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Dalston Pumpkin Lantern Festival 2019: Carving Weekend

Carve a pumpkin for our Pumpkin Lantern Festival

Saturday 19 October, 12 noon – 4pm 

Sunday 20 October, 12 noon – 3pm 

Would you like to carve your own lantern and help make this year’s Dalston Pumpkin Lantern Festival our most magical yet? Once again we are inviting children, young people and adults to help transform hundreds of pumpkins into weird and wonderful creations to be lit up together throughout the Garden every night for a week. Last year we had over 1,000 pumpkin lanterns filling every corner of the Garden and it really was a spectacular sight!

Our carving sessions are open to everyone – adults, young people, and children of all ages. Every year we are joined by some very creative ‘extreme pumpkin carving’ adults and young people who will give you stiff competition with their pumpkin carving skills.

All of the carved pumpkins remain at the Garden to be lit up nightly, 6-9pm, until the final light up on Sunday 27 October. Seeing hundreds of them all glowing together is truly magical!

Here’s what you need to know for planning your visit:

When do the pumpkin carving sessions take place?
Saturday 19 October
12 noon – 4pm (the final carving sessions on Saturday start at 4pm)

Sunday 20 October
12 noon – 3 pm

The final carving sessions on Sunday start at 3pm and we cannot admit anyone to a carving session after this time.

Due to the popularity of this event, we cannot guarantee that there will still be pumpkins available at 3pm on Sunday 20 October and if we run out of pumpkins we may have to finish earlier than the advertised time. 

If you want to make sure that you are able to join in a carving session over this weekend, please come early to avoid disappointment. We cannot admit anyone for carving after the final session times.

Can I book for a carving session?
We do not take bookings for the sessions – we offer them on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. As our Pumpkin Festival carving sessions have become more and more popular every year, please be aware that you might have to queue for a little while to join in a session.

How much do carving sessions cost?
We ask for a small donation for the carving session to cover Garden costs, including the pumpkins, which we source from a farmer. Our recommendation is £3 per person. So please remember to bring some cash!

Can children of all ages take part?
Our hard-working team of volunteers are here to work with younger children and anyone else who needs assistance with carving, but we do ask that parents and carers stay at the carving table with their children. Children must be supervised by parents or carers in the Garden at all times.

Can I take my lantern home with me?
All of the carved pumpkins remain on show throughout the Garden for the nightly Pumpkin Festival Lantern light-ups.

Can I bring my own pumpkin to carve?
We provide the pumpkins, as they all need to stay in the Garden for the nightly light-ups. Unfortunately we do not have enough space for people to bring their own to carve for taking home.

When can I see the pumpkin lanterns all lit up?
Our first light up of all of the pumpkins is reserved for the children, young people and adults who have carved the lanterns on the weekend of 19 & 20 October, as without them there would be no Lantern Festival!

This is an advance view, before the show opens to other visitors. ‘Carvers View’  tickets for this very special event will be given to all participants to thank them for carving their pumpkin. Please note, that as this is such a popular event, even with your Carver’s  ticket, you may still have to queue to come in.

Pumpkin Lantern Light-up Nights
Light ups for everyone take place:

Sunday 20 October, 8-10pm

Monday 21 – Sunday 27 October, 6-9pm

Will the pumpkin lanterns be lit up on the evening 19 October?
No. The first light ups take place on Sunday 20 October.

Can I stay in the Garden after 4pm on Sunday 20 October?
No. We close the Garden to the public from 4 – 6pm on this day, so that we can prepare and light up all of the pumpkin lanterns for the evening event. We ask all visitors, including those with Carvers’ entrance tickets, to leave the Garden at this time and return for the Show that evening at 6pm.

Can I bring my own food and drink into the Garden?
Our Cafe Bar serves hot drinks, alcohol and cakes and Latto’s Pizzas will be served on the weekend of 19 & 20 October. You are welcome to bring in snacks but please be aware that space will be very limited and we ask you to take all your rubbish away with you. No alcohol can be brought into the Garden from outside.

Can I organise a birthday party at the Garden during the Pumpkin Lantern Festival?
We are unable to host any birthday parties or group gatherings over the pumpkin carving weekend, as all tables, chairs and space are needed for carvers!


We look forward to seeing you here for this year’s Pumpkin Lantern Festival! 🎃🎃🎃