Do you feel that chill in the air? Chances are it’s not just the change of seasons – the spookiest, most chilling day of the year is nearly here. And if you’re Halloween plans don’t include a frightfully festive meal with family and friends, it should. After all, Halloween only collides with Sunday dinner once in a blue – er, harvest – moon. But don’t panic; even with the day nearly upon us, you can still create a Halloween dining experience that’s just as dreadful – and delicious! – as you imagined.
No lighting engineer on your household staff? Weird. But hey, it doesn’t take a technical master to create a fearful ambiance. And if you’ve ever seen, well, any horror film, you know the secret to spook is all in the lighting.
The key to the perfect Halloween dinner party lighting is a dim, warm glow that’s bright enough to see across the table but dark enough to satiate the most fearful spirits and specters. While candlelight is ideal, you don’t want your evening to be more smoke than spook. Dim overhead lighting (if possible) and accent the table with flameless tapers. Or if you’ve got the energy for a little more whimsy, use fishing line to hang flameless tapers from the ceiling so they appear to be floating in midair.
Take your place (to a new level)
You may be going for the horror-film feel, but neglecting your place settings would be a real horror. Before setting your table, make sure you’ve got everything you need for a festive feel. Unless you’re the Clark Griswold type, you might not own dinnerware for every holiday and occasion, but take heart: the standard stuff will do with the right accessories. We suggest accenting the table with our festive-yet-elegant Halloween napkin collection. If your style is cute and whimsical, try our Yay Candy Corn Treat print. For a more elegant, old-world feel, go with our Oscura Dark Mesa set. Or for a truly subtle Halloween nod, go geometrically black and orange with our October and Funhouse prints.
Play a few tricks
Your holiday dinner menu might be full of treats, but don’t forget to throw in a few tricks while you’re at it. Good Housekeeping has plenty of ideas for pranking your friends and family with some foodie surprises, like caramel-dipped onions and brussels sprouts masquerading as chocolate truffles. But if that seems like too much work, try planting a fun Halloween prop – like a hairy spider or severed hand – under a silver serving tray to delight – or frighten – your dinner guests. For added fear factor, plant some festive-yet-creepy accents along the table, like eyeball-shaped ice cubes (let’s call them eye-ce cubes) or a smattering of creepy crawly worms and insects.
Mind the menu
Your tablescape might set the tone for a haunting evening, but don’t let the spook stop there! A festive Halloween might range from cute and comfy – like a classic dinner-in-a-pumpkin affair – to something more elevated, like a traditional rack of lamb (meat on bones, anyone?). If you’re up for something more exotic, try a squid ink pasta dish. The black noodles lend a festive presentation to a truly showstopping entrée that’s sure to wow your dinner guests. For some super family-friendly ideas, check out Favorite Family Recipes for a few crowd-pleasing options.
Pack a punch – literally
On Halloween, a festive beverage goes a long way – especially when it looks the part. Stop by the market on Halloween morning for some dry ice and turn any punch into a steaming bowl of witch’s brew. For presentation bonus points, use a plastic or aluminum cauldron for serving. Today has a basic recipe for a tasty, steamy punch that packs the festive surprise of a ghoulish green hue (brilliant, right?). And since the recipe includes ice cream, this perfect punch can double nicely as dessert.
Don’t sweat the spook
With Halloween around the corner, the best way to make it memorable is to focus more on the festivities and less on the stress of making every detail perfect. So when you’re dry ice runs out before dinner guests arrive or you forget the eggs in your pumpkin pie filling, take heart: holidays are about the people with whom you share them.
From all of us at Geometry House, we wish you and yours a spooky and spectacular Halloween!