Hi friends, welcome back! I’m so excited to finally be sharing all about the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze. The Halloween event began in 2005 and features over 7,000 hand carved pumpkins organized into different sections, much like a museum features different exhibits. The Jack O’ Lanterns are made up of a mix of real and fake pumpkins and some are synchronized to a spooky soundtrack. I’ve been wanting to go for years, and back in August, I bought our tickets for a Saturday night at 8pm. Jon and I went to the Croton-On-Hudson location, but due to popularity, they opened another location in Long Island.
Getting to Croton-On-Hudson took us about an hour and fifteen minutes driving from Lower Manhattan. You can also take the Amtrack one stop to Croton-Harmon and walk about fifteen minutes, but I’d say driving is the best method and there’s free on-site parking at the event. They had some of the most organized parking I’ve ever seen, the parking lot attendants were hustling!
When you first walk through the entrance, there’s a longer path with Jack O’ Lanterns lining the side. In the distance you can begin to see the exhibits to come and the anticipation starts to build.
The first exhibit, an immersive river display, is a new addition for 2021. I didn’t quite get the best pictures of the display, but pumpkins carved like fish lined the river and it also featured a giant fish.
At the end of the river, you can see a beautiful, functioning windmill with tulips as far as the eye can see. This spot is an incredibly popular spot on the walk and one of my many favorite exhibits.
Moving on, we walked under a bridge of jellyfish pumpkins, how unique!
Then over the river via the Jack O’ Lantern bridge.
The Museum of Pumpkin Art (MOPA), one of my favorite exhibits, showcases the immense talent of these pumpkin artists. I love the Halloween twist on some of the most famous pieces of artwork.
I’m guessing this balloon animal is made of the fake pumpkins.
This dragon blew out red steam from it’s mouth every few minutes, the little kids absolutely loved it (I did too)!
Another favorite exhibit was the pumpkin planetarium. The Jack O’ Lanterns lit up different colors and it was almost like watching a star show, very mesmerizing.
I loved this Jack O’ Lantern carousel too, it even played a spooky version of what you’d typically listen to on a carousel while the skeleton horses moved around the circle.
Double Double Toil and Trouble!
The Hansel and Gretel house, I love the little candy carvings.
There was a homage to the Headless Horseman and the bridge Ichabod Crane crosses to try and escape the Headless Horseman. Fun fact: Sleepy Hallow is only a twenty minute drive from the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze.
The next exhibit presented all of the zodiac signs, I’m a Leo.
Then we saw some dinosaurs.
Spooky, skeleton spiders that looked very cool even though I hate spiders.
Another new exhibit this year was the NYC streetscape complete with The Statue of Liberty, famous skyscrapers, a subway entrance, dog walker, and even a hotdog stand!
Next up, the Van Cortland Manor complete with a cemetery and sunflower garden.
Lastly, to the Headless Horseman Bridge, the spookiest part of the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze. Inside the bridge, you could hear the horse running and I thought it was a little creepy. The inside of the bridge features decorated pumpkins, and the top had carved bats, they really think of every little detail here!
I hope you all enjoyed the tour of the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze! Jon and I had so much fun admiring all 7,000 Jack O’ Lanterns and I’m so happy we finally got to experience the blaze. This was the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season and I’d highly recommend checking it out! We spent about an hour walking through and taking pictures, but you can stay as long or as little as you’d like. I’d recommend buying tickets for a time slot when it’ll be completely dark out, and just know there will be some crowds along the way. The weekend tickets sell out very quickly, so I’d highly encourage purchasing tickets when they first go on sale in August. We had a blast, and I know we’ll be back one day to see what’s new 🙂 which exhibit was your favorite??