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Are you as in love with the season of fall as I am?! From apple picking to visiting the pumpkin patch, I love spending time with my kids making lovely memories throughout the season of fall. If you are, like me, looking for unique holiday activities to do with your kids this year, I’ve got just the activity for you – try hosting a pumpkin party!

We’ve had a pumpkin party for the last six years in our family, and I don’t see this fun family tradition fading away any time soon! It’s a great way to celebrate the season of fall and get the family together in an easy, casual way and above all else, it’s a great way to have fun together!

I’ll be honest, Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. Scary and creepy have never been my thing. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being scared and never really got a thrill from dressing up. As a parent, I sort of dread figuring out a costume for my kids, and the inevitable sugar rush that follows Halloween and all that… BUT pumpkins and harvest I am ALL ABOUT! So, for me, the annual pumpkin party is totally my thing!

This year it will just be us celebrating. No big parties during a pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun!

How to Host a Pumpkin Party – Start with the Food

What is more fall than chili and cornbread on a brisk fall evening?! Not much.

Make a big pot of your favorite chili and some corn muffins to go along with it and you’re sure to please whoever happens to be at your pumpkin party.

We usually have a big party, inviting all the relatives, so we go for a potluck style meal. Everyone brings something different with a few varieties of chili – red chili, chicken chili, vegetarian chili, whatever chili your family enjoys!

To get the kids involved with food prep, let them rinse the beans for the chili and have them help make these AMAZING Honey Cornbread Muffins:

Honey Cornbread Muffins 

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 stick butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and  salt. In another bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Add milk and honey. Finally add the melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed. Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Be careful. They’re addicting. Be sure to make at least two recipes!

If you need tips on getting your little ones in the kitchen, check out my post for jobs to give your little ones in the kitchen, as well as recipe suggestions: Kids in the Kitchen. This is a great resource for kids cooking!

For dessert, OBVIOUSLY you need to have pumpkin pie and fresh whip cream! For the pumpkin pie lovers out there, a pumpkin party is a great excuse to make this dessert outside the traditional realm of Thanksgiving!

If you, like some people I know, don’t care for pumpkin pie, have a bonfire with smores to maintain your fall-theme and ambiance of a wonderful pumpkin bash!

Pumpkin Party Snack – Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

As a party snack, roast pumpkin seeds the day before or even at your party! Have your kids clean the pumpkins that you plan to carve. Take out the pumpkin guts (also known as the pulp) and separate out the seeds to use for roasting.

You can never have enough pumpkin at a pumpkin party!

Once you’ve separated out your seeds, follow this recipe for the BEST EVER Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.


How to throw a Pumpkin Party – Fall-themed Kid’s Activities

Read Pumpkin Books

Have you ever heard the tale of Spookley the Square Pumpkin? This book tells the story of a little pumpkin who doesn’t look round like the rest of the pumpkins in the patch. He feels different and alone. But one stormy night he discovers the advantage of being different and is able to save the other pumpkins in the patch.

I just love a good heartwarming story that helps us to feel good about what makes us uniquely us. The world needs all kinds of people, so I love to highlight how our differences can make us stronger and can become our advantages.

Carving Pumpkins

My husband is the pumpkin carver in our house. He REALLY gets into it. For our daughter’s first family pumpkin party, he carved a rose – A ROSE. On the other hand, I carved a super simple, silly jack-o-lantern face that took maybe ten minutes. Whatever kind of pumpkin carver you are, this is a fun annual tradition that you’re sure to enjoy.

From personal experience, I can say the pumpkin carving kit is totally worth it. We’ve tried using our own knifes, but they never work as well as the knives in these kits, Something about the small serrated blades is just perfect for pumpkin carving. Whatever the trick is, they figured it out. I highly recommend ordering one today to make your pumpkin party go more smoothly!

The kits come with patterns you can try out if you’re not in the mood to design your own. The patterns do come out pretty cool and make you look like a professional!

If professional isn’t your thing, just draw a design with a sharpie marker and follow your own design! Make it your own! The sky is the limit!

Painting Pumpkins

If you’re feeling nervous about your little one wielding a sharp knife to carve a pumpkin, don’t worry! I don’t let my littles carve pumpkins either; I’ve got you covered. If your child is too young for pumpkin carving, let them paint their pumpkin!

I personally love the look of gold paint on a white pumpkin. It really dresses up your pumpkin display. But it’s always good to let your kids choose the colors they want to use to design their very special pumpkin! Either way, you can’t go wrong when it comes to this fun fall activity for your young kids!

Pro-Tip: Don’t paint orange on an orange pumpkin! It won’t show up!

Stickers on Pumpkins

If you’d rather not deal with the mess of painting, using stickers to decorate a pumpkin is another route to go with your little ones. Try these foam leaf stickers! They continue with the fall theme and will look great on display!

Hammer Golf Tees into Pumpkins

I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t LOVE this unique fall kid’s activity! Hammering and smashing is hard to pass up at any age but especially for young kids. If you haven’t invested in kids hammers yet, now is the time!

These hammers are great because you can use them with real nails or golf tees depending on where your child is developmentally.

Just set out the hammers and a bucket of golf tees and let the kids have a blast hammering away. I’d recommend adult supervision because hammers can hurt if used incorrectly. Definitely don’t leave your child alone with a hammer.

Bonus Pumpkin Activities for Kids to Enjoy

  1. Pumpkin Relay: See who can transfer a big pile of pumpkins from one side of the yard to the other the fastest! Break up into two teams and form a chain with your team across the yard. Pass the pumpkins down the line to reach the other side. The first team to get ALL their pumpkins to the other side wins! But don’t go too fast, if you drop a pumpkin you have to start all over!! A friendly competition enhances any party!
  2. Pumpkin Bowling: Set up toilet paper rolls in a pyramid shape (bonus points if you tape on little ghost faces to make each of the rolls look a bit spookier). Bowl your pumpkins across the lawn to try and knock down your toilet paper pyramid. The kids are sure to have fun with this activity!
  3. Pumpkin Catapult: If you’ve got a woodworker or a lover of wood building projects in your house, this is the PERFECT way to put your pumpkin party over the top! Build a sling shot to fling your pumpkins through the air! You do need to have a big enough space for this one, but it is SURE to be a crowd pleaser and is a project that can be used for more than one event. Check out this post from “Sew Sweet Cottage” for instructions on how to build your own catapult and have a pumpkin party to remember!


If you love fall, and are ready to have some pumpkin fun, this post is for you! It is pumpkin spice and everything nice wrapped up into one family-friendly gathering. You’ll be sure to make fond family memories with your kids as you try out these unique holiday activities for fall. You certainly can’t go wrong by hosting your own family pumpkin party!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful fall and a fantastic pumpkin party from Big Love Small Moments!

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