Every year I plan to go to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, and every year I try to buy my tickets a couple of weeks before Halloween. By then, all of the least desirable times are available — or it’s sold out. (It always sells out.) Tickets go on sale September 4.
If you’re not familiar with the Blaze, it’s when Historic Hudson Valley, a nonprofit group that celebrates the history, architecture, and landscape of the Hudson Valley, sets out 4,000 illuminated hand-carved jack o’lanterns in a stunning “land art” installation. Visitors are invited to walk through a historic 18th century riverscape with lit-up pumpkins all around. Martha Stewart calls it a “Halloween extravaganza.” But it’s also just a lovely fall festival, an excuse to throw on a fleece and take a moonlit walk.
Really little ones may get scared. Even though the scene is meant to enchant, there are flying pumpkin ghosts over the lantern-lit path, and a Jack-in-the-Box may spring up as you explore and there will be skeletons walking about. Still, the pumpkin fest is done in good fun, and I’m sure my toddler will love the sight of slithering snakes, a giant spider web, undersea aquarium and super-sized dinosaurs.
Interested? Book your tickets beginning September 4th. Visit the webpage for more ticketing information.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze takes place on the following dates: October 6 to 8, 12 to 14, 19 to 21, and 25 to 31. In November, you can buy tickets for the weekends of November 2 to 4, or 9 to 11.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for kids 3 to 17; children under 3 are free. (Prices do go up on Saturdays to $20 for adults and $16 for kids.)