Good Gourd! The Oxford Pumpkin Festival is back to squash food waste for its third year! There are a smashing range of events going on across the city, including cooking workshops, bonfires, mini-festivals, pumpkin carving, a Halloween-costume food bank drive, a gig night, botanic gardens tour, a ceilidh and much more.

pumpkinovadaSince its launch in Oxford in 2014, Pumpkin Rescue has taken the UK by storm. In 2015 Pumpkin Rescue was taken on by 23 UK towns and even crossed oceans to the USA. Since it’s launch a whopping 25 tonnes of pumpkin has been directly diverted from landfill, 73 local events and workshops have been attended by 3,100 people and over 70 million people have been told to eat their pumpkins by national and international press.


More events are still being added to the live programme, so keep checking back!


Throughout the Festival

  • Autumn Highlights Tour of Oxford Botanic Gardens
    Times: During garden opening hours
    Venue: Botanic Gardens
    Cost: FREE with entry to the Garden
    Registration: Just turn up!
    Take a trail round the beautiful Oxford Botanic Gardens and see what’s happening in the garden this Autumn, including the colourful harvest of pumpkins and squashes displayed in the conservatory.
  • Pumpkin Recipes for Schools
    Times: N/A
    Venue: 60 schools across Oxfordshire
    Cost: N/A
    Registration: N/A
    The School Lunch Co. have created special pumpkin recipes for 60 schools across Oxfordshire, to get pupils thinking about food waste and seasonal eating.

Saturday 22nd October

  • Halloween Menu at Turl Street Kitchen
    Times: 12pm to 10.30pm
    Venue: Turl Street Kitchen
    Registration: Bookings advisable
    The chefs at TSK have been busily inventing creative ways to use pumpkin, and this evening if you go for dinner you’ll be able to choose a 3-course meal that’s entirely pumpkin-themed! We’ve even heard whispers of a pumpkin chai! TSK focuses on locally-sourced produce and independent drink makers, and all their profits go to support their sister charity, Oxford Hub. What’s not to love?

Monday 24th October

  • Monday Shop 2nd Birthday & AGM
     4pm – 8pm
    Venue: East Oxford Community Centre
    Cost: Free
    Registration: Just turn up
    Monday Shop is turning 2 and we have a lot to celebrate. For the second year running we have made over £3,000, all of which has gone to support at least 6 local producers; we have sold and given away tonnes of delicious organic fruit, veg and cake and saved it from going to waste, and provided a friendly space for people to meet, sit and have a cup of tea. Now we want to celebrate with you so come along for our usual goodies as well as foodie workshops, a jumble sale, a play corner for babies and toddlers and of course lots of birthday CAKE! Following the merriment we will hold our AGM, same location. More here.

Friday 28th October

  • Pumpkin Party
     1pm – 3pm
    Venue: Rose Hill Community Centre
    Cost: £1 per person
    Registration: Limited spaces so sign up at or call 01865 749597.
    Get ready for Halloween by carving your own pumpkin at the Rose Hill Community Centre. Suitable for kids 9 and up, make sure you bring an adult. Pumpkin provided and if you stay behind you can even taste a lovely pumpkin dish!
  • Cooking Workshop
     2.30pm – 5pm
    Venue: Talking Shop, Sandford
    Cost: Free
    Registration: To sign up email
    Come along to cook up some warming pumpkin soup and delicious pumpkin pie, take some home and see your wares for sale in the Saturday market. All welcome! From kitchen regular to complete beginner

Saturday 29th October

  • Sandford Market Halloween Special
     9am – 12pm
    Venue: Talking Shop, Sandford
    Cost: Free
    Registration: Just turn up
    Come Fancy dress competition for kids—winner announced at 11am. Kids’ craft area. Homemade Pumpkin soup and Pumpkin Pie. All along with our usual local produce, including bread, veg, meat, eggs and more!
  • PumpkinFest at Donnington Doorstep
     5pm to 8pm
    Venue: Donnington Doorstep Family Centre
    Cost: £2 adult, £1 child, £5 family.
    Registration: tickets on the door.
    Family fun with bonfire, activities and scrummy snacks cooked up from food surplus. It will be hosted Donnington Doorstep,  a family centre aiming to increase happiness, physical, mental and emotional well-being as well as improving life chances for socially excluded children and young people.
  • A Halloween Ceilidh
     7.30pm to 10.30pm
    Venue: St Clement’s Family Centre
    Cost: £5
    Registration: Tickets on the door
    Oxford Pumpkin Festival and Oxford University Ceilidh Band invite you to a Halloween Ceilidh. Expect jigs and reels, chaotic dancing and pumpkin themed baking!

Monday 31st October

  • Trick or trEAT
    Venue: Training at Oxford Brookes, followed by door-knocking in residential areas in Oxford
    Cost: Free
    Registration: Tickets on the door
    This Halloween students from Oxford Brookes University will be invited to volunteer their evening to take part in a food drive in residential areas in Oxford in the theme of usual Halloween trick or treating – except rather than asking for a treat they will ask whether the household has any spare food to donate for the food bank! Training will be offering beforehand at Oxford Brookes, before students hit the street. More info coming soon.

Saturday 5th November

  • Tandem & Silvie’s Musical Gathering
    Times: 6pm – 11pm
    Venue: Sivlie, Iffley Road
    Cost: £15/£12.50cons advance and £18/£16cons on the door
    Registration: Tickets here.
    Come and join Tandem and Silvie for a magical evening celebrating Guy Fawkes and Pumpkins in a cozy musical coccoon. Tickers include a night of music and a special pumpkin themed dinner. More info here.

Sunday 6th November

  • Pumpkin Work Party & Soup Fest
    Times: 11am – 3pm
    Venue: Oxford City Farm
    Cost: FREE
    Registration: Just turn up
    Oxford City Farm are having a work party to celebrate our fantastic crop of pumpkins. They will be using our lovely vegetables in a heart warming pumpkin soup lovingly warmed on a bonfire. To enjoy the  harvest please come along in warm clothing, with hardy boots and gloves to keep yourself protected. More info here.
  • OxGrow Pumpkin Day
    Times: 12pm to 4pm
    Venue: OxGrow Community Garden
    Cost: FREE
    Registration: Just turn up!
    Feeling hollow and empty post Halloween? Bring your empty pumpkins down to Ox Grow and get your inner lantern shining again! We’ll be turning old pumpkins into bird feeders, cooking up a feast, playing games and gardening galore.


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