It won't be long before you will be looking for holiday pumpkins for both carving a jack-o-lantern and cooking. There are a number of tips, 6 of which we listed here, to help in picking the perfect pumpkin!

1. An orange pumpkin should be orange all over with no brown or green patches. A brown spot could mean that bugs have gotten in.

2. The perfect pumpkin should be firm all over, no soft spots whatsoever. A soft spot on a pumpkin could indicate that there’s rot inside.

3. Sound plays a factor in deciding. Knock on several pumpkins in the running, and the one that sounds more hollow will be best for carving. The opposite goes for cooking purposes.

4. When it comes to the shape, it depends on what you want your pumpkin for. If you’re carving it, make sure the bottom is flat so it sits evenly on the ground. If you are cooking it then obviously shape is not really that important.

5. Size isn’t as big of a factor as color and feel, but it’s still something to keep in mind. Medium-sized pumpkins are typically best if you plan on carving them. Smaller pumpkins pack more flavor for cooking and are sweeter. Keep in mind that jumbo-sized pumpkins are going to have the stringiest insides.

6. The stem is also an important part of picking your pumpkin! Dehydrated pumpkins are not desirable. You want dark green or black stems only that are firm and don’t break off. If the stem feels flimsy, move on to the next one. Also, check for frost damage by inspecting the color surrounding the stem. If it’s duller than the rest of the pumpkin, pick another one.

People use pumpkins in numerous ways besides carving and cooking them.  Another option that’s pretty popular, is to paint them.

Whatever you do with yours....Enjoy Your Pumpkin!