A ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Party That’s Simply Meant to Be

by Lexy Ward for Disney Family

In my family, Jack Skellington is synonymous with Halloween. There are tons of movies that get people into the spirit of the season, but Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is at the top of our fall movie list. We love the colors, the characters, and the music!

We plan a big Halloween party every year, and since we’ve been watching The Nightmare Before Christmas as of August, it seemed fitting to throw a party with Jack, Sally, and the whole gang.

When throwing a bash, there’s no need to sweat over creating everything from scratch. Our annual party easily came together using some store-bought decor and a few simple DIYs. And our family and friends absolutely loved everything. I would say, it was simply meant to be.

Follow along for my tips and tricks.

An Entrance Worthy of The Pumpkin King

I set the party scene from the very start with some front porch decor. Our doors were decked with black, white, and orange wreaths, and our walkway was lined with character luminaries, including Jack and Sally.

To really get into the spirit, we honored The Pumpkin King and placed an assortment of gourds around the porch to emphasize that “this is Halloween”!

What’s This? What’s This? There’s Black and White Everywhere!

The color palette of the film is very much black and white, with some pops of color here and there. So, I matched this theme for the decor. I placed a few mini black tinsel trees around the house, decorated with plain ornaments. I hung Jack lanterns around the food table to help create a focal point while guests dished out treats—not to mention providing artistic Nightmare-themed plates and napkins. And black and white pumpkins were the perfect last-minute addition, sprinkled throughout the party.

I added a little orange, purple, and teal—for the utensils, tablecloth, Jack sign, and adorable Jack cookies.

Nightmare-Themed Photo Booth

A black and white backdrop with props provides the perfect setting for family and friends to capture their fun-filled moments. You can even add masks featuring Lock, Shock, and Barrel.

Spiral Hill Pie

You can’t have a Nightmare Before Christmas party and not incorporate the Spiral Hill. A pie crust was the perfect way to display the eerie setting for all to see. (And how cute are these dish towels?!)


  • 2 sheets store-bought pie crust
  • Berry pie filling
  • Pastry wheel
  • Egg wash (1 egg plus 1-2 Tbsps water)


1. Fill a pie pan with the bottom pie crust and top it with your favorite berry pie filling.  

2. Using a pastry wheel, cut out the Spiral Hill design from the top crust. Use a butter knife to trace a slight indentation in the crust as a guide before cutting.  

3. Gently place the crust on top of the pie filling, brush with egg wash, and bake according to the pie crust instructions. 

Balloon Decor

Sprinkle in fun balloons throughout your home. When attached to tails, they appear to float around the house.

Spooky Mantel

You don’t need much to create a wicked mantel. Start with stacked books and pumpkins for a little height. Add candles in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Drape some gauze for added drama. Then add mini black tinsel trees channeling Christmas in a Nightmare way. Finally, hang a banner for the finishing touch.

“Pin the Santa Hat on Jack” Activity

I turned a Jack decal into a fun game—and guests had a blast taking their turn! Simply cut out a Santa hat from red cardstock and glue a few fluffed cotton balls to the edges.

Jack’s Berry Punch

I attached a bat collar, from a Jack costume, to a punchbowl to make things just a little bit extra for the holiday. And the kids felt so fancy with their miniature pedestal glasses!

Makes: 10 cups


  • 1 (1-L.) bottle club soda
  • 2 Cups blackberries and strawberries
  • 1 (15-Oz.) container frozen berry concentrate
  • 1 (2-L.) bottle lemon-lime soda
  • Ice


1. The day before the party, combine the club soda and berries in a large plastic bowl and freeze.

2. Just before the party, remove the frozen club soda and allow it to slightly thaw.

3. Add the frozen club soda and berry concentrate to a punchbowl. Then pour the lemon-lime soda on top. Gently stir, add more ice, and serve in small cups.

For more recipes, DIY decorations and pumpkin carving templates, visit Disney Family.

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