Part of the joy of home ownership is settling into the neighborhood and forming long-lasting friendships. Starting an annual Halloween party tradition brings the community together for something to look forward to all year long, whether guests are eight or 80 years old. Here are three ideas that are sure to be the hit of any neighborhood.

BYO Pumpkin Party

Stock up on newspaper, gather some of the foldable rectangular tables, grab all your giant spoons (for scooping out seeds) and sharpen those knives. Invite the neighborhood families over for some communal jack-o-lantern carving, order some pizzas and you’ve got a simple pre-Halloween party for guests of all ages to enjoy. The results are sure to be Instagram-worthy, and you can even get creative with a competition to determine the spookiest, goofiest, most detailed or most traditional.

Think ahead: Keep the knives out of reach of children and be sure there’s plenty of adult supervision over the carving portion of the evening.

Monster Mash-querade Dance Party

Set up the computer with a playlist, hook up the speakers and get a driveway dance party grooving. A limbo contest can reveal which neighbors are the most limber, while a costume contest rewards those with the most creative dedication to wardrobe. Refreshments can be organized under simple pop-up tents for easy access, which means you don’t have to worry about the interior of your house seeing much traffic.

Think ahead: Be sure to relay your plans far in advance to surrounding neighbors to ensure they’re aware of the gathering and the possible noise issues. Better yet, invite them over for the festivities.

Halloween Harvest Party

Autumn is a time for crisp air, apple cider and hayrides! Combine the fun of Halloween with the seasonal charm of the fall in one, great, cinnamon-scented party. If hayrides aren’t in the best interest or safety of your guests, hay bales are still a great option for both functional seating as well as playful decor. Throw in some candied apples, a game of bobbing for apples (have some towels handy), make a giant batch of butternut squash soup and you’ve got two parties for the price of one. More decor options include gourds, pumpkins, dried flowers and apple centerpieces.

Think ahead: Set up a photo station with a festive background (you can even use more of those hay bales) so the memories last far longer than just one evening. #FunFallParty

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