One Girl, Two Cities

Pumpkin Nights at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds


When I received a press invite to Pumpkin Nights, it looked too fun to pass up. I invited Sara from SocialSara612 along, and we met up at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to enjoy this incredible display on a perfect fall evening.

There’s a clear path to follow with 12 different themes, including the Community Row where, if you bring your own carved pumpkin, Pumpkin Nights will donate $5 to Scares That Care. Then your pumpkin is publicly displayed! They also provide a print-at-home scavenger hunt sheet as an extra activity as you walk along the one-mile stretch of artistry.

We jumped right into the International Bazaar and the FAQ sheet told me that the Eiffel Tower took four artists and two weeks to complete because of all the detail that went to it. It’s rather impressive, and my picture doesn’t do it enough justice.


We also enjoyed the Golden Gate Bridge and individual pumpkin carvings of the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and more.


Next up is the Great Garden where we fell in love with this creatively constructed caterpillar. One thing we both mentioned was the imagination used in putting pumpkins together in various ways to form sculptures like this, and also how it wasn’t just about carving all the way through the pumpkins but about shaving off the outer rind to add depth and interest.


I also really loved this intricate this wall of pumpkins that form a flower. The dot details in the center pumpkins had me in awe.


The Great Garden spills right into Dia De Los Muertos where a mariachi band greets you, plus a plethora of jack-o-laterns strung from the trees so make sure to look up!



There are over 100 of these sugar skulls!

We found a couple creepy spiders lurking around the Witch’s Brew area. Watch out!


I also especially loved these palm trees in the Rum River Pirates section.


The spot that grabbed my attention the longest is called Picture MN. There’s a long wall of pumpkins with different carvings related to Minnesota, including nods to Purple Rain, Duck Duck Gray Duck, Paul Bunyan, etc. Enjoy the slideshow below for a taste.

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And what would a trip to the fairgrounds be without an appearance from Fairchild and Fairborne? This was the perfect cherry on top of Picture MN!


The self-guided tour ends with The Great Pumpkin Reef which Sara and I immediately said was our favorite theme area. The UV bubbles and light added so much whimsy, and we were drawn in by the beautiful bright colors.

A video posted by Laura VZ (@1girl2cities) on

Pumpkin Nights runs October 14-31 and is fun for friends, family, or a date night, as well as people of all ages. They encourage costumes (no props though) which, as Sara pointed out, is a great way to keep the kids warm! They offer various deals on tickets during the week. Four vendors are open during the run, so you can pick up a snack or some coffee to warm you up. You’ll find free parking on the south side of the ground across from the entrance. Now go and enjoy!

Pumpkin Nights

October 14-31, 2016

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

1719 Como Avenue

Falcon Heights

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