Fall is here. Kids are back in school. The stores have out their Halloween or even *gasp* Christmas decorations. For a few days there was even a little bit of a chill in the air. I'm so excited! Bring on the spiced cider, pumpkin flavored anything, and apple goodies.
When fall rolls around in the Triangle, there are always a few things that our little family just has to do. There are a few great fall area traditions. So, I wanted to make sure that you, our wonderful readers, knew about all of our favorites. And if we've left any out, please share!
1. Farms and Pumpkins-One of our must-do's when fall rolls around is try to get to as many farms and pumpkin patches as possible, and many times these go hand in hand.
One of our favorites is Hill Ridge Farm. While it's a bit of a drive, located N. of Raleigh, it's one of our favorites. You can pay admission and visit most of the attractions for that one fee including a fort, feeding the ducks, a corn pit, a slide, rabbits, a toddler maze, a hay ride to pick out a free pumpkin and more.
Or you could head to Green Level Gourd Farm in Apex, a smaller family affair, where you could enjoy a maze, pony rides, picking out your pumpkin, a hayride through a forest filled with spooky (but not at all scary) attractions, and other animals to see like goats and chickens.
We've also enjoyed Green Acres Farm in Apex with a large corn maze, hayride, playground, tractors which the toddlers could climb on, and of course pumpkins. If you'd like to stay close to home there's also Ganyard Hill Farm in Durham with pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay maze, corn crib, pick-your-own soybeans, goats, a country store and more.
So many farms...so little time! Which are your favorites?
2. The NC State Fair-I always look forward to the two weeks when the state fair arrives in Raleigh (This year October 11-21). My husband and I would go every year since before we had kids, and since the boys have been around we've brought them to join in the fun. We've enjoyed figuring out how to have the most fun with the kids and avoid some of the hassles. We have our favorite routes through the fair each year, and each year we head back with the boys we have more fun. Some of our favorite parts-hot mini donuts, fresh apple cider, the ferris wheel, the rabbit barn, fried Snicker's bars, and of course, the animal exhibits. What are your favorite parts of the fair?
3. Apples-Another one of the delicious tastes of fall are apples. While not as plentiful as pumpkin patches, we have found several places in NC where you can enjoy a little apple picking. This year, apples have been a bit early, so the season is just about done. Mill Creek Orchards in Ramseur is a great spot that we actually just discovered this week. (In fact, I haven't even had a chance to write a post yet.) However, they only have basically one more picking day-tomorrow. I loved what I saw, so if you have a chance head on over on Sat. September 29 to pick some apples. If not, you can head on over anytime before November 3 to pick a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch, or shop in their delicious store. I highly recommend their delicious apple slushies.
Another fun apple picking stop that we've found is a bit further afield. Sky Top Orchards is located in Flat Top, NC just south of Asheville, but is a great stop. There, we picked several varieties of apples, played on their playground, tried their delicious donuts, and enjoyed a picnic lunch. It would be great for a weekend trip.
So, I hope everyone heads out this weekend and has a little fall fun. Please let me know about all of your fall favorites!