Halloween Progressive Dinner Party
Last year a few of my neighbors decided to have a Halloween Progressive Dinner party. A progressive meal is one in which guests travel from home to home, eating one course at each. I had never been to one before and was thrilled to be included. With a Halloween theme it was sure to be a frightfully fun evening. My home was selected as the final destination and I'd love to share the details with you. First let me start at the beginning.
There were five of us deemed the “hosts” – it was our homes guests would be traveling to and from. We designed the invitation as if it were a restaurant menu, listing each course and where it would be served. At the first home, appetizers and cocktails would be served. At the second home, soup and salad. At the third home would be the main course. At the fourth home, dessert and coffee. At the fifth home, Halloween games would be played. We got creative with writing the party invitation, using words like “bloody cocktails” and “creepy canapés.” And of course, costumes were a must. No one would be allowed in without a costume.
We decided to decorate our homes however we wished. We didn't compare because we wanted to be surprised ourselves. A little friendly competition doesn't hurt, and so each house became a haunted dwelling to rival the real thing.
The party began promptly at 6 o'clock. We made a mental note as to how much time should be spent at each home and tried to stick to that. First impressions are always important and the first home did not disappoint. Fog emanated from the front porch as we made our way to the front door. In fact, it became so thick that we couldn't see a thing and with outreached arms slowly continued. We could hear faint music coming from the house so knew we were close. Suddenly I felt something unfamiliar. I screamed and grabbed my husband as a rather large, cloaked figure took my hand and delivered us to the door.
The fog vanished (as did our escort) and we entered a home transformed into a haunted house that was dimly lit by candles. There were cobwebs, spiders, ghosts, cracked mirrors, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, giant rats and witches everywhere. Not a corner of the house was left untouched. It was spooktacular. A ghoulish bartender was serving drinks and a couple of vampires were walking around with trays of appetizers. We could have spent the entire evening here but there was progress to be made.
Since all the houses were on the same block, we were able to walk from place to place. Since guests were drinking this was an ideal situation. Some friends carried their drinks with them to the next spot, others were anxious to see what would be available at the next home.
The second home offered a buffet style soup and salad bar where you could have one or the other, or both. The Halloween decorations were terrific and several haystacks were put into the backyard “cemetery” for sitting and eating. Lots of tiny white lights adorned the trees and patio cover. Large white pumpkins held up tombstones and a large coffin with a hand reaching around the lid stood against the house.
The third home offered a whimsical take on Halloween with lots of black, white and orange balloons. Streamers flowed from the ceiling. There were smiling pumpkins, witches and skeletons. A battery operated ghost blue bubbles. Tables had been rented and placed around the house for dining. They were decorated with black tablecloths littered with Halloween confetti, hallowed out pumpkins filled with greenery and balloons on sticks served as centerpieces. Dinner was already on the tables when we arrived: steak and chicken kabobs with grilled red potatoes and asparagus. It was delicious. But the best part was the clown walking around juggling and making jokes while we ate.
The fourth home took on it's own theme: hell. All of the decorations were red, from balloons to devil masks to the dessert table linens, plates and cups. The owners were dressed as devils and made sure everyone knew their motto: “what the hell, let's have some more.” Dessert that is. There were brownies, cookies, caramel apples, pumpkin bars, orange spice cake, Halloween cupcakes and red jell-o. Beverages included coffee, hot chocolate and warm apple cider. Liqueurs were available for anyone wanting to add a little something. There was so much dessert and everyone was so full that care packages were given in red Chinese take-out boxes.
Last, but not least, we arrived at my house. My eclectic Halloween decorations wowed everyone. I love scary things so my house was filled with large fanged bats hanging from the ceiling, life-sized ghouls hanging in the corners, “bodies” all over the floor, and several noise-making monsters that would wail when passed by. We removed the furniture from our family room and made it a dance floor, complete with disco ball and groovy beads hanging in the doorways. We danced to Halloween music and played games on and off the dance floor. On the floor included freeze dance and “who's on my back?” – a game where you stick a famous person on a guest's back and they have to guess who it is by asking yes or no questions. We handed out a quiz for people to test their monster movie knowledge. And we had a costume contest, awarding prizes to the best male and female costumes. Guests stayed until the wee hours of the night, dancing, talking and recalling the great evening they had.
A Halloween Progressive Dinner Party is a great alternative to the ordinary Halloween bash and a party theme that can really be used for any occasion. Try it, you'll definitely like it!