Fairy tale Halloween at Dallas Arboretum pumpkin patch

Happy Halloween! How do you like these warty, spooky, gray pumpkins? These and many, many more are on display now through November 23 at the Dallas Arboretum’s Autumn Festival, a fantasyland of pumpkins and pumpkin houses that attracts hordes of camera-snapping moms and dads and costumed tots.

My own family and I visited on the 16th while we were in Dallas for the State Fair. My kids and their two friends were, sadly, too old and jaded to appreciate the spectacle and flatly refused to pose for photos (I did coerce a couple of snapshots out of them anyway). However, my husband and I, obviously coasting into our second childhoods in our mid-40s, were delighted by the fall display.

David was even inspired to juggle a few pumpkins. A man of many talents.

Fifty thousand pumpkins, squash, and gourds appear in displays throughout the Arboretum, but Cinderella’s Pumpkin Village is ground-zero for the under-7 set and their families. Four pumpkin houses represent the bedrooms of Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters, her fairy godmother’s house, and the ballroom.

The beautiful white-pumpkin house contains Cinderella’s glass slipper displayed on an ornate garden chair. Is that her ball gown hanging on the burlap-lined wall?

Out in the pumpkin patch, Cinderella’s fairy godmother has already worked her magic. A lovely coach offers photo opportunities for little ones and their parents.

Life-size topiary horses “pull” the carriage through the pumpkin-and-sweet-potato-vine patch.

A classic Cinderella pumpkin

Gleefully exploring the houses, young children were eating this up.

I’d never seen this many pumpkins in one place before either.

Persian carpets of pumpkins are arranged in pictures…

…like this flowerpot (the square of gray pumpkins at lower left) filled with white-petaled flowers atop winding, gray stems. Amazing!

Pumpkins have also been transformed into sunflowers.

And colorful mobiles of Indian corn and squash dangle from the pecan trees.

The morning light sets aglow the ornamental grasses and orange pumpkins.

Even Mother Nature added to the decor.

It’s a fiesta of fall color and creativity.

It really was a lot of fun to see it.

Pumpkins are scattered around other areas of the Arboretum too. It’s a pumpkin extravaganza!

I’ll have a few more images from the Dallas Arboretum—that don’t include pumpkins—in my next post, so stay tuned. And happy Halloween!

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

22 Responses

  1. Layanee says:

    This is a perfect Halloween post. What fun those pumpkin houses are and what a lot of work. I would be right there with you in the second childhood phase. One must step away from it for a few decades to appreciate it. Your kids will long remember the trip despite their lack of visible participation. I’ll bet they will take their children to see these creations if they still exist. Have a fun Halloween.

  2. Jenny says:

    This was the one year we didn’t get to go to the Arboretum when we were up in Dallas. Nice to see what they did this year. Always such a splendid show.

  3. Those scenes are simply amazing, and I am not that much into fall decorations…even I am impressed! Cool to finally see Mr. Digging, too. Mid-40’s – never felt better myself!

  4. commonweeder says:

    What a fabulous display. And what a great organization the Arboretum must have to have thought of it,and made it. I love the Cinderella houses.

  5. Shirley Fox says:

    Wonderful display, so beautifully done. Glad you and David had such a great time.

  6. Darla says:

    Oh my goodness! This is one of the most creative pumpkin shows I have ever seen..thanks for sharing!

  7. Lola says:

    Happy Halloween. This has got to be tops for Halloween post. I love it. I’ve never seen so many different pumpkins before. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Pumpkin extravaganza indeed! I wonder what they do with them all when it’s over?

  9. How fun. What wonderful displays. I’ve never been to the Dallas Arboretum. Next time I’m in Dallas, I’m going to have to stop by. Happy Halloween:)

  10. Tatyana says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen pumpkin houses! And those warty black pumpkins are ugly and gorgeous at the same time! Pam, thank you so much for the pictures and the story! Have a great Halloween!

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a fun display. Kids do go through that awkward stage when their parents start reverting. tee hee.

  12. What fun and creative ideas! Have a Happy Halloween!

  13. Tina says:

    Incredible display of pumpkins–I need to visit sometime. Kids, they’re so…cynical these days. Glad the grownup kids had fun though!

  14. Lorene says:

    What gloriously, gorgeous gourds!!! LOVE the pumpkin houses Thanks for this visual and inspirational treat!

  15. This brings back happy memories of my visit to the Dallas arboretum last year with the Garden Writer’s Association. An AMAZING team of designers for sure!

  16. Denise says:

    damn, that’s a lot of pumpkins. And happy second childhood to you both!

  17. Vesna says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post! Pumpkins all over the place. Wish I were there too!

  18. ricki says:

    Such a burden to be that age when it is uncool to show delight. I bet they will have fond memories of this fabulous place in years to come…and you and your hubby obviously had flat-out FUN!

  19. How totally cool! This is over-the-top creative and clearly fun for all ages except the jaded set. What a lot of thought and hard work many people obviously put into it!

  20. […] bits and pieces of the place. (If you didn’t catch it, do click for my post about the Arboretum’s famous Pumpkin Village.) I generally think of the Arboretum as a public garden with enormous, and enormously popular, […]

  21. Mamaholt says:

    That is just incredible!!! I’ve never seen such a thing! I am SO going to make a mini-pumpkin mobile next year or maybe for Thanksgiving!