Family-Friendly Pumpkin Festivals

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Jack-o-Lantern Journey at Franklin Park Zoo – Boston, MA

Thursday through Sunday, October 4-November 4

Whimsical pumpkins will delight and amaze at the new Jack O’ Lantern Journey at Franklin Park Zoo. Celebrate the season amongst thousands of hand-carved Jack O’ Lanterns creatively displayed in different themed scenes for all ages. Watch a live pumpkin carving demonstration, nosh on seasonal food and beverages. Ticket prices vary. 

Pumpkintown USA – East Hampton, CT

Weekends through October 31 and Columbus Day

A locally owned garden center on Route 66 transforms into this family-friendly Halloween village each fall. Visitors can peruse the barn, trading post and country store, but the real seasonal attraction is the 20-minute hayride though Pumpkintown Forest where you can catch a glimpse of dozens of pumpkinhead characters. Admission $6, hayride $7. Ages 2 and under free.

Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular – Providence, RI

Open through November 4

All ages will marvel at this outdoor gallery of thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns that transform the zoo’s pathways into a Halloween wonderland. Celebrating 30 years of Halloween magic, this year’s show will include more than 5,000 intricately carved scenes of wizards, fairytales and the luminaries of great myths and legends, alongside superheroes and historical figures who changed the world. Children $12-$15, adults $15-$18 depending on the day. Kids under 2 free.

The Great Salem Pumpkin Walk -- Salem, MA

Wednesday, October 10

Explore the historic and haunted downtown district for a special self-guided tour of pumpkin displays, activities, and entertainment. Participating locations include the Witch House, the Salem Witch Museum, the House of Seven Gables, Hawthorne Hotel and more.

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, NH

Friday & Saturday, October 12-13

A community-hosted, family celebration of fall, artistry, and all things pumpkin. Over 40,000 attendees come to take in the the famous 34-foot tower of jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin carving, food and craft vendors, live music, hayrides, children’s game and rides and more. Free admission.

EcoTarium’s Great Pumpkin Nights – Worcester, MA

Friday through Sunday, October 12-14, 19-21, and 26-28

Wander the EcoTarium grounds to see striking displays of dinosaurs, safari animals, and more, then move inside and enjoy the museum’s kid-friendly exhibits... while trick-or-treating! (Don’t forget your costume!) Bring a flashlight to light your way at night. Members $12, nonmembers $16. Kids under 2 free.

Frog Pond Pumpkin Float – Boston Common

Friday, October 19

The family-friendly event includes decoration of Halloween luminaries, refreshments, and more. Attendees of all ages are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and bring an 8-inch or smaller carved pumpkin to be floated on the Frog Pond for an early evening display. Free.

Monadnock Pumpkin Festival – Swanzey, NH

Saturday, October 20

Celebrating time-honored traditions of community, family fun, and pumpkin abundance, this festival features fireworks, hayrides, a haunted maze, artisan displays and even pumpkin catapult competition. All set to live entertainment and nestled in the heart of New Hampshire’s scenic Monadnock Region. Free.

Keene Pumpkin Fest – Keene, NH

Sunday, October 28

An all volunteer effort to bring flickering orange gourds back to downtown Keene after the famous festival moved to Laconia, the festival will feature children’s games, music, and, of course, pumpkins. Free admission.