Jack o' Lanterns can be true works of art, but once they're created they can start to disintegrate in no time at all. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true techniques that can help you keep your beautiful Halloween creation fresh for weeks.
Start with the Right Pumpkin
Select pumpkins that are very fresh and firm. Avoid choosing a pumpkin that has bruised or soft areas or cuts or other visible blemishes.
Don't Carve Your Pumpkin Till Halloween
Fresh, uncut pumpkins will maintain their freshness for quite a while, but once their tender inside flesh is exposed to the air they can start to rot. That's why it's best to wait as long as possible before creating your Halloween Jack o' Lantern.
Store Your Pumpkin Properly
Remember that warm weather and hot sunlight can speed decay in a pumpkin. Store both cut or uncut pumpkins in a cool dry place to keep them fresh longer. You may have a cool basement or room in the refrigerator. Be aware, too, that freezing temperatures are just as harmful as heat.
Smaller cut pumpkins can be wrapped in plastic and stored inside the refrigerator for a few days before Halloween —helpful if you are having a party and need to carve them ahead of time.