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Carve Up Some Fun!

Sandi Arata By

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It’s just a few weeks before Halloween, so it’s time to get your friends together for a pumpkin-carving party.


This is a great way to celebrate the season with friends of all ages--perfect to include kiddos, but still fun if there are none in the group. Ask guests to bring a pumpkin to carve and have other necessary supplies on hand.

pumpkin carving with kids

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Damp and dry rags: Pumpkins often come home from the patch or grocery store dirty. Carvers will have better results if they clean and dry their pumpkin before starting.

  • Disposable plastic tablecloths: Hit up the dollar store for cheap plastic tablecloths to line the floor or table where you’ll be carving. Even if you’re carving outside, consider putting some of these down to make clean-up a snap. Bonus points if you find black-and-orange ones!

  • Knives: Store- bought pumpkin carving kits will have smaller, safer knives for guests to use. A cut hand is a definite party killer. (If there are kids at your party, make sure it’s the adults who do the actual carving. Kids can help with pulling out the pulp and drawing the design on the pumpkin with a pencil.)

  • Bowls or buckets: To collect the pulp, or “guts,” of the pumpkin and all those yummy seeds.

  • Paint or pumpkin stencils: If your party crew is extra crafty, have some acrylic paints and brushes available. Pumpkin stencils can be found at stores or as downloads online.

  • Candles: Small votives or battery-operated candles are a must for displaying the finished products.

  • Food: You’ve got to keep your carvers fueled!


paninis for pumpkin parties

Food


What to serve? That’s easy for this party! A large pot of soup, which you can make ahead of time, and a make-your-own-panini-bar are perfect for a cool fall night. Read my How to Set up A Panini Bar post to get all the details on how to set this up. Guests can float back and forth between pumpkin-carving and panini-making as they like.

For dessert? What else but Pumpkin bars to really make your pumpkin party sweet.

While guests are carving, gather some of their discarded seeds and start baking them up. There lots of great Pumpkin seed recipes to try—here are a few:

If the seeds aren’t cooled and ready to eat during the party, send guests home with small packages to munch on later.

judging pumpkins

Pumpkin Prizes


Display all the carved pumpkins with candles and let guests vote on their favorites. (Don’t forget to snap some photos of the finished products as well!) Have categories such as Funniest, Scariest, Most Creative and Best Overall. Small prizes are a nice addition. A Halloween book is a great award for kids, while a six-pack of pumpkin-flavored beer is perfect for an adult party.

Don’t forget to send guests away with something sweet, in addition to their masterpiece. Cute Pumpkin Cookies packaged in individual bags would be perfect (and they couldn’t be an easier!).
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