This year, we’re celebrating the glory that is fall by hosting a festive and decidedly grown-up fete in celebration of the season’s timeless mascot--the pumpkin. Ready, set, hostess of the year.

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Set the scene alfresco

Weather permitting, a crisp fall chill and golden-leaved backdrop will be your party’s best accessory.  

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Get festive with decor

Glitter, ghouls, streamers, oh my. The more kitsch the merrier when it comes to this fete.  

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Have guests BYO pumpkins

Save yourself from having to cram 40 gourds into your Honda by asking guests to bring their own. (Just maybe have a few extras for the inevitable carving mishap or plus-one ambush.)

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Ready thy workshop

To have on hand: Newspaper (for the mess), paper towels (ditto), washable markers and templates (for the artistically challenged) and big ole bowls (for pumpkin guts).

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Make a spooky playlist

Time to find some sweet indie covers of “Monster Mash.”

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Whip up delicious fall fare

Allow us to recommend our (almost) too-cute-to-eat mini caramel apples, buttery cranberry-brie puff-pastry pops and fall-hued homemade veggie chips.

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Don’t forget libations

Pumpkin beer is a solid choice but be sure to have a hot, seasonal punch on hand as well. Our cinnamon-y recipe for mulled cider is bound to be a hit.

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Play up booze presentation

Wanna really wow 'em? Serve that toasty cider--wait for it--in a pumpkin. (Simply carve out the center and place your bowl inside.)

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Make guests individual pumpkin kits

Serrated knife, check. Wooden spoon, double check. Tea lights and matches, check, check, check. So adorable.

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Cover your bases

For those friends you don’t trust with a knife (or who don’t like to get their hands dirty), be sure to have some no-carve pumpkin decor options at the ready. Our favorite goo-free alternatives? Doilies, push pins and metallic paint.

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Set those babies aglow

Holiday crafts are just the prettiest.

Now that the decor is set, here's some pumpkin carving ideas to try

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