Scarecrow in the Gardens

The Montclair Foundation and Van Vleck House & Gardens invite families, individuals, scout troops, schools, nonprofits, businesses, and organizations to participate in Van Vleck House & Garden’s second annual Scarecrow Exhibit in the Gardens. This event is free and sponsored by PSE&G, PNC Bank, and Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center.

From traditional scarecrows to dark-and-scary tributes to Halloween, from repurposed and upcycled creatures to sewn-and-stuffed homages to characters inspired by history, mythology, film, or literature, the only limit is your imagination. All entries are welcome as long as they are family-friendly and homemade. Scarecrows must be dropped off on October 4 and 5 between the hours of 7:30 and 6:00 p.m.

Scarecrows will grace the beautiful grounds and winding pathways of Van Vleck House & Gardens from October 7-October 24. Winners in each category will win $500 to donate to the nonprofit of their choice. The community will be able to vote for their favorites in each category in real-time online.

The winners will be announced Wednesday, October 20, and will be presented with their checks to the nonprofit of their choice on Saturday, October 23.

Things to Know!

  • 2021 KEY DATES

    Registration Deadline: September 30
    Install Your Scarecrow:
    October 4 & 5, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Scarecrow Pickup: October 25-27
    Exhibition Dates: October 7 – 24


    Please bring your own tools for installation. We will not have any on site for use.
    Enter on North Mountain Avenue into parking lot of Van Vleck House & Gardens.
    Staff will direct you to Orange Post Locations on the property.
    Select a Post Location and install your scarecrow. Scarecrows will be available for pick-up October 25- 27.
    Any scarecrows not picked up by October 29 will be discarded.


    Van Vleck House & Gardens is open to the public year-round between 9 am – 5pm. Admire all the creative submissions and say “hi” to your scarecrow too!


    Anyone can register! Families, Girl and Boy Scout Troops, community groups, nonprofits, businesses, schools, college students and individuals are all welcome to participate.
    Van Vleck House & Gardens reserves the right to refuse any entry that does not meet the Rules & Guidelines detailed below.


    It’s free to participate!


  • Entries must be freestanding, supported by a prop, staked or made for sitting.
  • Entries need to be installed by participant. Must bring your own tools.
  • Your scarecrow must be weather-resistant and sturdy in order to qualify for display and judging. We strongly encourage entrants to visit their scarecrows at Van Vleck for periodic check-ins during the time it is on display. You may make any necessary repairs to keep your scarecrow looking picture perfect.
  • The Van Vleck staff reserves the right to remove any scarecrows that deteriorate due to weather.
  • No perishable goods may be used in the construction of your scarecrow including real pumpkins, squash or other plants.
  • Entries must be suitable for viewing by children. Entries in poor taste for family viewing, depicting controversial subjects or overtly commercial in nature, will not be accepted.
  • Entries must include a waterproof sign no larger than 8.5″ x 11″ indicating the name of the scarecrow. This will be important for voting purposes.
  • Van Vleck House & Gardens is not responsible for loss/damage. Do not include valuable or important material.

Click here to download the flyer for guidelines and to register your handcrafted scarecrow or register in the form below (Preferred). Registrations are due by Thursday, September 30.