Great Pumpkin Festivals & Jack-o-Lantern Displays

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine
Frog Pond Pumpkin Float

From a towering pyramid of glittering gourds to a quaint family festival, there is plenty of pumpkin-themed fun to be had this season in the Bay State and beyond. 

Pumpkintown USA – East Hampton, CT

Open daily through Halloween

One of Yankee Magazine’s Top 5 Pumpkin Festivals in New England, Pumpkintown is a kid-friendly Halloween village with lots of “non-scary” seasonal fun. Hop on a hay wagon for a mile-long ride through the forest to catch a glimpse of dozens of pumpkin characters, or stroll through Pumpkintown Village where over 70 pumpkin people and animals hang out at a church, post office, saloon and more. Weekend activities include a moonbounce, face painting, and children’s games. Halloween barn, trading post and country store are also on site. Weekend village admission $6, hayride $8. Weekday village admission $3, hayride $8. Children 2 and under free. 

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

Open daily Oct. 3-Nov. 3

This outdoor gallery of thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns transforms the zoo’s pathways into a Halloween wonderland. Visitors come from all over the world to see the intricately carved pumpkins, designed this year as a celebration of the seasons. You can marvel at it all from above on the zoo’s Soaring Eagle Zip Ride. Four sensory-friendly evenings are scheduled as well as five family fun nights where children can meet fairy tale characters, super heroes, and even have a slumber party at the zoo. Prime night admission (Friday through Sunday) $18 for adults, $15 for kids. Value night admission (Monday through Thursday) $15 for adults, $12 for kids. Children 1 and under free.

Monadnock Pumpkin Festival – Swanzey, NH

Saturday, October 12 

Fireworks, rides, costumes, crafters, and all-things-pumpkin. Enjoy the beauty of fall at this family event featuring massive pumpkin displays, lawn games, a kids’ tent, food trucks, pony rides, and a touch-a-truck area. Let your little ones strut in the costume parade and grab a free book from the Keene Public Library. The event, which runs 1-8 p.m., is also dog-friendly. Free.  

The Great Salem Pumpkin Walk -- Salem, MA 

Thursday, Oct. 17 

Explore the historic and haunted downtown district for a special self-guided tour of pumpkin displays, activities, and entertainment. Event takes place throughout town from 3-8 p.m. Participating locations include the Witch House, the Salem Witch Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne Hotel and more. Free. 

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, NH

Friday & Saturday, October 18-19

The 34-foot-tall tower of glittering jack-o-lanterns at the center of this Halloween festival is surely something to see. Live music, food and craft vendors, amusement rides, pumpkin carving and children’s games are all part of the seasonal fun. Free. 

Frog Pond Pumpkin Float – Boston Common

Friday, October 18

Bring your own pumpkin and watch it float in the Frog Pond with hundreds of others at this family-fun event happening in the heart of Boston. While the pond fills up with glowing jack-o-lanterns, enjoy music, refreshments and children’s activities from 5-8 p.m. Attendees of all ages are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Free. 

Keene Pumpkin Fest – Keene, NH

Sunday, October 27

Enjoy a magical day in downtown Keene among 3,000 jack-o-lanterns. Family-friendly music and dance performances, art activities and games including pumpkin bowling will add to the fall fun. Children can take part in a costume parade and go trick-or-treating at downtown businesses. Free.