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Nothing is more nostalgic than thinking back to the anticipation of Halloween night. The rush home from school, getting into your costume, racing to meet with your friends to discuss your trick-or-treating strategy, and watching your community come to life brings back memories for almost everyone. Whether you live in a neighborhood with single-family homes or in an apartment building, Halloween brings out a child-like spirit and sense of community everywhere.
Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t create these lifelong memories. Sometimes the closeness of everyone’s homes makes Halloween in an apartment that much better.
First, ask your property manager or landlord if there are any events happening in your community. They might be hosting a community party, or they may have plans/guidelines for trick-or-treating. If there are no scheduled plans, ask around and see if people you know in your building would be interested in coordinating some type of Halloween event. If it seems like people are willing to participate, ask your landlord to approve your plan. Whether it’s a community space event or a trick-or-treating event, ask your landlord to advertise and help sponsor the event. With their approval, promote your event in communal spaces (elevators, community rooms, gyms, etc.), ask your landlord to send an email out to residents, and have them post about it on social media.
If your landlord isn’t enthusiastic about a community event, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your spooky on at home. You can throw the best monster bash in town (while being mindful of your neighbors and community quiet hours, of course).
We have an extensive list of fall décor, but you’ll need to add a bit of spooky spice to it for the big night. Since most of our apartments don’t offer a ton of storage space, the key here is to find decorations that won’t cause damages costing us our security deposit, or cost us our closet space when the season is over.
Window decals are the perfect apartment Halloween décor. These sticky decorations can be easily placed on windows and peeled off at the end of the season. They’re usually very inexpensive and small enough to store for next year or toss after you’re done with them. They’re also a good indicator for guests and trick-or-treaters that your unit is Halloween-friendly.
The best thing about pumpkins and gourds is that they can be tossed or composted after the season. Sticking to natural décor, including leaves, flowers, dried corn husk, pumpkins, and gourds, is both inexpensive and easy to dispose of after the season. The opportunities to turn natural items into DIY Halloween décor is endless. Carving pumpkins, painting gourds, stringing leaf garland, or making a wreath are just a few DIY decorations that come to mind. Look around for inspiration and see how creative you can get.
Your balcony or patio is your chance to show off your carving skills. Display your pumpkins and gourds on your balcony, wrap the railing with orange lights, and add some seasonal flowers to get your balcony or patio into the Halloween spirit. There are tons of options for this space, so look around and see what fun items you can add.
Your front door is the pinnacle display of Halloween night, so you want to outdo yourself. Pick a theme and go wild. Use cotton batting as fake cobwebs, hang a small, plastic skeleton as a door wreath, and drape black tulle around the door for a dark, haunting theme. For a cute, farm-style approach, place pumpkins (faux pumpkins if you’re indoors) around the door, hang a fall wreath, and buy a fall doormat. You could also turn your door into a Frankenstein monster by wrapping it in wrapping paper or craft paper and adding facial details with other craft paper and supplies.
Apartments don’t always allow for a lot of space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host a killer party. Using our guide on entertaining with a small kitchen, you can make the most out of your space.
Decorating in an apartment without adding clutter is key. Get ghoulish with lighting by replacing your bulbs with color changing smart bulbs and setting them to orange or red. Halloween tunes are right up there with Christmas jams; make a playlist with all your favorite haunting hits to set the mood for the night.
Unearth your DIY spirit and crack open Pinterest for some fun and easy food and drink ideas. Green food dye, dry ice (as long as it doesn’t touch anyone’s skin), gummy worms, and plastic beakers go a long way in the drink department.
Mummies in a blanket, spider cupcakes, and spooky seven layered dip are just a few things that are easy to make and simply adorable. You can even combine everyone’s favorite dish, charcuterie, with the season by adding some pumpkin elements, decorating with plastic spiders, and serving it on a themed plate.
Go for easy, finger foods that can be made beforehand. You don’t want to spend the party in the kitchen cooking. Save space by having the food laid out in the kitchen before your guests arrive and make the kitchen the designated snack space.
Take a break from the sweets and get into the competitive spirit with some cute Halloween games. Get creative and tailor your activities to your audience.
This game only requires the kids and a few rolls of toilet paper. Split the children into two teams (or more depending on how many kids are in attendance) and pick one child to be the mummy. Whichever team wraps their “mummy” first wins the prize — ideally more candy!
This is a classic game. Make a large print of a black cat that’s missing a tail. Glue several strips of Velcro around where the tail should be, but make one strip in the perfect spot. Make a bunch of “tails” with the opposite end of the Velcro. Use a scarf as a blind fold and give each person a turn trying to get the tail in the right spot. Whoever lands it in the perfect spot gets a prize.
Get a jar and a bag of candy corn. Count each piece of candy as you place it in the jar or buy a bag that has the count already on it. Then, set it up and have people guess how many pieces are in the jar.
Give everyone a sticky note and a pen. Have them write down a Halloween-themed word, not showing anyone what their word is. Then, have each person stick their note on someone’s forehead. Each person gets 30 seconds to guess what their word is by asking yes or no questions. The first person to guess correctly wines the prize!
Unleash your inner artist by setting up a face painting station in your home. All you need is two chairs, a mirror, and the paint set. It’s super fun and doesn’t require a lot of space or items.
Whether the event is for the kids, adults, or both, have fun with it. You’re never too old to eat good food, play silly games, and have a good time. Even though most of our apartments don’t offer a lot of space, there are plenty of activities you can do.
Not every apartment community allows trick-or-treating, so ask your landlord to confirm. If they do allow it, ask what time it’s taking place and if they have any additional rules. Some communities will set guidelines for the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, others will set up the common area for trick-or-treaters, using tables as stations for each person to hand out candy, or your landlord might have a family-friendly party. Ask the property manager or landlord for specifics.
If it’s door-to-door, think about how you want to hand out candy. You can place a bowl of candy outside your door, use tongs to hand out candy, or you can stick to the good ole fashion way: grab a fist full of candy and toss it in the bags. In the event you run out of candy, make sure to turn any lights off around your door, and consider leaving a polite note on your door stating you ran out of candy.
For those not on candy duty, you should know when trick-or-treating starts and ends. Typically, it should start around four or five and end by eight. Sometimes apartments have narrow hallways, so remember to keep with the flow of traffic and take turns.
To prevent people from knocking on your door if you’re not participating, make sure any lights around your front door are flipped off, and leave a polite note on your door letting people know you’re not participating. But make sure to avoid mentioning anything about being out of your house for safety reasons.
Whether you’re taking your children out or they’re trick-or-treating on their own, it’s best to go over a few rules with them for safety purposes. Talk to them about which doors they should knock on: doors with lights on and decorations outside. The doors that are dark, have no decorations, or have a “no candy” sign should be skipped. When they get to the door that may have candy, do one or two knocks, pause, and then leave if no one comes to the door. Most importantly, remind them to never go into anyone’s house and to not venture from their group.
Apartments are the perfect place to celebrate with your community and make lifelong memories. Adjust your space, take a different approach to trick-or-treating, and get the whole community together to enjoy spooky season. Have a ghostly good time and a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Published October 6, 2021