Hosting a Fab Halloween Happy Hour at Home

We all know by now that Halloween isn’t just for the kids. Adults deserve to have a little fun for the holiday, too, and an easy way to entertain friends this season is celebrating all things spooky. I’m a big proponent of hosting a “boos”-filled Halloween happy hour!

First things first (and as the “boos” or “booze” theme might suggest), you’ll want to master your drink menu. Everyone loves a seasonal drink recipe, and a Halloween happy hour is a great way to bust out those quintessential fall ingredients to create a festive cocktail. For my happy hour, I decided that the signature drink would be an apple cider margarita, because it’s simple to make with a fun fall twist. I followed this simple recipe from Delish using apple cider from Trader Joe’s and my own tequila. For the rim, I offered two choices: pumpkin or apple pie spice (from TJMaxx) mixed with sugar to line glasses. Guests love to customize drinks, so having two options was a hit. Because not everyone is a cocktail drinker, I also set out pumpkin-flavored beer (which I also picked up at Trader Joe’s), as it’s a crowd-pleaser that immediately gets everyone into the autumnal spirit!

Next up, you’ll want to tackle snacks. The nice thing about hosting a happy hour is that no one expects you to serve a full meal. However, everyone likes something to nibble on while drinking, and variety is always appreciated. To stick with a classic “candy” theme, I picked up a bunch of sweets from Trader Joe’s for display in a serving dish from TJ Maxx. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the “treat” part of trick-or-treating, no doorbell ringing required! I recommend serving a mix of chocolatey and fruity candies. Because I’m a pun lover, I couldn’t resist also grabbing a bag of ghost pepper chips from Trader Joe’s…after all, every Halloween party needs some kind of ghost element!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I appreciate tableware like cute cocktail napkins and plates to celebrate any holiday. The Paper Source had adorable Halloween-themed plates and napkins, which were easy to toss in the trash once guests headed home (I’m all for not having to do dishes!). I picked up some petite glass plates in a pumpkin shape at TJ Maxx, and these were also a great size for snacks and will be fun to use for years to come.

On my serving table, I also set out and lit a couple of pumpkin-scented candles (which are truly the best part of fall, if you ask me!). One is a Nest fragrance from Bluemercury and the other is from Anthropologie. They both are super-rich and smell exactly like fall should. Ambiance is everything when entertaining, and candles can make the average apartment feel oh-so-sophisticated in seconds. 

And there you have it—a fun, festive, and easy to prep at-home happy hour that you can replicate in your own space! Cheers—or should I say, “Boo!”

Sarah Lyon is a freelance writer and interior design enthusiast who currently lives in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared on websites including Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest Clever, Lonny, and MyDomaine. Additionally, Sarah’s own spaces have appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, Houzz, and Her Dupont Circle apartment was featured in both the spring 2019 print edition of Small Space Decorating and the January 2019 print edition of Washingtonian Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @sarahlyon9.