TIL why people put out teal pumpkins on Halloween

Illustration for article titled TIL why people put out teal pumpkins on Halloween
Photo: Teal Pumpkin Project

Sometimes these Today I Learned entries are fun factoids. Eagles steal food from other animals! The Supreme Court ruled on whether or not a tomato is a vegetable! Bread time! Stuff like that. But at other times, TILs are useful: dishwasher use, DIY whiskey blends, wobbly table fixes, etc. This is one of those. Teal pumpkins are a thing, and if you have anything whatsoever to do with trick-or-treaters, you should know about them.


The Teal Pumpkin Project, which was “inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community Of East Tennessee,” is an international effort to make Halloween more inclusive for kids with allergies. Surely we can all come together on making sure that kids who can’t eat peanuts or dairy or whatever can still have fun on Halloween, right?

If you put a teal pumpkin on your doorstep (or near your door, or on your walkway, etc.), what you’re telling trick-or-treaters is that you’ve got “non-food treats” available in your home—the TPP suggests glowsticks or small toys. You can then add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map so that families of kids with allergies can find you and take all your glowsticks and small toys.

That’s it. Pretty simple. If you’re a parent of a kid with allergies, there you go! If you’re a person with a house and some holiday spirit, there you go! If you are a child who likes small toys and glowsticks, there you go! All upsides.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!


What color pumpkin for the houses who give out toothbrushes, religious pamphlets, or raisins? I assume black to match their souls.