Whether you're a true da Vinci or a Bob Ross fanatic, it's hard to resist the itch to try your hand at your very own jack-o'-lantern when Halloween comes around every year. But with carving always comes a mess -- pumpkin guts on the kitchen table, all over the floor, spilling out of your garbage can.
This year, swap the cleanup for a brewski.
The Ginger Man
Fans of this chain of beer bars will be excited to know that not just one but all four D-FW locations are hosting pumpkin-carving contests this year. Whether you're in Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth or Southlake, stop in for this free event, which will include a special tapping of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. The best pumpkin will win a prize from the Lexington, Ky.-based brewing company.
Oak St. Drafthouse
Get a little Southern if you're a little farther north with Oak St. Drafthouse's contest in Denton sponsored by Southern Tier Brewing Co. The free fun starts Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m., when judging starts. Prizes from both Oak St. and Southern Tier will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners.
On Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., head to Haymaker for its second annual Pumpkin Carving on the Patio. Buy a pumpkin for just $5 (or take your own for free) and get ready to get competitive -- the first-, second- and third-place finishers in this contest will win prizes.
The Old Monk
If you just can't commit to a date for pumpkin carving when there's so much going on this time of year, don't worry -- the Old Monk's got your back. Stop in any day Oct. 26-31 to make your jack-o'-lantern for $13, which gets you a pumpkin, carving kit and pint of either Guinness, Smithwick's or a Black and Tan. For each pumpkin sold, the Old Monk donates an additional $10 to a charity of its choosing (last year's beneficiaries were the North Texas Food Bank and a local elementary school). As always, prizes are awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners.
Flying Saucer Fort Worth
This one's for you, Beerknurds: Flying Saucer in Fort Worth is holding its fifth annual pumpkin-carving contest with Martin House Brewing Co. on Oct. 29, benefiting the Tarrant Area Food Bank. For just $10, you get a pumpkin, a carving kit and a Martin House beer. The bar will also accept donations of canned goods for the food bank. Candy and face painting will be available for free if your kids are feeling a little left out of the fun, and the top three winners will win Flying Saucer gift cards. The pumpkin fun starts at 1 and runs till 6 p.m.
The Libertine Bar
You'll have three hours to create your masterpiece at the Libertine on Oct. 30. For $10, you'll get a pumpkin to carve, plus a pumpkin beer. The event starts at 6 p.m.; prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place finishers.