The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy Hour

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy Hour

As mom’s we’ve all been there: You think to yourself, “It’s almost dinner time. Phew! I have nearly survived the day!” But suddenly…dum dum dum dum…THE WHEELS COME OFF and your children fall apart.  Turn that spooky five o’clock “witching hour,” a time when it seems the whole house is under a meltdown spell, into a Halloween Happy Hour that’ll be sure to entertain the kiddos and take the edge off for the parents as well.  Oh, and the best part?  Throw this shindig on a modest budget with very little stress.

Be the Invite

How often do we get the chance to gather friends or neighbors during this time of day? Halloween is a perfect excuse to embrace the crazy, let the kiddos wear their costume yet another time, and make the ‘witching hour’ go by in a flash. Don’t be afraid to extend the invite to the neighbor you haven’t met yet or the mom you have small talk with at preschool pickup. No matter what season us mamas are instay at home or working full-time outside the homeeveryone needs a little time to decompress.

Happy Hour 101

The key to hosting any event with kiddos is to keep it simple.  Choose make-ahead, crowd-pleasing eats and limit both the menu and beverage options.  Another secret to the success and ease of your gathering is to limit the time.  Whether you invite guests via email, text, paper invitation, etc., make sure to include a start and end time to prevent latecomers and stragglers.  This will also help ensure you can get your little goblins into bed before too late – this is a happy hour after all so why not limit it to that?  Keep the guest list small and manageable and feel free to assign each invitee something to bring along to help out.

Set a Festive Halloween Tabletop

Serve your ghoulish guests their treats on disposable paper products to ensure that clean-up is not a nightmare.  We picked up a mix of fun black and white plates, napkins and cups to stick with the Halloween theme.  To dress them up a little, we used a festive stamp on the napkins and created a make-your-own table runner from white kraft paper and a mix of Halloween stamps.  The kiddos will have fun helping you create this look!  Another fun craft: create mummy cups from plain black paper cups wrapped in white ribbon and finished off with some googly eyes.

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy Hour

Use inexpensive fresh pumpkins, gourds and mums to dress up your tabletop.  These things are readily available at any grocery store or local Farmers Market.  Elevate the look by using the pumpkin as the planter for your mums.  Simply cut off the top and stem approximately the size of your mum base (it doesn’t have to be perfect!), and scoop out the insides and set mum inside.  An added bonus? Plenty of pumpkin seeds for roasting!

Add to the spooky Halloween ambiance by including some small votive candles to the table.  We love battery-operated ones that give off a realistic flicker to offer the look of a burning candle without the worry of an open flame near the kiddos.  

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy Hour

Ghoulish Goodies

The whole point of this shindig is to help get you through the witching hour too, so keep the food preparation and presentation simple.

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy HourCarrot sticks go great with a Halloween color scheme, and they are also a perfect pair with hummus. Try an easy homemade version or use store-bought to cut back on time. Serve in cute disposable black and white treat cups to make for easy clean up while also adding a little fun. You can find affordable options at your local craft store (and we linked our sources below to save you even more time!).

Serve fruit kabobs in true Halloween style by alternating blackberries and oranges on bamboo skewers. Children tend to be visual eaters and you’d be surprised how many more veggies and fruits they consume when they’re served as a cute snack rather than on a dinner plate among the rest of a meal.

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy HourFor a sweet treat option, make a box of brownies and cut into little squares or “monster bites.” Add some candy eyes and have candy-coated chocolate drops as an add-on option. These bite-sized treats will provide a little something to indulge each kiddo’s sweet tooth without ruining their dinner appetite.

Let the adult guests enjoy an appetizer platter made with some of the same items like fruits, veggies, dips, crackers, etc. You can also make a super easy and delicious Pumpkin Spice & Toffee Apple Dip.

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy Hour


Pumpkin Spice & Toffee Apple Dip
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  1. 1 block cream cheese (softened)
  2. ¾ cup brown sugar
  3. ¼ cup powdered sugar
  4. ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  5. ¼-½ cup toffee bits
  1. With an electric mixer: combine softened cream cheese, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Stir in toffee bits.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.
Raleigh Moms Blog

Signature Seasonal Beverage

It wouldn’t be a happy hour without a fun beverage, now would it? Apple Cider screams fall, and with a couple tricks can be turned into a refreshing, festive drink for all to enjoy. It can be served as a mocktail for kiddos and guests alike, and also turned into an adult beverage with a simple step. Sticking to one signature drink means less money spent and stress for the host.  

The Witching Hour: Host a Kid-Friendly Halloween Happy Hour

Apple Cider Recipe
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  1. 1 Gallon of pre-made Apple Cider
  2. 2 cans lemon or lime LaCroix (or any sparkling water brand)
  3. ½ tsp cinnamon
  4. Cinnamon sticks (optional)
  1. Stir together and store in two pitchers in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. You can also add some to a crock-pot (sans sparkling water) for guests to enjoy a warm, cozy drink.
  1. To turn it into an Apple Cider Mumosa, simply have each guest pour in 2-3oz of prosecco or sparkling wine into their glass and top with apple cider.
Raleigh Moms Blog

Shop the Look

Here are some of the sources we used for our happy hour so you can easily recreate it at home!

Tell us in the comments below your go-to tips for planning a Halloween get-together for your family and friends!

*Written and styled by Cameron Jones (@cameronjonesinteriors) and Kayte Fry (@southernfryedbliss).  Photographed by Traci Huffman (@traci_huffman). 

*Catch up on Cameron’s and Kayte’s Instagram Takeover on Raleigh Moms Blog where they share the behind-the-scenes sneak peek of today’s post. 

About Cameron

Cameron from Cameron Jones Interiors and Adorned Adobe

After spending 15 years in Washington, D.C., Cameron, along with her husband and two young children, recently relocated back to her hometown of Raleigh.  Cameron launched Cameron Jones Interiors in March of this year and has been the voice behind her blog, Adorned Abode since 2009, where she blogs about making a house a home.  While Cameron’s family is her main job and primary love; interior design is her second.  She’s happiest when she’s got Mexican food, a large glass of red wine and a good home makeover show on the TV.  Follow Cameron on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.  



About Kayte

Kayte from Southern Fryed Bliss

Kayte moved to the Triangle in 2006 to attend graduate school at NC State, along with her then college sweetheart (now husband of 10 years). She worked in higher education/student affairs for several years—having the opportunity to serve at Duke, UNC-CH and Miami University—and also as a curriculum design consultant for an international women’s organization. In 2016 Kayte decided to shift {work} gears to stay at home with her two young children, while also pursuing some of her creative interests. She is currently preparing to launch her new venture in 2018, which will combine her love of cooking, celebrating and styling. Follow along with her story on Southern Fryed Bliss and on Instagram.

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