Out of all the things to do in the fall here in New York, The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is quickly becoming our favorite autumnal event. The only catch is you need to travel about an hour upstate to Hudson Valley, New York—but after an amazing experience, that $20 Metro-North roundtrip ticket is certainly worth it. (Seriously, this is one of the best day trips from NYC!)
The Blaze is the tristate area's most spirited Halloween event, for it gives New Yorkers and tourists a chance to gaze at 7,000 glowing pumpkins, which are transformed into magnificent creatures. Over the course of the Halloween season, over 10,000 jack o'lanterns will be carved in order to keep the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor ablaze. So, what's with all the hoopla? Well, we'll show you...
Before entering the Halloween utopia, peep at all the fall goodies inside the gift shop. Then, grab autumnal snacks such as apple cider donuts, freshly-popped popcorn, hot cider and hot chocolate.
Once we arrived, we were already blown away by the attraction's attention to detail. From the hay bales and giant gourds in the hospitality area, to the pumpkin chandeliers inside the tents, you truly feel as if you entered the set of Disney's Halloweentown.
New features at this year's Blaze include the jaw-dropping Pumpkin Planetarium. Every inch of a small barn is decked out with star-covered pumpkins. Step inside to watch them flicker and change colors.
The pumpkin sculptures are also equally as impressive. We loved creations such as a dinosaur-filled Jurassic Park, a coven of witches, a zoo animal circus train and a ginormous spider web.
There is never a dull moment during the Blaze. All pausing for selfies aside, it should take you about 45-minutes to walk through the entire tour.
Now, for some bad news: Tickets for The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze are pretty much sold out through Halloween. However, due to the popularity of the event, the organizers have added extra tours through Thanksgiving. Get your tickets here, like, A.S.A.P.