Halloween is known for the fun kids have with trick or treating and dressing up in their favorite costume, but it's also a good time to make new friends even if you're an adult. Since Halloween celebrations can range from the hilarious to scary, it's the perfect time to gather a few of your new friends and party on.
Scavenger hunts in general are great for new friends, because you often have to work together to find the list of items in the game. Anytime people have to work together in order to accomplish something like this, you learn a little bit about the person you're hanging out with. A Halloween-themed scavenger hunt can be silly or spooky, depending on your preference. You can also do this in a house (hiding items that people need to find), throughout a city (by driving to locations and taking digital pictures of landmarks, for example), or outside in a corn maze or even the backyard.
Some ideas for the party include:
- A theme-hunt based on a book or movie. Choose a popular Halloween story from pop culture and build your clues and items around that.
- A get-to-know-you scavenger hunt that allows the group to find out more about each other. People can write in clues about themselves and an organizer can build a hunt around each clue.
- If you're having a wide age range attend your party, a kids and adult scavenger hunt in which each needs the other for answers to the clues.
- A theme party based on your favorite TV show. Create clues based around characters and storylines from the show. This works especially well for shows like Mad Men or Seinfeld, that have a distinct look and feel to them.
- A completely random scavenger hunt, with clues from the sports world, literature, and maybe even cooking. The point is to get people talking and learning more about each other. A random hunt lets each individual show off their specific area of expertise, and is great for new friends. Make sure to pair people in groups for better conversation opportunities.
Sometimes I think adults like to dress up at Halloween even more than the kids do. Costume parties are a wonderful way to get everyone to show a fun side to themselves while they get to know each other. You could award prizes for the best costume, require each guest to do some karaoke, or just let people mingle and guess what their individual getups are supposed to be. Themes could include a homemade costume party (which shows off each friend's creative side), or even a couple's Halloween party in which each couple's costume has to be related to each other.
Pumpkin Carving Party
Pumpkin carving has become an art form in the last few years, with people creating elaborate designs or even covering the outside of the vegetable with glue and glitter. Pumpkin carving parties allow people to show off their technical and creative skills, since part of the fun is envisioning your idea for a design and then trying to execute it. Not always so easy. This type of party is also good for both kids and adults alike.
Who doesn't love a haunted house? Many people really get into decorating their house or garage every year, so why not go all out and create a truly haunted experience for your friends? You can serve creepy refreshments, tell a spooky ghost story, or just give your guests a momentary scare as they enter your haunted abode.
Bad Poetry Night
Is there anything scarier than bad poetry? Have friends create a bad poem to read aloud at the party. Or, choose one from another author, such as William Topaz McGonagall. About.com Poetry Guides Bob Holman and Margery Snyder say that McGonagall had "unparalleled awkward rhythms and dud rhymes" that were "perfectly matched by his subject matter: spectacular train wrecks and the mountains of Greenland." You can't get more scary than that.
Sharing some light-hearted bad poetry will help everyone in the room open up and laugh at themselves (or at the bad poet's scary work.) Perhaps you could round out the night by reading Edgar Allan Poe's magnificent "The Raven" to remind your guest what great poetry is really like. (We wouldn't want to scare your new friends too much, after all.)