It’s a tradition that every Halloween I go to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze outside Sleepy Hollow. It’s an incredible sight, with thousands of carved pumpkins (you don’t want to miss those pictures, here). The only downside is it’s about a 45-minute drive from Manhattan, so it’s not the most convenient place to visit.
So when we heard that this year there was going to be a similar, unaffiliated pumpkin trail right on Governors Island, my friends and I had to get tickets and check it out.
Because it’s Governors Island, you have to get to Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns by taking the ferry from Battery Park.
Even though it was a chilly, windy night, we stood on the deck of the ferry so we could look at the gorgeous Manhattan skyline behind us.
There were a lot of people going and, because our tickets were for 6:05pm, a lot of children. So once we got to Governors Island we had to wait in line for about 10 minutes before we could get onto the trail.
Upon initially looking at the trail, I was disappointed. It went in a big square, and there were no crazy pumpkin arrangements like at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. There were no carousels made entirely out of pumpkins, there were no trains made entirely out of pumpkins, there were no sea serpents made entirely out of pumpkins, and so on. (If you haven’t seen The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze pictures don’t miss them here).
Instead every 20 feet or so there was an elaborately-carved pumpkin on a hay barrel, with juvenile-looking pumpkins on the ground around it.
Granted the pumpkin carvings were impressive, and I’ll never be able to carve a pumpkin like that (I lack both the skill and the patience!). But still, when you compare it to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns was really disappointing.
But we still made the most of it, of course, because I always have fun with my friends no matter what we’re doing.
Another thing I didn’t like about Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns is that some of the pumpkins were used as advertisements, with a sign next to them saying when the film would hit theaters, or be available for purchase. It just made the experience feel that much more commercial.
This pumpkin made me think of my dad, who’s a retired police office.
And this pumpkin made me think of my brother.
(Because he’s in the Navy, not because he looks like a girl)!
At one point on the (very short) trail, you could watch a pumpkin carver at work. I’m not sure what he was going for with this pumpkin, but it kind of looks like a self portrait, don’t you think?!
And the trail ended, as it should, with a little New York love.
It turns out Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns is really more like Night of 30 Jack O’Lanterns. If the event had been in one of the Manhattan parks, it would have been fun to wander around and look at the pumpkins, because the carving is remarkable. But since Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns was on Governors Island, it really just felt like too much work getting there for so little result.
For more Halloween dos and don’ts, click here. And whatever you choose to do this evening, enjoy your celebrations!