Halloween is more than dressing up one short evening and gobbling up the candies your kids don't want. The season starts earlier every year, and the activities are endless. From pumpkin picking and carving, to costume planning and decorating the house, there are so many ways to get spooky and silly this Halloween season. One way to safely gather friends and family is to host a pumpkin carving party.
Your first step will be to find a time that works best for those you want to invite and crafting up a cacklin' invitation. Remember to include any important information, like the time and estimated length of your party, the location, and anything you'd like your guests to know, bring, or inform you about. Whoever you choose to invite, you'll have a blast with these easy tips.
Decide whether you're supplying all the pumpkins, or if each guest will bring their own. You can even try to coordinate a team pumpkin patch visit first! If you do decide to buy in bulk, get a variety of sizes so that folks can pick their favorite to work with.
You'll also need some gear:
* Serrated knives to get the carving started
* Small paring knives for the finer designs
* Some patterns for guests to work from
* Spoons to scoop out the seeds
* Paint, glitter, and other decorative tools
Alternatively, you can buy or ask your guests to bring official pumpkin carving kits. Consider gifting tea candles or some sort of light to send your guests home with, so they can proudly display their creations.
Be sure to set up different areas for a variety of activities. Avoid seating little ones at the carving table. Adults can supervise children if they want to carve, but kids should get their kids table where they can decorate their pumpkins with paint, glitter, stickers, and markers. If you're inviting a few families, ask them if they'd prefer family tables instead of the usual adult-children separation. If your guests are into a little competition, set out a table where everyone can display their finished masterpieces. You can all cast your votes, from Cutest to Spookiest to Most Amusing.
Regardless of your setup, choose surfaces or plastic tablecloths that are easy to wipe with a simple washcloth Leave some hand towels or paper towels out so people can easily clean their hands as well.
One table you're sure to need is a snack table. You can definitely work up an appetite while pumpkin carving, so serve up some snacks for your guests to graze on throughout the event. Be sure to ask about food restrictions and allergies before making your choices. You can get creative and make Halloween snacks like brownie spiders (brownie rounds with eight little pretzels sticking out) or mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough), or stick to the classics like chips, veggies, dip, and sandwiches.
For an even more festive feel, brew up some warm apple cider, tea, or hot chocolate for your guests. You won't be carving the entire time, so having something to sip while you break is always a winning look. Find some grown-up recipes, too, in case the adults prefer some mulled wine or hot toddies.
Ask everyone to throw their pumpkin's seeds into a big bowl. You can season and roast the seeds while others are carving and send them home with an end of the day snack pack. It's super easy! Just toss the seeds in a bit of olive oil, mix in some salt, and bake at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes. If you don't have the time or the tools, just ask your guests if they want their own bag of seeds so that they can roast at their leisure at home.
Make sure that you're prepared for the weather. Check the forecast in advance, because some fall days absolutely require kids' hoodies while others might only ask for fun graphic T-shirts and shorts. If you plan for the kids to do some carving themselves, remind everyone to wear clothes they don't mind getting a little messy.
Don't forget to dress comfortably! A pair of women's yoga pants and a comfy sweatshirt should be all you need in the fall weather, but if you prefer a little more style, you can dive into your cute tops and jeans. Just keep aware of the weather, and have some extra scarves or sweaters available for guests who didn't think ahead.
Your invites are sent, the details are planned, and the snacks are dreamed up; there's not much else to do but get started. Once the party starts, offer up a warm welcome, turn up the Halloween music, and you're guaranteed to get smiles from your guests, and some from the pumpkins too. Just be careful: If the party's a success, you may have to host again next year!