I usually take issue with things named spectacular, but I have to admit in the case of the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, the name fits. The sheer number of pumpkins sacrificed to the cause of creating this glowing presentation is extraordinary. You’ll pass hundreds of hand-carved unique faces along the winding path and see the hundreds more lit lanterns shimmering in the trees and across the ponds.
Each evening it starts at 6pm, although sunset comes a bit later. We arrived at 5:30pm, waited in line, bought our tickets, then meandered near the entrance buying pretzels and drinking coffee. What we didn’t realize is that there is another queue within the zoo for people to wait until it’s dark enough outside, and there’s plenty of stands (and time) while you’re on that line to buy SuperPretzels (not as deserving of their name). Despite the line’s seeming to contain the entire population of Rhode Island, once dark descended, it moved fairly well. And the fiery tribute to one of the prettier traditions of Halloween is truly worth the wait.
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular (october 8-November 1, 2009)