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A Halloween Dinner Party


Written by
Kaelyn Timmins

Forget the overly creepy and kiddie parties of yore. Celebrate the 31st in style with these simple entertaining tips plus classy hors d’oeuvres and cocktail recipes. 



Set the tone with elegant invites. You can indicate whether guests should arrive in costume or black-and-white formal wear. 



Make a festive centerpiece with a banner made from ribbon and paper, stamps, fabric or old book pages. Hang it in a decorative arrangement with pumpkins picked from a local patch, twigs in modern glass vases and candles. For the cocktail bar, display a fun, classically Halloween sign or chalkboard menu. 



While the kids are going for the biggest pumpkin in the patch, hang back and collect the petite white pumpkins. They can be used in centerpieces with Black Mondo Grass and orange berries or placed atop each plate at the dinner table. For a different look, grab a pumpkin and paint it black or white, then draw different designs using gold art pens. 



For an easy yet spooky touch, display black-and-white artwork or ceramics with bone, insect or bird prints. Or tear black-and-white bone photos from old anatomy textbooks from a thrift store. 



For a cocktail party, set up a table with drinks and a rustic cutting board laden with fruit, cheese, baguette and various charcuterie or try crostini with pumpkin bruschetta.

For a sit-down soiree, set the table with black, white and gold plates and utensils. Group a few pumpkins and candlesticks into a centerpiece, and display a menu or a book-page pumpkin at each place setting.


Sample Menu


  • The Aperol Spritz

Three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol,
one splash of seltzer

Add a few ice cubes to a wineglass.
We actually used oversized square cubes in our drinks. Pour in your prosecco. Then add your Aperol. Top with a generous splash of seltzer. Give your drink a swirl, then garnish with orange slices and an orange peel twist if you like. 

Hors d’oeuvres

  • Pumpkin bruschetta on crostini 
  • Roasted pumpkin seed hummus 


  • Butternut squash soup / pumpkin soup 
  • Warm autumn salad 
  • Roasted chicken / Cornish hen


  • Enjoy a sweet treat with homemade s'mores. Use cleaned twigs for an extra spooky twist.  
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