Get Out of NYC Day Trips: the Great Blaze

My family loves the Halloween season. We have a full stock of zombies and ghosts to decorate with, different colored lightbulbs for every lamp, and an annual costume party to boot. Who doesn't love a chance to dress up and be spooky every once in a while?


A great way to celebrate the spirit of this most beloved holiday is to spend an evening at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze. Located at Van Cortland Manor in Westchester, this Halloween wonderland is a festival of lights (but don't worry, it's low on the frights). The Blaze is perfect for friends or family, so make a date to enjoy this seasonal treat! 

Getting There

  • By Car 
    • Coming from Westchester, NYC, or Rockland counties, follow the Saw Mill Parkway north, merge onto route 9A, and follow signs for Croton Harmon Train Station. As you exit towards the train station, turn right and follow the bright lights (you can see some of the installations from the road).
    • Parking is free, however the lines to get in and out can back up, so to avoid that park in the Shop Rite parking lot next door and use the pedestrian entrance. It will only add about a minute of extra walking time and save you ages waiting in line. 
  • By Train
    • Take a MetroNorth Hudson Line train from Manhattan or Westchester to the Croton Harmon station. 
    • You could make the 15 minute walk to Van Cortland Manor on foot, but there aren't sidewalks or well marked paths, so I would recommend getting a cab or an uber for this quick drive. 

the victinerary

  • This event is a showcase of beautiful art, all made out of hand-carved Jack O-Lanterns! Plan to spend at least an hour or more walking along the path to see all of the amazing displays. 
  • KEY NOTE: Book your tickets early. Prime weekend times sell out quickly, so snap those up while you can. If you're late to the game however, later evening tickets on mid-week days tend to be the last to sell out, so if you can manage one of those times you'll be in luck! 
    • Admission: $20 Adults / $16 Children
    • Hours: End of September - End of November, annually
    • Tickets are sold in half hour time slots on a daily basis from 5pm - 10pm (times are limited for different days of the week throughout the season, check the calendar)

Some selections from this year include the Pumpkin Zee Bridge, Lady Liberty, a serpentine dragon, and my favorite, the circus train! 

I hope you enjoyed this look into a fantastic seasonal spectacle and that you make plans to visit before it ends. If you follow my footsteps, please let me know in the comment section below about your experience! 


Thanks for coming along, and check back every week for a new Victinerary to help plan your next adventure!

~ V


Photos taken with: Nikon D5300, Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens

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