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Pumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays Near Boston In 2020

New England Family-Friendly Pumpkin EventsPumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays Near Boston in 2020

New England is usually chock full of fall festivals dedicated to pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows and spooky fun: the icons of fall and of course Halloween. 

Since COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into things, many festivals are not taking place in their usual way this year.  However, a good number of festivals have been able to pivot to provide brand new, socially distant pumpkin festival experiences. **Be sure to reserve your tickets in advance, as social distancing will require specific time slots. 

2020 Pumpkin Festivals and Fun in New England: Re-imagined!

Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular—Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence RI
October 1 - November 1, 2020

The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular celebrates 30 years of wowing guests with some 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins on Roger Williams Zoo grounds. This year, enjoy a unique drive-through Zoo experience featuring pumpkins honoring the Special Places in our lives at this years Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular!

photo credit: Trig Photography

The Incredible Naumkeag Pumpkin Show, Stockbridge, MA
October 1 - October 31, 2020

Explore our famous gardens as we transform Naumkeag into a celebration of autumn with over 1,500 jack-o-lanterns, hundreds of mums, pumpkins and countless gourds – most of which were grown right here on the grounds!

Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience at Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, MA
August 21 - November 1, 2020

Visitors to Franklin Park Zoo will enjoy a memorable evening experience with hundreds of luminous, beautifully crafted large-scale lanterns. Spanning the 72 acres of Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Lights will impress visitors of all ages with more than 50 large scale displays comprised of hundreds of colorful lanterns.

photo courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo

'Boo at the Zoo' and 'Baby Boo' at Buttonwood Park Zoo - New Bedford

Dress the kids in their favorite costume and come explore all that BPZOO has to offer! We’ll provide families with a socially-distanced walk through experience with some twists and turns along the way.  Baby Boo is specifically tailored for children under 5.

The slightly spooky theme will include mazes, a scavenger hunt, plenty of trick-or-treat stations, endless photo opportunities including a photo costume contest, Halloween themed animal enrichment, and up-close meet and greets with the Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors.


Haunted Happenings 2020 - Salem, MA
October 1 - 31, 2020

Salem's annual Halloween Festival happens every year during October in the bewitching seaport of Salem, Massachusetts.  Generally, nobody celebrates Halloween quite like Salem, Massachusetts. However, it's 2020, so......

There will be some notable changes for 2020. While some things will definitely be different in Salem this October, you are invited to experience a re-imagined Halloween experience with museums and attractions, ghost tours, harbor cruises, local shopping, dining, & more.

Autumn Illuminated at Tower Hill Botanic Garden - Boylston, MA

Join us for our first Autumn Illuminated experience on select evenings this October. The lighted path through the gardens will highlight fall colors and provide a special after dark walk through the heart of Tower Hill.

Our one-way route and timed ticketing is designed to provide a fun and safe way to connect with nature’s magic. Visitors are encouraged to wear festive costumes to celebrate the season.  

Frightful Fridays at Gore Place - Waltham
Friday evenings on Oct 16, 23 and 30, 2020

Gore Place will present the popular Halloween program called Frightful Fridays. This year, the event will be held under the Century Tent, featuring spooky stories for kids ages 6 and up, but nothing too scary!

The 45-minute program, which features 5 stories, occurs twice per evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. and again at 7:45 p.m. Capacity is 40 people per session and advance registration is required.

Pumpkintown USA - East Hampton, CT
September 19 - October 31, 2020

Enjoy a journey through the Pumpkintown Forest in the comfort and safety of your own personal vehicle. On this scenic 1-mile (20 minute) drive you’ll see over 30 Pumpkinhead people and their animal companions at home in their woodland dwellings.

Fall Fun on Chestnut Hill Farm - Southborough
Sundays starting September 19th through November 8th

Join us on Sundays from 12-6pm to enjoy live music, hayrides, a scavenger hunt, and a visit with our friendly goats. Food from alternating food trucks and craft beer will be available for purchase.  We’ll be offering timed ticketing to adhere to COVID guidelines of a maximum of 50 people on-site at a time. Advanced tickets are required.

Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival—Stowe, VT
(**Postponed until next year - September 26, 2021)

Held at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, the festival challenges kids and adults to build a better trebuchet: a modern version of the medieval catapult. Spectators get to watch those pumpkins soar and smash.

Pumpkin People in the Park—Chatham, MA

October 16-31, 2020

This annual tradition on the Cape brings together local businesses which craft clever, funny, or awe-inspiring displays of people and activities out of pumpkins.

Return of the Pumpkin People - Jackson, NH
September 30 - October 31, 2020

This self-guided tour features more than 80 different locations hosting Pumpkin People displays. This is an event will amaze even the toughest of critics. You will see Pumpkin People doing all kinds of things from flying across yards to deep sea diving.

Fall Pumpkin Float Festival at Frog Pond - Boston (CANCELLED for 2020)
Stay tuned for 2021 dates

Fall Pumpkin Float will be held at the Boston Common Frog Pond usually held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in late October.  Visitors are encouraged to dress up and to bring a jack-o-lantern to launch into Frog Pond, where hundreds of illuminated jack-o’-lanterns will be floated on the water accompanied by spooky family activities.

Keene Pumpkin Festival — Keene, NH (CANCELLED for 2020)
Stay tuned for 2021 dates

October 24 - 31, 2020

The challenges of COVID are making things more challenging than usual this year. Due to many factors, we are now asking the community for a “self-managed” festival this year.

We are encouraging downtown and area businesses along with schools and citizens to carve and display jack o lanterns in front of your homes and businesses.

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival—Laconia, NH (CANCELLED for 2020)
**Save the date for next year!  October 15 & 16, 2021

Coronavirus concerns have forced the cancellation of the 2020 NH Pumpkin Festival in Downtown Laconia.  Usually, this annual festival features the Spectacular Pumpkin Tower, plus thousands of jack-o-lanterns lining the street.  SAVE THE DATE FOR 2021 - October 15 & 16, 2021.

You can find more things to do in September and October activities in our handy guides to fall family fun - and you can always visit our Boston events calendar more additional ideas.  

Pumpkin festivals, and jack-o-lantern displays, in whatever form they take, are still a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season, and to provide some normalcy to these especially trying times.  

Don't see your favorite pumpkin festival listed here yet?  Let us know!