Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin Party!

Celebrate Halloween's most beloved gourd, the pumpkin, with these inspired decorations, games, activities, and more!

When we think of Halloween, images of ghosts, goblins and other scary spirits come to mind. But what would Halloween be without our favorite orange symbol—the pumpkin! This year, host a Great Pumpkin Party at your very own Pumpkin Patch!

Invitations
Buy mini pumpkins at the grocery store and write the party details on them with black permanent marker. Hand deliver or mail to guests in small, sturdy boxes. Or inflate orange helium balloons, draw jack-o-lantern faces on them, deflate them, and mail in envelopes with instructions for recipients to blow them up. Attach a stem cut from green construction paper with the party details.

Decorations
Use a Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kit to inflate orange balloons with helium, tie them off with green ribbon, and draw funny faces on them with permanent markers. Let them float around the party room.

Carve out pumpkins and fill them with dry ice for a spooky atmosphere.

Paint funny faces on pumpkins with acrylic paints and set them around the room.

Create a pumpkin patch in the front and/or backyard using bales of hay. Set pumpkins around and on top of the hay. In between bales, lay out fake leaves and nestle the pumpkins inside them.

Make a sign that reads “The Great Pumpkin Patch” and stick it in your yard. Create a scarecrow, using a pumpkin as its head.

Cover the party table with an orange tablecloth, scatter fall leaves and hay on the cloth, and place mini pumpkins and orange candles down the middle.

Games and Activities
Keep the costumed guests busy with lots of pumpkin fun!

The Pumpkin and the Pins
Set up a game of bowling using pumpkins as bowling balls. Place plastic pins or empty plastic soda bottles at one side of the room or yard. Let the guests decorate their pumpkins with permanent markers to personalize them. Then have them roll the pumpkins and try to knock down the pins.

Pumpkin Pitch
Cut the top off several pumpkins, carve out the insides, and save the seeds. Line the inside with foil. Have the players try to toss the seeds into the pumpkin. If the seeds are still wet, the game is even more challenging!

Pumpkin Punch
Inflate orange helium balloons and have the players draw faces on them. Have them try to keep their own balloons up in the air as long as possible, first using their hands, then only their feet, then only their heads!

Primp your Pumpkin
For adults, have a pumpkin carving contest. Provide carving materials and let them race to carve out the best pumpkin design in a limited period of time. Award prizes for strangest, funniest, most realistic and so on.

For kids, have a pumpkin craft activity. Set out craft materials, such as markers, glue, sequins, glitter, pipe cleaners, fake blood and glow-in-the-dark paint, and let the kids create a pumpkin masterpiece.

Pumpkin Hunt
Hide a bunch of small pumpkins around the yard or party room and have the guests try to find them. When everyone has found a pumpkin, have them “primp” it.

Refreshments
Salt and bake pumpkin seeds and serve them to the guests.

Serve hot cider or pumpkin soup in mugs.

Cut out pumpkin-shaped cookies and let the kids decorate them before they eat them.

Make a pumpkin cake as a centerpiece. Bake two spice Bundt cakes. Place one cake upside down on a platter and frost the flat top. Place the other cake right side up on top of the other cake, so the flat sides are facing each other. Frost the outside of the cake with orange-tinted icing. Use a chocolate frosting tube to draw eyes, nose, mouth, and stem.

Favors
Give the guests Halloween candy in small, pumpkin-themed bags.

Make popcorn balls, tinted orange and shaped like pumpkins, covered up with plastic wrap.

Pass out small decorative pumpkins, painted pumpkins and orange balloon bouquets.
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