It’s pumpkin season with a gorgeous glass twist. As you head to Northern Michigan pumpkin patches or on your Northern Michigan fall color tour, be sure to see these handblown glass pumpkins, each one a work of art. Joann Condino, owner of Three Pines Studio in Cross Village, created Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch Day to showcase local artists. Bonus: The perfect M119 Tunnel of Trees fall color tour connects all these glass pumpkin galleries.
Always held on the first Saturday of October, Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch Day brings locals and visitors from across the nation to the studio. Here’s why they return, year after year.
1. Pick a pumpkin! They come in every color, shape and size. Yes, some are even warty. Local glassblowers Harry Boyer (pictured below), Lynn Dinning and Beth Cox will make almost 600 pumpkins for this year’s event.
2. Watch glassblowing demonstrations. Lynn Dinning at Good Hart Glassworks does demos from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and Boyer Glassworks has several throughout the day.
4. Start, or continue, a family tradition. Kids, grandparents—everyone’s welcome.
5. To meet Carina, the springer spaniel. This sweet pup is always at Three Pines Studio and she loves to meet every single person who walks through the door.
6. Get the recipe. Yep, we’re talking about the famous pumpkin bars Joann makes every year. Known as “Chris Whitehead’s Mom’s Recipe,” the bars are beloved.
7. Explore Cross Village. This lakeside community is also home to the much-photographed Redpath Memorial Presbyterian Church, historic Legs Inn and the European-inspired (and Joann’s favorite) Old World Cafe.
8. Visit Harvest Fest. Black Barn Farm in Cross Village hosts their annual Harvest Fest the Sunday after Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch Day. Stop by from noon to 5 p.m. for old-fashioned fun, craft vendors, kids’ activities, horse-drawn wagon rides, a farm market and more!
9. See the Pumpkin of the Year. Similar to Pantone’s Color of the Year, Harry Boyer does a Pumpkin of the Year. Monet’s garden inspired this year’s bright, multi-colored pieces, aptly named Monet Pumpkins.
10. Have a good time. Kids can run around outside. There’s pumpkin taffy, live music—Joann’s husband, Gene, may or may not dress up as a pumpkin. It’s good Northern fun.