Halloween party success! Tips for planning a large children’s gathering

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Andrew is a Scary Monster, Will is a Rescue Monster :)

We had a wonderful Halloween Party with Will’s school friends this morning!

Everyone was so receptive to having healthier Halloween treats.  We ran out of “boo-nanas” which means almost every child ate one, and they also went through three boxes of strawberries and almost two full bags of grapes!  At one point, Will walked by me eating a plate of carrot sticks and red grapes he’d selected for himself.

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One mom told Greg that it made her laugh seeing her daughter enthusiastically eat an entire half of a banana just to get to the three chocolate chips on the face.  That’s a fantastic use of chocolate chips 🙂  (Although really, bananas are pretty sweet and delicious all by themselves, too.)

My favorite part of the event was seeing our home filled with energetic, excited kids doing crafts, sharing their costumes with each other, and having fun.  It added a wonderful happy memory to our home, one we’ll recall each Halloween as our kids get older.

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Now that we’re successfully on the other side of our party, here are some of the things that worked really well:

Ask for help: My co-planner used Sign Up Genius to organize volunteers to bring all the craft supplies and projects.  We picked a variety of crafts using pinterest, then gave the parents the links and they did the rest!  It made it so much easier, and everyone was enthusiastic about contributing.

Plan your space for easy flow: We divided food and beverages into two areas, one on a kid height table for children, and one on an adult height table the next room over.  That kept a bottleneck from happening near just one food area.  We also removed all our chairs and extra furniture into the basement/office, so that there would be more room for people to stand and get around.

Make it easy for kids to reach things: We were able to rent kid height tables at a great price from a rental location right nearby, but you could also ask crowd-source it by asking participants to bring their kid height tables with them.  Many families have one that would fit in the back of their car, and they’re perfect for kids to do crafts or access snacks without having to climb up and down off of adult furniture.

Keep it simple: We picked a couple snacks to be really cute, and then bought enough pretzels and hummus to fill in the rest.  Neither me nor my co-planning parent baked ANYTHING.  Everything except the bananas could be assembled the night before.  Keep in mind that the parents eat a lot less than the kids.

Open the windows: It’s going to get HOT in a house with lots of people.  We opened windows prior to the event, cooled it down to an uncomfortably chilly temperature, and found that people were able to stay in their costumes comfortably.

Don’t feel guilty not serving cookies or cupcakes: I might be a whole foods focused vegan, but I’m a traditionalist, too, and part of me REALLY wanted to serve little cupcakes and candy corns and all kinds of things that kids really shouldn’t be eating at 9:30 a.m. the day before they go trick-or-treating and get even MORE sugar.  Finding the vegan googly eye recipe to make strawberries super cute, and making the boo-nanas, and my co-planner bringing a giant veggie platter jack-o-lantern erased all those feelings that whole foods wouldn’t be fun enough.  We used sugary treats – they were just the accents that made the fruit cuter, instead of a fist sized serving of cupcake.

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Food with a face is really scary for vegans. Happy Halloween!

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1 comment

  1. What a fantastic way to celebrate…safe and healthy! And, I bet, all the kids were aware of is how much fun they were having!

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