Everybody has a holiday they enjoy best.
For me, my heart pangs for Halloween. The holiday retailers put out décor for about a month then immediately switch to Christmas trees and lights, which is ironic because Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday.
Halloween is where I let my goth vibes shine, and I get to drag my husband along with me (his favorite holiday is Christmas, and every year we argue over whether we will put up a tree).
Usually he is a good sport, and this year we went to the Chandor Gardens’ Jack O’Lantern Nights in Weatherford, Texas. I saw the ad pop up on Facebook early in the month and was able to score tickets before they sold out. (I apologize in advance for the darkness of some of the pictures below. Most were taken with my phone camera, which isn’t the best when it comes to night pictures. There was a lot of other great decor but my phone wouldn’t take the best of pictures of them, so I didn’t add those photos.)
We went on the first showing on Friday night and were the second in line after taking pictures in the skull chair by the entrance and the gargoyle decor. They offered a scavenger hunt and pumpkin judging contest but we declined to participate in those, so we didn’t get the cool light-up pen.
The first thing that caught my eye was the fog and lasers. Such a cool combination to walk through the mist and be surrounded with laser beams making cool patterns on the ground while creepy music was playing. Strobe lights were going as the path weaved through the gardens, and pumpkins, spiders, and skeletons delighted my little goth heart.
When we got there the sun was just setting, but as we continued the walk darkness overtook the path and that’s when the décor and a couple of seemingly holographic effects came alive. There was one display of dancing holographic skeletons that seemed computer graphic animated, it was so real. My husband got a video of it, but it came out faint in the video.
Another really cool screen capture was an evil Cheshire cat smiling as we exited the walk. The picture below doesn’t do it justice, but it does give you an idea of how awesome it was in person.
Overall the walk took us about 30 minutes to complete, and that was without kids, not doing the scavenger walk or voting on the pumpkins, and just walking through and enjoying ourselves (in general we tend to walk a bit fast and don’t linger much, plus we ended up being the first ones through and didn’t have to wait on people to clear out to get good pictures).
At the end of the walk, it led us to a vendor area where I bought some popcorn and some peanut butter fudge for my husband (since he did come with me).
Overall, it was relatively close to where we live; had a decent walk-through, great fog, and light effects; loved the décor; and we got home at a decent hour. I give this two spooktacular thumbs up for a great local attraction. This was their second year doing it, and if you’re in the area next year I would highly recommend checking them out.
They also do other events throughout the year, so I would recommend using their event page to keep up with them, along with their Facebook page. Around the spooky season next year, they will hopefully have more Jack O’Lantern Nights, and these are the places they will post about it.
I went again the next year, 2022, and still had a great visit. We went at a later time, but they spaced out the crowds entering enough that there wasn’t too much of a wait walking through. Some new stuff was mixed in with last year’s decorations, and there were a ton of kids participating in the pumpkin voting contest. I finally got a picture of the holographic skeletons dancing (a very cool effect) and had fangtastic time with my husband. The parking was a little crowded since we came later, so if you do choose a later time I would suggest getting there with plenty of time to spare to look for parking.
Overall a great experience. I think this is going to be our Halloween tradition.