Chicago Botanic Garden pulls out the stops with jack-o’-lantern event

Forget those triangular eyes and gap-tooth smiles; the Chicago Botanic Garden is elevating the traditional jack-o-lantern to an art form.


From Oct. 26-29, it will be host to a plethora of pumpkins at an event aptly dubbed “The Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns.” Families can venture out on a pathway lined with professionally carved gourds, more than 100 of which will weigh at least 150 pounds. (These are not your grocery store pumpkins!)


The jack-o-lanterns will be arranged in various vignettes, including The Wonders of Chicago (famous landmarks like Willis Tower), Chicago icons (Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow among others), sports teams and figures, Halloween classics like Frankenstein and Dracula, and, to tie into the garden theme, “Monsters in the garden,” such as bats, bugs and the oh-so-stinky corpse flower.


The pumpkins will be lit by sensory-friendly LED lights rather than the more traditional candles.


Along the path, costumed, not-too-scary performers will interact with guests, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets include admission to the Model Railroad Garden, which will be decked out in its own version of spooky splendor.


We’re certain the whole event will spark some extra imagination as you carve your own pumpkins this year and lead to some truly epic Chicago-flavored jack-o-lanterns.



If you go


Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns


Oct. 26-29, 2017


Chicago Botanic Garden


1000 Lake Cook Road


Glencoe, IL


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