October calls for a good pumpkin festival. It is important to be joyful this time of year and over indulge a bit for hard times are ahead in the north. This year I visited The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-On-Hudson, Westchester. I really liked the set up of this festival. You purchase tickets for a specific time period so things don’t get out of hand. Parking was simple, and there is a store with pumpkin/Halloween items and a place to get simple refreshments such as cider donuts either before or after your experience. I would recommend getting a nice hot cup of apple cider to warm your hands as you walk. There is a path that winds through thousands of intricately carved pumpkins, and different areas had different themes. The whole experience took about an hour, and we enjoyed every minute of it!
Last year I attended the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire. This was a very different experience, and also lots of fun! Parking was a bit of a hassle, you and get shuttled in to the festival on a bus. Lines were long, and the festival was crowded, but there were lots of interesting things going on, like pumpkin bowling! There were games, activities, food, and a ferris wheel accompanying the eclectically carved pumpkins. This festival is actually in the middle of the town, so there area lots of places to eat and stores to look in. You can spend a few hours wandering about.
I loved both festivals and would recommend either them for some festive fall fun. The Blaze was more of a viewing station for beautifully arranged pumpkins with some gifts and refreshments. The Keene Pumpkin Festival was more of a festival vibe with a lot of pumpkins about. Choosing between them depends on what you’re into or where you’d like to travel!