Throwing an office Halloween party with all the essentials

Throwing an office Halloween party with all the essentials

Halloween isn’t just for kids! An office Halloween party can build morale and provide opportunities for employees to bond in a fun, casual atmosphere. Set the stage for a memorable bash with these spooktacular ideas:


Get guests excited (and give them a scheduling heads-up) by sending out paper or electronic invitations with the party’s date, time, and location. Include any special information on contests, food, and the like. Relying on word of mouth runs the risk of misinformation being circulated or people inadvertently being left out, so a proper invite is worth the effort!


An ordinary conference room becomes party central with a few adjustments. Fill vases with orange flowers. Position pumpkins throughout the area, or gather them together for a seasonal centerpiece. Cover tables in festive colors or a Halloween-patterned cloth. Hang mobiles with bats from the ceiling.

If you opt for music, watch the volume. The Monster Mash shouldn’t be so loud that it stomps out conversation.

Holding the celebration throughout the office? Consider a workspace-decorating contest. (Prizes for participation as well as merit will encourage more people to try.) Walking from cubicle to cubicle to view the creative displays is similar to trick-or-treating and provides plenty of icebreaking conversation starters. Ask that anyone using creepy sounds or blinking lights save them for the actual party time so as not to disturb colleagues during other times of the day.


Nothing gets employees out of their cubicles and mingling faster than treats. Scatter plenty of bowls filled with fun-sized candy bars around the area. Consider a potluck spread for which everyone brings something orange (such as cantaloupe slices, pumpkin bread, cheddar cheese wedges, or frosted cupcakes). Or search online for fast but festive appetizers such as stuffed mushroom eyeballs and cauldron dip.

Keep these pointers in mind while planning your feast:

  • Think easy-to-eat, especially if space is limited. Juggling utensils and worrying about making a mess aren’t conducive to relaxation. Buy sturdy, large plates to limit accidental spills.
  • Include low-cal options such as veggies and fruit. People may be watching their weight or need to limit sugar intake for health reasons.
  • If serving spiked witch’s brew, label it appropriately. Also, have nonalcoholic options available. Be sure to have plenty of disposable cups.
  • Put extra stacks of napkins around the area for people to grab conveniently without needing to return to the main food table.


Encouraging everyone to wear costumes livens up the place! If yours is a rather reserved workplace, promote the idea of famous duos. Pairing with a pal to be Batman and Robin can be less daunting than arriving as a solo superhero.

Or go for a full team-building exercise by letting each department choose a theme and coordinate members to dress accordingly. The marketing staff may turn into the Scooby Doo gang, accountants could channel their inner rockers as members of KISS, and the IT folks might opt to bring their favorite video game characters to life.


Bobbing for apples may be traditional, but don’t be surprised if attendees aren’t thrilled about the idea of getting wet. Consider team games such as horror movie trivia, an office scavenger hunt, or the always funny “wrapping the boss up in toilet paper like a mummy.” Pinterest has a variety of ideas to suit all kinds of workplace cultures.

Other considerations

For the best turnout, hold the festivities during work hours. Obligations such as taking the kids trick-or-treating or manning the door at home may make workers reluctant to stay past quitting time. Besides, who doesn’t love a break from the daily routine?

Finally, realize that some people get into parties more than others. Nobody should feel forced to dress up or decorate their workspace. Encourage participation, but respect individual choices.

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