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Friday, September 2, 2022

Charlotte's Best Fall Activities & Events 2022: Apple Picking, Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes & Festivals

Happy fall y'all! I've rounded up pretty much every fall festival, apple picking opportunity, pumpkin patch and corn maze that is remotely close to Charlotte, North Carolina. I'm so excited to explore these and I hope you are too. Some notes: These are listed, mostly, in chronological order as they open. Also, there is a map at the very end of the blog post with where all of these farms/orchards/events are taking place so you can see how far you have to drive from CLT. Let me know what your favorite fall spot is!

Fall Events

Pumpkin Palooza

Charlotte, Sept. 3–4, 10am–4pm
Hot Glass Alley will be giving glass blowing demonstrations and you can pick up some artful glass pumpkins as well as snacks from a food truck and brewery.

NC Apple Festival

Hendersonville, Sept. 2–5, 10am–8pm
The biggest apple town in North Carolina hosts this Labor Day festival with a street fair, apple window display contest, live music and plenty of apple goodies. Find parking information >>

Morganton Festival

Morganton, Sept. 9 (12pm–11pm), 10 (9am–10pm)
The 40th annual event has live music, yummy eats (think ice cream, egg rolls and gyros) and rides!

Autumn at OZ

Beech Mountain, Sept. 9–11, 16–18, 23–25
Explore this "Wizard of Oz" theme park atop a ski mountain one of the three weekends out of the year that it's open. Fun fact: In its glory days my dad went as a kid!


Charlotte, Sept. 16–18 & 23–25, 11am–11pm
Drink classic German beer, sample beer-hall goodies (think pretzels and sausages) and listen to classic music.


Charlotte, Sept. 16–Oct. 30, Nights
Venture through scary mazes, scare zones and listen to live music at Carowinds amusement park.

Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival

Elkin, Sept. 24, 9am–4pm
Make sure to be there for the annual "Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off" where farmers from all over the East Coast showcase their biggest gourds. Also check out arts and crafts vendors and delicious foods.

Hilltop Fall Festival

Rutherfordton, Oct. 1, 9am–5pm
Participate in the 5K, check out the scarecrow contest and enjoy live entertainment.

Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

Wilkesboro, Oct. 1, 8am–6pm
425 artisinal vendors, 100 food concessions and 4 music stages with performances by folk dancers welcome you to this community. Check out the chair making booth and wash down dried apples with apple cider.


Hickory, Oct. 7 (5pm–11pm), 8 (10am–11pm), 9 (12pm–5pm)
Listen to live music while you chow down on locally made delicacies, listen to live music and help build the castle of cans.

Mountain Glory Festival

Marion, Oct. 8, 9am–4pm
Check out the annual quilt show, buy homemade goods, listen to classic mountain music and snack on all the goodies.

NC State Fair

Raleigh, Oct. 13–23
Taste-test insane tatertots, BBQ, fried delights and more as you check out the award-winning animals and visit the NC Public House.

Carolina BalloonFest

Statesville, Oct. 14 (3:30pm–8:30pm), 15 (7am–8:30pm), 16 (7am–6pm)
Watch as hot air balloons ascend into the autumn air. It's a beautiful sight accompanied with live entertainment, a marketplace and craft beer garden. Buy tickets >>

Pineville Fall Fest

Pineville, Oct. 14 (6pm–10pm), 15 (10am–10pm)
Just a short drive from Uptown, enjoy food, music, fireworks, a chili cook-off and more at the lake park.

Stecoah Harvest Festival

Stecoah, Oct. 14 (6pm–8pm), 15 (10am–5pm)
Enjoy a Friday evening campfire, outdoor stages with live music, an apple cider press, corn-grinding & quilting exhibits and a county fair with competitions in jams, jellies and pies.

Lincoln County Apple Festival

Oct. 15, 9am
More than 80,000 people will celebrate the apple harvest with a farmer's market, live music, apple pies, and arts & crafts vendors. Find parking >>

Apple Harvest Festival

Waynesville, Oct. 15, 10am–5pm
In it's 35th year, this festival has arts & crafts booths, food, cloggers and music. Plus, apple cider, cake, pie and more! Find parking information >>

Fall for Matthews

Matthews, Oct 15, 10am–4pm
Check out art vendors, pick out a pumpkin from the patch, listen to entertainment and try different food stalls.

Woolly Worm Festival

Banner Elk, Oct. 15–16, 9am–4pm
Race your very own wolly worm, purchase handmade goods from vendors at this coming-of-the-winter season celebration.

Craft Tasting Room & Growler Shop Outdoor Movie: Hocus Pocus

Charlotte, Oct. 20, Sunset
Enjoy a sudsy craft beer as you watch the best Halloween movie...fight me.

The Great Pumpkin Wall

Charlotte, Oct. 29–31, Nights
Find the Elizabeth neighborhood's famous wall of pumpkins to snap a photo. What began in 2004 has bloomed into a Charlotte must-do.

Apple Picking & Apple Stores

Apple Hill Orchard and Cider Mill

Morganton, Monday–Saturday, 9am–6pm
Snatch up apples with a picking pass (released each Sunday, $3) or just pop by the bakery for fresh apple cider donuts (open until Oct. 29, 9am–4:30pm, Saturdays).

Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard

Hendersonville, Open daily through Oct., Fri.–Sat. 9am–6pm, Sun. 10am–6pm, Mon.–Thur. 9am–5:30pm
Go on a wagon ride, shoot an apple cannon, run through a corn maze and pick-your-own succulent apples at this 50-year-old orchard. Oh and don't forget to snap up some apple cider donuts!

Sky Top Orchard

Zirconia, Open daily, 9am–6pm
Sip apple cider fresh from the press, fill up on hot "made-while-you-watch" apple cider donuts and pick some apples for yourself before enjoying a tractor-pulled ride through the orchard.

Millstone Creek Orchards

Ramseur, Every Saturday in Sept, 9am–3pm, Book ahead >>
Each ticket for apple picking comes with a hayride, apple education course, pick-your-own apple sesh, apple-cider slushie, apple cider pressing demo and more ($20). Also on Saturdays you can get warm apple cider donuts (get the cider dipping sauce!).

Justus Orchard

Hendersonville, Open through early Nov., Monday–Sunday, 9am–5pm
This fourth generation family offers pre-picked apples in the Apple House, fried apple pies in the Bakery and PYO apples in the orchard.

The Orchard at Altapass

Spruce Pine, Now–Oct. 30, Wed.–Sun.: 10am–5pm
Pick-your-own colorful apples as live music shifts through the trees on weekends after a short heyride through the farm. It's an ideal kinda day.

Grandad's Apples

Hendersonville, Mon.–Sun. 8am–6pm
This place is kind of famous for it's apple cider donuts (and by kinda I mean very). They offer 30 types of apples in their store and a corn maze (plus there is a pumpkin patch in late September). You can't PYO but you can indulge in those famous apple cider donuts, caramel apple cookies, fried apple pies and more!

Knob Creek Orchard

Lawndale, Mon.–Fri. 8am–6pm, Sat. 9am–7pm, Sun. 1pm–8pm
While you can't PYO, this farm does offer bins upon bins of build-your-own peck/bushel with all kinds of varieties. Pick up apple butter, apple bread and homemade ice cream (they even have an Ambrosia flavor) while you're there.

Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard

Hendersonville, Open through late Oct., Thur.–Fri. 10am–3pm, Sat.–Sun. 10am–5pm
Listen to live bluegrass, take in the beautiful mountain views and pick-your-own apples (they harvest 25 different kinds!). Once you've tuckered yourself out have BBQ from the food truck, sip down a apple cider slushie or delicious latte from the Orchard Coffee House.

Barber Orchard Fruitstands Inc.

Waynesville, Open until Dec. 24, 9am–6pm
While not a PYO, this fruitstand has pretty much everything you could ever want...including apple turnovers the size of your head and an apple loaf cake that is incredible.

Coston Farm & Apple House

Hendersonville, Mon.–Sat. 8:30am–5:30pm
PYO apples and indulge in homemade apple pies, fried apple pies and apple cakes. Plus, the apple butter and frozen cider slushies will keep you coming back!

Apple House & Owenby Orchards

The Apple House is home to ciders, boiled peanuts, apple butter, preserves, wood crafts and more.

Mountain Fresh Orchard

Hendersonville, Daily 8am–6pm
Hop on the Apple Express train to ride around the orchard, snap up bags of pre-picked apples (no PYO) and snack on a hot fried apple pie. Pumpkins and other fall decor (think corn stalks) is available too.

Devil Dog Orchard

Reidsville, Mon.–Sat. 9am–5pm
PYO red and yellow delicious apples until they're gone!

Perry Lowe Orchards

Moravian Falls, Sept. 3, Saturdays & Sundays 10am–4pm, Book ahead >>
Admission is $2 to pick from these fruitful orchards but the highlight might be the fresh apple cider (you can even order it online). They make it fresh from their Pink Lady and Honeycrisp apples!

Blueberry Thrill Farm

Gibsonville, Sept. 3–Oct. 29, Saturdays 7:30am–12pm
What began in 1982 has blossomed into a pick-your-own farm. Snap up apples ($15 for 1/2 peck bag) for the first time in five years! They will also have PYO pumpkins and muscadines.

Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery

York, South Carolina, Opens Sept. 3rd for PYO, Hours >>
With a farm stand, cider bar, pick-your-own apples, Windy Hill fulfills its self-proclaimed status of
Home of Everything Apples." Taste-test one of the award-winning hard ciders in between reaching for a juicy apple.

Carrigan Farms

Moorseville, Sept. 6–25th, Timed Reservations >>
Pick your own apples, enjoy a hayride and have a meet-and-greet with creatures at the petting zoo for $14. Oct. 1–31 they also do pumpkin picking (with reservations).

Creasman Farms

Hendersonville, Sept. 11, Sundays 1pm–5pm
With a variety of heirloom and new apples to choose from, each Sunday offers a new experience at this generational farm.

Pumpkin Patches

Hunter Farm

Weddington, Sept. 16–Nov. 6, Tue.–Thur. 2pm–7pm, Fri.–Sun. 9am–7pm
Go on a famous wagon ride, pet farm animals and search for the perfect pumpkin. Be sure to get a reservation >>

Black's Peaches

York, South Carolina, Oct. 1–30, Weekends
For $8 you can choose your perfect pumpkin, go on a hayride, get lost in a corn maze, chuck a pumpkin and more.

Simpson's Produce

Charlotte, Open through Dec., Tue. 6am–6pm, Fri. 6am–8pm, Sat. 7am–3pm
Pick up bushels of fall flowers, a variety of pumpkins (warts and all), shiny apples and more.

Simpson’s Pumpkins & Trees

Charlotte, Late Sept.–Oct.
Pick up a variety of colors and sizes in south Charlotte.

Springs Farm Market

Fort Mill, South Carolina, Mid-Sept.–Oct. 30, Thur.–Sat. 9am–7pm, Sun. 1pm–7pm
Since 1938 this farm has been showcasing the very best peaches, pumpkins and Carolina reaper peppers. Pick up your pumpkin as well as homemade soft-seve ice cream (pumpkin-pie/vanilla swirl y'all!) and Cheerwine slushies.

Aw Shucks Farms

Monroe, Sept. 23–Nov. 6, Fri. 6pm–11pm, Sat. 11am–11pm, Sun. 1pm–6pm
Pick up a pumpkin before venturing into the corn maze, taking a wagon ride, visiting the animal barn and more! Need hay bales for your front porch? Look no further.

Cherry Place Farm

Rock Hill, South Carolina, Oct. Weekends, Sat. 10am–6pm. Sun. 1pm–6pm
Take a self-guided tour of the farm with its two-acre corn maze and pumpkin patch. Snack on popcorn before you feed the animals and take the hayride.

Patterson Farm Market & Tours Inc.

Mt. Ulla, Sept. 24–Nov. 5, Mon.–Fri. 12pm–5pm, Sat.–Sun. 9am–5pm
Buy your tickets early for the cow-barrel train ride, corn maze, wagon ride and more. The corn maze is absolutely massive by the way! Pick up ice cream and pumpkins on your way out.

Wise Acres Organic Farm

Indian Trail, Sept. 17–early Nov., Make a reservation >>
Snap up pumpkins and mums from this bright-red barn.

Hall Family Farm

Lancaster, South Carolina, Sept. 23, Wed.–Thur. 11am–6pm, Fri.–Sat. 9am–10pm, Sun. 9am–6pm
Check out the seven-acre corn maze, pick some pumpkins, enjoy a musical hayride and more! They also offer bonfires for groups...sounds like fun!

Hodges Family Farm

Charlotte, Sept. 24–Oct. 31
Pick-your-own pumpkins, climb up a hay mountain, say hello to barnyard animals, shop in the farm store, snack on a funnel cake and more.

Riverbend Farm

Midland, Oct. Weekends
Celebrating their 30th year of pumpkin patchin', Riverbend will be offering wagon rides and they have massive slides to ride down.

Bush-N-Vine Farm

Saturdays, 8am–5pm
Pick-your-own pumpkins, sip apple cider and enjoy a wagon ride. They also have boiled peanuts, ice cream and donuts (blueberry & apple cider)...so it's a win!

Corn Mazes

Historic Rural Hill

Huntersville, Sept. 17–Nov. 5
Each fall weekend The Amazing Maize Maze leads people to get lost (but don't worry, in a fun way) with delicious treats and more.

Shelby Corn Maze

Shelby, Sept. 17–Oct. 30, Fri. 4pm–10pm, Sat. 10am–10pm, Sun. 2pm–8pm
With an eight-acre corn maze, massive pumpkin patch and tons of attractions it's worth the drive to Shelby to check this one out. After dark the attraction becomes a haunted corn field...

Naylor Family Farm & Corn Maze

Fuquay-Varina, Sept. 17–Nov. 6, Hours >>
Mega slides, farm animals, a giant corn maze, pumpkins, a hayride and so much more live at the Naylor Family Farm.

Kersey Valley Maize Adventure

Archdale, Sept. 18–Oct. 30, 11am–6pm
Explore the corn maze, cow train, ziplines, rock wall and more.

Hubb's Farm

Clinton, Sept. 24–Nov. 5, Tue.–Fri. 10am–3pm, Sat. 10am–9pm, Sun. 10am–6pm, Tickets >>
More than six miles of trail lead you throughout this corn maze. Other activities include giant slides, goodies for purchase and farm animal feedings.

McKee CornField Maze

Rougemont, Sept. 24–Oct. 30, Fri. 3pm–8pm, Sat. 10am–8pm, Sun. 1pm–7pm
Explore the corn maze then say hi to the farm animals and take the barrel train ride.

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