Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where Have We Been #4: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

 *I am not posting any photos of this year's pumpkins.*

Another one of our favorite Halloween traditions is going to see all the carved pumpkins at the Roger Williams Zoo's Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. It truly is an amazing sight!  It does get crowded, and the wait can be long, which is why we typically pay extra to do the meal including no wait entry to the pumpkins. Last year, we loved the harvest buffet which was available all week long.  This year, the weekday meal is zoo food and the buffet is only on weekends. Next year, if the week day meal is the same, we'll definitely skip it.  Get there early enough on a week day and the wait isn't bad.  A note to those who go every year, the main lot is no longer free parking.  It's now their "premier" parking for $10.  We parked in the second lot for free and were out of the parking area in about 3 minutes tops.  Might be worth it for the weekend but not during the week.  I have to say that this year is not as good as past years, mostly due to the theme for us, but partially due to the lack of kid's pumpkins and middle section of huge pumpkins. Still impressive and amazing, especially if you haven't been.   

The staff is very friendly, there are restrooms and port-a-potties all along the wait area and lots of snacks and gifts. They do an amazing job of controlling the amount of people on the trail at any given time so you can thoroughly enjoy the experience without feeling like a herd of cattle. There were times when we were the only people at a group of pumpkins with no one even walking by.  Please note there is No flash photography on the trail. It's blinding when flashes go off around you.  

Taken when we spent the day at the zoo first.  Pumpkins are much more impressive when you can't see the carving marks.

Every year has a main theme, this year's is the 50 states, and one or two little themes like zombie zoo.  Last year's main theme was All the World's a and was amazing!  And they have a kid's section at the end which this year only consisted of 3 pumpkins.  Pretty disappointing especially considering the theme was not too exciting for kids. Past years had more kid friendly themes and more kids pumpkins.   Mr. No still had a fantastic time, though!

*The photos do not look like this on my computer and even if I completely adjust settings (make them significantly darker or lighter or adjust color) they still upload the exact same way.  No idea why.*

Mr. No loves all the faces, though, rather than the intricately carved ones.  And they are everywhere!  Remember to look on both sides of the path or you may miss a cute one!

Usually there is a place in the middle of the trail with a bunch of jack-o-lanterns and some absolutely huge ones.  I didn't post a photo of one but the largest ones have pumpkins next to them carved with their weight. This guy with the eyeballs on top is still one of my favorites!

The end of the trail is the "Laughing Tree".  Be warned that the music is a super loud and annoying laughing over music.  Mr. No covers his ears every time (and I usually want to).  The pumpkins are seriously spectacular though!  Jack-O-Lanterns up as high as you can see and everywhere on the ground.  It's unbelievable! 

We'll definitely go again next year! It's affordable, non-scary, Halloween fun that impresses everyone!  I've noticed a few other local places doing jack-o-lantern trails, too.  Not sure how they are but they're much smaller, I know.  We may have to check one out next year.

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