This Halloween Season, Get Spooked by 7,000 Jack-o'-lanterns at These Historic New York Sites

This marks the 17th year of the New York Halloween tradition.

Oct. 31 isn't the only night when pumpkins are aglow in New York. The 18th-century Van Cortlandt Manor in Westchester County's Croton-on-Hudson will light up with more than 7,000 pumpkins for The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze from Sept. 17 through Nov. 21 — and tickets are on sale now to experience the Halloween festivities.

Entry at Blaze in Hudson Valley
Tom Nycz/Courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley

The long-running tradition, which started in 2005, will return this year to the Hudson Valley location as well Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Long Island (the latter runs from Sept. 22 through Nov. 7). Both locations will have thousands of hand-carved pumpkins that will be enhanced with synchronized lighting and large-scale installations to create a truly festive after-dark Halloween experience.

The dog walker at Blaze in Hudson Valley
Tom Nycz/Courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley

This year will also mark the debut of an immersive river display and a New York City streetscape at the Hudson Valley location, while the Long Island site will have an 80-foot circus train and sea monster.

Pumpkin carousel at Blaze in Hudson Valley
Tom Nycz/Courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley

Visitors can arrive in the free parking lot a half hour before their ticketed time and should expect to spend about 90 minutes enjoying the event, which will be held rain or shine. Drinks and snacks will be available along the route, too.

While the experience is self-guided and touch-free, Blaze is still keeping pandemic safety top of mind by requiring advance tickets, reducing visitor capacity, and mandating masks indoors regardless of vaccination status and outdoors for the unvaccinated. They're also requiring attendees to adhere to a COVID-19 courtesy code that includes physical distancing. Ticket reservations are also available for exchange up to 72 hours before the entry time for a fee.

Pumpkin bridge at Blaze in Hudson Valley
Tom Nycz/Courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley

For those wanting to supplement the Halloween adventure, the Hudson Valley location is located just north of Sleepy Hollow, best known from Washington Irving's 1820 novel "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Explore the 90-acre Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which has more than 45,000 interments, including that of Andrew Carnegie, Elizabeth Arden, William Rockefeller, and Irving himself. Irving's home of Sunnyside also hosts an outdoor show, Irving's Legend, during the month of October, with an appearance from the Headless Horseman. And for those truly looking for a spook, stay overnight at the Tarrytown House Estate, believed to have rooms haunted by ghosts.

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