Long Island residents who head north to Sleepy Hollow for the annual Halloween festivities won’t have to travel as far this year. The popular fall event is headed to us.
Nassau County is playing host to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Long Island next month. And if you’re worried about it losing that old-time charm the Van Cortlandt Manor event provides, you might be delighted to learn the local version will be hosted at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
“[It] is an ideal location and the mission of both historic organizations are completely aligned,” noted Waddell Stillman, president of Historic Hudson Valley, stewards of the annual event that has entertained thousands in Westchester for the past 15 autumn seasons.
What can I expect?
The Long Island event will feature two dozen elaborate hand-carved pumpkin displays spread out across the historic village and enhanced by a spooky soundscape. There will also be a couple of Long Island-themed installations that might have you over the moon, such as a lunar module carving that pays tribute to our region’s role in the first moon landing and a “Pumpkin Planetarium.”
What is Old Bethpage Village?
If you have never checked it out the 209-acre historic site you should, and not just for the pumpkins. Now in its 50th year, the restoration is fun and informative at any time and its sprawling grounds are great for kids to run around and maybe watch some baseball played the old-fashioned way (we also like drinking the birch beer!). The old homes, barns and buildings on site date back as far as 1765 and it is essentially a tribute to 19th century Long Island living. Costumed performers will tell you what it was like to live here and perform demonstrations in blacksmithing and other old-time trades. There’s a co-op farm on site, so foodies might want to visit on a farmer’s market day.
How are they addressing COVID-19 at the Blaze?
The Jack O’Lantern Blaze will be hosted entirely outdoors and is a touch-free experience. The organizers say they’ll reduce capacity by 67% and have timed admissions with tickets sold only in advance, to meet state guidelines. Masks are also required.
I’m in. How do I book it?
While the Hudson Valley event is already underway, the Long Island blaze will run Friday through Sunday beginning Oct. 2 and concluding on Nov. 1 for those looking to hang on to Halloween for one more day. Tickets start at $32 for adults and $24 for kids aged 3-17. To get tickets at the lowest price ($112 for a family of four), you have to book for 8:30 p.m. or later on a Sunday. Prime time on Saturday, for example, will cost about $75 more for a family of four.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration is located near the Nassau-Suffolk border and close to the Long Island Expressway at 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage.