Imagine all of the coziness of fall mixed with loads of Halloween fun and singing pumpkins—that’s what you’ll find at the Skylands Stadium Jack O’Lantern Experience. And after visiting with my family, I can genuinely say it’s an experience all ages will love. From the 45-minute walk-through displays of intricately designed, mind-blowing hand-carved jack o’lanterns to the fall festival of rides, a beer garden, and cozy firepits, this is a must-do to get into the Halloween spirit. Luckily, it extends the week past Halloween, so you can still get a chance to see it if don’t get there by the 31st. Read on for what to know before you go.
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Entering the Skylands Stadium Jack O’Lantern Experience
As we entered the Skylands Stadium, we were greeted by three singing pumpkins (yes, pumpkins!) belting out songs to the crowd. We started walking through a tunnel of dancing lights and headed straight toward a colossal Ferris wheel full of lit jack o’lanterns intricately carved as Halloween-themed music rang in our ears in the background. Overhead were mini-jack o’ lanterns dangling from the trees above smiling down on us. My kids heard the roars of dinosaurs, and as we continued on the path, my dino-loving kids were thrilled to see T-Rex and more made entirely out of pumpkins. The next stop was a castle filled with Disney-themed pumpkins full of delicate detail only an experienced carver could create.
Blazing through happy hauntings
As we wandered deeper into the display, there was a graveyard, more jack o’lanterns, and even a spooky pumpkin carved skeleton on a motorcycle. There were pumpkin faces, pumpkin planets, and even a pumpkin head on a scarecrow—it was a dizzying assortment of the most fantastic art carved onto the orange gourds. By the end of this display, we all agreed our favorite was the massive Day of the Dead pumpkin face surrounded by more miniature pumpkins illuminated with colorful lights.
Hitting a Halloween home run
As we entered another flashing light tunnel, we reached the inside of the Skylands Stadium, which led to an amazing display. My kids immediately recognized Sponge Bob Squarepants’ carved character surrounded by pumpkins transformed into jellyfish, sea turtles, and sharks. In the stands, pumpkins were sitting in seats carved into seashell shapes, designer logos like Gucci, and there were also silly jack o’lantern faces smiling down on us as we walked on the field. When we walked past the dugout, we saw an adorable pumpkin baseball team in the dugout with fun faces and baseball hats made out of, you guessed it—pumpkins. Next, we wandered down the path and made our way into the safari to see pumpkin giraffes, then we turned the corner and saw some friendly characters from Frozen. Finally, we came face to face with a huge pumpkin dragon full of beautifully carved detail with light spilling out from all angles. As we went to the end of the display, we walked through another fun, fully lit tunnel, and we entered a bustling nighttime fall festival for the whole family.
Staying for s’more family fun
At the festival, we could hear sounds of live music at the Beer Garden. There are over 30 craft brews to try, as well as ciders and hard seltzers, and while you’re having a brew or two, littles can warm up with hot apple cider or cocoa. And the fun doesn’t stop there—they can participate in the pumpkin pick and paint, cozy up to the fire pits while heating marshmallows from the family s’more packets, or they can take a spin on one of the carnival rides. And if you or your family gets hungry, there are plenty of seasonal treats available to feast on. We had warm cups of cocoa, and my kids had a ball taking in all the fun and going on the carousel before we headed home, with inspiration for our pumpkin carvings.
What to know before you go
The Skylands Stadium Jack O’Lantern Experience runs for 28 days from October 1-November 7. The fall festival opens at 5 PM, and it is free, but the food, drinks, rides, and the Jack O’Lantern Experience are available for an extra cost. Twilight tickets are $19 per person, which is an excellent option for younger families that might still want a little daylight (kids 36″ and under are free). When darkness falls, the Prime Time ticket is $24 per person, and the VIP ticket, which includes cider, beer, wine, and a s’mores kit, is $34 per person (the price guarantees admission for any night during any time slot even if the event is sold out). If you decide to walk the tour when it gets dark, make sure everything is securely packed before you walk, and strollers are permitted. Parking is free, and this is a rain or shine event.
Skylands Stadium- Jack O’Lantern Experience
94 Championship Place, Augusta, NJ 07822