Carved

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Carved
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano

Time Out says

Stroll through a mile-long trail filled with all things pumpkins, including an illuminated forest of jack-o’-lanterns, during Descanso Gardens’ annual Carved.

For three weeks in October, the event will line a loop of the botanical garden with thousands of professionally-carved pumpkins in all sorts of forms: as a sea monster rising from a pond, arranged on the ground like a white-and-orange paisley, stuck together with branches in the form of some oversized bugs and cobbled together into a house. Most notably, you’ll find an uplit forested section of the garden lined with expressive jack-o’-lanterns, as well as some intricately carved ones that pay homage to everything from Hocus Pocus to Captain America to Kobe Bryant.

There are a few familiar sights if you’ve ever attended Descanso’s other holiday tradition, Enchanted, but tweaked for Halloween (stomp along the trunk-encircling platforms in the oak grove and you’ll hear shrill cackles instead of sparkly sounds). Like Enchanted, the music is moody (but not spooky or scary; this is definitely made for families) and the installations are artfully assembled: Sure, they could’ve just dumped a bunch of jack-o’-lanterns everywhere, but supplementing them with woven straw lanterns, a floating Day of the Dead altar and red, glowing skeletons that subtly emerge out of the darkness was way more creative choice.

Depending on the crowds and how often you stop for photos, expect to spend at least a half hour walking around—plus some extra time if you stop for (spiked) hot cocoa and cider in the courtyard. Timed tickets are required.

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