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Betty’s Halloween Guide

Updated October 6, 2023
This month, Betty is going all in on spooky season. With Halloween on the horizon, we’ve brewed up a batch of helpful tips, awesome activities and fun Halloween recipes that will make planning your holiday hangout easier and more delicious than ever.
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Halloween Prep

When it comes to hosting a spine-tingling Halloween party, every detail counts. From the guest list to the decorations, meal planning to table setting, every step along the party-planning path is an opportunity to add an extra dash of Halloween flair. Not to mention, properly preparing for your party helps you avoid any hair-raising last-second snafus and ensures everyone will have a great time, including yourself!

Start with your ghoulish guest list. Whether you want to host a small soiree or blowout bash can help guide your Halloween planning along the way—just jot down that list so you know what size crowd you’ll be hosting! Sending out invitations early gives guests plenty of time to block off the night, ask for time off from work or hire a babysitter. Though email invitations are easy, they often get lost in the shuffle. Paper invitations are a fun and festive way to ask your guests to join you.

Send all the spooky details to your guests with fun and festive Halloween party invitations.

Once you have your guest list assembled, it’s time to think about food. Decide whether you’ll be serving a full meal or spooky snacks and apps. (If menu planning gives you the ‘eeks!’, don’t worry—the Halloween Recipes section of this guide has plenty of ideas for every course.) 

Don’t forget about beverages! For sophisticated sipping, wine glass clings will add a touch of eerie charm to your drinkware. And we all know treats are the reason for the season, so a well-appointed dessert table is a great way to bring the wow.

Halloween Decor

Planning the look of your soiree is another early step you don’t want to overlook. Making sure you have plenty of time to work on your Halloween motif will save a ton of last-minute stress and give your party a cohesive look. Plus, it will give you plenty of time to pull off any homemade décor, like these 13 DIY pumpkin decorating ideas.

Think about the different areas your guests will be and how you’d like them to look. Decorating high-traffic spaces can help amplify the mood. For example, adding window clings or erasable messages to the bathroom mirror will keep guests in the Halloween spirit, even when they step away from the festivities.

Set a spine-tingling scene for your holiday get-together with fun Halloween decor in party-designated spaces. Bringing a few extra-spooky touches, like a black light LED bar, will create a spooky mood and increase the Halloween spirit. And adding table coverings like a spider web tablecloth or pumpkin table runner will make a frightful feast for the eyes.  

Set the mood for your soiree with LED pumpkin lights that are frightfully fun.

Give special consideration to where you’ll be serving food. No doubt, this will be a Halloween hotspot where guests congregate! Pick up creepy cups and plates for serving sinister concoctions and delicious treats. Display sweets in a stoneware candy bowl or arrange your ghoulish delights on a spooky serving platter. And speaking of desserts, if you want to take your treats over the top, we have you covered with these Halloween ideas for dessert decorating.

Maybe décor isn’t your specialty? No worries! You can still be the (g)host with the most. If you’re looking for an easy, all-in-one way to bring the spooky, this classic Halloween party pack has everything you need to make your party a wicked success!

Halloween Activities

Now that you’ve got decorations down pat, it’s time to focus on entertainment. If you’re looking for Halloween ideas to make your party a scream, make sure to have plenty of activities to keep the frightful fun going all evening. In addition to making your party extra memorable, they’ll give your guests something to do between eating and mingling. Plus, they’ll help stave off any lull in the Halloween cheer.

One way to go is to let partygoers show off their artistic side. A little dose of creativity can equal a whole lot of fun. Find out if you have a Picasso of pumpkins in your midst when you host a carving contest—all you need is some good gourds and carving utensils. (See the kit below!) Or, try some edible art with a make-your-own caramel apple station. Sticky, sweet and coated in ooey-gooey goodness, this classic Halloween treat makes a perfect party “snacktivity.” 


Host a pumpkin carving contest and let your guests show off their inner artiste. A carving kit will set you up with all the tools you need!

When you’re planning activities, don’t forget the little ghouls and goblins. Keeping the kiddos occupied will ensure the adults have time to relax and enjoy themselves. Kids will love classic Halloween games like bobbing for apples, musical chairs (complete with a spooky tune) and pin the eye on the monster. Your little ones will also love these simple but super-fun Halloween recipes for sweet snacks, devilish desserts and party-ready crafts. No boos here!

Halloween Recipes

Let’s face it, Halloween is ALL about the food! Spooky snacks, devilishly delicious dinners, party-perfect appetizers and, of course, scrumptious sweet treats. Planning the perfect menu is easier than you think. When deciding what to serve, there are a few factors to consider. 

First, think about your guests’ ages—are you hosting a family-friendly shindig or an adults-only soiree? Also, think about the time your Halloween party will take place, is it during a traditional mealtime? This will help you determine if you should go with a full meal or light snacks. Finally, consider the amount of people you are hosting. If you’re anticipating a large crowd, you may want to forgo any Halloween recipes that are overly complicated or require a lot of prep.

Speaking of prep, make sure you have the right supplies on hand well before you begin cooking. This will help you to avoid any last-second kitchen mishaps. This Betty Crocker™ rectangle cake pan will help you make the best bars. And don’t forget festive extras like orange cupcake liners to keep your treats on theme. 

No tricks here! Treat your guests to a spread of tasty desserts–with this mini muffin pan, you can make them all.

Whatever kind of Halloween party you’re planning, this collection of Betty’s favorite recipes will ensure your guests will eat, drink and be scary!

Halloween Checklist

Handy Halloween Checklist 
Handy Halloween Checklist 
Is Halloween party prep giving you a serious case of the heebie-jeebies? Don’t be scared! Betty has your back with this downloadable checklist. Just follow our lead and you’ll be on your way to the perfect party in no time!

Follow this ‘to-boo’ list and your party is sure to be a scream!  

3 (or more) weeks before:

This is the time to gather your guest list, prepare invites and give some thought to how you’d like to set the scene. Is it going to be an extra-spooky, adults-only bash? Or a fun, family-friendly soiree? Choosing the time of day, theme and decor will help you finalize all the important details.

  • Choose your theme
  • Pick date/time/location
  • Plan your menu
  • Create your guest list
  • Make and send invitations
  • Plan your decor
  • Create a schedule for the event (if needed)

1 week before

Now’s the time to get a jump-start on your menu as well as decorations. If anything can be purchased or prepared ahead, go for it!  Checking items off your list now will lighten your load once party time comes.

  • Purchase non-perishable food and supplies
  • Begin creating decor
  • Create a schedule for games and activities
  • Build a fun or spooky music playlist 

1-2 days before

The big day is almost here! Revisit shopping lists and start assembling menu items to make prep a breeze during crunch time. Also, don’t save decorating for the day of your party. Getting a head start now will ensure everything looks just like you imagined.

  • Purchase remaining food items
  • Assemble any make-ahead dishes
  • Set up games and activities
  • Decorate your space
  • Create a prep schedule for the big day

Day of

It’s nearly party time! Now is when all of your careful planning pays off. Stick to your schedule and check off any remaining items as they’re completed. This will help keep your stress levels low so you can enjoy all the Halloween fun right along with your guests.

  • Cook remaining party food (5-6 hours before)
  • Set up any last-minute decorations
  • Pick up remaining items (ice, balloons, etc.)
  • Set up food/dessert tables (1-2 hours before)
  • Reheat make-ahead dishes (1 hour before)
  • Cue up the custom playlist
  • Get ready to greet your guests

Congrats! Now it’s time to kick back and enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it!

Who’s Ready for Halloween Hosting?

Hosting the perfect Halloween get-together doesn’t have to be stressful!  With Betty on your side, you’ve got the holiday handled. By following the helpful hosting hints, tips, activities and recipes in this Halloween guide, you’ll be sure to dazzle your guests without breaking a sweat. Now, get ready to enjoy your best party yet!  Lastly, we want to see how your party turned out. Take lots of pics and share your tips and tricks for other Bettys out there. Don’t forget to tag us @BettyCrocker. Happy Halloween.