Friday, November 15, 2013

The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze in Historic Hudson Valley

If you're looking for something really cool to do next fall, then definitely check out The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze in the historic Hudson Valley. Tickets for the event sell out FAST, so to make sure you get tickets, keep an eye on when they go on sale next year (usually around the beginning of September). 

What is The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze? It's 5,000 individually hand-carved pumpkins all out on display in this walk-through experience.

And "experience" is definitely the right word for it. What an experience it was!! As soon as we started walking down the pumpkin-lit path, I turned to my husband and said, "This is really magical!" He, in turn, said, "This is really cool!" So, see? Even your husbands will like it.

Van Cortlandt Manor decorated with pumpkins

The Blaze is located at the Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, which is about 15-20 minutes north of Sleepy Hollow, NY. You can't go inside the manor for this event (admission to the manor is only during the day and by timed tour), but the manor is still decorated on the outside with glowing lights that change color and tons of carved and lit pumpkins along the front porch and staircase.

This year, there were several new features at the Blaze, so if you've been in the past, you can expect to see something new when you go again. The Blaze takes place in October and November. Obviously, the 2014 schedule is not available yet, but you can keep your eye on the Blaze website to find out more information for next year.

Not all of the pumpkins are real pumpkins. Some are craft pumpkins, but all of them have been hand-carved and put together in such a way that they make cool sculptures, like the spider-web you see above.

New this year were the pumpkin jack-in-the-boxes. You'd hear some music play, and then out popped a giant pumpkin head!

This is a self-guided walking tour, and it is outside, so you'll want to dress accordingly. As you walk along the path, you'll hear music playing in each section and some of the pumpkins are even set up to have synchronized lighting.

The Blaze is free for children 3 and under, and it's definitely kid-friendly. There really wasn't anything scary out there. It's not like a haunted house. This is a family friendly event.

Ticket prices this year were $16 for adults and $12 for kids 3-17. The cost rose some if you were attending on a Saturday night.

Also, you can see that my pictures turned out well. BUT, if you are going to take pictures, please turn off your flash. Your pictures WILL NOT look good if your flash is on. And if you turn off your flash, make sure you're taking pictures with a VERY steady hand. Some of my pictures turned out blurry because it was just too hard for me to keep the camera steady. I really don't recommend you do any zooming with the camera, either, because that makes the camera even more shaky.

This was a really cool event! We are so glad that we went, and we can't stress enough how highly we would recommend you attend this event next year. Martha Stewart recommends this event, too, but I think my word here at Cook Scrap Craft carries a little more weight, don't you think? ;)

For more information on this event and other happenings in Westchester County, NY, visit the Westchester County Tourism website.

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