Have you noticed pumpkin patches have become more like mini-theme parks lately? They start setting up round about Labor Day, and a visit to one can range from overwhelming to downright scary – bounce houses with children’s screams of delight turning to cries of exhaustion, kids running untethered and hyped up on cotton candy and candy corn, their adorable face paintings turning garish as the sweat from a sunny Indian-summer day beats down on them.
I will concede that there’s something magical to a hay-bale ride, so if your local pumpkin patch offers that, plan a quick visit, and then plan your own, home-grown, DIY pumpkin patch and carving party.
To create a rustic, farm-inspired party, find a box to display your pumpkin-carving tools, like the City Farm’s primitive shoe shine box. Toss in pens for sketching, spoons, carving knives for the grown-ups, and a few orange marigolds to add some bright fall color.
To add a touch of the carnival to your pumpkin patch / carving party, create a cut-out for photo opps. With a box-cutter, slice apart a cardboard box, and sketch a pumpkin “head” outline on one of the squares, including a neck and shoulders. Cut out a face-sized hole in the middle of the pumpkin, and paint as traditional or crazy as you feel that day. If the box is big enough, cut out hand holes at the wrist, so your party people have a place to wag their hands through. Make sure it is dry before your party, to avoid unwanted face painting. For DIY face painting, check out Today.com for a video guide of easy tips and ideas here.
What will you serve your guests? Pumpkin spice cupcakes? If you want to get a little buggy with gifts for your guests, head over to Martha Stewart and print out a variety of bugs on card stock. After you’ve cut out the shapes, glue a clothespin to the back to create a candy bag clip, put your favorite candy in a small paper bag, and close with your clip.
To learn more about the history of the jack-o-lantern, check out our Grow post, here.
Share photos of your pumpkin patch / carving party or tell us your favorite fall traditions over on Twitter. Happy Halloween!