If you live near New York City, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze should be on your list of autumn activities! It’s a great way to celebrate the kick off of fall and get into a spooky mood. It’s located in Croton-On-Hudson, NY.
The event boasts over 7,000 carefully carved pumpkins that are either standalone works or constructed into fantastic masterpieces. A team of 1,000+ volunteers help to create the magic behind the Great Pumpkin Blaze.
Since the volunteers need to prep for the event in advance and it lasts approximately 2 months, some pumpkins are fake. Albeit, the fakes are made out of a convincing plastic. However many of them are real, and you can even ‘smell’ pumpkin while touring.
The pumpkin carvers were incredibly inventive and creative. There were dinosaurs, a 25-foot tall Statue of Liberty, flocks of skeletons, a massive dragon, a train attached to cabooses, various animals, horoscope signs and more. There were even works that have been recreated famous works of art from the likes of Dali, Munch and Magritte.
The event typically starts late September and runs throughout November. Entry fees range from $16-$27, and you must reserve a date and time slot. More information and tickets can be found here. There was plenty of designated parking, and we didn’t struggle to find a spot on a weekend night.
Upon entering the park, you’re able to purchase souvenirs, a variety of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and autumn inspired sweets. It takes around an hour to walk the grounds, especially if you’re stopping to admire the craftsmanship and snap photos. Visitors are also able to spy constellations in the night sky at the Pumpkin Planetarium.
This was my first time ever at Blaze. Although I’m in my late twenties, I thought it would be fun at any age. While growing up, over the years, my family made several trips up to the Keene, New Hampshire’s Pumpkin Fest. I haven’t been since I was a child, and found Blaze to be comparable, but quite different. I’d definitely like to come back someday and bring my mom.