The beauty of October with the changing leaves and the pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING has truly taken over lately…and somehow over a PSL or two you volunteered to host a pumpkin carving party at your place this year. Don’t panic. Because a pumpkin carving party is one of the easiest ones to throw…trust me! Just follow this check list on how to throw a pumpkin carving party and you will be all set (As long as no one cuts themselves while carving. Then you’re screwed.)
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Newspapers, plastic and glass containers of all shapes and sizes, etc. Why? Because you are going to want to cover just about EVERY surface you can with newspaper, and tiny little yogurt and other different size containers come in handy when displaying pumpkin decorations such as glitter, stickers, googly eyes, etc.
Plan around a big game
Yep, you read that right. Plan your party around a big game and make sure that there is a TV (or two) in eye sight while carving. We have found that using an extension cord lets us put a TV outside so the gooey pumpkin mess is contained to the great outdoors. People are much more likely to get together for a big game with pumpkin carving instead of just a pumpkin carving party. Trust me. You can even put a fun playoff baseball twist on your pumpkin carving party and don’t forget to dress in your favorite football or baseball gear if you aren’t brave enough to wear a Halloween costume along with the kiddos.
Provide carving supplies
Visit the Dollar Store and go crazy. Seriously. They have so many cute arts and crafts materials that can be used by both young and old alike to decorate pumpkins–puffy paint, stickers, glitter, markers, etc. Many of these stores also have pumpkin carving kits that include knives, scrapers, and templates. Be sure to grab a bunch just in case someone comes to the party lacking supplies.
Clearly state the BYOP and BYOB
You don’t want the responsibility of picking out a pumpkin for one of your guests—size, shape color—too many decisions! Fall is also when there are so many great Oktoberfest beers being brewed, so when everyone brings a six pack of their own, there is more delicious Fall flavor to enjoy. Put out some spooky pint glasses and mugs so you can really get into the Halloween spirit.
Plan a simple meal
I love having a simple buffet for parties, especially when there is a busy activity such as pumpkin carving, so people can eat and graze as they please. We typically put out an assortment of dips including my popular salsa, and for Fall we love to take the easy road and use the slow cooker. I can’t even tell you how delicious and SIMPLE our pulled pork recipe is. Never underestimate how easy it is to make spooky rice krispie treats, either. We pick up a few pies from the store for dessert, some cute decorative napkins and BOOM! Everyone is fed and you are out having fun with your guests instead of in the kitchen.
Have an activity planned for the kids
Let’s face it…pumpkin carving is really an adult activity (as it should be, so kids don’t lose a finger during the party). So here is my absolute FAVORITE and easy prep Halloween craft: Upcycled Halloween Jars.
Provide different colors of tissue paper cut into small shapes, googly eyes, a water/glue combo of 1 part water to 2 parts glue, a few paintbrushes, and some old jars (tomato sauce and pickle jars work best).
Kids can decide to make a ghost, monster, pumpkin, alien…the sky is the limit! Help them cover the jar in the glue mixture and then start sticking the tissue paper onto the jar. Once that dries a little, you can add the googly eyes and you are done! Once night falls, stick a candle (or glow stick—another cheap Dollar Store find) inside for a spooky glow.
Have a contest
With all of the work that everyone is putting towards decorating pumpkins, there has to be a winner (this is America, after all). So come up with some creative categories and declare some winners. Suggestions for awards include “scariest carving,” “most creative design,” “epic fail.”
Be sure to visit my Pinterest page for more ideas on Halloween fun. I have stockpiled a bunch of Fall treats (who knew there were so many pumpkin and apple recipes?!?), Halloween activities, as well as Halloween themed treats to explore.
Be sure to visit take part in one of these unique pumpkin experiences in order to get your orange orb this year, as well as take advantage of Fall fests and the beautiful colors of the Midwest before the snow falls.