Pumpkin carving party ideas

October 25, 2011

How to throw a fun, no stress pumpkin carving party!

pumpkin carving party ideas

We hosted a little Halloween-themed shindig this weekend I wanted to tell you about in case you want to throw one together yourself this weekend!

I’ve wanted to have a pumpkin carving party for years and always put it off because of the huge mess I imagined it would be. I didn’t really want to do it inside, and our back yard wasn’t really set up for it.

But with the addition of our our new paver patio this summer we have such great entertaining space, so I wanted to take advantage of it! It was PERFECT for this little party!

I planned for this for months – I think I bought most of the stuff back in August. (Thank you, retailers, for bringing out the Halloween goodies so early!) I know myself and know I wanted to be as non-stressed as possible when it came to putting this together. I wanted it to be fun for the kids and the moms – including this one. ;)

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The drinks were soda and water for the moms and Ghooooul-Aid for the kids. (How fun is that?) 

I added some of these cute reusable Halloween ice cubes:


crate and barrel halloween ice cubes

I just served it as a punch in a bowl from Target:

Halloween punch with ice cubes

The kids LOVED the black drink. OH so spooky. :)

The food was crazy easy – on purpose. I made my little cookie sandwiches with Halloween icing and ready to bake cookies:

Halloween icing 

Pillsbury ghost cookies

You just sandwich two together with icing, then roll the sides in sprinkles:

easy fridge cookies with icing

They are SO yummy. I especially love these with the sugar sprinkles (for a little crunch), but I was using what I had.

The rest of the food was Halloween-themed snacks in individual bags:

pumpkin carving party food ideas

I got two big boxes of these – I think they were $5 each? One box had cookie bags and one had chips and Cheetos.

This was not a healthy Halloween party. :)

The bowls, plates, napkins and cups were all from the Dollar Tree – can’t beat that!

It was all set up on the DIY potting bench Dad and I made this summer:

halloween pumpkin party for kids

The table cover was a few yards of fabric from Hobby Lobby, on sale back in August. Score! (I even threw it in the wash after and it held up great!)

I didn’t plan any games or activities for the kids (other than the pumpkins). I was a little worried they would be bored.

But what am I, crazy?? They just…uh…played and had a blast!:

outdoor playset

Imagine that. :)

We set up the pumpkin carving on the deck. I picked up carving tools here and there on sale over the past couple of months, but asked people to bring some if they had them:

pumpkin carving party for kids

Other than that, the only thing I had guests bring were their pumpkins.

I plan to do this again next year and may have smaller pumpkins for the kids to paint and decorate on their own, because of course the moms did most of the carving work:

How to throw a pumpkin carving party

Eww. :)

The hit of the party was this pumpkin gutter:

pumpkin gutter for drill

It attaches to the drill and makes quick work of getting the goo out of the pumpkin – it rocked! (Click the photo above to see it at Amazon.)

The party was low stress and BIG fun. :) We ended up with some cuties:

pumpkin carving party

(Some of the pumpkins didn’t make it into the pic, but they were all super cute!)

We had such a great time and I can’t wait to do it again next year! I only invited a few close friends this year, but when we do it again I hope to invite even more and put up additional tables so everyone can spread out.

Do you host a Halloween-themed party? Is it for the big kids or the little ones? What do you do to keep it low key and easy going (for YOU)?

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  1. We do a chili cook-off competition on Halloween night, so everyone who wants to enter brings chili and a friend and I host this together, so we split providing cornbread, a couple less sugary snacks (to offset all the candy), the chili fixin's, drinks and the prizes for the winner and runner-up. we also do a small game for the kids before trick-or-treating the neighborhood and put all our chairs and fire pit on the front driveway. It is SO fun, SO affordable and a total breeze. ;)

  2. How fun! And look at that, already putting your new backyard to work :)

  3. Good for you for jumping in and throwing such a fun party! I would worry about the mess, too, but having it outside is a great idea. All the pumpkins are cute as can be, and I love how you planned it all out in advance. I envy people like you!

    Elaine (Queen of Procrastination)

  4. I must go to Wal Mart right now and get that pumpkin gutter! So cool!

  5. That's sound like such fun, Sarah! I'll bet the kids loved it. We've never had a Halloween party of any sort, but I'd love to. My daughter and I always carve our pumpkins with my stepdaughter and her mom. Yep, I'm friends with the ex. Yeah, we're a modern day family like that. =) We always fun. Although, I don't like "the guts" from the pumpkin. Eww. And every time I'm scooping them out I get kinda of like a rash on my forearms from the pumpkin juice. Eww, again!! I wish you could buy them all cleaned out. That would make it soo much easier!

  6. Good work. I have not seen that koolaid anywhere and I want some for the party we are having this weekend. I love your sandwich cookies. I always think those cookies are cute but too plain tasking to warrant buying them. your solution is perfect.

  7. What a fun way to get in the holiday spirit without competing with all the other Halloween plans. Love it!

  8. Looks like fun...we are headed to a similar party on saturday!

  9. Cute post. Love that 'gutter' thingy. We will only carve one pumpkin this year, so I guess we will stick to the old fashion, gooey hands and arms!!! Best part? My 14 year old will be the one who is gooey.;)

  10. Oh, fun! It was interesting to read what you did, as well as some of your commenters plans/ideas.

    I like the cyclops pumpkin. Haha. You're right, they're all cute.

    All the details were very interesting imo. The pumpkin gutting tool is so YOU. Yes a power TOOL had to figure in here somehow. :)

  11. Such a great idea! I have never seen anything like that pumpkin gutter! I so need one! Are they available in stores or only online?

  12. That looks so fun! When I have kids, I definitely want to do a pumpkin carving party. :)

  13. Love it! Looks like the party was a blast, and very cute with the neat punch. Why stress yourself out over fancy expensive decorations and activities when the kids really just want to play and the moms want to hang out? Great job!

  14. That's a great looking party, with some super simple ideas. I love that pumpkin with the pirate. Looks like the kids had a blast.

  15. What a great party idea for when my kids get a little older. That pumpkin gutter looks fantastic.
    We are having a kid-friendly Halloween party this weekend, and the only "activity" I am planing is decorating mini pumpkins with stick-on googley eyes & foam stickers.

  16. Looks like tons of fun! Next year, you should call it a Pumpkin Potluck....then it's even easier for you =)) (ps, my lazy self loves me a potluck!)

  17. How fun! Love the gutter.
    We are having a halloween birthday party for my son on Friday. It is going to be a blast! Lots of halloween games and foods!

  18. I love the cyclops! Reminds me of a Monsters Inc. character. :)

    Such a fun night! Makes me miss my small town home.

    Haley @thedistractedblogger

  19. What a great idea!! I never would've thought of doing a carving party...so fun! Even if the Mom's did most of the work, it created wonderful memories for the kiddos! ;)

  20. I've done a pumpkin carving party every year for the past 5 or 6 years now. It started as a throw-back party for all us adults - construction paper decorations, baking pumpkin seeds, watching Charlie Brown's The Great Pumpkin... along with carving. For some of my friends, it was the FIRST time they'd ever carved a pumpkin. It now includes all our kids, of course, and I also put out paints, markers, cookie cutters, pipe cleaners, foam stickers, etc. I've also had years where I've had cookie decorating or Halloween craft supplies for people to do, too. It's my one big bash for the year because I LOVE pumpkins.

  21. I definitely need to invest in a gutter or two before our carving party this weekend. And I love the Butler t-shirt I spied too.

  22. We do a huge party every year now. Ours started out as a pumpkin carving party....NOW its HUGE!!! Full blown everyone has to dress up and we turn our unfinished basement into the biggest craziest decoration mess EVER!
    The party is a ton of work but everyone looks forward to it each year. As my husband says its bigger than we are now and we HAVE to have it:)
    He even flew my best friend from High School out for the party this year!!!
    We LOVE Halloween!
    Love your blog thanks for all the great ideas!

  23. This was our second year for a Halloween party and it was a blast. I actually did a ton of work last year but just had to pull it out this year. I made a bingo game, party boards, but their favorite was the mummy wrap game.

    Everyone gets a full toilet paper roll and wraps a partner up. Lots of laughing and fun. Plus EASY!

  24. I love this idea! It looks like it was so much fun! I will have to try that with the cookies. They look delicious!

  25. I started following your blog awhile back and I do promote it on my blogroll. I started a decor blog just over a month ago. I hope you will check it out and, if you like it, please follow me to.



  26. I love pumpkin carving parties. The host I know gives everyone a gallon size ziploc bag to take their pumpkin seeds home with them. She attaches a cute recipe print out for roasting the seeds. A simple inexpensive idea. Because the party is large we do a potluck meal with apps and desserts so the host doesn't stress much either. I'm happy you began this new fun tradition for your sun.


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