Nights of the Jack – Drive Thru Experience

It is a yearly tradition that my family begins our fall festivities with Nights of the Jack. This year, we were hosted for this awesome and safe event. This is a pumpkin installation experience that has now turned into a drive-thru in Calabasas from now until November 1st. Enter a world of pumpkins galore, but not just any pumpkins. This is an elaborate carved experience with amazing details and larger than life scenes of prehistoric times, sea life, Sponge Bob Squarepants to name a few. There are also some spooky themes such as a witch scene, and a haunted train with an active smokestack. You can also view a castle with a handful of Disney princesses carved to perfection. There is even a sports theme that gives a tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi.

Given that we have to have limited human contact, this is the perfect family outing that allows you to enjoy a safe and festive Halloween experience out of the comfort of your car. As a past participant, I have to say I preferred staying in my car. We get to enjoy the experience without worrying if our kid will get lost in the shuffle, or having to carry so many jackets or kids. I loved it! I don’t know how many times I would tell an employee, “this is great! I love staying in my car!” As I think about our experience, it almost felt like I was on an amusement park ride.

If you plan to attend, I want to give you some tips to help maximize your experience.

  1. Advanced tickets are required. One fee per car, $69 and up to 7 people in each vehicle.
  2. Fill up your gas tank to be safe and stress free.
  3. Use the restroom prior to entering the site. There aren’t any restrooms on site due to health regulations. So make sure to go before your leave your home.
  4. Snack Check: Be prepared to wait for a bit before you enter your designated time. So get the car party started beforehand. Pack some snacks and water to enjoy while you wait. If you have littles or if you are in a caravan, gift a Boo Bag/Basket so the little are entertained. Deck out your car with indoor lights, or pass out glow sticks.
  5. Print out your ticket or have it readily available on your phone because you will be asked to show it upon entry. Arrive 15 minutes before your designated time. You will be redirected to the appropriate lane.
  6. Tune into 100.1 FM, Nights of the Jack radio station. How cool is it that they have their own station? This is an opportunity to learn some historical facts, and helpful reminders. However, the best part were the oldies but goodies Halloween songs. We were singing along, waving to our neighboring cars, and having a good time.
  7. Once you enter, turn off your lights and roll down your window so you can enjoy the experience. There is a maximum of 5 MPH and you must follow the person directly behind you.
  8. Feel free to take pictures or videos. The experience is phenomenal.

Overall, it helped set the tone for a great Halloween season. My boys were excited to come home and “carve” their own pumpkin creation. I love opportunities that allow for them to learn something new or to appreciate a creative experience. The art of using pumpkins as a new medium is genius and it helps further develop our imagination. If you are looking into continuing to build from this experience, have your children carve their pumpkin or create the design for it. Remind them of what they saw, and ask questions about the structure of some of these installations. This is what I love best about this event, it is family friendly and allows for further exploration.

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