Great jack-o-lanterns come from great pumpkins. To select the perfect pumpkin, pick a one with a sturdy stem. Strong stems mean healthy pumpkins. Or keep your costs down by asking guests to bring their own pumpkins -- you supply the paints and markers (for young kids) and carving tools (for the older kids and parents). Also consider having some stencils on hand for anyone who may need a little inspiration.
Have kids and parents vote for whose jack-o-lantern is the scariest, the funniest, the weirdest, or whatever categories you decide upon. And make cleanup easier by toasting some of those leftover pumpkin seeds (in a 350 degree oven until golden brown) for homemade snacks.
Once carved, a jack-o-lantern will only last about four or five days so be sure to host this party as close to Halloween as possible!