A Happy Halloween & A Happy Birthday

It’s always a busy time of year for my family. Getting ready for Halloween and my son’s birthday a week later is a struggle, so I decided to combine the two this year and go for a Halloween/Birthday party. Between planning this event and juggling 2 sick kids and a sick husband, it proved to be more than challenging. For extra fun, a rare Nor’easter ruined my outdoor plans, but I still managed to somehow cram over 30 people in my house and have a great time. I wanted to share with you the food and fun we had and it may trigger some ideas for you as well.

I am not a dietitian who never eats sugar or butter. I think there is a time and place for candy and sweets. A birthday party or Easter & Halloween are the only times during the year I bring home candy. I believe in balance in food and fun. So how did I balance the two at my son’s 5th Birthday/Halloween party?

Originally, I had lots of outdoor activities planned. We were going to have a bike parade by decorating everyone’s bike and circling the courtyard to music. I had a soccer goal and an orange ball I drew a pumpkin face on with a sharpie for a “kick the pumpkin” contest. Both of these outdoor events along with some others were cancelled, so I regrouped with some other fun events to burn off some energy. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed the party. Check out some the food and games we had. What’s even better is that I got 90% of everything at the grocery store.


Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin

Blindfold the kids, spin them around 3 times, and have them try to pin the nose on the pumpkin. This is an easy do it yourself project.

Shopping List:

Sharpie, construction paper, tape, bandana

Mummy Wrap

Divide kids into 2 or 3 teams. Have 2 or 3 parents volunteer to get wrapped. Give each kid a roll of toilet paper. Give them 3-4 minutes to wrap. Have kids and parents clap for best mummified parent. This one was lots of fun!

Shopping List: Cheap toilet paper

Ghouly Ghost Toss

I bought 4 buckets from the dollar store and 2 packs of dried split peas from the grocery store. I used old holey socks I use for dusting and filled them with peas. I tied them in a knot to keep the peas from falling out and drew a ghost face with a sharpie. The kids toss them bean bags into the buckets.

Shopping List:

2 bags of dried split peas, sharpie, old socks, 4 buckets or large plastic bowls

 Ghost Golf Ball Races

Draw a ghost face on 4 white golf balls. Have the kids relay race placing the golf balls on a spoon. You do need some floor space for this one.

No shopping list. Use your own spoons and some old golf balls from the garage.

Fall Sensory Bucket

Fill a plastic tub with dried beans. Buy some Indian corn and gourds at the grocery store. Throw in some measuring cups and scoops. This is one you can keep around all season.

Shopping List:

4 bags dried beans

Indian corn

Assorted bagged gourds

Measuring cups


I did use some food for play above but I did serve some appetizers and cake for the party. I kept it simple since it was a 3-5 o’clock party. Here’s a shopping list and a breakdown of my party-tizers:

Shopping List:

Dum Dum lollipops




Popcorn kernels


Tortilla chips


100% Juice

4 – 8 oz. cheese (I cut in 1 inch cubes)

Wafer crackers

Graham crackers

Ghost Peeps

Hershey’s Fun Size Milk Chocolate Bars

Treat bags & sandwich bags

Dum-Dum Pumpkin

The kids loved this one and I used it as a centerpiece. You take a sharp knife and twist a small opening to place the lollipop sticks.

Fruit, Cheese, & Crackers Tray

What kid doesn’t love strawberries, grapes or cheese? The kids and parents devoured this tray.

Pretzels, Popcorn, & Chips with Salsa

I passed up chips for pretzels, popcorn and corn tortilla chips. No one missed the greasy potato chips at this party.

100% Juice & Water

Birthday Cupcakes

No, I didn’t make these myself and add puree to it. That would be great if I had time and was a master cake decorator. Like I said, it’s a birthday party! We eat cake!

Boo! Party Favors

I can take no ownership of the cute party favors I made. I found this idea on Pinterest and had to make them. It’s fall and smores are so yummy this time of year. Why not make ghouly ghost smores?


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Categories: Meal Planning


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