7 “Nightmare Before Christmas” Party Ideas

Looking for updated and creative Nightmare Before Christmas party ideas? Then we at Peerspace have your back! After all, if you and your friends declare that spooky season starts in August, why not continue the fiendish fun throughout the winter? Halloween doesn’t have to end after October when you celebrate Christmas with a Nightmare Before Christmas party!

Not all of Jack Skellington’s friends thought it was a good idea to mix Halloween and Christmas, but this ultimate holiday mashup is the perfect party for Halloween fans or grinches who grumble when “Jingle Bells” comes on the radio. Here are several Nightmare Before Christmas party ideas that will send a chill down your spine.

1. Cook like Dr. Finkelstein

commercial kitchen rental in culver city
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Every party needs food, but at a Nightmare Before Christmas party, you can’t serve just any old dishes. You need some seriously eery eats. Channel your inner Dr. Finkelstein and whip up unsettling culinary creations resembling body parts, bugs, monsters, and slime (green Jell-O and lots of gummies will work great).

Feeling lost? Here are recipes for gory but still edible appetizers. You can also serve classic pumpkin-based treats like pie and Halloween desserts (if you can find them in stores). When you’re mixing two holidays, there are no rules on what to serve!

2. Decorate like it’s Halloween and Christmas 

Nightmare before Christmas party ideas
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Find a Charlie Brown tree and hang spooky ornaments on it like spiders, skulls, and eyeballs. Give wreaths a creepy makeover with teeth and googly eyes, hang spider webs and bats all over your space, plant some gravestones in your yard, and find props from the movie at party stores, Oriental Trading Post, and Hot Topic. 

You can also add to the scenery by gathering plenty of skeletons, witches, mummies, and, of course, pumpkins to honor the Pumpkin King. Invite guests to paint or carve mini pumpkins of their own with Christmas images and characters. If you’re feeling crafty, recreate the holiday doors and other landmarks from the movie, like the hill and the creepy toys.

Check out these spooky Halloween party decoration ideas for more inspiration!

3. Concoct some cocktail potions

bar lounge nyc new york city rental
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Raise a glass to the town of Halloween with some creepy cocktail potions straight out of Dr. Finkelstein’s lab. You can get creative and model your drinks after the potions seen on his shelves. Why not stir up some frog’s breath, worm’s wort, and deadly nightshade? Then, once your guests arrive, have them guess which potion each drink is inspired by. 

Here’s a list of some boo-zy drinks you can make at home if you are stuck on ideas. If mixology isn’t your forte, consider getting a mobile bar just for the party. Most services offer a custom cocktail option and can create something special for your event if you make the request well in advance. Make your guests feel like they’re having a night out from the comfort of your home, and impress them with some seriously creative cocktails.

4. Give creepy gag gifts

80s dollhouse in chicago
Source: Peerspace

‘Tis the season of giving, but here’s an idea for a Nightmare Before Christmas-style gift exchange: ask guests to bring gag gifts of a spooky nature. Think of things you would find in a curiosity shop like dead things in jars, doll heads, taxidermy, skulls, strange photos, and bugs.

Make it even more fun by turning it into a White Elephant gift exchange. The game requires that everyone wrap the gift they are bringing, then players draw numbers to determine the order in which everyone will get to unwrap a gift. On each person’s turn, they can either choose to unwrap a new gift or steal an already opened gift from someone else. Once all of the gifts have been unwrapped, set a timer and let the gift-stealing commence. Once the timer runs out, everyone must keep the last gift they were holding, no matter how much it gives them the heebie-jeebies.

5. Dress up like it’s Halloween again

Nightmare before Christmas party ideas
Source: Peerspace

The best part of Halloween is transforming into a character for the day. For your Nightmare Before Christmas party, go for spooky takes on Christmas characters like an evil man-eating gingerbread man, a dead sugar plum fairy, Jack Frost, or a zombie nutcracker. Or, you can stick to already creepy Christmas characters like the rat from The Nutcracker, Scrooge, ghosts of Christmas past, Krampus, a jack in a box, and the Grinch.

Better yet, assign every guest a character from the movie, including Jack, Sally, Zero, Dr. Finkelstein, Oogie Boogie, Shock, Lock, Barrel, Sandy Claws, the Mayor of Halloween Town, Igor, Clown with the Tear-Away Face, Jewel Finkelstein, and other minor characters like corpse people, vampires, the devil, and skeletons.

6. Play the movie or soundtrack

Nightmare before Christmas party ideas
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This Nightmare Before Christmas party idea is a no-brainer! The celebration will have everyone in the mood to see the movie and other Tim Burton classics like Corpse Bride and Edward Scissorhands (which is definitely a Christmas movie).

Or, if you don’t want the entire movie playing, turn on the soundtrack to create a spooky ambiance. You can also keep new music going all night long by creating an entire playlist that switches off between Halloween and Christmas songs. (And don’t forget that Blink-182’s “I Miss You” references the movie and spiders, so it’s a perfect addition to the party playlist).

In NYC? Then the best costume rental companies in New York City will help make you costume-ready for your party!

7. Complete the experience with a spooky venue

bruned abandoned haunted house
Source: Peerspace

A festive haunt for your party will complete the experience. On Peerspace, you can rent a historic home (maybe something Gothic or Victorian), a bar or lounge with low lighting, a loft, an art gallery, a mansion, or even a garden. For example, in Los Angeles, CA, there’s an eerie abandoned house (pictured above) available for rent.

In the words of one Peerspace reviewer: “Loved the house Best house for hunted/spooky theme owners of the house were very friendly and kind I will definitely book this house again.”

When you book a spooky, kooky, one-of-a-kind venue, a lot of the work is already completed. This way, you don’t have to start from scratch when you decorate and can invite more people than your house might comfortably hold. 

Bonus: A Nightmare Before Christmas mashup party

We’re obsessing over this Los Angeles studio that brings together futuristic tech with a retro sensibility. The Time Machine comprises five sets, including a neon tropical diner, a 70s golden room, and a disco club. You can take tons of incredible, distinct vintage-inspired shots here that will not only look amazing, but that will transport your viewers to another era. Unsurprisingly, this studio gets a lot of love from the Peerspace community! Here is just one of its many glowing reviews as an example: “This was the best experience I have ever had. Thank you so much for having us because this space is PERFECT!” See if for yourself on Peerspace!
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What’s great about Nightmare Before Christmas is that it feels like the perfect convergence of Halloween and Christmas. So why not let the movie’s main theme inspire your party? To do so, take your Nightmare Before Christmas party ideas and merge them with another theme!

For instance, what if Jack and Sally were moonlit dancing in the 1970s? Create that scenario at your party and throw a Nightmare Before Christmas retro party. Let this theme guide the food you serve, the decor you choose, and how you and your guests dress.

And guess what? Peerspace has countless retro-inspired party venues that make your party plans oh so fun and easy!

Enjoy these Nightmare Before Christmas party ideas at a Peerspace

Nightmare before Christmas party ideas
Source: Peerspace

Now that you have many incredible party ideas in mind, you just need the ultimate venue. With Peerspace, you can turn any venue into your very own Halloween town. Live like Jack and Sally this holiday season by marrying your love for Halloween and Christmas with a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed party. When you are the ultimate Halloween fan, you and this party are simply meant to be.

If you love holiday parties, you probably either adore or abhor decorating. If it’s the latter, the good news is that many Peerspace venues come pre-decorated (like in the photos above). You show up with what you came with and leave the same way, no complex cleanups for you!

For those who looooove decorating, there’s a different type of bonus. These Nightmare Before Christmas party ideas will let you use your Halloween decor twice in one year (so yes, you can justify those purchases). Get into Halloween mode and have a hauntingly good time!

Find more “Nightmare Before Christmas” party ideas on Peerspace

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