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How to plan a Halloween party for all ages

There's no better time to throw a creative party than Halloween.

Whether it's for kids, teens or adults, eHow.com (www.ehow.com) has tips on how to do it.

From haunted houses and scary Halloween decorations, to outrageous theme parties and hayrides, throw a party your guests will never forget.

Start by picking a theme for the party, then plan the decorations -- like traditional jack-o-lanterns, homemade, scary spiders or frightening ghosts -- and don't forget to set the mood with some scary music.


* Send out invitations with a start and end time, inviting all children to come in costume.

* Play games. Make your own "pin the witch on the broom" game, bob for apples, play musical chairs using Halloween music, or bowl with a pumpkin and try to knock down apples set up like bowling pins. Give Halloween novelty prizes to the winners.

* Serve festive Halloween drinks like punch made from a yellow beverage with blue Kool-Aid (making a green color). Serve the punch in a plastic witch's cauldron.

* Send kids home with a healthy mix of Halloween treats: popcorn, raisins and candy corn mixed together and put into individual treat bags. Or, using a plastic glove, put candy corn at the tips of the fingers for fingernails and fill the rest of the glove with popcorn. Tie at the wrist with an orange or black ribbon and give out as favors.


* Invite all teens to come in costume. Picking a theme that is popular among teens -- such as vampires or horror film characters -- is always fun.

* Start a mixer as soon as teens begin arriving. Pin the name of a famous monster or Halloween character on each person's back and have them ask yes/no questions until they guess their identity.

* Play team games. Try a pumpkin relay with a small pumpkin tucked under each runner's chin or a pumpkin seed necklace relay in which each team member gets a turn with a needle, thread and slippery pumpkin seeds. The team with the most pumpkin seeds on the string at the end wins. Give Halloween novelties or candy as prizes.

* Serve pizza, mixing 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese with 10 drops each red, green and yellow food coloring and put over pizza for a "moldy" look. Also serve punch in a witch's cauldron with dry ice and dessert, such as pumpkin pie or pumpkin ice cream with candy corn sprinkled on top.


* Play one or two short games such as bobbing for apples, musical chairs or charades with a Halloween theme. Or get into a Halloween mood with a Ouija board or tarot card readings.

* Provide finger foods such as cheese and crackers, popcorn, pretzels, cocktail wieners or meatballs, veggies and dip, deviled eggs, finger sandwiches or mini-quiches.

* Offer drinks such as "Nuclear Waste," made with one shot of blue Curacao mixed with orange juice and vodka. Or, mix your favorite alcoholic punch and add an eerie cast to the brew with food coloring.

* Choosing a theme for an adult party is easy and can really tie together the whole night. A Murder Mystery Party can really get guests to mingle and interact while trying to solve the mystery.

For ALL parties, be sure to take pictures!