One of the best things to do in the fall in New York is check out The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Hudson Valley, New York. Trust us, it’s worth the trip. Witness an army of more than 7,000 glowing, intricately carved pumpkins shining along the riverside near Van Cortlandt Manor. This is the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, and also one of the best fall day trips from NYC. Ogling 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. This year there is a second location popping up for the first time ever, too, at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Long Island. When you go, make sure to take a moment to admire all the lovely fall foliage upstate and out in Long Island.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC
When is The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze?
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is on-view for dates during the week and on weekends for upstate New York: from Sept 18 to Nov 1. On Long Island, the dates range from Oct 2 to Nov 1.
Where is The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze?
How do I get to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze?
For upstate, take the Metro-North Hudson Line from Grand Central Terminal. Take the train to Croton-Harmon station (under an hour from Manhattan). Van Cortlandt Manor is only a five-minute cab ride or a 10-minute walk from the station.
For Long Island, take either LIRR's Port Jefferson or Ronkonkoma lines and get off at Hicksville (under an hour from Manhattan). Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a 15 minute cab or bus ride from the Hicksville station.
How much are tickets to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze?
Adult tickets start at $24. Children two and under attend for free.
How do I get tickets to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze?
You can see the full schedule and purchase tickets for Hudson here. For Long Island tickets are here. Note: Advanced tickets are required. No tickets will be sold on-site. Tickets for the general public are on sale now. Pro tip: This event sells out quickly, so make sure to nab your tickets, like, yesterday. Tickets can not be refunded, but you are able to sell, donate and give them away, etc. New this year, tickets are also exchangeable for a different time or date as long as the change is made 72 hours in advance of the original reserved slot, but there is a $2 per ticket fee for the exchange.
How long will The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze experience take?
Most people venture through the Blaze in 90-minutes, but factor in the amount of time you'll spend taking photos and videos (which is allowed). Just try not to be a photo hog—some experiences are meant to be seen, not photographed. Plus, Blaze has reduced capacity for safety reasons by 67%—move it along!
Is there food and drink available at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze?
BOOyah! There's plenty of snacks and treats to munch on. Before you enter the Blaze experience, there are tents set up selling pumpkin beer by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, hot cocoa, cider and various autumnal delights like candy apples, pumpkin-spice treats, freshly-popped popcorn and more.