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Oh, my gourd

Pumpkins are the trend for October decor. They can be spooky, funny or simple and plain. Make your own pie-sized pumpkin centerpiece at a Bachman's class. Use vines, twigs and other elements to add a variety of color and texture. The produce dries nicely to provide colorful decor that lasts into the autumn season, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 17. Bachman's, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. $50. Register at

Give and guffaw

Help preserve history and get a few laughs in the process. Not the usual stuffy gala, the annual Preservation Alliance of Minnesota benefit features entertainment by the Theater for Public Policy to enliven with comedic wit. The evening also includes awards for communities and exemplary individuals. Proceeds from the gala contribute to the nonprofit organization's commitment to work statewide for the use, re-use and preservation of historic sites and buildings. 5 p.m. Oct. 19. Aria at the Jeune Lune, 105 N. 1st St., Mpls. $100. For tickets, go to

Tall Teddy

Mickman Brothers Garden Center has constructed a 17-foot-tall teddy bear made of straw bales to complement its annual Fall Fest. Weekends in October include family games, kids' crafts and s'more roasting. Guests can also enter the month long contest to win a front patio fall decor package. Saturdays and Sundays in October. Free. 14630 Hwy. 65 NE., Ham Lake.

30 years of fancy grass

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has grown one of the largest collections of ornamental grasses in the United States for the past 30 years. The grounds contain more than 200 native species and cultivars. To commemorate the anniversary, professor and horticulturist Mary Hockenberry will answer guest questions about grasses at an informal drop-in session. Put a flag next to your favorite grass in the collection, and get free handouts and posters about the variety of grasses. 2-6 p.m. Oct. 10. $15. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska.


Remodeling tips

Considering a bath or kitchen makeover? Crystal Kitchen + Bath is offering a free remodeling seminar, "How to Avoid the Biggest Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Mistakes." Topics include the kitchen triangle, cabinets that maximize storage, budgeting, design trends and how to identify quality materials and service. The seminar will be held twice, at 9 a.m. and noon on Oct. 14. Crystal Kitchen + Bath is located at 3620 Winnetka Av. N., Crystal. For details, visit