101 uses for jack-o-lanterns after Halloween? Okay, maybe not 101, but plenty that will save your porch or sidewalk from looking like something from Night of the Living Dead as those carved squashes begin to shrivel and mold. (Or maybe that’s the look you are going for!) So whether you live in Marin, Mendocino, or McKinleyville, there is sure to be an idea listed below that every northern Californian can use to recycle their Halloween pumpkin once the holiday has passed.
Although carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins are different from one another, there is no reason to let that pumpkin go to waste. Here are some ways to reuse the jack-o-lantern once the kids are busy digging into their candy stash.
- If you truly want to create some delicious home-cooked goodies from the pumpkin shell, here are some yummy recipes from other Examiners. Amy Kunkle, Rachael Monaco, Jennifer Harris
- Have your own neighborhood pumpkin chuckin’ contest
- Let the kids try tossing bean bags into the top of Jack’s head
- Say good-bye to Jack O Lantern by grinding or chopping him up and adding him to the compost heap
- Make your facial own exfoliant/mask
- Live near a wooded area? Perhaps the Sierra Foothils? Add some peanut butter, sunflower seeds, and suet to his innards and set him in the woods. The birds and other critters will love the treat!
- Conduct a decomposing pumpkin science experiment. What happens to the jack-o-lantern the older it gets? Results may vary if you are in the coast in Crescent City or in the Sacramento Valley.
- Raising farm animals? Cows, pigs, and goats would all love a fall treat
- Make your own Pumpkin Body Butter Is there anything better after being outside in the Mount Shasta cold?
- Do a ‘float or sink’ science experiment in the bathtub. Do all the jack-o-lanterns float? How many beans/rocks/marbles must be put inside before they sink?
- Contact your local zoo. They may accept them as food for the creatures that live there.
- Roll jack-o-lantern and jill-o-lantern down a hill. Did Jack break his crown?
- Fill with fall flowers, turn the carved side around and use a Thanksgiving centerpiece.
- Make pumpkin leather or dehydrate in strips
What will you do with your jack-o-lantern once October 31 has come and gone? Have another idea for your leftover pumpkin? Feel free to leave a comment!