Make the most of the holiday by hosting a family-friendly bash.

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Halloween will be here before you know, which means it's time to get your planning hat on and decide what exactly kind of celebration you want to host this year. No matter what size event you're planning (something small with just your immediate family or a larger bash for a few families in your neighborhood), you'll want a theme that's fun for guests both young and old. That means the festivities shouldn't be too spooky, but they shouldn't be boring, either.

To help you pick plan a party that both kids and adults will enjoy, we've rounded up the six best family-friendly Halloween party themes so that you plan your most fun event to date.

glam Halloween mantel
Credit: Debi Traub

Fall Festival

Create a not-so-scary setup that's more sweet than spooky by hosting a fall festival. Carve some pumpkins, hang up a candy corn garland, and display some fall florals. To really drive home your theme, serve kid-friendly recipes that speak to the season, including a fall-themed pie (like the Cinnamon-Swirl Apple Slab Pie) for dessert. Don't forget to break out the warm apple cider should the weather turn chilly! Kids can enjoy it as is while adults can spike their cups with whiskey or bourbon.

A Monster Ball

Hosting a party for a slightly older crowd? Decorate with some ghoulish décor—think painted pumpkins, witches brooms, hanging bats, and more—and have an assortment of delicious Halloween treats on hand (like pumpkin cupcakes or popcorn balls). Take it to the next level by inviting everyone to come in costume for a contest complete with awards and prizes.

DIY Decorating Bash

Planning to host a bash earlier in the day? Opt to make it one filled with Halloween crafts. Make different stations for making pasta skeletons, colorful leaf decoupage pumpkins, and green slime with bugs. After you finish, you can all head out trick-or-treating together.

Sweet Treats Party

Satisfy everyone's sweet tooth with a small Halloween-themed dessert party. On your way home from trick-or-treating, invite everyone to your house to munch on some delicious sweets like candy apples, crispy chocolate marshmallows, sweet bones, and a haunted black forest layer cake. Decorate your house with thematic details and set it all up on a cute display to take it up a notch.

Outdoor Bonfire

Looking to host something outdoors? Try a Halloween-themed backyard bonfire. You can decorate the area with hay, pumpkins, and an assortment of fall-themed decorations. Settle around the fire for ghost stories, then break out the essentials for making s'mores, which will obviously be everyone's favorite part of the night.

A Character-Themed Party

If your kids are enamored with Harry Potter or Monsters Inc., then hosting a themed party will be loads of fun. You can all dress up like the characters, make delicious themed treats, and decorate your house to match. They'll love getting involved in the fun and it'll be a Halloween to remember for the entire crowd.

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