Pumpkin Carving Events in New Jersey
The kids are excitedly preparing for Halloween, with visions of candy, costumes and pumpkins dancing in their heads. Now is the time to make all their pumpkin dreams come true! NJ is home to many wonderful farms and museums hosting family-friendly events, from over-the-top pumpkin displays to carving competitions to good ol' fashioned pumpkin picking and decorating. Read on for our top picks and check out our Halloween Guide for more fun events.
Brite Nites at Wagner Farm Arboretum (Warren)
October 18-20 & October 25-27, 6:45-8pm
Take a stroll through the Pumpkin Path and marvel at over 1500 carved and lighted pumpkins including scary faces, funny grins, 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 treats like cookies and hot cocoa are available for purchase at the Black Hat Café. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children. Advance tickets can be purchased either online or in person at the Arboretum.
Scarecrow Festival (Monmouth Beach)
October 19, 2-4pm
Feeling competitive this Halloween? Head on over to this family-friendly festival, featuring contests such as cupcake baking, pumpkin carving, a chili cook-off and the famous town wide scarecrow competition. There’s even a canine costume competition for your four-legged friends. You can sign up in advance for any of the contests online at the festival website. Spectators are welcome too: there is plenty of fun to keep everyone busy and entertained!
Pumpkin Carving at MAM (Montclair)
October 25, 6-8pm
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. Tickets are $25 for nonmembers and $20 for members; they can be purchased in advance on the website or at MAM.
Pumpkin Patch Day at Liberty Hall Museum (Union)
October 26, 10am-5pm (Rain date: October 27)
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 Pumpkin Patch Day on October 26th. Bring the kids for a day full of pumpkin picking, hayrides and special crafts including pumpkin carving and painting. The program costs $6 for adults, $10 for kids and is free for children under three. There is an additional charge to purchase pumpkins. Reservations are suggested.
The Great Pumpkin Sail (Mountainside)
November 1 at 5:15pm, 6:45pm or 8:15pm (Rain date: November 2)
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 live entertainment and refreshments. Tickets must be purchased in advance and they sell out fast--please call in advance to check availability. $12 per family (up to six people) for in-county residents, $16 per family for out-of-county residents.
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.