Happy National Pumpkin Day!

Get in the pumpkin spirit with this list of events, activities, and recipes

National Pumpkin Day, activities
Photo courtesy of Crin/Fotolia

National Pumpkin Day falls on October 26 this year, and with Halloween right around the corner (and probably some ghouls, too), it’s time to celebrate pumpkins—and the fall season—whether it be in your kitchen, out and about, or in the comfort of your own home.

Celebratory Pumpkin Events and Patches

Northeast Pumpkin Grab

WHAT: The eve before National Pumpkin Day, the Northeast Business Association will be hosting a pumpkin grab at Lunds & Byerly’s fall festival in Chute Park. Festivities include a tour of the Ard Godfrey House, pumpkins available for purchase, face painting, and goody bags.  
WHEN:  4-8 p.m.
WHERE: Chute Square, 28 University Ave. SE, facebook.com

Pumpkin Nights

WHAT: From the creators of the Color Run, Pumpkin Nights is a new event consisting of a one mile long walking path that is lined with 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins organized into 12 different themes. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes and bring a carved pumpkin to add to the Community Carvings World. Read more about Pumpkin Nights here.
WHEN: 6:30-10:30 p.m., through Halloween Day
WHERE: Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1719 Como Ave., pumpkinnights.com

Nickelodeon Universe: Halloween Havoc

WHAT: Nickelodeon Universe has transformed itself into a Halloween themed park with pumpkin events galore. Attractions include park-wide pumpkin displays and scavenger hunts, a nightly light show, and live pumpkin carving demonstrations by a Villafane Studios artist. 
WHEN: Through Halloween Day
WHERE: Mall of America, 60 E. Broadway, Bloomington, nickelodeonuniverse.com

Pumpkin-Carving Party

WHAT: Cooks of Crocus Hill will be hosting a festive pumpkin-carving event at their North Loop/Minneapolis location. Participants can select from a variety of patterns and create their own jack-o-lantern while Chef Tammy Haas demonstrates a delicious fall meal.
WHEN: October 30, 2-4:30 p.m.
WHERE: 208 N. First St., cooksofcrucushill.com

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Handpick your perfect pumpkin at one of the many pumpkin patches around the Twin Cities area. Anoka County Farms, Peter’s Pumpkins, and Pinehaven Farm are all festive choices, and will be open daily through October 31. All three locations give hayrides, and Anoka and Pinehaven Farms have daily harvest festivals filled with family-friendly activities such as pumpkin painting, mazes, big slides, farm animals, and more (adults can stay after the sun sets for Pinehaven’s Dead End Hayride).

Festive Pumpkin Activities

Carve Pumpkins

Jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween—and National Pumpkin Day—necessity.  Find free carving patterns at pumpkinlady.com and carving tips at bbcgoodfood.com.

Light a Pumpkin Spice Candle

Lighting a pumpkin spice candle might be a simple thing, but one that will keep your home smelling pumpkin-y all day long. 

Watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

Fun fact: This old Halloween classic is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which makes it an even more festive pumpkin animation—especially since Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz grew up in our very own St. Paul.

Cook up a Few Pumpkin-inspired Recipes

Celebrate National Pumpkin Day in your kitchen with any of the following festive pumpkin recipes—they’ll taste delicious and make your house smell wonderfully, too!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks is known for their seasonal PSL, but why not save the trip and create a pumpkin spice latte in the comfort of your own home?

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are just one more reason carving pumpkins is a worthwhile endeavor. Follow this original pumpkin seeds recipe that provides five seasoning options including Italian and Barbecue, or try this special Cinnamon Toast Pumpkin Seeds recipe for a sweeter version of the snack.  

Pumpkin Bread and Bars

Pumpkin-anything is delicious, but pumpkin bread and pumpkin bars are especially heavenly and a yummy addition for any fall get-together.  

Recipes courtesy of the Food Network and All Recipes websites.

Check out other pumpkin-inspired recipes on the Twin Cities Taste blog such as pumpkin muffins with pecan praline topping, maple pumpkin spice popcorn, or pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust

Read more:
Haunted Twin Cities: The Best Halloween Attractions Around