The kids are excitedly preparing for Halloween, with visions of candy, costumes and pumpkins dancing in their heads. New Jersey is home to many wonderful pumpkin-themed events this season, everything from elaborate pumpkin exhibits to carving competitions to good old-fashioned pumpkin picking and decorating. Read on for our top picks and check out the Mommy Poppins NJ Halloween Guide for more fun events.
The Giant Pumpkin Carve (Woodstown)
September 26, 2015
This awesome annual event brings both amateur and professional artists together to transform giant pumpkins into spectacular works of art. Visitors can vote for their favorite pumpkins in multiple categories. Other events include a straw maze, crafts, hay rides and music. All proceeds from the event benefit Meals on Wheels of Salem County.
Blackwood Pumpkin Festival (Blackwood)
October 4, 2015
Thousands of local families flock to this festival every year to celebrate fall's arrival with pumpkin painting, hay rides, scarecrow making, face painting and more. The festival features four stages of live entertainment, delicious food and competitions including house decorating, pumpkin carving, costume contest and youth talent show. FREE
Brite Nites (Warren)
October 16-18 & 23-25, 2015
Take a stroll through the Pumpkin Path and marvel at over 1000 carved and lighted pumpkins including funny faces, scary faces, caricatures and more! The pumpkins on display will delight both the little and big kids in your family. If you’re looking for a spookier scene, be sure to visit the Haunted House Showcase in Wagner Farm’s shed. Yummy Halloween treats are also available for purchase at the Black Hat Café.
MAM Pumpkin Carving (Montclair)
October 23, 2015
Montclair Art Museum is hosting a festive night of Halloween fun—show off your artistic side by carving and decorating your very own pumpkin. All pumpkins, art supplies and carving tools will be provided. Kids are invited to dress in their Halloween costumes and refreshments will be available.
Pumpkin Patch Day (Union)
October 24, 2015
There’s plenty of seasonal fun for the family at Liberty Hall Museum. This historic home, built in 1772 and once home to NJ’s first elected governor, is hosting a special Pumpkin Patch event. Bring the kids for an eventful day featuring pumpkin picking, hay rides and special crafts including pumpkin carving and painting.
The Great Pumpkin Sail (Mountainside)
November 1, 2015
Watch as hundreds of carved pumpkins float along Echo Lake in an illuminated display. This annual tradition invites families to say farewell to Halloween by casting their jack-o-lanterns on to the water. The evening's festivities include refreshments and songs around the campfire. Tickets must be purchased in advance and they sell out fast so please call ahead.
Still hankering for more pumpkin-themed adventures? The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, the granddaddy of all pumpkin carving events, takes place in Croton-on-Hudson, NY and is definitely worth the trek. Read all about it on the NY site here.