Don’t let planning your kid-friendly Halloween party spook you.
“It’s so fun to have an excuse to dress up and go outside your comfort zone for a party,” Seri Kertzner, chief party officer at Greenwich Village-based Little Miss Party Planner, tells The Post. “There are so many ways to make your party spooky and festive.”
And more importantly, a party can be stress-free fun and easy to plan. “There are no rules for Halloween,” Kertzner says.
She recommends planning crafts or other activities, decor, food and drinks as well as buying supplies at least a week before the party to avoid stress and to have enough bandwidth on the day-of, partly to help kids with their own makeup and costumes.
To take a party to maximum ghost level, do a lot of prep work the week before — such as spray painting pumpkins with chalkboard paint and painting balloon letters orange (although gold also works, so parents can skip this step). Decorate the wall and scoop out pumpkins for dip (and roast seeds) two days before.
And as for doing minimal work to clear the wreckage when the kids conk out, Kertzner suggests using brown paper decorated using black sharpies for a table cover and Halloween-themed disposable/recyclable tableware.
“Plan a solution for easy cleanup because you’ll be exhausted after the party,” she says.
What to eat
Aunt Debi’s Chocolate Bark with Candy Eyeballs: These scrumptious delights are simply melted chocolate with candy-corn, assorted orange-and-black candy (chocolate wafers, Smarties, Reese’s pieces), eerie edible eyeballs or whatever other ghoulish candy you like. “This is such a cute and delicious treat,” says Kertzner. Let kids help decorate the bark on Halloween Eve, a k a Mischief Night!
Dips & Chips in Pumpkins: For a gourd-geous display, dig out a pumpkin. “One of my favorite Halloween hacks is serving store-bought dip, such as spinach-artichoke, out of a hollowed pumpkin,” says Kertzner. Put tortilla chips in one pumpkin and your salsa and guacamole in two others — or a pumpkin-shaped ceramic dip bowl. If you’re ambitious, roast the pumpkin seeds to serve as well.
What to drink
Bloody Orange Mocktail: Drape a beverage dispenser with cobwebs and spiders then add gummy worms to the potion to make a frightening concoction. “Any red juice will work, so pick your poison,” says Kertzner.
Fill a glass dispenser with two 64-ounce bottles of cranberry juice, add a sliced grapefruit, a sliced orange and a sliced blood orange. Top with a 1-liter bottle of seltzer for fizz, and 10 gummy creepy crawlers. Garnish the drink with a black spider — plastic, of course.
What to watch
“When the kids come down from their candy high, you can put on the movie so the kids can chill while the parents continue to hang out,” she says. Kids will love “Hotel Transylvania.”
They can sink their fangs into this animated flick about Count Dracula (Adam Sandler), who invites his monster pals to his daughter’s 118th birthday party at the resort he runs. When she unexpectedly meets a human boy, the high jinks begin.
What to do
Boys and girls make their own personalized black tote bags ($8.99) with glow-in-the-dark stars and neon fabric paints, googly eyes, gold and silver studs and other crafting tools. Do this first, so they dry by the party’s end, suggests Kertzner.Buy Now
Make chalkboard pumpkins by spray painting small pumpkins with black chalkboard paint ($14.36) pre-party. Kids can cast magic spells as they adorn them with orange and white chalk as well as glitter glue, googly eyes, colorful feathers, self-adhesive rhinestones and pipe cleaners, etc. Add to the decorations.Buy Now
How to decorate
Make some cauldron vases by filling up a witch’s plastic cauldron ($8.95) with some autumn-colored blooms for an easy Halloween hack. “These cauldrons are available everywhere,” says Kertzner.Buy Now
Letter-balloons ($2.99 each) don’t require helium, so blow up and use packing tape to stick on the walls. “You could [spell out something] as simple as ‘Boo’ or something funny like ‘Witch please,’ ” says Kertzner, who spray painted the gold letter-balloons orange.Buy Now
She also hung them on a dramatic spiderweb wall ($10.99) with some plastic spiders.Buy Now
DJ Gavin Kertzner, Kertzner’s 10-year-old son, was thriller-ed to spin some scary tunes and share his list on Spotify. Here are his favorite jams from the list.
“Thriller,” Michael Jackson
“Werewolves of London,” Warren Zevon
“Ghostbusters,” Ray Parker Jr.
“Nightmare on My Street,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
“Somebody’s Watching Me,” Rockwell
“The Addam Family,” Andrew Gold
“Time Warp,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack
“I Put a Spell on You,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
“Demons,” Imagine Dragons
“I Want Candy,” Bow Wow Wow.