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The best glowing Jack O’Lantern celebrations near NYC

Jennifer P

With Oktoberfest just around the corner, it's hard for us not to think about all the exciting things to do in New York this fall. Once October hits, the whole city will turn into a Halloween wonderland, filled with events and parties that offer a ghoulishly good time. Some of the most exciting happenings are all the glowing jack o'lantern celebrations in or around New York. We rounded up the best ones, so you can plan your trip now and snag tickets before they sell out! 

RECOMMENDED: Halloween in NYC 

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
You might want to wear your sunglasses to this electrifying affair, at which you’ll feast your eyes on an army of gleaming pumpkins. This is the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, with more than 7,000 intricately carved pumpkins glowing (hell, that’s a lot of candles) along the riverside near Van Cortlandt Manor. But gawking at pretty gourds isn’t the only draw. There are also stargazing opportunities inside the Pumpkin Planetarium, flying ghosts and a special appearance by Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman. Pro tip: This event sells out quickly, so make sure to nab your tickets, like, yesterday. 525 S Riverside Ave, Croton-On-Hudson, NY (914-366-6900, Sept 30–Nov 13; Sat, Sun. $16–$25.

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns
Up your Insta-cred during this event, at which you’ll be tempted to take a bazillion photos of more than 5,000 hand-carved, fully illuminated jack-o’-lanterns creatively arranged to look like an unearthly, beautiful Halloween wonderland. Walk along the scenic path of Old Westbury Gardens, and enjoy a spooky musical score from live bands live or just projected over speakers as you ogle multipumpkin structures assembled into life-size pieces of art—think dinosaurs, dragons and safari animals—oh, my! 71 Old Westbury Rd, L.I. ( Oct 7–Nov 30; Fri, Sat, Sun. $26.

The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience
Wander down Jack’s Lane in New Jersey, which also includes 5,000 blazing jack o’lanterns lining the quarter-mile trail. This Halloween wonderland features artistic gourds as well as massive structures that represent some of Jersey’s coveted landmarks, rocks stars and political figures. And there will be fall beverages! Monmouth Park Racetrack, 175 Oceanport Ave, NJ (732-222-5100, Fri, Sat, Sun starting Oct 7; $16.   

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