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Party Ideas Kids Keep Gobblin' Up

October 28, 2000|From ASSOCIATED PRESS

Give your Halloween party a "boo-st" by turning the front yard into a graveyard with cardboard tombstones and fake hands reaching up out of the ground.

Turn the kitchen into a creepy laboratory with dim lighting, beakers and test tubes filled with green Jell-O and plastic skeletons in lab coats. You could even rent a smoke machine for the night to produce a scary Dr. Frankenstein effect.

Some ideas to make your Halloween party a "boo-tiful" success for everyone are offered by Marcy Blum, event planner whose clients include Tom Clancy, and couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick:

* Deliver party invitations rolled inside a cardboard tube decorated to look like a "magic wand."

* Decorate your room by putting on display a "haunted house" like a gingerbread house, trimmed with black jelly candies, white cotton-candy cobwebs and little ceramic gargoyles around the entrance.

* Enhance the lighting with votive candles placed in carved-out pumpkins.

* Place a crystal ball on each table as a centerpiece and make white "tombstone" place-card holders to show seating arrangement.

* Garnish drinks with three candy corns speared through a toothpick.

* Ladle punch from a traditional black caldron with dry ice for a smoky "graveyard" effect.

* Serve squash soup and use carved-out gourds for serving spoons.

* For a ghoulish side dish, fill a carved-out pumpkin with steamed cauliflower combined with a creamy cheese sauce, and use the top of the pumpkin as a lid--when the lid is lifted off for serving, the cauliflower looks like the pumpkin's "brain."

Fun and Games to Play

* Witchy Wart. Find a large, ugly picture of a Halloween witch, and hang it on a door or wall. Have the children each chew a piece of gum, blindfold them, spin them around and let them try to stick the wad of gum on the witch. The winner is the one who gets the gooey gum "wart" on her nose.

* Musical Tombstones. Put fake tombstones in a circle on the floor, one for each child minus one. Play weird Halloween music, and get the children to creep around the stones acting like menacing zombies. When the music stops, each child has to lie down, head to a tombstone. One will be left out; take away one more tombstone each time the music stops, until a single winner is left.

* Miss Mummy USA Pageant: Give each small group of children two rolls of toilet paper; let each group choose a willing "victim" and transform him or her into a paper-wrapped mummy in two minutes--the one voted most ghastly mummy wins.

* Pumpkin Bowling. Wrap 2-liter bottles with large white handkerchiefs and decorate them to look like spooky ghosts. Fill the bottles with enough water to weigh them down and stand them like skittles in the backyard. Let the kids use small pumpkins to bowl at the "ghosts" and see who knocks over the most.

* Spooky Art. Cover a wall in your basement or garage with paper or old newspapers. Give the children fluorescent paint and let them draw Halloween figures all over the paper. Then turn off the lights so they can enjoy the eerie effect.

Don't forget to let the children cavort around in a grand costume parade and end the parade with a feast of cookies, cake and candies--decorated suitably with all the licorice spiders, sugar skeletons, chocolate worms, and candy bats and goblins you can conjure up.

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