With Halloween just around the corner and autumn in the air, it’s the perfect time to host a backyard pumpkin carving party. What a great excuse to get families together and have some fun. I love this time of year for outdoor autumnal events. And a pumpkin party can be carried out beautifully without too much work or expense. Here are my ideas for a picture perfect pumpkin party.
Party Details: When I throw this party I like to do it in the late morning, really it can be held at anytime of day, but daylight hours work best. Make it BYOP (bring your own pumpkin). Ask each guest to bring a pumpkin for carving.
What You Will Need For Carving:
- Carving Knives -You can buy carving kits and knives at most craft stores.
- A large knife or two to cut off the pumpkin tops.
- Large spoons to scrape out the pumpkin insides.
- A few large bowls to collect seeds for roasting. Let the kids help separate the seeds from the pumpkin.
- Some folding tables to carve on dressed with paper or plastic throw away table cloths.
- Trash bags
Setting the Party Scene: Decorate with some painted mini pumpkins. You can paint them with simple thick silver and black stripes some with silver and black polka dots or however you wish. And/or you can just buy a bunch of mini gourds to decorate with. Add some hay stacks, a scarecrow, corn stalks and some larger pumpkins for decoration. Carve some of the pumpkins ahead of time to set the scene. Get creative, go beyond a Jack-A-Lantern face, and consider carving a black cat, a ghost, your last name (if it is short enough) or the first initial of your last name. Draw it out in bubble letters and carve away or use a stencil. Use coordinating orange, black and silver table clothes, plates, napkins and cups. Target and Party City both have some great Halloween serving ware. Bring out your speakers and create an IPod Halloween Mix.
Planning the Menu: Keep it simple. There are so many great foods whose flavors and scents exude fall. You can make it even easier by mixing a few homemade goodies with store bought ones. Here are some ideas.
If it is in the AM: Orange & Black M&Ms, Candy Corn, Cider Donuts, Apple Cider (hot, cold or both), Coffee, Pumpkin Muffins, Tray of Pretzel Nuggets, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
If it is in the afternoon: Consider replacing the coffee with Pumpkin Ale, the Pumpkin Muffins with Pumpkin Bars and adding Spiced Rum to the Apple Cider and topping it off with Whipped Cream.
May the Best Pumpkin Win: Make it a pumpkin carving contest. Line up the finished pumpkins on a table and number them. Hollow out little pumpkins (to use as bowls) and label them with categories. Let people cast votes for the most creative, the most beautiful, the scariest, the most intricate, whatever you come up with. The winner for each category can receive a wrapped caramel apple on a stick (super easy to make) or a small bag of Halloween candy wrapped with black, orange and silver ribbon.
The “Pumpkin Patch”: Create a fake “pumpkin patch” scatter mini pumpkins throughout the yard and let the kids each “pick” one. Lay out a big blanket(s) on the ground with markers and stickers that they can use to decorate the pumpkins.