I've had my share of experiences when it comes to pumpkin carving and I won't lie: it is hard. Maybe that's because I invest in the "pumpkin carving" kits that they sell at basically any grocery store, when instead I should just probably use a knife.

Nonetheless, there are some pretty talented people that we have in Central New York who are pretty great at carving pumpkins. They're not just great at carving them, but their general ideas and themes are top notch. Impressed is a word that will not due justice for how I feel about these pumpkin carvings.

Did you and the family go out to the pumpkin patch and then carve pumpkins? Send us your photos to be added to the gallery below in our station app.

23 Of The Coolest Central NY Pumpkin Carvings

Did you carve a pumpkin cooler than this? Send it to us inside our station app!

Don't worry - you still have time to carve your pumpkins if you want to. Here's some tips to pick out the best carving pumpkin.

1. Pick it up. If a pumpkin feels heavy for its size and is firm, it’s perfect for carving. Dense pumpkins have thick walls. If you pick a pumpkin that’s too thin, it may fall apart during carving. If you find a pumpkin that has super dense walls, you can always shave it down!

2. Check for bruises or soft spots / pick the best surface area. When you're deciding on a pumpkin, feel all around the surface to make sure the flesh doesn’t give at all. Soft spots and bruises are early signs of rot and your pumpkin won't last as long. You also want to make sure the surface itself is smooth if that's what you're looking for.

3. Check the bottom.  Be sure your pumpkin has a flat spot or is level on the bottom so it remains sturdy. If it's oddly shaped, don't pick that pumpkin unless you need a weird looking pumpkin. Think about how it will impact your design choice. Whatever you choose, make sure it can sit up on its own to be displayed. You don't want it rolling over.

4. Pick your design before you pick the pumpkin.  The design of your carving can make a big difference in which type of pumpkin you pick. For instance, if you’re going for a zombie or a ghost, you might want to pick a white Lumina pumpkin. If you’re going ghoul, a funky shape could work. If you choose to wing it, let the pumpkin patch speak to you and design your carving accordingly. The large Jack O’ Lantern pumpkin variety are often best for a generic pumpkin carving designs - but there's plenty of great options pumpkin wise for you to choose from.

5. Don't cut off the stem. If you’re harvesting from a living pumpkin patch, cut the vine farther from the pumpkin to leave as much stem as possible. I actually learned this in high school in my agriculture classes. Keeping the stem will help your pumpkin last longer. Also, check for pumpkins that aren’t quite ripe or still have a green stem. These will have a long way to go before they get mush. Also, give it a listen–ripe pumpkins make a hollow sound and have hard, brown stems.

6. Don’t use the stem as a handle. If the stem breaks off, you’ll leave a hole in your pumpkin and that can lead to rot.

Can you use your Halloween pumpkins to make fresh Pumpkin Pie?

Apparently, you can't. Here's why:

Just like there are lots of different varieties of New York apples, there are lots of different varieties of pumpkins too. We aren't just talking about really big ones, and really small ones. Some types of pumpkins make amazing jack-o-lanterns, while others make the best pies. Generally, if one is good at one of those tasks, it isn't good for the other. You can read more about that here.

Trunk Or Treat At These Marvelous Events Around The Utica and Rome Area

If you're looking for some good old fashioned Halloween fun for you and the family, you should try Trunk or Treat events.

For those that don't know, trunk-or-treating events are a safer, less-spooky alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. When you show up to one of these events, members of the organization decorate the trunks of their vehicles in Halloween-themed decorations and pass out candy to the children in a safe area.

There are plenty of these events happening across the Utica, Rome, and Syracuse areas even. Here's a look at a listing, and if we missed any, text us on our app to add them to this list:

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