Our readers and customers love Halloween. It is one of my favorite events of the year and something I look forward to for months. And that includes this year. While it may look a lot different, there is still a LOT of opportunities for celebrating and dressing up. I am hoping that living in the world of social distancing doesn’t prevent you from creating a fun costume and celebrating with your friends. In fact, if you get creative you may be able to celebrate with a wider group of friends than you usually do and even take it national. To inspire you to get planning I have put together a list of ten tips for planning a virtual Halloween party. If you host or attend an online event this spooky season we would love to see your pics!
10 tips for planning a virtual Halloween party
1. Send out paper invitations
As with any remote event, it works to create a buzz and a bit of an “event culture” outside of the virtual space. And, because pretty much everything has been moved online this year, sending out a paper invitation will be a lovely surprise for your guests. Invitations sent by mail are a treat even in non-COVID times, so this is sure to get everyone excited about attending.
2. Include a few cocktail recipes and encourage guests to make one of them
Sending 2-3 cocktail recipes with your invitation and asking everyone to select one to enjoy during the virtual party will be a fun way to create remote unity with the group. Once the party starts, have everyone introduce themselves to the group and say which cocktail they selected. This will also serve as a really fun conversation starter. Go the extra mile and send everyone who RSVPs a special Halloween cocktail glass to use during the party. These can be found at affordable prices at places like Walgreens or Amazon. OR, you can send these cute bat drink toppers with the invitation and ask that they be brought to screens on the night of your party.
Here are a couple of Halloween cocktails that I am keen to try:
3. Ice breakers!
Part of the beauty of a virtual party is being able to bring together people from all over the globe, and that may mean that it will create a fun chance for your guests to make new friends. Plan a couple of unique ice breakers to get everyone laughing and talking. You could ask everyone to share a true crime story they find most compelling, their scariest experience, or what famous dead person they would invite for dinner.
Apparently, Halloween “would you rather” is also a popular party activity.
Add a twist to the ice breakers by utilizing the breakout rooms option on Zoom.
4. Share spooky stories
If you have a guest list of people from around the country or world, select a handful to do a bit of digging and find out about a famous ghost story from their town and share it with the group. I LOVE hearing these stories and am a big fan of going on walking ghost tours when I travel. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Or, tell guests ahead of time to bring with them a spooky story from their childhood slumber parties or to research a new one. The telling of these stories could be combined with a simple drinking game for added fun.
You’ve probably got at least a couple of people in your circle of friends who are performers of some kind and might be excited for the opportunity with so many things being canceled this year. Would someone like to recite a poem or monologue? Play a song? Do you know a history buff who might like to prepare something on the history of Halloween to share? A chef who might be open to doing a short demo on a fun Halloween treat? Get creative about adding variety to the event.
6. Wine and candy pairing
I just learned about this idea when researching this post and I LOVE it. Because both wine and Halloween candy are easy to come by regardless of where a person lives, I think it is a great option for a virtual party.
To include it in your virtual event simply select an online source and let your guests know what to purchase in time for the party. Go the extra mile and send a sachet of candy to each person ahead of time so that they only need to source the wine.
Here are a few of the pairings that I’ve found so far:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with Cabernet Sauvignon (I’m in!)
Snickers with A Dry Red Blend
Milky Way with Sparkling Dry White
7. Tarot readings
A lot of people read Tarot cards these days and even more are interested in having their cards read. As with performers, you may be surprised how many people in your circle have a background with giving readings. Virtual Tarot readings are sure to be a hit. If you don’t know anyone who reads cards, put the feelers out, and see if you can hire someone to come for an hour or who wants to practice their skills with your group. A call-out on social media will undoubtedly deliver someone.
8. Games and prizes
There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to games you can play via Zoom. It may take a bit of creativity, but that is why it is going to be so much fun. And when combined with the other activities of the event, you are going to have a pandemic party that your guests will be talking about for years to come. Need a few ideas? Start with these:
Virtual Halloween charades
Two Truths and a Lie
Whatever you decide, add buzz before your event, excitement to the party, and thank those who participate with prizes. The possibilities here are numerous as well, with countless options available online. The fun part is that you can send the prizes instantly during your party with a few clicks. A few options could include:
A gift card for Door Dash
Etsy gift card
9. Dance party
The Zoom dance party was a fun trend in the beginning of the pandemic and one that I think deserves to be brought back for Halloween. It may be a particularly fun activity to do in sections – a couple of songs at the beginning of the virtually Halloween party, a couple in the middle while people refill drinks and take a break, and a few near the end after everyone has loosened up.
One fun way to create the group culture and a bit of buzz that I have mentioned earlier is to let your guests add songs to a group playlist in the leadup to the party. This playlist can be used in the background as people arrive and also for the dance breaks. You can ask guests to email in songs, create a Facebook group for the event where people can suggest songs, or add those who RSVP to a Spotify playlist.
10. And last but not least…costume contest!
Having Halloween events held remotely is no reason to skip the costumes. Encourage guests to dress up as they would for going out. In some cases, dressing up remotely may provide even more freedom for costume choice as there won’t be the weather considerations that most people in the states face in October. Make time at the beginning of the party for everyone to twirl for the group and give a short introduction about their costume. Then, make sure to send a prize or two to those who go above and beyond. I found this fun “best costume” trophy on Amazon that may be particularly fun to give this year.
Most of all, remember to have fun and make the most of things. Who knows – you may be creating a tradition that people will look forward to even after in-person events become the norm again. Whatever you decide, we would love to hear from you about how you do Halloween in the year that is like no other.