Wahoo! I’m so excited because it’s almost time for The Blaze!â€¨The what, you ask? The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor, of course! It’s one of the tri-state’s most popular and biggest Halloween events. Basically, there are more than 4,000 hand-carved jack o’ lanterns all illuminated in an amazing artistic display.â€¨â€¨
Did I hear you groan? Halloween already? Geez, lady. School just started. Aw, but here’s the scoop: I heard about it last year and tried to get tickets the second week of October. Big mistake. The thing was sold out. Buy your tickets now!â€¨â€¨
So far, I haven’t been there and have only seen photographs of the past five years’ events, which are pretty darn cool. Plus, Martha Stewart raved about it so it’s got to be good, right? From what I understand, folks meander through the woods and get an eyeful along the path: dinosaurs, snakes, spider webs, ghosts, mummies and even a pyramid this year—you name it. This time, there’s a special tribute to dinosaurs. Cool, eh? And it’s all made out of jack o’ lanterns. I kind of think it’s our version of the tulips in Holland.
â€¨â€¨A lot of the pumpkins are real, but some are what they call “art pumpkins.” All are hand-carved and the real pumpkins come from a farm in New Paltz. All told, there are about 100,000 pounds of pumpkin. Wow.â€¨â€¨
The event is primarily on weekends from October 2 to November 7. It’s suitable for kids of all ages, but the darker it is, the scarier it is. It takes about 45 minutes to see the whole thing so plan accordingly. Yes, you can take a stroller on the paths. For a mother of two, that is a very good thing.
â€¨â€¨I can’t decide whether or not to take the kids. I mean, hey, it’d also make a pretty great date night—something any mom and dad sorely need on occasion. Then again, Maisie will definitely appreciate it at the tender age of two. Last year, she had an absolute ball with our jack o’ lantern. It’s funny; I haven’t looked at those photos in a long time. Man, she was pretty bald at 15 months! In fact, she kind of looked like a jack o’ lantern herself. â€¨â€¨
Kids or no kids? I mean, they get to go trick or treating, right? What do we get? Oh, okay. I admit I loved watching Maisie walk around in her little lady bug costume last year. My heart still swells with joy remembering how cute she was. I guess trick or treating is for adults, too. â€¨â€¨
But back to The Blaze: kids or date? What to do? What to do? Either way, go!