27 October 2013

Oktoberfest 2013 - Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Returned for our second annual trip up to Bear Mountain State Park for Oktoberfest 2013.  Starting from September 13 until October 26, we were sure to grab our tickets early as every year tends to sell out.  Fall foliage was much more appealing this year, however the 3 hour Circle Line ferry ride from 42nd street was much colder since we boarded on the final ride for the season.  Prior to last year, most of our day was spent on the boat and due to long lines for beer and food, time was limited once we entered Oktoberfest on the mountain.  Alas, a great escape from Manhattan allowed us to take in the autumn air and colorful scenery along the Hudson.

Previous post: Oktoberfest 2012

25 October 2013

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze - Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is accessible via Metro North to the Croton-Harmon stop on the Hudson Line.  About an hour north from Manhattan, it is unfortunately a bit of a walk from the station.  Unless you're comfortable with hitching a ride from a perfect stranger like we were, than I suggest finding a friend with a car.  Located at Van Cortlandt Manor the Blaze is in its 9th year of the pumpkin carving installation.  It takes a year long process to develop the designs and themes included in the display of over 5,000 jack-o-lanterns.  Carving begins at the end of September and displayed throughout the entire month of October.  The 45 minute pathway this year includes the 'Tunnel O'Pumpkin Love', gourd filled Jack-in-the-Boxes, a pumpkin cemetery, hand crafted design works of dinosaurs, animals and spiders - just to name a few.  To me, the best part was the original soundtrack that coincided with the walk-through experience.  The music matched perfectly, allowing you to fully experience a visual trance synchronized with orange lights.  The Blaze tends to sell out every year so be sure to grab your tickets early.  For more info check out http://www.hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze.