The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

While I love the hustle and bustle of the city, there’s something so relaxing about coming home to trees and fresh air and familiar faces at the end of the day.

I’m from a small town in Westchester, NY, and while it can be a little too small at times, it’s actually quite lovely.

Only a five-minute drive from my house is Van Cortlandt Manor, the estate owned by one of the most prominent Patriot families in post-Revolutionary War America. During most of the year it’s a historical education site, but in the fall it’s transformed into something totally unique.

Starting in late September and continuing through November, more than 7,000 jack-o-lanterns decorate the large property.

They’re hand carved by incredibly talented artists that transform each pumpkin into amazing structures—giant dinosaurs, the characters of the legend of Sleepy Hollow (which also took place here in Westchester), and a huge spider web complete with dozens of small spiders are just a few of the creations.

It was absolutely pouring during my admission time, but it was still worth the visit (and the inevitable cold I caught.) The hot cocoa and apple doughnut I ate while I walked through were the perfect antidote.  

Scroll down to see more images from the event (sorry for the poor quality, they were all taken on my phone!) If you live anywhere near Westchester, I highly recommend making the trip. Check online first for tickets, it sells out fast!  

The entrance to the event. 

The entrance to the event. 

Intricately carved designs based on patterns in the Van Cortlandt Manor. 

Intricately carved designs based on patterns in the Van Cortlandt Manor. 

Pumpkins carved to resemble the night sky. 

Pumpkins carved to resemble the night sky. 

Pumpkin-o-saurus 

Pumpkin-o-saurus 

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