Nothing says Halloween, fall and harvest more than pumpkins, and decorating pumpkins can be a great way to bring families and friends together. Whether you decide to host a kids’ party, a party for families, or even an adult party, here are some ideas for throwing the perfect pumpkin decorating party.
Figure our how much time you’ll need – a kids’ party can be done in a couple of hours, but a family or adult party may run four hours or more once people start talking and socializing. This will help you determine of you should have your party on a week night or a weekend.
Choose a theme – if you decide to go with a theme, it will help you determine things like decorations, menus, background “noise,” invitations,and favors.
Necessary tools and products – no matter who you throw the party for, you will need the following items in your pumpkin decorating area: a disposable plastic tablecover, a selection of pumpkins in various sizes, carving tools (kits are available at a number of party stores, Halloween shops, or online), markers and paints for decorating, and garbage bags.
Once you’ve decided on the type of party you want to have, a date, and a theme, it’s time to start the actual party planning.
Invitations – you have a couple of options for invites. Today, it is becoming more acceptable to send email invitations for an informal party; if you go with this option, check out some email invite sites like evite.com or smilebox.com for a more specialized invitation. If you’re more comfortable sending the invitation by mail, check local party stores or Halloween shops for specialized invitations, especially if you’re going with a theme.
Planning a menu – if you’re hosting a kids’ party, you can serve a couple of beverages (hot apple cider and soda pop, for example) and some snacks or desserts (Halloween cookies, apple pie, or fruit cobbler are good choices). For family parties or adult parties that last a while longer, you can add a few courses to the above items: an appetizer or two, a couple of sandwich choices or a crockpot meal, and maybe a specialty cocktail for adults (and a “mocktail” for kids if throwing a family party). A great place to find ideas for fall and Halloween party menus is allrecipes.com.
Decorating and creating an atmosphere – if you have a set theme, you’ll want to decorate to your theme, check party stores in your area or look online for decorations. If you’re going with a “traditional” Halloween theme, look for ghosts, bats, and spiders that can be hung from light fixtures and door knobs; owls and crows to perch on cabinets and countertops; and special lighting or candles to put around the house (you should, however, have good lighting int he actual decorating area, especially if working with knives and other cutting utensils). Also, don’t forget your favorite “scary” music, or have a favorite Halloween movie as the background noise.
Favors – send your attendees home with a small gift – and their pumpkin, of course. Think about a small bag of candy or cookies for kids, or look for Halloween pencils and erasers (Oriental Trading Company is a great place to look for Halloween favors and many other Halloween items). For adults, think about a seasonally-scented candle or some liqueur-filled candies or specialty chocolates.
These tips should help you have a terrific pumpkin decorating party.
source: Donna Pilato, “A Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Party,” about.com