5 Tips for the Perfect, Simple Halloween Party PLUS Pumpkin Carving! #FindingDoryBluray

by Heather


Halloween is right around the corner! We’re talking 6 days away people, SIX. Have you been to the pumpkin patch yet? Have you carved? Picked up treat bags for the kid’s class party? Decorated the house? Have you bought Halloween candy?

At the beginning of the month we took our annual trip to the local pumpkin patch to get into the spirit. I’m talking sweaters and hoodies, jeans, boots, apple cider, a hayride, a journey through the cornstalk maze, pictures with the huge pumpkins, and everything in between. We picked up a few pumpkins and cornstalks to assist with our décor but we don’t return until later in the month to pick up our pumpkins for carving. Carving… hmm… that may or may not still be in my “to do” list this week!

Along with that fun, which we will come back to later, I also organized my daughter’s class Halloween party, woohoo for being the First Grade Room Mom, AND we are hosting our family on Halloween night for some Trick-or-Treat fun and a little shindig; also an annual event.

So, what do you do when you are a busy, on-the-go, maybe took on too much at once, parent that is throwing a Halloween party? You keep it simple!

Here are our 5 Tips for the Perfect, Simple Halloween Party!

1) Keep it Simple. Seriously, just do it. Keep the party simple. Keep the menu simple, the decorations simple, if you have a craft … yep, you guessed it, simple. Halloween doesn’t have to be complicated for it to be fun. Simple is the way to go.

2) Have a Potluck. Since we host the Halloween party I always take charge of the main dish. Then, I ask guests to bring a dish and I coordinate the dish sign ups. This ensures that someone brings an appetizer, side dish, dessert, drinks, and even napkins, plates, utensils, and cups. That way the dishes are discarded, everyone takes their dish(s) home, and all that I have to clean up is what I used to make the main dish.

Halloween cupcakes

3) Include a Craft or Game. This is something we started a couple of years ago. The little ones were running around the house like crazy while we worked on putting dinner together and that caused chaos and even a few spills. Now, while we get everything together for the meal, we have the kids sit down at the kitchen table and make a craft, play a game, or color.

4) Decorate … Do It! Decorating use to give me the heebie jeebies. I never knew where to start, how much was too much or too little, what theme to go with {okay, that is a no brainer here}, or what was deemed cute/acceptable/awesome. I’ve changed my ways over the last few years. First, I keep decorations simple. I have small fake pumpkins that I put flickering LED lights in, I have a couple of crafty items that I add to my mantle after stretching some cobwebs around the area, my daughter and I make construction paper chains {orange and black} to hang up wherever she pleases, and I have a CD of spooky music to set the tone. It doesn’t sound too exciting, does it? Maybe it isn’t but it is cute, people compliment it, and my daughter gets a kick out of helping me create our scene. It doesn’t have to be expensive or overly involved to convey a message. Ours shows love, welcomes people to our home, and fits our personality; so in my head… it’s perfect.


5) Involve Your Kids. This is an absolute MUST! From cooking to decorating to pumpkin carving, my little one is involved. The best way for little ones to feel as though they are part of the action and the fun is to actually include them in the action and the fun. I make sure we have things on hand that are suitable for her age. We create spooky drinks that are healthier options, to go with our meal. I let her help me with the meal prep. I cut the pieces of construction paper and let her make our chain. She helps with the cobwebs and so on and so forth. She is part of every aspect of our party planning and then on party night, she has something to be proud of. Whenever possible and safe, always include your children!

Now, I realize that our Halloween party takes place on Halloween night and that isn’t always realistic to everyone’s life. This is an annual tradition with our family and it isn’t abnormal for everyone to be at our home by 4:00 PM ready for the fun to start. Yes, people leave work early just to get there early! Again, that isn’t always realistic either. The great thing about these tips is that they can apply to any party, day or night, big or small AND they aren’t exclusive to Halloween.

Back to that pumpkin carving “thingie” … you didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging, did you? We carve pumpkins every year. Am I good at it? Not at all. But I try, we have a lot of fun, and that is what is important.


Last week, while in Los Angeles with Disney/Pixar, I attended a pumpkin carving party hosted by Master Pumpkin Carver, Joseph Yakovetic. At this party, we celebrated the upcoming release of FINDING DORY {available on Digital HD on 10/25 (TODAY) and Blu-ray on 11/15}. Here is what we created:


While at the party, Joseph also shared a few pumpkin carving tips with us, when using a stencil that I thought would be great to pass on to you!

1) Use antibacterial wipes to wipe down your pumpkin BEFORE you begin. It will keep bacteria out of your pumpkin.

2) Trace your image onto your pumpkin with graphite transfer paper.

3) Use acrylic paint to fill in the colored details.


Photo Credit: (Becky Fixel/Week99er)


1) A CD is a powerful tool to have on hand when scooping out your pumpkin.

2) Don’t cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin. This causes the pumpkin to dry out and rot.

3) Use LEDs or CFLs. This allows the pumpkin to get bright without the use of heat. Think about it, the colder a pumpkin is, the longer it will survive.


Do you want to try your hand at the Finding Dory Pumpkin Stencil that we tried to perfect? Are you still looking for Treat Bags for your little one(s) class Halloween Party? What about Halloween decorations? Could you use some luminaries? Check out the button below!

Download Finding Dory Halloween Activities

And remember, FINDING DORY is available on Digital HD on 10/25 {TODAY} and Blu-ray on 11/15.



Don’t forget to come back and share pictures from your pumpkin carving party!


Disclaimer: I was sent on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to cover the #DoctorStrangeEvent and #FindingDoryBluray Event with Disney/Pixar, Marvel, and Freeform. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

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April Monty (@MontyApril) October 25, 2016 - 11:21 pm
These are some great tips ,I'll definitely keep them in mind
Jennifer Corrado October 28, 2016 - 8:02 am
Not having a Halloween party this year but here are some great tips!
Ronald Gagnon October 29, 2016 - 5:56 pm
Wonderful suggestions..especially about the potluck..what a work saver...and our girl took away my pumpkin carving imagination by drawing in felt pen, what she wanted carved that year
lncleslie October 31, 2016 - 6:21 am
Next year I am having a Halloween party, this I was planning on taking my youngest daughter out Trick-or-treating but I finally agreed to let her go with a group of friends!

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