October has arrived and all kinds of haunted attractions have sprung up to frighten and delight. Southern California’s most famous haunted attractions, Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights are great, but they’re also expensive and crowded. I love visiting, but they’re not the best for hosting meet ups. Luckily, there are plenty of other seasonal events, like Nights of the Jack out in Calabasas.
Nights of the Jack
I attended this event in the past, but each year, they create a fanatastic landscape of lights and decorated pumpkins. There are themed displays that range from Spongebob to graveyard, all decked out with painted, carved, animated, or creatively arranged pumpkins. I knew it would be great for a meet!
Hosting on a weeknight meant that the venue wouldn’t be super crowded and would hopefully allow for people who don’t have weekends free to attend. I posted in our community and got some interest. In total, four of us made the trek out to Calabasas to visit Nights of Jack!
The event has a “preshow” area that is open for the 30 minutes before your timed entry ticket. The preshow included photo ops, vendors with light up props and accessories, live pumpkin carving, food trucks, and a bar. It was a little cold that evening, so getting a warm drink (I got apple cider) was definitely a necessary treat.
The Main Event
Once we’d gotten our treats, we started the “Jack’s Trail.” The trial was a ¾ mile paved road, but since it was dark, it was pretty hard to see the cracks and holes in the road. I definitely regretted wearing a cute pair of heels. My friend who opted for platform creepers had a much easier time.
Each of the installations was themed with hundreds of real and fabricated pumpkins making up the art. Themes included things like “Under the Sea” and “Motorcycles”, as well as classics like “graveyard.” One of the strangest was a “wonderland” exhibit with incredible Alice in Wonderland Art. However, Alice was nowhere to found! We took our time enjoying the installations and taking pictures.
One of the things I thought was thoughtful about Nights of the Jack was that because the art is best enjoyed in the dark, it was difficult to take pictures with the installations. However, they did a great job of providing well lighted photo ops. We definitely took advantage of them!
One thing that was somewhat annoying was that the website did not have the time the event closed. I certainly didn’t mean to be the last people in the park, but the event website didn’t have their hours, so I was a little surprised when employees told us that they were closing the park behind us around 9:30!
Definitely check it out!
If you’re looking for a spooky not scary adventure for October, I recommend Nights of the Jack. We had a great time and it’s excellent for groups large or small. It runs through the end of October, so there’s still time to enjoy!