Halloween, on its own, is a holiday of celebration. When that festive day meets with your child’s birthday, the task of planning the perfect party becomes essential. How do you throw a party on or around a holiday in which all children receive surprises? How do you make sure your little one has a memorable birthday and Halloween?

To help ease the stress of planning such a party, we have compiled 40 tips on how you can throw the perfect Halloween children’s birthday celebration. We have recommendations on party ideas, themes, places, and gifts.

Great news! You can use these tips even if you want to throw a Halloween-themed party any time of the year, or if you just want to host a (non-birthday) gathering on Halloween. Enjoy!

Halloween yard sign with ghosts and pumpkin

How To Have A Memorable Halloween Birthday Bash

Halloween, and your child’s birthday, are quickly approaching. While Trick-or-Treating is a beloved childhood pastime, it may not be the top way to make your little one the center of attention. After all, that is what birthday parties are designed for - to make a person, no matter what age, receive recognition and love on the day they were born.

Whether last minute or planning ahead, we have you covered.

Pick The Ideal Time & Place

The first step in any great plan is to figure out the time and place. To start, let’s take a look at the locations available:

  1. Restaurants - If you want to have a party away from home to avoid a messy cleanup, you must first decide where. A kid-friendly restaurant is an option, though maybe not the best for smaller children.
  2. Family Entertainment Centers - These establishments include bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, mini-golf, laser tag, and pizza places. You can find a list of these popular facilities here.
  3. Park/Playground - Another alternative is to host your party is at a playground or park. Make sure you find one that has covered seating for the guests. Fair warning: This place should be avoided if it’s too cold or raining.
  4. Planned Activities - Some ideas on what you can do include trampoline parks, visiting the zoo, going to the aquarium, and even to learning museums.
  5. Your Back/Front Yard - A crowd favorite is turning your back - or front - yard into Party Central. If the weather is chilly, set up portable heaters and/or have a fire pit going to keep your attendees warm.
  6. At Home - Having your child’s birthday party at home can be overwhelming, but with the right game plan in place, your living room can be transformed into anything you could possibly want.

Now that you know where, when should this event happen?

  1. Halloween night - Naturally, children want to celebrate their birthdays on the actual day they were born. That’s easy to do if Halloween happens to fall on the weekend.
  2. The weekend before/after - If Halloween does not land on a Saturday or Sunday, you can host your soiree on the weekend before or after. This option gives your child the chance to have a separate day, dedicated only to them.

No matter which path you choose, make sure it is the correct fit for your time, budget, and sanity.

Choose a Theme

Now that you know where and when the party is taking place, what sort of theme should you choose? Some ideas to get started:

  1. Superhero - Let’s face it - superheroes are all the rage. From movies to TV shows to video games and toys, kids cannot get enough of their favorite good guys. Even adults love the superhero world, which makes this a party everyone will enjoy.
  2. Movies/TV Shows - All parents know what their child’s favorite current movies and television shows are. For me, my boy loves Paw Patrol. Make sure to talk with your kiddo before selecting this one, as the favorites tend to change at any given time!
  3. Video Games - Roblox. Minecraft. Fortnite. These games are talked about and played constantly, and my son even enjoys watching other people play them on YouTube. Pick the most beloved game or a more generic video game concept to incorporate into your plan (i.e., a Nintendo or PlayStation party).
  4. Classic Halloween - Let the spooky vibes flow and follow a typical Halloween style. Spiders, cobwebs, zombies, ghosts… your options are endless!
  5. Literally Anything Else - Try something a little out of the box, like a red carpet/awards-show approach or plan around a particular era or decade. You can have a brilliant party in a variety of ways.

Your theme should be discussed with the birthday boy or girl, as you know they will definitely want a say!

Prepare for the Party

Time - check. Place - check. Theme - check.

Now let’s get to preparation.

  1. Invitations - With your theme locked in, you are ready to send out the invites. You can do this the old-fashioned way and mail them, or you can utilize an e-vite service. The GiftWalker App offers the ability to not only send your invitations, but to also keep track of your RSVPs and send updates as needed.
  2. Decorations - If you are having your party at home, decorate according to your theme. Alternatively, utilize any traditional Halloween decor you have lying around, and keep it simple. If you are having the party outside of the home, please check with the venue hosting to verify if decorations are permitted.
  3. Food Prep - To prevent any disastrous messes, I recommend finger foods such as pigs in a blanket, Halloween cheese and crackers, pizza rolls, breadsticks, fruit, and so on. Make sure to check with parents on whether or not their children have any food allergies.
  4. Music - No party is complete without a flawless playlist. Pick your favorite spooky jams and you’ll have the mood set for the entire night!

Way to go! The party is planned!

Fun (and Easy) Activities

When the time comes and the party starts, what fun is to be had? We gathered a few considerations for your perusal:

  1. Costume Contest - This is one of the most fun activities for the kiddos, as it gives them a chance to show off their awesome (and probably much-contemplated) costume. Though there must be a winner, try to make sure every kid knows that their costumes are just as amazing and perhaps even provide prizes for them all. Participation counts!
  2. Halloween Movie - You can set up a projector in the back or front yard, lay out some blankets and pillows, and let the little ones watch an age-appropriate Halloween movie while snacking on your delicious finger foods.
  3. Arts and Crafts - Setting up an area with supplies for creating seems like a no-brainer. You can provide materials for making lanterns, drawing on pumpkins, crafting Halloween decorations, and more.
  4. Scavenger Hunt - Hide fun Halloween treats and toys around the house and/or yard, then send the kids on a hunt. Make sure it isn’t too dark and you keep the objects as close to the house as possible. For additional fun, involve your neighbors! BONUS: This activity can also be merged with Flashlight Tag.
  5. Decorate cookies/cupcakes - After baking the cookies or cupcakes yourself (try to avoid allowing a dozen grade-schoolers near the hot oven!), have your partiers go to town and decorate those pastries to their heart’s content! And when they are finished, time to eat!
  6. Make smores - If you have a fire pit or fireplace - and can safely do so - have the kids roast marshmallows over the fire for smores. Word of warning: Best to eat these messy treats outside!
  7. Pinata - Who doesn’t love a good pinata? I know many adults who wouldn’t mind whacking a candy-filled, paper mache pumpkin with a baseball bat; but maybe let the kids have a chance first!
  8. Carnival Games - From face painting to bean bag toss, people love carnivals. The atmosphere is filled with happiness and excitement. Incorporate some of you, and your child’s, favorites into the night’s fun. Bobbing for apples, digging for dinos, knocking over tin cans, and tossing balls are just some of the activities you can try.

These activities can provide hours of entertainment. Pick and choose; mix and match. It’s all about the fun!

Trick-or-Treating

If you are celebrating your birthday on October 31st, trick-or-treating as a party becomes a possibility. Let’s explore the various ways you can make this happen:

  1. Traditional Trick-or-Treating - With several parents and flashlights, the entire birthday party can traipse the neighborhood for goodies. Make sure to follow all safety precautions recommended by law enforcement. Have the children wear glow sticks and follow the buddy system at all times. Only visit houses and neighborhoods with which you are already familiar.
  2. Trunk-or-Treat - Many churches and recreation centers offer Trunk-or-Treat as an alternative to walking through neighborhoods. Participating in these types of events may not be ideal for a larger birthday party, as travel is required.
  3. At-Home - Going door to door can be quite tiring, especially for the smaller kiddos. You can set up Treat Stations at home, with small bags of goodies for each kid to take home. This way, they won’t feel like they missed out by not getting out of the house.

Trick-or-Treating, I would like to remind everyone, is not a necessity. If your family or your child just aren’t into it and do not want to knock on doors or interact with people outside of the house for sweet treats, that is absolutely acceptable. Families carry their own traditions, and all should be respected.

Alternatives to Candy

While most of us love a good piece of chocolate, the amount of candy that children receive on Halloween can get excessive. If you are looking for alternatives to give your party guests (or even trick-or-treaters -now or in the future), we have some recommendations:

  1. Punching Balloons - These balloons blow up to twice the size of a normal balloon and are perfect for - you guessed it - punching. Older kids really seem to get a kick out of these.
  2. Assorted Toys - You can pick up a bag or pack of assorted toys in most stores. They include such items as bouncy balls, pencils, erasers, stickers, stamps, and more.
  3. Play-Doh/Slime - Depending on age and responsibility level, giving out Play-Doh or slime is perfect. Play-Doh offers endless opportunities for imaginative play and slime is cherished, especially in my house.
  4. Temporary Tattoos - This can be risky, as some parents may not want even temporary tattoos on their kids. For those children, include an extra toy to avoid leaving anyone out.
  5. Bubbles - Blowing bubbles, which have been around for ages, never seem to get old. Kids still love it and will have a blast blowing bubbles all night.
  6. Glow Sticks - Even if not trick-or-treating, giving out glow sticks is a grand idea. They can be worn as necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and more.
  7. Silly Straws - Though not a toy, a silly straw is definitely something a kid will use, and have fun doing so!
  8. Sensory Toys - Anything that squishes, spins, and keeps the hands busy should work. Kids fidget and these toys work wonders.
  9. Snack Bags - Purchase pre-packaged snacks like goldfish, pretzels, and organic fruit snacks and prepare a goody bag of deliciousness.

There are many other options, but for the sake of brevity, I found the most popular items. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Gift Ideas

All that is left now is getting your kid the perfect gift. You know your child as well as anyone, and sometimes it is still difficult for you to choose the right present. While we are no experts on what all children of all ages wish for, we can offer a few suggestions for this time of year, in particular: :

  1. A Halloween Gift - If your kid likes the idea that their birthday is on Halloween and wants to continue the fun after, you can consider getting them something like a Halloween craft or potion-making kit. There are even DIY gingerbread Haunted Houses!
  2. Books/Coloring Books - No matter what age, kids can use a good book. For the smaller ones, coloring books are perfect. Older kids, find a book about something they already love and you’ll have a lover of reading in no time. Hopefully.
  3. Just ASK! - Get a list from your boy or girl, finding out what they want the most.

You can use the GiftWalker app to set up a Gift Registry. Your guests will have access to exactly what your special kiddo wants, taking the guesswork out! A simple click and the gift buying is complete! And don’t worry about duplicates - GiftWalker makes sure the same gift doesn’t get purchased twice.

I Think You’re Ready to Party!

No matter what type of party you choose, or where, the fact that you’re here (reading this article) means that you are already on the right track! You care.

Your Halloween birthday party will go off without a hitch (even if you just want a party for yourself; no birthday needed!). Simplify your long list of chores before the big day with the GiftWalker app. Send your invitations, updates, check RSVPs and fill up your gift registry. What are you waiting for? Let us know how we can help. You can install the GiftWalker App here (iOS) and here (Android).