Fall is a season for family fun in Fayetteville. There are plenty of options to keep everyone entertained while you enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you want to be active, explore beautiful sites or just relax, one of these suggestions is sure to fit your needs.
Get lost at two Cumberland County Corn Mazes
A local favorite, Gallberry Farms Corn Maze offers much more than a corn maze. Each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from September 18th through November 7th guests will experience a Fall Harvest Festival that includes a hayride, jumping pillow, double barrel tube slides, a giant corn shack (with a slide), a fire pit, a pumpkin barn, and farm animals.
The 2021 design for the 5-acre Gallberry Farms Corn Maze is a Salute to First Responders. In addition to the larger maze, a smaller “Fairy Tale” maze is perfect for smaller children. Hours are 5-10 pm on Friday, 12-10 pm on Saturday, and 1-6 pm on Sunday.
Sweet Valley Ranch launches its first corn maze, Tiny’s Corn Maze, on September 10th. Open each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until October 31st, admission includes a 10-acre corn maze, hay bale maze, hayride, pumpkin patch, multiple inflatables including a water slide (weather permitting), kidding train track ride, Berry Go-Round, Rockin’ Tug Boat, dinosaur rides, and an area to meet and greet farm animals. Guests can also purchase souvenir photos, pumpkins, face paintings, carnival games, and corn cannon games.
Each day, tickets are available for two time slots: 10 am-2 pm or 2-6 pm. Only 300 tickets will be sold per time slot. Purchase tickets here.
Throw in a line at Hope Mills Lake
The entire family will enjoy a few hours at Hope Mills Lake. All the angler in your family needs is a North Carolina Fishing License and they can fish for bass, crappie, bluegill, and sunfish from the shore. If they’d prefer to fish from the water, rent a kayak from Yakalacky Outfitters and fish the deeper waters.
Other family members can relax in the shade on the shore, play on the playground, or swim, weather permitting. While there, be sure to get a Snoball from BigT’s. In addition to 74 flavors of Snoball’s, BigT’s also serves ice cream, specialty drinks, and a variety of food choices.
Check out the Fish & Game Trail for a list of other great fishing locations throughout Cumberland County.
Tour the Cape Fear Botanical Garden
While the Cape Fear Botanical Garden is beautiful throughout the year, the fall is especially lovely. Two miles from downtown Fayetteville, the 77-acre Cape Fear Botanical Garden's highlights include Camelia, Daylily and Shade Gardens, Butterfly Stroll and Children's Garden and the Heritage Garden with an 1886 homestead and agricultural structures.
In late summer and fall visitors will see asters, goldenrod, beautyberry, perennial mums, camellias, Liatris, pickerel, Clethra, and water lotus in bloom. Fall is also a wonderful season to observe migratory birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. Because the mating season is over, they are very active and beautiful. Be sure to visit the Great Lawn when you explore the garden.
After touring the garden, explore the Garden Shop or get lunch at the Garden View Café.
Take a hike and enjoy a picnic lunch at Carver’s Creek State Park
Visit Carvers Creek State Park to stretch your legs and explore 10 miles of easy trails. At the Long Valley Farm access point in Spring Lake, two hikes lead to Long Valley farm, James Stillman Rockefeller’s winter estate.
At the Sandhills Access on McCloskey Road in Fayetteville, hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can explore seven trails of varied lengths. Each of the trails offers a unique look at the ecology and wildlife in this rare Longleaf Pine ecosystem. During a hike, visitors will likely see the active red-cockaded woodpeckers (marked with a white band), and even a fox squirrel scampering into the woods. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are a federally protected endangered species and one of the largest populations resides in this region.
After your hike spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic.
If you’d rather enjoy some local food, consider Noble Meats & Eatery, a Spring Lake staple for 25 years. This local butcher shop also serves lunch every Monday through Saturday. If you are thinking a local butcher shop should know meat – you are correct. The daily menu includes barbeque, brisket, pulled chicken, and a variety of homemade sides.
Spend an afternoon at Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom
What started as a local brewery has expanded into a complex with various options. On five-acres of land. Dirtbag Ales offers a brewery, an on-site restaurant, Napkins, a permanent Redneck Labs BBQ food truck, a large playground area, a dog park, and lots of open areas. So pack a few chairs and bring the pup and kids and spend some time together outdoors.
For everyone over-21, Dirtbag Ales recently opened Dirty Whiskey, a craft cocktail bar. They serve specialty cocktails and local North Carolina spirits.
Dirtbag Ales hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the hugely popular Dirt Bag Ales Farmers Market on Sundays, a Misfit Market featuring local artists, comedy shows, movie nights, and musical acts.
Interested in exploring some of our other breweries? Click here to learn about all of our Hometown Hops.