It’s the end of August and school’s almost back in session so it’s time to start planning for Halloween. Tired of your same old Halloween party? Here are some Halloween themed parties that we’ve done at our library and some horror type activities that could fit for a Halloween party.
Poe Party (Edgar Allen Poe)
Believe it or not, teens like Poe. Many middle schools and especially high school read his work in class and since teens like anything scary, they usually like Poe.
Please click the link to see our Poe Party.
Sugar Skulls/Day of the Dead
We hired someone to facilitate this program and chances are there is someone in your community you can hire. Sugar Skulls is part of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and you literally decorate skulls made of sugar. If you bring in a facilitator, they will probably provide a short history lesson and bring all the supplies which is great.
If you want to do them without hiring someone, you’ll probably have to order the skulls and frosting from a speciality store because I don’t think they are available on Amazon. If you just want to do a Day of the Dead party, you can find ceramic skulls and wooden skulls on Oriental Trading.
If you want to pair with a book, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova feature The Day of the Dead.
Murder mysteries are a popular program at my library that we do annually. We do ours in January but one could still do them during Halloween. The great thing about murder mysteries is that they are cheap but the bad thing is that they require A LOT of staff time. our murder mysteries always require teen participation (actors) and an original script and these are the time suckers. If you aren’t worried about that, please click the links below to see our past murder mysteries.
Death at a Slumber Party
Library Horror Story
We had a Medieval Murder Mystery and the actors were staff. For this program, we had a joke contest, a joust tournament (NCAA style), and they learned a traditional dance. We also had one of the staffers read a story from Canterbury Tales-Miller’s Wife. We served fried chicken, potato wedges, and “mead.”
This was my first murder mystery so I didn’t save the script but the characters were a queen, a king, a prince, a princess, and the queen’s maid who was having an affair with the king. The queen is poisoned and the teens had to guess whodunit. Everyone had a motive. The queen’s maid was the murderer because of the affair but we didn’t make their affair obvious to the teens. If they were paying attention, they would have seen the one clue. This was actually one of the best murder mysteries simply because the staff really committed to the play.
The following programs we did not do at our library but they are still good ideas that we might try.
This is a bit girly but some of the boys did it for fun.
We asked staff to donate any unwanted nail polish. We purchased black, white, and purple if no one donated. We also purchased polish remover and cotton balls.
Not-Quite-Halloween-Yet-Still-Fall-Themed: Pumpkin Spice Party
Somewhere around the middle of September, everything at the grocery store has a pumpkin spice flavor, thanks Starbucks. So we decided to turn this into a themed party!
Decorations: We held this around Halloween and we were in our teen room so however we decorated the room, that was our decor.
Promotion: Besides our normal newsletter and flyer promotion, we did a book display of orange/red covered books in a nice fall basket.
Food: Pumpkin Spice flavored hot & iced coffee; pumpkin spice donuts; pumpkin spice Oreos; pumpkin spice popcorn; pumpkin spice cupcakes.
Activities: We made pumpkin spice lip gloss. Search Pinterest for DIY lip gloss. It’s really easy to make-bees wax, essential oils, pumpkin spice food flavoring, and we did crayon for tint. You can purchase little glass containers at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.
Haunted Gingerbread Houses
Halloween at Hogwarts-You can recreate the Deathday Party Harry, Ron, and Hermione attend hosted by Nearly Headless Nick in book #2/chapter 8.
Jack Skellington Party (Nightmare Before Christmas)
Goosebumps Party (for younger teens and if your Goosebumps books still go out)
Breakout EDU-The kit costs $200 and Google provides step by step instructions for several escape room ideas.