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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Review: Harvest Nights at Newfields

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Harvest Nights, a family-friendly Halloween-themed event at Newfields, has come and gone, with its final run occurring Oct. 31. Did it live up to the hype? The short answer? Absolutely.

Before checking in, guests were greeted by the Sutphin Fountain draped in captivating colors. Guests of Harvest Nights also encountered their first of many storytelling pumpkins of the evening. Parking for the event was easy, accessible and free.

Newfields staff made checking into the event swift and simple, ensuring the safety of all guests. Once guests were through the scanners, it was time to get into the many activities of Harvest Nights, inuding the Pumpkin Path of Peril.

The Sutphin Fountain and its surroundings with an Autumn theme for Harvest Nights at Newfields. (Photo/Noral Parham III)

The path, consisting of hundreds, if not thousands, of glow-in-the-dark pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, provided the spooky factor for guests early into the event. The path was also covered in a dense fog and provided ghoulish narration from more storytelling pumpkins that frightened guests. The hologram ghosts throughout the path also played a crucial role in providing an Autumn aesthetic.

Following the Pumpkin Path of Peril was the Ghost Train, a hologram station that fully immersed the guests of Harvest Nights. It was almost like the Ghost Train was coming right at you! That’s because it was. The station hosted a walkway that felt like authentic railroad tracks, followed by the blaring train whistle and intense bright visual of the haunting train.

The reaction after everyone was nearly hit by the Ghost Train was noteworthy, with some even touching their face and chest in “how am I still alive?” fashion.

A photo of the Ghost Train staging at Harvest Nights at Newfields. (Photo/Noral Parham III)

After surviving the Ghost Train, participants could enter the Manor of Mischief if they dared. The manor, consisting of a few floors, was packed with Lilly House history and Halloween-themed exhibits, such as haunted paintings on the wall, legs of the deceased sticking out from under couches, freaky rodents and even failed science experiments.

Those with VIP access got to experience the Wickedwonder Pass, a lounge floor of unique decorations, art and a bar. The best part of the decorations in the Manor of Mischief was that most of them were crafted by hand.

Harvest Nights at Newfields had a variety of photo stations to help guests capture the ghoulish and ghastly memories made by families and friends. There was also someone to help take group photos at most of the stations.

Continuing the Halloween theme, Newfields placed Art-or-Treat stations throughout the venue. Here, staff members and curators passed out candy to participants. There were nearly a dozen stations, allowing guests to trick-or-treat while attending Harvest Nights.

Some monstrous plant life at Harvest Nights at Newfields. (Photo/Noral Parham III)

Harvest Nights hosted a variety of food and drinks, including campfire cocoa, caramel corn and more Autumn-themed goodies.

Harvest Nights at Newfields was a fun and festive way to celebrate the fall season with family and friends. It was also a unique way to support the arts, helping to support the museum’s mission to enrich lives through exceptional experiences with art and nature.

For those unable to attend this year’s Harvest Nights, Winterlights at Newfields, a winter wonderland-themed experience, is around the corner. For more information, visit discovernewfields.com.


Contact Multi-Media Staff Writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more news courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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