Dotting your corporate calendar with fun events and team-building exercises can help increase employee morale, reduce turnover, and make your company a much more enjoyable place to work.

Use these five Halloween office party ideas to help build a more productive and memorable Q4 for your team.

1. Host a Pumpkin Carving Party

Pumpkin carving is a time-honored tradition, and that nostalgia could work in your favor as you treat employees to a project that combines creativity, competition, and charm.

This type of event requires a fair amount of planning.

  • Create pumpkin carving stations. You can use larger tables or desks that accommodate several people and pumpkins at a time. Protect work surfaces with disposable plastic tablecloths or newspapers. Every station should have a couple trash bags ready to capture seeds, scraps, and other debris.
  • Provide an assortment of carving tools. Participants will need an assortment of knives (some for larger sections and some for adding details) and scoops.
  • Include other craft supplies and unexpected materials. Glitter, glue, feathers, construction paper, paint, markets, scissors, and tape can all help your team bring their pumpkins to life.
  • Consider creating a contest with themed categories. From horror movie-themed pumpkins to gourds decorated entirely in office supplies, entries that fit a theme can make a contest even more fun.

Take pictures and share via your company social media accounts to give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your company culture and brand.

2. Throw a Catered Lunch With Halloween-Themed Food

A catered lunch is strong enough to stand on its own as a memorable event, or you can pair a free meal with other Halloween festivities, like the pumpkin carving and costume contests on this list.

Use your Grubhub Corporate Account or work with Grubhub representatives to find local restaurants offering Halloween-ready catering. It’s okay to mix popular not-so-seasonal dishes like pizza, tacos, sub sandwiches, and gyros with more on-theme offerings like pumpkin lasagna and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Some restaurants will already have their own fall or Halloween desserts in the works. Others might be willing to tweak standard offerings to fit your theme, especially if you’re placing a large order. Those adjustments could be something as simple as adding candy pumpkins to cupcakes or using a stencil to make powdered sugar ghosts on top of mini sweet potato pies.

Feel free to supplement the catered desserts with your favorites from home. Employees can bring in their spookiest cookies and fall-themed treats like candied apples and s’mores bars.

3. Add a Costume Contest to Your List of Halloween Office Party Ideas

Dress up and Halloween go hand in hand. Hosting a costume contest is a great way to encourage employees to participate however they’re most comfortable. They can go all out with cosplay-inspired gear that takes weeks to make or go with a simple pre-made costume or even a funny hat if that’s what feels right.

Outline the rules for the contest and share voting categories ahead of time. Rather than having just one prize, get creative with categories that leave room for participants to showcase their personal flair, sewing skills, humor, and so on.

  • Best Movie Character
  • Best DIY
  • Scariest Costume
  • Funniest Costume
  • Best Use of Company Swag
  • Most Original
  • Best Group Costume

You can dream up your own categories too and encourage employees to put together costumes that answer those specific requirements. For instance, host a superhero-themed contest and have everybody dream up a weird or funny superhero name with a DIY costume to match.

Turning the event into a virtual costume contest makes it easier to include remote and hybrid workers. Accept electronic submissions (pictures and a short costume description/explanation) throughout the day, and tally digital votes alongside those submitted on-site.

For prizes, offer winners gift cards for free food, points towards their employee rewards program account, company swag, days off, or even mentorship sessions with someone from the leadership team.

4. Have Fun With Office/Cubicle Trick-or-Treat

Turn your office into a trick-or-treat paradise with a little (or a lot) of help from your team. Each employee decorates their own space and offers a treat for pickup.

Putting some guidelines into place before decorations go up can help employees straddle the line between fun and professionalism and ensure the day goes off without a hitch.

  • Clarify the type of decorations allowed. For instance, you may allow anything temporary (taped-up signs, smaller balloons, crepe paper, faux cobwebs) but rule out oversized options and decor that could damage work surfaces or walls. Address the use of sound- and sight r-related decorations that could distract staff and affect productivity.
  • Encourage department leads and even C-suite executives to take part. Employee morale starts at the top. Including supervisors in the trick-or-treating gives everyone an opportunity for some face time with management.
  • Include some Halloween games. Spice up the trick or treating by creating a couple game stations. Pull out classics like searching through bowls of peeled grapes or cold, oiled spaghetti to find kitschy prizes. Play Pin the Eyes on the Pumpkin or bob for apples (hang them from the ceiling by strings instead of plunging them in water to reduce the splash factor).

Invite hybrid workers who might want to stop by and reconnect with colleagues for the day. Ask a couple volunteers to take and fill an extra goody bag for coworkers unable to participate.

If decorating the whole office feels at odds with client expectations, contain the festivities to a single room. Transform one of your bigger conference rooms into a haunted meeting spot complete with themed music, cobweb decorations, neon/black light messages, and Halloween-inspired food stations.

You can also restrict decorations and trick-or-treat hours to a specific time frame; be all business in the morning, then kick off the festivities with a great lunch and let the decorating begin.

5. Donate to a Trunk-or-Treat Event

Community trunk-or-treat events are increasing in popularity because they’re easier on families, safer for little kids, and can help raise money for a good cause. Nonprofit organizations sometimes host trunk-or-treats, asking local businesses to donate their time and some candy, then charging attendees a small entrance fee.

Your team can decorate a booth or vehicle, then hand out candy along with company swag. It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community while increasing brand awareness and bringing your team together.

No matter how you celebrate Halloween in your office, make planning corporate get-togethers easier than ever with Grubhub. Contact us today to learn more about feeding your next office celebration.