Everything You Need to Host a Pumpkin-Carving Party
The best thing about Halloween being on a Saturday this year is that fans of the holiday can celebrate two nights in row. On Friday, gather your nearest and dearest for a pumpkin-carving party. On All Hallow’s Eve, you’ll have the most festive front yard on the block. If you’ve never been to one, a pumpkin-carving party is just what it sounds like: You and your friends come together, carve pumpkins, drink a little sangria, eat a little chili, have an awesome time, and get everyone in the mood for Halloween. Wondering how to throw this seriously spirited soirée? I break it down below.
True Temper 6 Cu. ft. Steel Wheelbarrow ($50)
True Temper 6 Cu. Ft. Steel Wheelbarrow ($50)
Place a wheelbarrow next to your front door. Fill it with pumpkins of various shapes and sizes. Make a sign that says “Pick Your Pumpkin,” and add an arrow pointing to the wheelbarrow. As your guests arrive, they can pick out which pumpkin they plan on carving.
Just because it’s a party with a purpose doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve a delicious spread of snacks. Right before the event is about to start, assemble this corn queso fundido over the stove. Once the first person arrives, move the skillet to a hot plate with a basket of chips nearby. Watch as your friends devour it!
Since Halloween is a holiday that is reminiscent of childhood, serve a nostalgic appetizer like pigs in a blanket. The classic one-bite treat is always a crowd-pleaser. Don't forget to serve the piggies on decorative bat plates.
Williams-Sonoma Stainless-Steel Beverage Bucket ($229)
On the invitation, ask your friends and family members to bring a six pack of beer. Set up a beer station: place a large beer bucket with plenty of ice on a surface that’s okay if wet. Nearby, arrange glasses, festive cozies, and a couple of bottle openers. As your friends arrive, point them toward the beer bucket to drop off their brews and grab a bottle of something to drink.
Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit ($7)
Designate one area of the party to the pumpkin carving. Cover a long wide table with newspaper and make sure there is plenty of paper underneath the table as well. You’ll need a couple of trash cans in plain sight and lots of pumpkin carving tools. Scatter them across the table with several Sharpie markers. Let friends go at it.
Since not everyone likes beer, whip up a batch of a seasonal apple cider sangria. A mixture of crisp apples, potent bourbon, and fizzy hard cider, it’s sure to get the party started! Note that a sangria this pretty needs a serving vessel that is equally as stylish.
To ensure that there is a flow to the party, let four (or six, depending on how big your space is) guests carve pumpkins at a time. Offer the remaining guests a hearty bowl of chili to tide them over. Set out classic fixings like shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, and Fritos, and let guests top off their individual bowls.
Hosley's Set of 48 Unscented Glass Filled Votive Candles ($30)
Once everyone has carved a pumpkin, take them outside for a ceremonial lighting. Give each guest a votive to place inside their pumpkin. Arrange them decoratively on your front porch or outside your door. Light them all, then “ooo” and “ahh” at how festive they look!
After you’ve posted the pumpkins on Instagram, invite everyone inside for dessert: pumpkin cheesecake mousse! This recipe is perfect for the party—it has to be made in advance.