An amazing mashup of history and modern technology, The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson takes place annually at Van Cortlandt Manor. Every fall, the manor’s yard is covered in over 7,000 pumpkins and is illuminated with individual lights and candles.

With a family-friendly and awe-inspiring ambience, guests are invited to walk through the wide array of arrangements varying between zombies, a circus train, the Loch Ness Monster, a traditional Celtic knot design, and even a miniature Tappan-Zee Bridge, nicknamed the “Pumpkin-Zee Bridge” and surrounded by pumpkin sea creatures. A few of Urban Popp’s favorite pumpkins were made into more traditional Halloween characters such as ghosts and cats. The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is surrounded by music composed for the event and definitely adds another layer of enjoyment to an already exciting Halloween event. Guests could also purchase fall delicacies such as pumpkin beer, warm apple cider and pumpkin donuts from the café. Exiting the event takes guests through the gift shop, which has its own variety of pumpkin related products, including the aforementioned soundtrack which is perfect to accompany creating your own jack o’lantern yard.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is an excellent event for those interested in celebrating Halloween, but aren’t as into haunted houses as their friends. Tickets, at $25 for adults and $16 for children, tend to sell out quickly, so we suggest looking around August or September in order to ensure your reservation. Urban Popp was able to secure a 6:30 p.m. visit on October 29 and recommends this time for visitors who want to walk through the event, which is split up into 30 minute increments, without being rushed. Happy Halloween!

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