Pick Your Own Harvest in Charlotte This Fall
From crisp North Carolina apples to cheery sunflowers, zinnias, and, of course, the family’s perfect Halloween pumpkin, pick-your-own farms near Charlotte offer bales of fun for the whole family.
by Virginia Brown Sep 18, 2021
Area: York, SC
An integral part of the Hall family story for over 150 years, Bush-N-Vine Farm got its start solely in peaches (in season mid-May to early September). Today, the farm offers strawberries (spring), blueberries (summer), blackberries (summer) and pumpkins (fall) by the pound, which you can pick straight from the vine. Though the hayrides are canceled again this year due to COVID-19, the farm still offers a 1-mile, self-guided hiking trail for you to follow around the farm, plus an observation beehive, play area, and, of course, ice cream, fruit slushies, apple cider and doughnuts.
Area: Mooresville, NC
Admission: $12 ($2 online to make a reservation and $10 cash only per person at the door)
Fifth-generation Carrigan Farms has been a family go-to for pick-your-own experiences, plus swimming and tractor-drawn apple orchard hayrides since 1975. In spring, strawberries and asparagus are the stars; while in summer, Carrigan is the spot to stock your kitchen with fresh garden vegetables. Early fall brings apple season, and October means pumpkins. Pumpkin patches are open through October, and trips to the patch by shuttle are roughly an hour and include a stop at the petting zoo! On select nights in October and the first week of November, get your heart racing when the 275-acre farm is transformed into a terrifying trail for Scarrigan Farms (must be 12 years old to participate).
Area: Northeast Charlotte
Admission: No, but parking is $5 on Saturdays and Sundays
Over 180 acres await at the over 100-year-old Hodges Family Farm, just northeast of Charlotte. Hodges prides itself on a generations-deep family heritage, plus farm-life educational opportunities for children. Though some events were not available last year due to COVID-19, Hodges recently announced that its popular pumpkin patch will return this season, featuring photo opportunities, hay mountains for climbing, farm animals, hayrides and more. The farm launched an online shop and curbside grocery pickup for farm products, including pork, chicken, beef, fresh eggs, produce and local honey. They also offer farm tours, field trips and host private photography sessions for a fee.
Area: Weddington, NC
Admission: Free for pumpkin patch access; $10 for wagon rides to petting barn; Children under 2 are free
Reservations: No for pumpkin patch; yes for wagon rides to petting barn
Opened in 1868, Hunter Farm in Weddington, North Carolina, is an educationally focused family farm, known for its fun summer camps, birthday parties and field trips. The outdoor classroom is the ideal screen-free, after-school program for kids to learn the ins and outs of a working farm, including farm animal care and gardening. Reserve a spot on the wagon and enjoy the petting barn, and then head over to the patch to scout out the perfect fall pumpkin. Short on space for a backyard vegetable garden? Snag a spot and grow your own produce in the community garden.
Area: Mount Ulla, NC (near Mooresville)
Admission: $15 on weekends, $11 on weekday mornings and $13 on weekday afternoons for Fall Fun on the Farm; Children under 2 are free; Season passes are also available
Since 1919, the Patterson family has brought their personal touch to the farming business. Today, they grow over 200 acres of tomatoes, 120 acres of peppers, 55 acres of strawberries, and other produce, including squash, cucumbers, cantaloupes, corn and more, that they sell at their farm market near their pick-your-own fields. They recently added online shopping and curbside pickup for the farm market as well. The fourth-generation farmers also pride themselves on the 15,000 beautiful holiday poinsettias they grow each year and the robust selection of educational field trips they offer. Through Nov. 6, Fall Fun on the Farm includes a visit to Pawpaw Carl’s playground and barnyard, corn maize, the pumpkin patch and more activities. Pumpkins are not included in admission but are available for purchase.
Area: Hendersonville, NC
Admission: Free (pick-your-own bushels and certain activities have fees)
Pick your own apples, zinnias, pumpkins and sunflowers at this 70-acre, fourth-generation working farm and orchard, situated among the rolling hills of nearby Hendersonville, North Carolina. In the fall, the farm offers 21 varieties of apples, from Honeycrisp to Stayman. Shoot the apple cannon, play on the jump pad, hop on a tractor-pulled wagon ride with farmers Rita and Mike Stepp, or meander through the corn maze—you just might bump into the Corn Queen! On weekends, Ugly Pig BBQ food truck is on-site serving up comfort food dishes like the Porky Bowls (gooey mac-and-cheese with pork and slaw). Don’t leave the farm without trying an apple cider doughnut.
Area: York, SC
Admission: $7 for online reservation and pre-purchased 1/4 peck bag; $10 for Apple Harvest Festival + Hayride; $14 for Apple Harvest Festival + Hard Cider + Souvenir Glass; Children under 2 are free
Reservations: Yes for apple picking and tickets for special events
Hayrides, apple cider doughnuts, live music, scarecrow making, and a hard cider bar are a few fun highlights at Windy Hill Orchard. This family-owned apple operation of Fritz and Catherine Gusmer is open every fall through the holiday season for pick-your-own apples, specializing in sweet Stayman Winesaps. After all the apples are picked, the 28th Annual Apple Harvest Festival will take place on Oct. 16 to celebrate the end of the season. The cidery has also produced hard cider on-site since 1996. Check out a tasting at the Cider Bar on select weekends.
Area: Indian Trail, NC
Admission: $3; Children under 2 are free; $25 for two Wise Pie pizzas
Known mostly for its strawberries in the spring, Wise Acres is a family-owned, certified organic farm in Indian Trail, North Carolina, just south of Charlotte. In the summer, make a reservation and take your family out for a photo shoot (and picking!) with a sunflower backdrop. The farm switches it up in the fall and offers mums, pumpkins, and, yes, apple cider slushies. A ticket for two hours of farm time includes a wagon ride, a walk through the hemp maze, scavenger hunt, and time for the kids to visit with farm animals and play in the pumpkin patch. Visitors can also pre-order wood-fired Wise Pie pizzas for $25 when making online reservations.
Article originally written by Virginia Brown; updates and additions made by Kristen Moore in September 2021.
For more seasonal Queen City happenings, visit our fall in Charlotte page.