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Pumpkin Carving Festivals The Rise and The Glow Hit NJ

Nothing says fall like a jack o’lantern—especially a really, really big one.


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Have you ever seen an expert pumpkin carver in action? If not, you have two chances to get in on the action this fall.

Two carving events are hitting the Garden State for a limited time this Halloween season. Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns, a traveling pumpkin show with over 5,000 masterpieces per location, is spooking up the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus from October 27 to 30. And The Glow: A Jack O'Lantern Experience will call the Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport home on weekends in October starting on the 7th.

The Rise is making its first-ever appearance in NJ, so odds are you’ve never seen anything quite like it before. This year they doubled their number of carved 100+ pound pumpkins, and there are plenty of familiar faces to be spotted on the light-up trail. Your crew can spot dinosaurs, dragons plus all their favorite movie characters in pumpkin form. And if you want to get a behind-the-scenes peek at how these gigantic pumpkin sculptures are actually made, visit one of the four live-carving stations to witness master carvers churn out thousands of jack o’lanterns daily.

The Glow is a totally out-of-the-box experience, too, featuring a quarter-mile trail called Jack’s Lane that’s brimming with hundreds of super-detailed pumpkin carvings and lights. Take the kids through Jersey Jaunt, where they can check out everything from landmarks to celebrities from their home state, and then take a trip through Prehistoric Park for a visit with sixteen-foot-tall dinosaurs. And don’t forget to hop a ride on Revenge, a haunted pirate ship.

The Glow from jeffum on Vimeo.

Tickets to The Rise can be bought online—they’re $26 for adults and $22 for kids three to 12 and seniors. Kids two and under are free. The Glow is a little cheaper with tickets at $22 for adults and $16 for kids. They also have VIP packages available for a couple extra bucks, which get you a signature jack o’lantern to take home with you and the option to come at any time slot for the night you purchase.

Tickets are flying already and need to be bought in advance for both venues, so snag yours ASAP. Trust us, these spooktacular celebrations will make your little monsters go out of their gourds.

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