Alex and Henry were on hand at the Discovery Center’s pumpkin smashing event last year. Bring your jack ‘o’ lantern on Sunday, Nov. 7 and catapult it across the parking lot and watch it smash.

Not sure what to do with that jack-o’-lantern after Halloween? Snatch that pumpkin with the caved-in face off your porch and take it to Discovery Center on Sunday, Nov. 7 for the museum’s annual Smashing Pumpkins event.

Newton’s laws of motion take on new perspective as jack-o’-lanterns turn into exciting science! Send porch décor flying through the air with a giant trebuchet, a counterweight catapult used in medieval times, or surrender it for target practice.

Create your own miniature catapult and celebrate with autumn crafts and activities. At the end, pumpkin pieces are collected and fed to local livestock, so everyone wins! 

Outdoor activities are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the museum is open for session at either 9:30 a.m. to Noon or 1 to 4 p.m. Admission includes all activities and is $10 per person for the general public; free for members and children ages 1 and younger.

Parking is free at 711 N. Main Street. Advance reservations required. Reserve tickets online at or call 815-963-6769. Face coverings are required inside the museum for everyone ages 2 and older.

The event is sponsored by Northwest Bank, Nicor Gas, Thermo Fisher Scientific and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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