The Arboretum at Penn State

Special Events

Pumpkin Festival

2015 10 16 Jack-o'-Lanterns and Night Sky

Jack-o’-Lanterns and Night Sky (Pumpkin Festival – October 16, 2015)

Our Pumpkin Festival takes place in mid-October and features a pumpkin giveaway, jack-o’-lantern carving contest, lighted nighttime displays, and family activities. Volunteers help with event set-up, contest registration, jack-o’-lantern illumination, games and crafts, refreshments, and more.

Many thanks to the Vargo family who has sponsored the Pumpkin Festival for eight consecutive years.

Enter the Jack-o’-Lantern Contest (2020)
Pumpkin Giveaway
Sunday, October 4
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
One thousand pumpkins will be given away to contest entrants!

Contestants may also provide their own pumpkins.

Jack-o’-Lantern Registration
If you are registering a jack-o’-lantern for the contest, bring your entry (one per person) to the Overlook Pavilion in the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 9.

Pumpkin Festival
Friday, October 9
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Jack-o’-Lantern Display and Food Vendors

Saturday, October 10
3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Food Vendors On Site

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Family Activities

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Band at Overlook Pavilion

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Jack-o’-Lantern Display

Sunday, October 11
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Ribbon Pick-Up and Composting
(Unclaimed pumpkins will be composted at 12:00 p.m.)

You can also see these dates on our events calendar.

Pumpkin Festival Gallery >


 Winter Celebration

All natural wreath #2

Garden wreath

The Winter Celebration in 2019 is being held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 13. Community and Penn State student a cappella groups will perform a mix of seasonal and popular tunes. Visitors will be able to view the lighted tree displays throughout the gardens and in Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden.

Winter Celebration Gallery >