Events ~ Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack O'Lantern Spectacular, Providence, October

Roger Williams Park Zoo
Jack O'Lantern Spectacular
1000 Elmwood Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island
October 7 - 31, 2010

Since my birthday is exactly three weeks before Halloween, my birthday adventures often involve some kind of autumn/Halloween theme. This year I opted to check out the Jack O'Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence.

A word to the wise: the park is open until 10, and the trail closes at 11. Arrive at 9:00-9:30, when people with small children are already gone and the lines are shorter. Also, not going on a weekend night will probably speed things along as well. We waited a good two hours to go through the trail, and we could have spent less time on line if we'd planned a bit more strategically.

Once we got near the ticket booth, there were snack booths and a juggler who was very good, and very engaging. He interacted very well with the young kids in the lines and helped to keep them interested.

Once on the trail, it's all about the pumpkins. There are all sizes and descriptions, with some stenciled in intricate detail. I liked that they grouped the pumpkins together in themes.

There was a whole Charlie Brown section, with carved scenes from the three major holiday specials.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
A dinosaur section had close-ups of different dinos, and a volcano pumpkin. There were awesome dinosaur-ish sound effects to go with it.

Here, along with pumpkins carved with number symbols and clocks, they were playing Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album.

Out on the pond, stands and rafts of pumpkins were piled amid lit fountains and looked beautiful.

photo: Roger Williams Park Zoo
There were scenes from American history, world history, the Wild West, zoos, and my favorites: generally scary pumpkins.

Just as at the end of a fireworks display there is a barrage of light and color, they did much the same with the pumpkin display. 
pumpkin finale big scary pumpkin
pumpkin finale
The spectacular boasts 5,000 pumpkins in the display. I think 1,000 of them were there at the end. It was a phenomenal effect, with orange fog and pumpkins literally up to the tree-tops.

pumpkins in the trees
pumpkins in the trees

It was well worth the wait, especially since the night was clear and not too chilly. We'd definitely go again.


  1. Happy birthday! What a cool way to celebrate. I saw this advertised through the AAA newsletter. I don't think we'll be able to get down there to see it this year but I really want to - thanks for sharing your walk - now I know even more that I would love it!!!


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