RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns (Secaucus, NJ)

Trick or Treat!

It was my first time attending Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns and it was quite the spectacle. At this show, 5,000 carved pumpkins illuminate all across the Meadowlands Expo Center show floor, a process of gutting, painting, and etching/carving that takes 10-15 hours per pumpkin! And that’s not all – “The Rise” brought in 20 truckloads of pumpkins for all their events. 20 truckloads = 40,650 pumpkins = 765,000 pounds of pumpkins!

Looking around, you’ll see that some were individually carved to represent icons, celebrities, or movies, while others were stacked to paint a bigger picture. A lot of plain pumpkins were just carved and lit on the floor for ambience. You can see the full album on my Facebook – but keep reading for some highlights and a video!

I pre-ordered our tickets in August at a special 50% off rate so if you have an opportunity to save some money, I’d definitely recommend it. Parking was a little difficult as well, since waves and waves of spectators come for this event, so be sure to arrive earlier than your selected ticket time. If you attended this event in a different state, let me know in the comments how yours turned out!

Some displays were massive (like the dragon above or the dinosaur fossils) while others were isolated in the center of the show floor, highlighting TV/movie characters, legendary celebrities, and cartoon characters.


If you want to get closer to some of the jack o’ lanterns, you might need to stand on some sort of line. It’s dark (on purpose, obviously) so watch out for little kids running around, wheelchairs, and strollers. It’s easy to get distracted by the beautifully illuminated pumpkins but always be aware of your surroundings!

As you start to make your way out, they have a corridor with work-in-progress pumpkins. Here you’ll get a little glimpse of the process. The art, the gutting, the carving…

But one of the best parts was the snack bar at the end. They were serving up cider donuts, hot chocolate, mulled apple cider, and candied apples.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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