WHO: Laura (Mom), Ian (Dad), Everett (age 8) and Ames (age 4)
WHAT: Jack's Pumpkin Glow
WHERE: The Hermitage, 4580 Rachel's Lane, Hermitage, TN
WHEN: Thu – Sun in October
ADMISSION: Adults from $22.99, kids from $16.99, free kids younger than 2
The temperatures have officially dropped below 90 degrees here in Nashville, so naturally the kids have jumped right into the Halloween spirit. This year our crew decided to kick off the season with a visit to Jack’s Pumpkin Glow, located on the grounds of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage.
The Pumpkin Glow takes guests on a path that winds through various scenes created from carved and glowing pumpkins. The path is one-third mile long and is stroller friendly for younger kiddos. I had no idea what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised by the creativity and artistry of the displays. The kids really enjoyed the large dinosaurs and sea creatures created by stacking carved pumpkins. My husband and I were impressed by the intricately carved pumpkins with portraits of celebrities.
Tickets for the Pumpkin Glow must be bought in advance at the website and are available with specific time slots, although “Anytime Tickets” are also available for an extra fee. The Pumpkin Glow has time slots Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings in October. You will need your ticket to get in, so make sure you have a printed ticket or the ticket on your phone with you when you arrive.
Plan to arrive early in order to park and get through the security line prior to your time slot. We arrived about 15 minutes early, and while we had no trouble parking, we did have to wait in the security line longer than expected. Parking is an additional $5, so make sure to bring cash. Parking attendants will direct you to a parking spot in the grassy lot.
After you get through the security and ticket lines you are able to have a picture taken in front of an autumnal background. You can purchase souvenir photos (starting at $10), following the Pumpkin Glow experience.
Once you pass the photographer, the experience truly begins. The crowd spreads out and you are able to enjoy the sights. As we walked along the glowing trail, the kids were continually pointing out pumpkins they thought were amazing or that made them laugh. In general, the pumpkins are much more creative than scary. The cemetery portion of the trail did scare our 4-year-old. He recovered quickly as the scenes became more whimsical once again. We spent about 30 minutes walking the trail.
As you exit the Pumpkin Glow trail there is an area where merchandise and pumpkins are sold. Pumpkins range from $3 – $5. Food and drink are also available for purchase. On the night we attended, coffee, cocktails, cocoa and water were on the drink menu. There was also food from Spudtacular, So Yum and Cousins Maine Lobster food trucks. Pumpkin painting and face painting activities are offered as well as pumpkin carving demonstrations. Port-o-potties are also located in this area.
Following walking the trail, I would encourage a visit to the pumpkin carving demonstration. There was no demonstration when we walked by, but we stopped and talked to one of the pumpkin carvers and enjoyed hearing his stories about carving, setting up the scenes and the local animals who enjoy the pumpkins. We also got some great pumpkin carving and preservation tips.
We enjoyed our visit and the magic of walking among the glowing pumpkins as a family. We were certainly inspired to up our pumpkin carving game this year! Plan ahead time-wise, bring your tickets and some cash for parking, and enjoy the unique talents of the pumpkin carvers!