It’s time for our annual Dalston Pumpkin Lantern Festival! Once again we are inviting children, young people and adults to help transform hundreds of pumpkins into weird and wonderful creations to be all lit up together throughout the Garden every night. Last year we had over 700 pumpkin lanterns filling every corner of the Garden and it really was spectacular!

Free pumpkin carving sessions will take place on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 October.

Everyone is welcome to carve a pumpkin – adults, young people and children (as long as they are accompanied by an adult).

Here are some of the things you need to know to help plan your visit on the carving weekend.

It’s free to take part in the carving sessions, but we do ask for donations to cover the cost of the pumpkins which we source from a farmer.

Pumpkin carving sessions take place on:
Saturday 20 October, 12 noon – 5pm (the final carving sessions start at 4.30pm)
Sunday 21 October, 12 noon – 4pm (the final carving sessions start at 3pm)

All of the carved pumpkins stay in the Garden to come alive every night when they are all lit up throughout the Garden for the Lantern light-ups!

Adults, children and young people who carve a pumpkin over the weekend will be given a ticket for the first Lantern light-up, on Sunday 21 October, 6-8pm before it opens to everyone else.

Our hard-working team of volunteers are happy to work with younger children to help them create their lanterns, and anyone else who needs assistance with carving, but we ask that parents and carers stay at the carving table with their children. Children must be accompanied by parents or carers at all times.

This year once again we will have Pumpkin lantern light-ups all week from the evening of Sunday 21 to Sunday 28 October.

All of the pumpkins that are carved during the weekend of 20 & 21 October, remain at the Garden for the Pumpkin Lantern Festival nightly light-ups shows. It is truly magical!

Sunday 21 October, 6 – 8pm
This year we are having a special lantern light-up, taking place from 6 – 8pm,  that is specifically for all of the adults, young people and children who have carved the pumpkins that will light up the Garden every night during the Festival.

Sunday 21 October, 8 – 10pm
Everyone is welcome to the Pumpkin Lantern Show from 8pm onward and entrance is free.  However this year we are asking visitors to help raise funds for our 2019 programme of free activities for children and young people, by making a donation. Please do support this work and give generously!

Monday 22 – Sunday 28 October, 6 – 10pm
We continue to light up the pumpkin lanterns every night until they eventually make their way to the compost heap! Every evening we welcome children (accompanied by adults) and young people to help our team of volunteers light up all of the lanterns throughout the Garden. If you would like to get involved, just come along at 5pm each night.

Throughout the Pumpkin Lantern Festival, we’ll serve mulled wine, spiced cider & hot toddies from the Garden’s Cafe Bar and there will be blankets and hot water bottles to keep everyone cosy. ‘Latto’s Pizzas’ will be served fresh from the wood-fired oven on Saturdays and Sundays of both weekends and also on Friday 26th.

The Pumpkin Lantern Festival launches our annual ‘Festival of Light’ which illuminates the Garden throughout the Winter.

Photograph: Eco’s Dalston Curve Garden Pumpkin Lantern 2017 © Sandra Keating, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

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