6 Quick Tips Throwing a Halloween Potluck
Make it costume mandatory.
If you've got an older, somewhat lazy crowd pick a versatile, overall theme like "Prime Time TV characters" or "the Olympics" so people can take their costumes to the extreme or do just enough to be courteously festive.
Give costume awards
Everyone wants their hardwork and creativity to be noticed. The awards don't need to be expensive. Just give a small token and go wild with the awards themselves. Funkins for the winners? Give out a doozy award for the poor-sports that didn't heed your costume mandate.
Aim for an early evening start time.
Halloween happens just as the days are getting shorter, be mindful of this if any part of your Halloween party revolves around trick-or-treaters. Sometimes passing out candy is party entertainment enough! Regardless, you don't want your guests to miss the main attraction. If the trick-or-treaters are party guests, be upfront about when dinner will be served—before or after the trick-or-treating.
Assign dishes and keep to a theme.
This is key to every successful potluck. Strategic emailed recipe assignments ensure a variety of foods and courses instead of an overwhelming amount of carrots and ranch. For a Halloween potluck in particular, give people an extra creative push, but let them make the decision on how to execute the idea. Instead of simply assigning a dessert, tell them to bring a Halloween-appropriate dessert.
Don't go overboard on the themed food.
If you force the Halloween-themed food too much, then you risk that it becomes unappetizing and then goes uneaten. Know your crowd too. Children will get excited about eating a bowl of gummy worms mixed with cake mix, but with adults you will probably need to be more subtle and elegant. No one can go wrong with the Great Pumpkin Cheese Ball.
Do buy dry ice.
Young and old, both are intrigued by the smoky mist that dry ice gives off. Look for a fun Halloween punch recipe and make two versions—one with alcohol and one without alcohol.