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27th Edition of the Great Pumpkin Ball

A Huge Fall Celebration at the Space for Life!
Montréal, September 26, 2012 - 

You’ve been out apple picking and enjoying the fabulous fall colours? Now it’s time for the highlight of the season! From October 4 to 31, the Montréal Space for Life invites you to a colourful celebration and guarantees some Halloween thrills and chills! The Botanical Garden will be celebrating all things Cucurbitaceae at the 27th edition of its Great Pumpkin Ball, with its ever-popular pumpkin-decorating contest and Esmeralda, the friendly witch, and her clever magic spells. At the Insectarium, spiders will be the stars of the show, showing off their spectacular skills in a number of original presentations, like Acrobatic Spiders. It’s an unusual experience that puts a different “spin” on things! At the Biodôme, you can watch the animals having fun with pumpkins turned into surprise packages full of fruit, insects and other treats during a special festive weekend.

The Great Pumpkin Ball – BOTANICAL GARDEN

October 4 to 31, daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Who will win the prize for the best-decorated pumpkin? Or the biggest one? Put your creativity to work and see what you can make with recycled materials! You can enter the individual, family or group contests, in one of five age categories. Lots of cash prizes to be won. The pumpkins will be on display in the Botanical Garden’s Main Exhibition Greenhouse from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until October 31. For details and contest rules, go to

Esmeralda the witch

Accompanied by her cat, Abracadabra, and her broom, Gontran, our friendly witch invites children to recite some intriguing magic spells with her! Il était un petit Pépo – a play for ages 4 to 8 (in French) Pépo is having an identity crisis. Marie, the market gardener, tries to calm him down by explaining how he grew from a tiny seed into a pumpkin. Showtimes available on

Little Monsters Courtyard – Outdoor play area for the under-10 set

From pumpkin-aroos to battling monsters, Insect Soup, a hungry frog toss and a squash hunt, children are sure to enjoy themselves in this Halloween-themed play area. Games of skill, races, jumping – there’s plenty of fun in store! Can they make it across the shaky bridge?

Squash Kiosk

The spotlight is on Cucurbitaceae, the stars of the show at the Squash Kiosk! Come learn about the sixty or so different varieties. Test your skills with the squash quiz and take home some pumpkin seeds and a collection of tasty recipes! Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)

Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) kiosk

Come meet some growers who love what they do. They’re the ones who put healthy, delicious food on our tables. Draw for a basket of local produce. Saturday and Sunday

Halloween Origami

Transform a simple square of paper into a pumpkin, spider or black cat. Have fun discovering the art of paper folding. Japanese Pavilion, Saturday and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Spiders Unmasked – INSECTARIUM

October 4 to 31, daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Acrobatic spiders: A dizzying experience! Back for its second year! Spiders are true tightrope walkers, champions at lassoing, sprinting, weaving and tagging. They’re amazing athletes who steal the spotlight wherever they go! One of the Insectarium’s nature interpreters and an acrobatic colleague offer a thrilling tribute. 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. (20 min)

Insects on Tour

Come meet the spiders and insects dressed up as superheroes and out of their vivariums for Halloween. Give them a friendly “leg shake”! 11 a.m. and 1, 2, 4, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 8 p.m. (20 min)


Some odd characters who know all about entomology will be waiting to reveal all kinds of secrets about spiders. 2:15, 4 and 6 p.m. (5 min)

Naturally Well Made

Jumping spiders are smart, and have some surprising tricks for attracting the opposite sex. Come enter the amazing world of spiders! 10 a.m. and 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. (15 min)

Pumpkin Treats – BIODÔME

October 27 and 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The animals at the Biodôme will also be celebrating Halloween in their own way. From mammals to birds and fish, they’ll all have to find the trick to opening the pumpkins turned into special containers full of their favourite food (fruit, insects, etc.) This fun-to-watch enrichment activity keeps the animals alert and curious, just as they are in the wild.


Space for Life, the first space in the world dedicated to humankind and nature, brings together the Montréal Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Insectarium and Planetarium. Together they are committed to safeguarding and showcasing biodiversity and invite people from Montréal, across Canada and around the world to join in this bold, creative urban movement.

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Contact our team

Karine Jalbert
Communications Co-ordinator
514 872-1453/ 514 250-3230
Nadine Fortin
Communications Co-ordinator
514 868-3053/ 514 250-7753

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