October is pretty synonymous with Halloween, but the spooky holiday isn't the only thing worth celebrating come fall. To really make the most of all autumn has to offer, consider also throwing a harvest party in honor of the cooler weather, fall crop, and everyone's favorite orange gourd, the pumpkin.
Little kids will go crazy for a pumpkin party that incorporates all the fun of fall—from decorating jack-o-lanterns, to snacking on seasonal food favorites. To host a party your crew is sure to talk about until next October, keep these easy tips and tricks in mind as you plan.
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Choose a Fall Location
One essential ingredient to a festive pumpkin party is choosing an awesome autumnal location to host friends or family. If you have the room and weather permits, host your crew of kids in your backyard. You can even turn your grounds into a mock pumpkin patch just for the occasion, complete with bales of hay, piles of pumpkins, and plenty of fall foliage. Of course, a pumpkin-themed party can be held just as easily indoors, and the right decorations can turn any setting into a colorful, orange wonderland.
If you don't boast a backyard big enough for a group (or just don't want to have people to your home), book space at a pumpkin patch or farm instead. Throughout fall, many seasonal sites will rent out their grounds for events of all types, and they pack the perk of having plenty of party necessities already available to you, like parking, festive activities (think: hayrides, corn mazes, and more), and, of course, plenty of pumpkins.
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Send Pumpkin-Themed Invitations
Just because you're planning a kids' party, doesn't mean you can't send out formal invitations. Get everybody excited for the fun ahead with a truly festive pumpkin-themed invite—you can choose a pre-designed style from a site like Minted or Zazzle, or task your own little pumpkin with helping you create one from scratch. Kids can help cut pumpkin shapes out of cardstock for the invitation (while you can write the details on the back) or stuff envelopes full of themed orange and black confetti for a party-ready surprise. You can even send out a photo invitation, complete with a picture of your child in a pumpkin patch, holding a pumpkin, or wearing a pumpkin costume.
If you're planning a party on short notice (or just want to save on paper), you're better off sending along a virtual e-vite in-place of a paper invitation through the mail. Another bonus: A digital invitation will make it easy for the parents of the children invited to keep track of party information, like where and when your bash will be held.
On your invitations, include any information important to the success of your party—beyond just the location and timing of your event, include whether or not the guardians of the children are invited and whether any specific attire is requested (such as "bright orange" or coats and jackets if the event will be held outdoors).
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Pick Out Decorations
Whether you plan to host your party at home or at a pumpkin patch, there are a few festive decorations you can have on hand to help your event truly shine. For starters, you're going to need pumpkins—lots of them! Buy a few oversized beauties to act as the focal point of your decor, then accent them with mini versions or interesting color varietals.
Make your party space glow with help from illuminated bistro lights and tons of cozy candles. Since this is a party for children, keep everyone safe by opting for faux, battery-powered candles—you can even snag some tealights to put inside any carved pumpkins to help them glow from within.
When it comes to a pumpkin party-ready color palette, orange and black is the way to go. Decorate your space (indoors or out) with streamers, paper pumpkins (cut out of orange cardstock or construction paper), orange balloons, and more. If you need a little help, encourage your child to lend a hand with a bit of pre-party crafting the week before your bash.
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Plan Pumpkin Crafts and Games
A gaggle of kids can be hard to corral, so it's a good idea to plan at least a few crafts or games to entertain them throughout your party. Activities like pumpkin bowling or pin-the-nose on the pumpkin will be a fun way to reinforce your party's theme and keep little ones engaged. Crafts are also a great idea, and a pumpkin party has plenty of built-in activities perfect for children young and old. Consider rounding up a slew of pumpkins for kids to carve (with adult supervision, of course), or set out paint, sparkles, googly eyes, and more for children to use to dream up their own painted masterpiece.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Serve Pumpkin-Themed Food
To continue with your pumpkin party theming, plan a menu focused on gourd-inspired recipes (or other foods in the shape of a pumpkin, like sugar cookies). Remember, you're feeding children, so keep it simple and easy—bites like pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin fritters, roasted pumpkin seeds, and even veggies dipped in pumpkin hummus will all be a big hit.
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Pass Out Party Favors
Send your little guests home with a tangible memory of your pumpkin party as a final fun surprise. If your party had a pumpkin picking, carving, or decorating activity, then the pumpkins the kids worked on can be taken home as party favors (likewise, any crafts made also can double as favors). If you’re in need of additional parting gifts, consider a goodie bag filled with craft supplies (like pumpkin stickers or stencils), a pumpkin carving kit, homemade orange play-dough, or other festive favors.