Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns
Jack O’Lanterns used to be something you carved with the kids, punching out a couple eyes and a gap-toothed smile in about an hour. But today, pumpkin carving has been elevated to a high art – with real artists spending up to 15 hours carving pumpkins into things that, well, you just have to see.
The Rise, as it’s called, has become so popular, it has now expanded to locations around the New York area (and to Chicago and Los Angeles.) The idea is simple – over 5000 hand-carved jack o’lanterns are creatively arranged around a quarter-mile scenic path and the show is set to a musical score. The multi-jack structures are gone this year, but you won’t miss them – this year’s display is more immersive than ever, with more 100-pound pumpkins and most jacks within 6 feet of the trail, so you feel like you’re part of the exhibit, not just looking at it. (There’s also a new forest of light effect.) The display is unique for its use of real pumpkins (all the featured jack o’lanterns are real, carved by a team of over 200 artists, and last only 5 days until they are replaced). Kids can actually gently touch the pumpkins, and the live carving demonstrations are awesome (in every sense of the word.)
Like light shows at the holidays, pumpkins shows are a family-friendly must, so it’s not surprising The Rise sometimes sells out weeks ahead. Tickets are timed admission, staggered at 15 minute intervals (don’t be late!) and early shows are designed to admit fewer walkers. Tickets are $26 adults; $22 for children 3-17; free for the 2 and unders. It’s a must to book online, and the sooner the better.