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“If you've seen one pumpkin...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Van Cortlandt Manor

Van Cortlandt Manor
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Attraction details
Owner description: Explore the stone manor house and brick ferry house, wander through the heritage gardens, and stroll down a quiet country road along the Croton River. There, you'll experience the domestic life of a patriot family living in the years just after the American Revolution - the New Nation period. Site is open for tours on weekends during July and August. Property also hosts the popular events LIGHTSCAPES in the spring and the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in the fall.
Mt. Ivy, Ny
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“If you've seen one pumpkin...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

Yes you have to buy tickets in advance quickly or you will get closed out-but if you buy tickets for an earlier time they still let you in later-so if friends miss out and have to purchase later tickets you can still hook up. I have always been impressed by the people in my neighborhood who carved elaborate pumpkins. It is indeed amazing the display that is there, and the talent is not to be disputed, but honestly we were bored. Once you see the photos on line, you get it-thousands of pumpkins. It's so crowded, there's really no opportunity to linger and savor and take pictures-so you just move along like cattle. The gift shop at the end is low priced, so you can buy a little something for the kids, but would have been better at a mid point where blinking earrings and light rings would make the child a part of the fun (although maybe distracting from the dark needed) The pumpkins are lit mostly by electric light as far as we could tell, sort of negating the word Blaze. There's no animation, no benches along the way, nothing to change it up. Worth doing if you live on that side of the river, I wouldn't travel from Rockland or Bergen again. Good cappuccino and hot apple cider at the end of what took only just about an hour. It goes on rain or shine, so be prepared. If you've never seen these kind of jack o'lanterns before, you will be astounded. If you have, you will still appreciate the time and work and detail, but for me, I am glad I came so I could see what the fuss was about, but there are other places that we go yearly and truly enjoy and bring people with us (Maples Farm in Middletown NY for one, and I won't ruin the surprise by telling you why!) I will say that The Blaze might make a different kind of first date!!!

Visited October 2012
Thank NewportNewbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Scotts, Mi
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not open”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2012

Van Cortlandt Manor is only open to groups by appointment. We were quite disappointed that it was not possible to vist this attraction.

Visited September 2012
2 Thank scottsmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
90 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Wishing They Were Still Open to Public on a daily basis...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2012

This historic property, Van Cortlandt Manor, is a wonderful interpretive site of American manor life in the 18th century. It used to be open daily to the public but now is only open to groups by appointment, school groups and on special days like their incredible Animals and Acrobats and Great Jackolantern Blaze special weekends. This site is a very authentic portrayal of life on a manor just after the Revolutionary war. The docents at VCM are extremely well-versed in the history of the period and in the crafts and tasks they carry out. There is an amazing black smith, cooks, herbalists, weavers, brick makers etc. The gardens are truly spectacular. The grounds abut the Croton River and are very peaceful They used to have a lovely event called River Days which highlighted this. It seems that at present they only take reservations of groups more than 10 persons. They used to be open daily to tourists in the area. I think it is a shame that it is not opened daily like that any longer. Since I live in the area, I used to just stop by to enjoy the property in various seasons and see what tasks were carried out that day and enjoy the grounds. As I mentioned earlier, Animals and Acrobats is a phenomenal event that usually takes place over the Memorial Day weekend...filled with slack-rope walkers, story telling, fortune telling, music, stilt walkers, Punch and Judy and of course, animals like Elephants. The Blaze is their Halloween event that takes place over many weeks and takes your breath away with the myriad of lighted pumpkins! I hope Historic Hudson Valley brings back the daily opportunities for tourists and locals alike to enjoy the talents of their staff and the exceptional grounds. There isn't food service on regular days, but during events there is always a lovely catering of sandwiches, muffins, etc. I suggest it to anyone interested in the history of our country, the history of every day life in the 18th century, crafts, cooking, etc.

Visited May 2011
4 Thank Eleganceamust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
96 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Christmas tour”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2012

Have gone on candlelight christmas tour which we enjoyed but was very cold. We hear the Halloween Jack O latern tour is a sight to see.

1 Thank NewyorkChubby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westchester County, New York
Level Contributor
208 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Pumpkin Blaze is great.. but not the only treat”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2012

We live near Van Cortlandt Manor and have gone frequenty through the years. The pumpkin blaze is a must do, but don't wait for the halloween season to visit. Check it out in fair weather and enjoy the gardens. If you're lucky, you'll have a good tour guide. Some are quite excellent. Got kids? there are special kids and Girl Scout /Boy Scout activities. All are very good. Enjoy!

Visited October 2011
2 Thank CMKNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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