In just a few short days ghost and goblins, witches and wizards, and perhaps even a few Deviled Eggs will descend looking for treats (and tricks). Whether you’ve been dreaming and scheming for weeks or this spooky holiday has creeped up on you, we’re here to help you pull together the best celebration—in a fraction of the time—with our best ideas for Halloween.
Host an open house. It’s not too late to send out that evite. Invite friends and neighbors to swing by before taking little ones trick-or-treating, or have guests who want to stay a while help hand out candy. Keep the spread simple with our Halloween Party Appetizers and one of our warming Slow-Cooker Cocktails.
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Throw a last-minute pumpkin carving party. Printout a few of our Easy Printable Pumpkin Carving Patterns, cover an outdoor table with craft paper for easy cleanup, and throw a few pumpkin carving kits on the table (this late in the season they should be on sale at any Walmart or Target). Snag discounted pumpkins at the grocery store or ask guests to bring their own.
Related: 33 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas
Add a few more pumpkins to your porch. Need inspiration? We’ve still got plenty of ideas for transforming those pumpkins with our best Pumpkin Carving Ideas.
Give one space in your home a fall makeover. Focusing on one area will save time and make a bigger impact. A few pumpkins on the mantel, a couple branches of fall color in a glass urn, or even a jar of candy corn by the front door will give your home a festive air and can remain up through Thanksgiving since they’re not Halloween-specific.
Related: Fabulous Fall Decorating Ideas
Pull together a last-minute costume. If you’ve waited until the last minute to find a costume for your little one, have no fear. Skip the Halloween stores and make one of our DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids. They’re incredibly easy, budget-friendly, and can reuse materials you already have in the household.
Related: Easy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes
Dress up the dog. Have your favorite four-legged friend dress up and greet trick-or-treaters. We guarantee Fido will be a hit. Check out our Halloween Pet Parade for costume inspiration.
Make pumpkin treats. There’s no reason the calling card of the season should be relegated to the stoop. Cook up one (or more) of our delicious Pumpkin Recipes. A batch of pumpkin muffins with a sweet tag that says “You’ve been spooked!” is a fun treat to leave a neighbor.
Cook up a pot of chili. Nothing says Halloween quite like a big pot of chili. It’s the perfect one-dish meal for pre and post trick-or-treating—or for having at the ready in case friends or family drop by.
Related: Easy Slow-Cooker Chili Recipes
Set the slow cooker. Halloween is on a Monday. If you’re going to be at the office all day or running around town getting ready for the festivities, set the slow cooker so your little pumpkins can be fed and ready to take on the neighborhood (candy bucket in-hand) as soon as the hour strikes.
Give a sweet ending to the holiday. Our Halloween Treats and Desserts are just the ticket for sending your merry makers on their way. Individually wrapped Crème-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies also make great party favors.
If all else fails, start planning your Thanksgiving menu. Don’t let your pumpkin-less porch get you down. Instead, get ahead of the game for Turkey Day with our collection of company-worthy Thanksgiving recipes.