I love to plan parties, but when it comes down to it, I’m quite shy. So, playing the role of hostess can be a challenge.

However, last year was our first fall as residents of our new town, and we decided to make it a home by starting a family tradition.  And so, the annual Pumpkin Carving Party was born. 

Now,  I’m planning the current year’s party, which is just two short weeks away. In only its second year, our annual event has tripled in size.  This presents both planning challenges and the opportunity to try out some new tricks.

Here are some ideas I’ve been pondering.

Wreath of Pumpkins

Every party needs a welcoming entry.  This one is sure to set the mood for our event. 


A monogram carved pumpkin lets new guests know they have found the right house.

This year will require many more pumpkins than last and will involve a host of new guests.  To introduce them to the set up and to encourage them to settle in, I’m going to fill a wheel barrow with pumpkins, along with a sign inviting them to select their pumpkin for carving. 


Mulled Cranberry-Apple Cider

The house smells delicious when guests arrive to the scent of mulling cider.  This year, I want to come up with an interesting way to serve the warm treat after dark.

Mummy Dogs

On-the-move treats for the kids are a must.


   Jack-o'-Lantern Candy Bowl

I love the idea of pumpkins serving as bowls.


A peppery centerpiece greets guests who move inside to escape the chill.


Who says pumpkins can’t be elegant?


Apple Votives

As the yard darkens, candles will light the area.


Gift Bags

Bags of carving tools (carver, sharpie, candle, matches, personal garbage bag) worked well last year when it came time to begin carving.  Guests simply picked up a bag, grabbed their pumpkin, and went to work.  They will definitely be used again this  year! 


Other must haves:

  • Wipe-friendly or disposable table cloths (This makes clean up much easier!)
  • Increased table space (We bumped elbows last year.)
  • Family friendly party music
  • Torches (for added light after dark)
  • Wipies for sticky fingers
  • Large spoons for scooping