Host a gathering that kicks off the countdown to Halloween with a movable feast, friends and family, and a riot of funny faces.
Here's your go-to guide for everything including pumpkin picking strategies, carving techniques, and printable templates. We'll even show you what to do with the seeds!
If weather permits, consider having a daytime party outside on a picnic table, where it won't matter as much if you make a mess. Keep sharp instruments safely organized in buckets and on trays on the picnic table.
Whether you're inside or outdoors, cover your table (or tables) with newsprint or kraft paper for quick, easy cleanup. If inside, you may want to protect the floor, as spilled pumpkin flesh and seeds can be slippery.
Ask guests to bring their own pumpkins, or plan on providing them for the whole party. Be sure to choose ones that are smooth, firm, and symmetrical. They don't need to be giant -- keep in mind that people will be taking their jack-o'-lanterns home at the end of the party. Have a few extra pumpkins on hand for any late arrivals.
Try a new approach to pumpkin carving with smaller kids: Have children use their own drawings to create a template. First, sketch a design on a piece of paper and cut out the pieces of the face separately. Next, tape the parts to the hollowed-out pumpkin. (Note that as you're going from paper to pumpkin, you may have to interpret the layout of the face a little differently.) Then trace the lines of the template by poking holes with a needle tool. Guide your kids if they need help with sharp tools. Last, remove the template and carve along the dotted patterns with a miniature saw.
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