Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns”

Love jack-o-lanterns but afraid of slicing off a finger while carving? Then do I have the answer for you! Head on over to the Chicago Botanic Garden for their annual “Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns.” Here’s what you can expect from from Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns:


What to Expect from Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns”

You guessed it, over 1,000 hand carved jack-o-lanterns lit by LED lights artfully decorating the Chicago Botanic Garden. Some may be tiny while others are huge (over 150 pounds), so it is a great place to play the ultimate I-spy jack-o-lantern challenge with your kiddos.


The artists behind the magical and spooky exhibit will be on hand, answering questions, performing live carving demonstrations, and admiring their work along the paved Esplanade of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Festive characters (some spooky and others not-so-spooky) strolling the grounds, chatting with kids of all ages and posing for photos if requested.


Ghostly trains taking over the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America before the railroad exhibit closes for the winter, as well as spider webs, lights, and other fun Halloween décor being incorporated throughout the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Fall themed drinks and eats to enjoy before weaving your way through the “Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns display.” Our favorites? The apple cider donuts, flavored popcorn, and of course, spiked cider for the adults.

How to Prepare for Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns”

Dress warmly! When the sun goes down it gets extremely chilly on the Esplanade, so even if your child is adamant about wearing his or her costume, be sure to put some warm layers under it.


Pack light sticks for the kids. Even with the 1,000 LED lit jack-o-lanterns, it gets mighty dark at the garden. Get your kids excited instead of scared of the dark by packing some glow sticks for them to use as you cruise around the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Prep your kids about the spooky music. While the pumpkins are all pretty PG, the spooky sounds can be a bit much for skittish kiddos so give them a heads up that there aren’t coyotes wandering the gardens.

Follow the time on your ticket! This special Halloween exhibit is only available for one weekend, so ticket demand is HIGH and it will be crowded. As long as everyone adheres to their scheduled time, it will be less congested and your family will be guaranteed to have more fun. There will be some waiting around in lines, so telling not so scary stories or distracting your kids with snacks is a great way to pass the time. Click here to buy tickets.


Prepare questions for the artists. When you visit there are at least two artists on hand, showcasing their artistic process and chatting with guests. Come prepared with questions–they are so helpful, entertaining, and fun to chat with!

Want to bring the Halloween fun home? Here are some not so spooky ways to celebrate Halloween, as well as other Fall themed fun!

Happy Halloween!
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  1. Christa says

    This looks like so much fun! I love the idea of chatting with some of the artists. (And eating apple cider donuts.)

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