Where to Carve Pumpkins (and Leave the Mess) in the Twin Cities

Pumpkin with a bowl of pumpkin guts: "Where to Carve Pumpkins"

A few years ago, I started looking for ways my family could do fun holiday traditions, but not in our tiny house. I want my kids to experience holiday traditions like pumpkin carving, egg dying and Christmas cookie making. I just don’t really have the space for the mess. So we set out to find places to do these things together as a family. The following is a list of places to carve pumpkins in the Twin Cities that families can attend together and then leave the mess behind. When we have attended these events pumpkins and all tools – blade, x-acto knife, scraper, spoon, etc. – have all been provided. We just needed to show up in clothes that could get messy.

The downside of carving elsewhere is that you don’t generally get to keep the insides of the pumpkin, so if you want something like pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup, you may need to buy some canned pumpkin for your recipes. However, if you ask, they might even let you take home a baggy of pumpkin seeds to roast later.

Three kids showing off their carved pumpkins as a toddler looks on
Newly carved pumpkins brought home and displayed on the porch

2023 Opportunities to Decorate or Carve Pumpkins

We’ll have more events as the various park systems start announcing dates in August and September.

Minneapolis Parks Pumpkin Decorating Events:

Oct. 18, 2023: Pumpkin Painting or Carving and Open Gym

Morris Park Rec Center, 5531 39th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Carve or paint a pumpkin with provided tools and treats. Then have fun with open-play in the multi-purpose room. Ages 5-13. Pre-registration is required. 1-4pm. $8/pp.

Oct. 19, 2023: Pumpkin Painting or Carving

Keewaydin Rec Center, 3030 E 53rd St. Minneapolis, MN 55417

Choose between carving or painting a pumpkin with provided tools and treats. Pre-registration is required. Ages 5-13. 2-4pm. $8/pp.

Oct. 19, 2023Pumpkins and Pizza

Longfellow Rec Center, 3435 36th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Tools and pizza are provided during this MEA event. Ages 8-12. 2-3:30pm. FREE. Limited space. Reservations required.

Four Jack-o-lanterns carved by children

Oct. 19, 2023Family Pumpkin Carving Night

Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave South, Minneapolis MN 55408

Pumpkin carving for the whole family. All Ages. 6-7:30pm. FREE. Limited space. Pre-Register. (Note: This was not FREE last year. This information may change as we get closer to October.)

Oct. 20, 2023: Teen/Tween Pumpkin Carving & Seed Baking

Stewart Park, 2700 12th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Teens and tweens can spend an early evening carving pumpkins, roasting seeds and enjoying apple cider. 6-7:30pm. Ages 11-16. FREE. Limited space. Pre-Register.

Oct. 23, 2023: Pumpkin Carving and Caramel Apple Baking

Peavey Park, 730 22nd Street East, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Bake caramel apples, carve pumpkins. All materials provided. Ages 7-18. 4:30-6:30pm. FREE. Limited space. Learn more: (612) 370-4772.

Oct. 28, 2023: Pumpkin Carving

Peavey Park, 730 22nd Street East, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Carve pumpkins with other kids ages 5-16. FREE. Limited space. Pre-Register Here.

Families carving pumpkins in the Multipurpose Room in Bottineau Field Park Rec Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pumpkin Carving at Bottineau Park

Harvest to Halloween at the Barn

Riley Lake Park, 9180 Riley Lake Road, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344; 952-949-8333
When: October 14, 2023; Time TBA
Cost: Free
Ages: All
More details for this year’s event are coming, but this Halloween celebration has included pumpkin decorating among other seasonal family activities in the past.

Help Springbrook Nature Center carve pumpkins for Pumpkin Night in the Park

Springbrook Nature Center, 100 85th Ave NW, Fridley, MN 55432; 763-572-3588
When: October 15, 2023, noon-4pm; October 16-19, 2023, 4-8pm. Pre-Register for a time slot.
Cost: FREE Volunteer Event.
Ages: No ages specified, but this may be best to do with bigger kids
Springbrook plans to have 1000 jack-o-lanterns at its annual Pumpkin Night in the Park on October 22nd and they need help carving. Sign up with a group or as a family for this fun event. Each time slot has room for 30 carvers. This could be a fun volunteer event for teens/tweens.

4 Kids with Halloween Pumpkins They Carved at Bottineau Park, Minneapolis, MN
Bottineau Park Halloween Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkins & Power Tools

When: 2023 Dates & Locations TBA
Cost: FREE.
Ages: Family-Friendly, but there will be power tools.
Because sometimes a kitchen knife won’t do it and you need a little drill power! The Minnesota Tool Library is planning its annual Pumpkins & Power Tools event at Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake this year. That is all I have for information thus far. Past events have been family-friendly and FREE and include the use of MTL’s tools – drills, drill bits, linoleum cutters, awl, etc. Proceeds from your food and beverage purchases support the mission of the tool library. 

Four Jack-o-lanterns in a row.

Keep Checking Back!

We will add more opportunities for pumpkin gutting as they are shared with us. We expect to see many last minute additions from pumpkin farms, farmers markets and other smaller venues.

Girl with pumpkin at the pumpkin decorating station at Lowertown Farmers Market in St. Paul, Minnesota
Image courtesy of St. Paul Farmers Market

Related Articles:

Pumpkin Carved by David LaRochelle that says, "Curl Up With A Great Book!"
Pumpkin Carved by Local Author, David LaRochelle. Image used with permission.

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