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During October, the Garden is open to everyone, Tuesday – Saturday, 2 – 10pm and until 7pm on Sundays. It still looks lush and green, with beautiful Dahlias and Cosmos in flower, the last of our tomatoes fruiting and magical drifts of toadstools popping up everywhere. The Garden offers a free to enter safe outdoor space where you can enjoy relaxing in nature, socially connected, while safely adhering to ‘physical distancing’ guidelines.

Sadly, COVID-19 restrictions on large public gatherings mean that our Pumpkin Lantern Festival cannot take place this year. We are so disappointed as we know how much everyone loves this magical time at the Garden. However, we still want Hackney residents to have the opportunity to show off their creative skills, so we are inviting young and old to carve a pumpkin at home to bring to the Garden for entry into a ‘Dalston Pumpkins’ competition. Find out more about the competition here.

We launched our ‘Save Dalston Curve Garden’ Crowdfunder in July 2020 to try to raise £100,000 to help ensure that the Garden could remain open this year. We also are determined to continue to host our community mornings, to plant an abundance of Spring-flowering bulbs and to make even more improvements to the space for visitors to enjoy in 2021. To date, thanks to the generosity of over 2,700 donors we have raised over £80,000.  You can help us reach our Crowdfunder target by clicking on the link below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-dalston-curve-garden

Our Cafe Bar is open during our public opening times, selling hot and cold drinks and cakes. Pizzas are sold from our wood-fired oven on Saturdays and Sundays, unless the weather is too wet or cold. We are a licensed premises, which means any alcohol must be purchased from the Garden.

We don’t reserve spaces or tables at the Garden, so you simply need to turn up and come in. Current regulations mean we are unable to host gatherings of more than 6 people. We are taking part in NHS Test and Trace, so we are asking visitors to ‘check’ in when they arrive.

We are continuing to host our popular ‘community mornings’ on Tuesdays – Fridays, 11am – 2pm, for groups of people who have been shielding or who have been particularly badly impacted by COVID-19. Please email us if you would like to bring a group along.

We recommend that before visiting you always double-check our opening times here, as in the autumn and winter months, we occasionally may have to close the Garden at short notice, due to very wet or windy weather.

Calling all creative pumpkin carvers in Hackney!

This October we are inviting Hackney residents to show off their creative skills by carving a pumpkin at home, to bring to the Garden for entry into our ‘Dalston Pumpkins’ competition. 

Sadly, because of COVID restrictions on large public gatherings, the Garden’s annual Pumpkin Lantern Festival cannot take place this year  We are so disappointed, not least as we know how much everyone looks forward to it and in this 10th anniversary year, we had been planning our biggest Pumpkin Festival yet. We love our annual Pumpkin Festival, because not only does it showcase Hackney’s creativity on a huge scale, with over 20,000 coming along last year, but it also brings the community together in a big way, to share each other’s work and enjoy the spectacle. Current COVID-19 restrictions mean that an event of this scale, with hundreds of people queuing round the block to see all the pumpkins, is just not possible. 

Queuing to get in to the Dalston Pumpkin Lantern Festival

We’ve thought long and hard about how we can all still celebrate the Autumn season and how we can stay true to the open, accessible and creative spirit of our annual Pumpkin Lantern Festival, while prioritising the need to keep everyone in the Garden safe. 

We can’t offer our usual big weekend of carving in the Garden, facilitated by our amazing volunteers, as it’s a close contact activity that current safety restrictions don’t allow. Instead, we want to bring the creative talents of the borough together by inviting local residents to carve a pumpkin at home, which they can bring to the Curve Garden to be entered into the ‘Dalston Pumpkins’ competition. 

You can find out how to enter the Dalston Pumpkins competition here.

All of the pumpkins brought to the Garden will then be displayed throughout the half-term week during the day, for all of our visitors to enjoy. We’ll share photos of the pumpkin lantern entries on our social media every day, and there will be prizes for the most creative and unusual ones. The current restrictions mean that our nightly public light-up nights cannot take place.  

Over the past 10 years we’ve had pumpkins carved with Cinderella in her coach, fairytales, the Tower of London, bats, cats and everything in between and we can’t imagine the Garden in October without pumpkins. We can’t wait to see what people come up with this year. We always say every pumpkin lantern has its own magic!