October is my spirit month. If you're new to the blog...Halloween is my Christmas. As my girls get older and we forge relationships with new families through school or the neighborhood - I'm finding myself hosting more impromptu get together's...which I love!
I'm a sucker for the planning and the little details that go into making a neighborhood happy hour an epic night. And yes, that's with children, too.
Due to my strong affinity for the season, I thought I'd share my top five tips to hosting an impromptu soiree without breaking a sweat. Tip: It's easier than you think!
Tip #1: Keep festive drinkware on hand. It's easy. Take a walk through HomeGoods or World Market and scoop up the clearance items in bulk. At least that's what I do. I bought these coasters last Halloween at Michael's for $1.99. Little did I know we would be planning a giant Halloween party this year complete with a backyard full of stations hosting different games. (more on that later and some fun pics to follow!)
You don't want that over-served neighbor to leave a ring on your coffee table do you? I'll answer that - nope!
Don't forget your glassware either! I picked up these vintage, lowball cocktail glasses at the Salvation Army years ago. Ideal for Halloween, no? I love a good owl design.
Be sure to have decorative straws and beverages for the non-alcoholic crowd, too. My kids love drinking EVERYTHING out of straws...so long as it's through a straw.
Tip #2: Stock your bar cart with the necessities. Vodka, Rum, Whisky, Simple Syrup, Wine, Champagne and the coordinating mixers and garnishes. You want to be able to replicate the classics no matter who your audience is. Think a good Manhattan, Mojito, Dirty Martini, etc.
We keep all of the above on hand and then some. We actually have a butler's pantry full of alcohol complete with the requisite wine fridge.
Drink much? Yes. Yes we do.
Tip #3: Stockpile festive decor. I mentioned in Tip #1 my penchant for clearance decor. I don't mind investing in a bit each season as we always get our ROI every year. To the point that we really won't need to supplement much more for the giant Halloween party. I find my decorations all over ranging from Walgreens (seriously) to HomeGoods to Michael's to Target. No joke, my Halloween plates are from Walgreens and they are adorable.
Besides...who cares? They are paper plates! Download the above store apps for coupons, deals and promotions.
Tip #4: Keep healthy snacks and quick appetizers on hands. I always keep chips and salsa, gourmet popcorn, fancy crackers, nuts, dried fruits, specialty cheeses and frozen flatbreads on hand. I have no problem whipping up a happy hour within minutes. Costco makes a really great spinach/artichoke dip and some tasty kale salad mixes, too.
Tip #5: Don't forget a thoughtful gift bag for the little ones. I have a drawer of inexpensive goodie bags ranging from Mickey Mouse to circus characters to jack-o-lanterns that I fill with little tchotchkes. I stear clear of candy and junk because no parent wants a hyper child at 9pm. Instead I visit the $1 bins at Target and arm my craft baskets with plastic teeth, erasers, sunglasses, headbands, crayons, water bottles and headbands.
...because at the end of the day, happy kiddos = happy parents and a night well spent!
These are just some of my entertaining tips. I'd love to hear yours! Do you love a good theme party? I think you know my vote!