As summer draws to a close and temperatures ever so slightly start to decrease in our area, fall festivals and other seasonal events start to pick up. For so many of us, it’s our favorite time of year, with something for everyone over the next several weeks to celebrate the coming of autumn, harvests, cooler, less humid weather forecasts, and the unofficial start of the holiday season.
Fall Festivals from Black Mountain to Wilkesboro
Many of the fall festivals and activities in central North Carolina revolve around fall foliage viewing and the end of the growing season, with pumpkin and apple-related fairs and fests offering plenty of family appropriate weekend fun.
- The Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, taking place in charming Elkin, NC on the last Saturday of September, celebrates the crowning of the annual Great Pumpkin Weigh Off champion. The festival also offers traditional hand-crafted gift and pottery tents and delicious food stands that include a traditional favorite – pumpkin butter.
- North Wilkesboro’s one-day Brushy Mountain Apple Festival, occurring on the first Saturday of October, is one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast, hosting hundreds of artisans, concession stands and – of course – apples and apple cider galore. Entertainment is big at this event, with cloggers, square dancers and various musical acts – gospel, bluegrass, country and folk – taking center stage.
- The Dixie Classic Fair, October 4-13 in Winston-Salem, is one of the state’s largest agricultural fairs, celebrating the music, food, agriculture and crafts of the region.
- For three days of concerts and plenty of opportunities for family adventure in spectacular natural surroundings, check out Black Mountain’s Leaf Festival, from October 17th through the 20th of 2019.
Corn Mazes & Hay Rides
If the thought of getting lost in the midst of row upon row of head-high corn brings on a level of anxiety that you’d rather do without, then a corn maze might not be for you. But if the challenge of maneuvering your way through such a puzzle sounds like the most perfect fall weekend activity, there are several awesome corn mazes throughout the state, operating, generally speaking, between late September and mid-November.
- Ken’s Korny Maze, in Garner, is North Carolina’s oldest, and each year features an innovative new design that spreads out over more than 6 acres.
- Monroe’s Aw Shucks Farms also host a large corn maze each year along with pumpkin picking, corn hole, hay rides and horse shoes.
- The Ashe County Corn Maze, in West Jefferson, NC includes a challenging corn maze, live music, and a “shot your own corn” cannon.
- The enormous 10-acre Gross Farms corn maze, in Sanford, is actually three puzzles with checkpoints. Plenty of kids’ activities are also offered, including pumpkin picking and slides.
- Clinton’s “agri-tourism fun park,” Hubb’s Corn Mazes, features mazes with three levels of difficulty, an interactive scavenger hunt, giant jump pillow, laser tag, and popular House of Corn.
- The Hill Ridge Farms Fall Pumpkin and Harvest Festival, in Youngsville, NC features bonfires, hot apple cider, hayrides, live music, gemstone panning, pony and train rides and a giant 80-foot slide.
- Phillips Farm Corn Maze and Haunted Farm features a traditional corn maze, wagon rides, cow train and Haunted Farm, with four haunted attractions recommended primarily for kids 12 and up.
- The Apex Halle Cultural Arts Center hosts the Goblin’s Groove Family Dance on October 26, an event for parents and children that includes dance and costume contests and a haunted art gallery.
- Meymandi Concert Hall’s Halloween Spooktacular: The Composer is Dead concert invites the audience to help discover who killed the composer. Costume contests and other fun activities precede the show.
- Movies at Dix Park: the Halloween Double Feature takes place on October 26. Curl up on your favorite blanket for a special viewing of “The Addams Family at 6:30 followed by NC-17-rated “Scream.”
- Cary’s Pumpkin Flotilla allows participants to watch their carved pumpkins sail across the lake at Bond park at twilight. Also enjoy live music, food music, and discounted boat rentals.
- The Elizabeth City Historic Ghost Walk treats visitors to a walk through seven historic homes where they’ll hear friendly “apparitions” tell about their lives and times in bygone days.
- Pittsboro’s very family-friendly Monster Dash includes both 5K and 10K raves in costume, a 1-mile fun run, obstacle course for kids, and local food trucks.
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