There is something wonderfully autumnal about upstate New York. The colors change, the air is crisp, and you can spend a lazy Sunday visiting all the orchards while eating fresh apple cider donuts.
One of my favorite activities to do every year is to visit the Sleepy Hollow region up near Tarrytown. A very short and relaxing drive from New York City proper, it's like stepping back in time to the 18th century and visiting the world of Washington Irving's classic.
And nothing is more fun than a stroll through the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze.
Located on the grounds of the charming Van Cortlandt Manor, the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze is a garden stroll among an ocean of Jack O' Lanterns. Some 7000 pumpkins, each hand-carved by the event's team of artisans, are set up in elaborate and magical displays. Colored lights blaze from pumpkin mouths along a Planetarium tunnel, a massive Headless Horseman waits for prey, the Statue of Liberty greets all who visit, and the signs of the Zodiac stand ready for a very Instagrammable selfie.
Visiting the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze has become an annual tradition for me. The event gets more elaborative and creative each year, I love seeing all the new ideas the artisans come up with each year, and I really enjoy picking up gifts and treats from the vendors at the marketplace. It's very wholesome and family friendly, while still being strange and magical enough for the Halloween season.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, you can get tickets here.