JACK-O-LANTERN SPECTACULAR
OCTOBER 1 – NOVEMBER 7

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is back for a 3rd year at the Minnesota Zoo! Wander through the glow of thousands of artfully carved pumpkins all alight in the night. This season, carve out a little time to bask in the glow of nature and enjoy this truly magical experience.

Thank you for your support of the Minnesota Zoo and our mission to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife.

Ticketing and Event Schedule

October 1 – November 7, Starting at 7:00 PM

Join us for this naturally magical event for a limited time only at the Minnesota Zoo. It’s not a trick – tickets are selling fast! Make a reservation today to treat yourself to this magical experience.
All tickets are sold online only and are non-refundable and valid only for the date and time selected.

Tickets range from $16-24. Members save $2 off all General Admission tickets!
Late night pricing for extra spooktacular savings!

Boo Bundles

Make your Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular event even more memorable with an additional customized experience. These once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are sure to light up your season.

Personalized Pumpkins - Sold Out

Customize your very own Jack-O-Lantern! You can have an artistically and professionally carved pumpkin placed on display and glowing for all to see. At the end of the evening, take your personalized pumpkin home!

Making a Moment - SOLD OUT

Don’t miss an opportunity to create and customize enrichment pieces for some of the Minnesota Zoo animals! Learn about the importance of enrichment and animal welfare and have fun making a difference for your favorite Zoo resident.

Night Hike on the Minnesota Trail - SOLD OUT

Ever wonder what the Zoo is like after dark? Gather some family and friends and join us for this amazing opportunity to explore the Minnesota Trail at night! A Zoo educator will be your guide for your family to learn more in this nocturnal delight.

Family Zoo Adventure: Snakes, Bats, and Dragons - SOLD OUT

Celebrate the season by learning about some of the Zoo's most beloved (but spooky) animals! This daytime program includes animal encounters and a guided tour. Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular tickets are not included in this experience.

Fun-Sized Features

Can’t get enough of Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular?? Check out these photos, videos and more, and help us choose our next pumpkin masterpiece!

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular FAQs

Do I need to purchase my ticket in advance?

All tickets must be purchased in advance and online. You can reserve your tickets today!

When should I arrive? 

We suggest arriving no more than 30 minutes prior to your entry time slot. Guests may enjoy activities on the Central Plaza, or grab a snack and beverage before their scheduled time for Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.

Is there a fee for parking?

There is no additional fee for parking while attending Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.

I’m a Member, is the cost of Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular included under my membership, or do I receive a Member discount? 

Zoo Members are offered discounted pricing for all General Admission tickets to Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. Become a Member Today! All tickets must be purchased in advance and online. Reserve your tickets today!

What are the COVID protocols?

This is an outdoor event with a limited hourly capacity. Please note: masks are required in indoor spaces for all guests age 3 and up – this includes entry/ticket scanning and restroom use. Masks are encouraged on the outdoor trail but not required.

What are Minnesota Zoo Monday Access Nights?

Access Nights at the Minnesota Zoo are events designed for those with mobility challenges and sensory needs. For Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, the following accommodations have been made: reduced capacity to 200 guests per hour; no music, flashing lights or fog machines; golf cart transport is available to the start of the trail on a first-served basis. For more information, see our Event Sensory Assessment.

To request a specific accommodation which is not addressed above, please contact the Minnesota Zoo a minimum of two weeks prior to your planned visit through one of the following: Accommodation Request Form; Phone – 952-431-9364 (voice) or 1-800-627-3529 (TTY); Email – [email protected]

How long does Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular take?

The walk to the entrance to the pumpkin trail takes about 10 minutes. The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular trail is an additional quarter mile and takes about 40 – 50 minutes to walk through the pumpkin display. Wait time to enter the show may vary depending on attendance.

Will there be food and drinks available and can I bring my own?

There will be food, snacks and drinks available for purchase but no outside food and drink is allowed at Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.

Are wheelchair and stroller rentals available at this event?

Stroller and wheelchair rentals are available on a first-served basis. The trail is fully wheelchair accessible with elevation changes and considerable incline along the path. In addition, we are offering select Monday Access Nights with limited capacity for those with sensory needs and other health or mobility concerns.

Does the Free to Explore program apply to Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular? 

The Free to Explore Program does not apply to Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. This program is available for daytime Zoo admission only.

Is this event child friendly?

This seasonal event aims to delight and amaze people of all ages. Children who are sensitive to a lot of visual and sound stimulus might not be comfortable and are encouraged to check out our Monday Access Nights. Please note that the entire Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular experience is outdoors and involves considerable walking. Guests should dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable footwear. Tickets must be reserved for all, including those under 2.

Can I exchange or transfer my ticket for an alternate date or time?

Tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the date and time selected.

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is open rain or shine. In the case of light to moderate rain, the event will remain open. The Minnesota Zoo will close the event if there is a threat of heavy rain and high winds. In such an event, ticketholders will be reimbursed or may reschedule when possible.

Am I allowed to take video or photography? 

We do not allow flash photography, tripods, monopods or selfie sticks as a courtesy and safety measure. Otherwise photo and video taking is allowed as long as it does not impede viewing or the flow of traffic on the trail.

Will I be able to see any live animals?

Animal viewing is available in Discovery Bay only until 8 pm. All other animal viewing areas close at 4 pm when general Zoo hours end.

Who carves the pumpkins, and how many are there?

Passion for Pumpkins from Oxford, MA designs the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, and carves the over 5,000 illuminated pumpkins you see on the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Trail. Founded by John Reckner, Passion for Pumpkins is a professional multi-media company run by the Reckner family and close friends. Passion for Pumpkins produces shows around the country. Interested in becoming a pumpkin artist for Passion for Pumpkins? Contact Travis Reckner at [email protected] to find out more information!

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