiding mixing up glassware. Another is to pre-batch cocktails in large jars with spouts so people can self-serve without getting messy. You could even hire a professional bartender to provide Halloween themed cocktails using clean glasses and utensils for each drink.
Create clear stations to indicate what goes where. It’s important to keep sanitary plates and cutlery away from used dishes. Make sure garbage cans and recycling bins are easy for everyone to access. Lean into the Halloween spirit and make signs with skulls and crossbones to indicate what has been used.
Depending on where you live, you may or may not be venturing into that crisp, end-of-fall chill. If you aren't already equipped with a fire pit, you can easily rent or purchase a patio heater, portable fire pit, cozy blankets, or a chimenea for some added warmth.
Along with warmth, make sure to keep your guests dry too! Find an outdoor canopy if you don’t have a covered outdoor entertaining space. Otherwise, create an indoor back-up plan just in case the clouds roll through.
If you’re keeping your guest list small, you shouldn’t have a problem with using what you already have as seating. You can repurpose indoor furniture if you need to, or if you’re more comfortable renting furniture there are plenty of affordable options for that too. Most outdoor venues will already provide seating and tables, but double-check while you’re researching just to make sure (especially if it’s a corporate event).
You’ll want your guests to have ample access to hand sanitizers and wet wipes throughout your outdoor Halloween event. Direct them to the closest sink or outdoor station as soon as they arrive.
If you aren’t using portable outdoor bathrooms, your guests will have to venture inside at some point during the party to use the restroom. Make sure to fully stock with the usual toiletries—especially soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels for drying off. Invest in a large enough garbage container that won’t overflow mid-party. For minimal germ spread on the outer bathroom doorknob, set a table with hand sanitizer and paper towels outside of the bathroom too.
From Halloween party ideas like Halloween bingo and trivia to hosting a pumpkin carving contest or a Monster Mash dance-off, feel free to get creative with your source of amusement this Halloween. Look into hiring fun Halloween entertainment, like a DJ, fortune teller, costumed character, or even an impersonator! Just be mindful of the age groups that will be attending.
Once the sun goes down, you’ll want to make sure your guests can see where they’re going - especially if you’ve got a boozy signature cocktail going around. Repurpose old Christmas lights and make sure narrow walkways and paths are sufficiently lit. If you’re like any sensible parent and are worried about leaving a fire unattended, opt for battery-operated flameless candles for your jack o’ lanterns instead of the usual tealights.
Turn your outdoor party space into a haunted house with jack o lanterns, spider webs, spooky skulls, and hanging bats! Choose oranges and blacks for table settings and napkins, and use pumpkins and gourds as table centerpieces. Gauge how spooky you want the ambiance to be based on the age groups that will be attending. Don’t forget tablecloth weights and napkin holders so things don’t blow away!
Make sure the kids get to indulge in Halloween treats with a pinata or scavenger hunt, especially if your outdoor party is an alternative to trick or treating this year. Create Halloween loot bags with party favors like candy corn, mini packs of slime or Play-Doh, chocolate bars, cute hair accessories, bubbles, and mini flashlights. You could even hire a professional face painter or a temporary tattoos artist to help with entertaining activities!
Find more Halloween entertainment and party ideas on The Bash.
About Brittany Barber
Brittany Barber, lover of books, dogs and romance, graduated from Bishop’s University with a Communications and Theatre degree. After spending some time working abroad in the theatre world, she is now a freelance writer covering a range of lifestyle topics including wedding and event planning for The Bash, WeddingWire, 2life and Fluttr.