FAQs

GENERAL

WHAT IS JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY?

JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY is a ½ mile trail filled with over 5,000 hand carved jack o’ lanterns. You will experience everything from artistically detailed single pumpkin carvings to amazing, larger-than-life structures. JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY is a family friendly event also featuring fall food and beverages, live carving demonstrations and interactive experiences.

WHEN IS THE JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY?

Jack O’ Lantern Journey takes place throughout the month of October and into early November. This is a night time event beginning at dusk. Tickets are sold in fifteen minute increments.

Advanced ticket purchase required.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EXPERIENCE JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY?

JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY is a self – guided walking tour and guests move at their own pace. Most guests spend approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.

ARE THERE ARE SPECIAL EVENTS PLANNED FOR HALLOWEEN?

We will have costume contests as we get closer to October 31.  Stay tuned for more information.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO AT JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY?

JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY is more than just an amazing pumpkin trail. There are live pumpkin carving demonstrations, a pumpkin patch, delicious seasonal food and drink as well as other fun interactive experiences.

WHERE CAN I PARK?

We do offer free public parking at Franklin Park Zoo. We recommend public transportation, carpooling, or LYFT /UBER.

Parking locations (View on Zoo map)

● Giraffe entrance parking lot on Pierpont Road
● Zebra entrance parking lot between Franklin Park Road and Blue Hill Ave. (Peabody Circle)
● Parking lot on Circuit Drive/N.Jewish War Vets Drive
● Parking on the street on Circuit Drive/ N. Jewish War Vets Drive

PAID VALET PARKING ($20 Service Fee)

● Drop off/pick up at Zebra entrance

WHERE IS JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY LOCATED?

Franklin Park Zoo
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA 02121
Phone: 617-989-2071
Google Maps

HOW DO I TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE

Storrow Drive:

  • Take the Fenway exit to Route 1 South
  • Follow Route 1 to Route 203 East, following signs for Franklin Park Zoo (you will pass Arnold Arboretum)
  • Follow through two sets of lights (Washington and New Washington Streets)
  • At the third light, left onto Forest Hills Drive
  • Enter Franklin Park, and follow Zoo signs

* Please note, due to the Casey Overpass Project, there may be slight delays or detours.
For updates, see the Casey Arborway Project’s website.


Route 128 North or South:

  • Take exit 15A (Dedham Exit) to Route 1A
  • Stay on Route 1 (approximately 4 miles) until it becomes the VFW Parkway
  • Continue on the VFW Parkway, approximately 3 miles, until it ends
  • Take a left on Centre Street
  • At the rotary take 203 East onto the Arborway (you will pass Arnold Arboretum)
  • Follow through two sets of lights (Washington and New Washington Streets)
  • At third light, left onto Forest Hills Drive
  • Enter Franklin Park, and follow Zoo signs

* Please note, due to the Casey Overpass Project, there may be slight delays or detours.
For updates, see the
Casey Arborway Project’s website.


I93 North of Boston:

  • Take I-93S to Exit 15, Columbia Road
  • At the end of ramp take a right onto Columbia Road
  • At the 3rd light Columbia Road turns left
  • Continue on Columbia Road through 9 more lights
  • Go straight across Blue Hill Avenue
  • Parking for the zoo is on the left – entrance into the zoo is on your right. If lot is full, stay straight on Franklin Park Road and there is additional parking on your right

I93 South of Boston:

  • Take I-93N to Exit 15, Columbia Road
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp – you must go up and around the rotary and then come back – to be heading in the correct direction on Columbia Road
  • At the 3rd set of lights, Columbia Road turns left. Continue on Columbia Road through 9 more sets of lights
  • Go straight across Blue Hill Avenue
  • Parking for the zoo is on the left – entrance into the zoo is on your right. If lot is full, stay straight on Franklin Park Road and there is additional parking on your right

Route 9:

  • Take Route 9 to Route 1 (the Jamaica Way) south
  • Follow Route 1 to Route 203 East onto the Arborway (you will pass Arnold Arboretum)
  • Follow through two sets of lights (Washington and New Washington Streets)
  • At third light, left onto Forest Hills Drive
  • Enter Franklin Park, and follow Zoo signs

HOW DO I TRAVEL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?

Three options:

  • Take the Orange Line or Commuter Rail to Ruggles Station, then take the Route 22, 28, 29, or 45 bus to Franklin Park Zoo. Routes 22 and 28 are “Key Bus Routes” and are every 20 minutes or better, seven days per week, during service hours.
  • Take the Orange Line or Commuter Rail to Forest Hills Station, then take the Route 16 bus to Franklin Park Zoo.
  • Take the Red Line to Andrew station, then take the Route 16 bus to Franklin Park Zoo.

* For bus schedules, rates and more information please visit www.MBTA.com or call 617-222-3200.

IS THE ZOO HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE/STROLLER FRIENDLY?

Franklin Park Zoo is handicap accessible.  We will have a limited amount of wheelchairs and strollers for rent if needed. Remember, JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY requires a fair amount of walking so come prepared and ready to enjoy.

ARE SERVICE DOGS PERMITTED AT JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY?

Guests who rely on service dogs which are trained to perform specific tasks are welcome to bring them into the Zoo, provided the animals remain under the guest’s control at all times. Guests are solely responsible for the care and control of their animals.

Again, only guide dogs for the blind and service animals for people with disabilities will be permitted in accordance with ADA requirements.

IS SMOKING PERMITTED ON PREMISES?

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises.

Check with the Admissions booth for the closest permissible location.

WHAT KIND OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE WILL YOU BE OFFERING?

There will be fall treats including; doughnuts, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, cotton candy, caramel corn, kettle corn, hot pretzels and more.

ARE THE PUMPKINS REAL?

Many of our pumpkins are real live pumpkins and others are molded from real pumpkins and then hand carved by artists both locally and throughout the country to produce this fabulous experience. Real or molded, EVERY SINGLE ONE has been hand carved by our artists.

WHERE DO YOU GET THE PUMPKINS FROM?

We get many of our pumpkins from local farmers throughout the region.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CARVE A PUMPKIN?

Some pumpkins take two hours to carve and others take two days.  Believe it or not some of the pumpkins that are created from molds take even longer to create. They are real sculptures and works of art. Our artists are hard at work all year to produce JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY for you.

IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD NOT BRING WITH ME TO JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY?

The following types of items are prohibited at JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY:

  • Skateboards
  • Scooters
  • Drones
  • Remote control toys
  • Inline skates
  • Shoes with built-in wheels
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Pets (not including service animals)
  • Tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks

Additional items may also not be permitted at JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY. Please use your best judgment and do not bring anything that may be potentially harmful or disruptive. In an effort to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, we reserve the right to inspect backpacks and bags of any kind prior to admission.

CHILDREN

IS THIS EVENT FOR ALL AGES?

Yes, people of all ages will enjoy the JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY. Children under the age of 2 are FREE.

IS THIS EVENT SCARY?

No, this event is not scary, but captures the feel of fall and the essence of Halloween.

TICKETS

ARE TICKETS REFUNDABLE?

All tickets are final sale.  You are welcome to give them to a friend or other family member in the event you cannot attend.

HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS?

Ticket prices vary depending on location and time. You can purchase your tickets at www.jackolanternjourney.com.

DO I NEED TO PURCHASE A ZOO TICKET TO ATTEND THE EVENT?

You do not have to purchase a Zoo ticket to come to the event. You just need your JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY ticket.

DO ZOO MEMBERS RECEIVE DISCOUNTED TICKETS?

Yes, JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY is happy to team up with the Zoo to host this extraordinary event. The Zoo will be in touch with members directly for discounted tickets.

WHY DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE A TIME WHEN I PURCHASE A TICKET?

We only allow a certain number of people to enter the trail at one time so there are limited number of tickets for each time listed.

CAN I BUY TICKETS AT THE DOOR?

No, advanced tickets are required.

CAN I CHANGE MY TIME SLOT?

Unfortunately no, but you can give your ticket(s) to a friend.

HOW EARLY SHOULD I ARRIVE BEFORE THE TICKET TIME I PURCHASED?

Please don’t arrive any sooner than 30 minutes before the time on your ticket. That time is when you’ll be allowed onto the trail so please plan your travels accordingly and leave a little extra time for traffic.

DO I HAVE TO BRING MY TICKET TO THE EVENT?

Yes, all tickets will be scanned upon your arrival. We can scan your ticket via mobile phone or a printed ticket.

DO YOU HAVE GROUP RATES?

Yes, please contact us at info@jackolanternjourney.com to discuss group rates of 15 people or more.

PHOTOS

CAN I TAKE PICTURES?

Of course! Jack loves when people take pictures of his work. Get ready for plenty of Instagram worthy moments to share, but please leave your tripods at home! Share your memories – please use the hashtag #JackOLanternJourney so all can enjoy!

WEATHER

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS?

JACK O’ LANTERN JOURNEY is a rain or shine event. If there is severe weather in the forecast as the date of your visit arrives, we will post updates on our Facebook page and website.