With the weather cooling off and summertime activities winding down, kids can get a little stir crazy—and parents along with them. For moms and dads with high energy kids who need an active outlet, you’re in luck! Our fairly mild WNC weather means fun doesn’t have to stop when summer ends.
If you’re looking for some fun fall activities that will show the whole family a fun time, read on. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to do in Asheville during the fall.
1. An apple a day…
Western North Carolina is home to many apple orchards, and they’d love for you and your family to visit. Apple picking is a fun way to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather—and once you’ve gathered your bushels, you can head home to make as many apple-inspired dishes as your heart desires.
- Justus Orchard: This family-friendly farm has over 60 rows of apples ripe for the picking, plus a giant “jumping pillow” to let your kids work off some of their extra energy.
- Grandad’s Apples N’ Such: In addition to offering over 20 different varieties of apples available for picking, Grandad’s Apples boasts a large pumpkin patch, five acre corn maze, and a petting zoo.
- Sky Top Orchard: Hayrides, apple cider donuts, a giant bamboo forest, and, of course, loads and loads of apples—what more could you ask for? Sky Top Orchard is sure to give you and yours endless hours of fun.
2. Get lost in a corn maze
A longstanding fall tradition, corn mazes are a great way to get out, get your body moving, and have fun. Exhilarating and a little frightening, the acres of corn walls will no doubt keep you and your kids entertained as you work together to find the exit.
- Eliada Home’s Fields of Fun: Not only does the Eliada corn maze have plenty of fields of corn to get lost in, you can also enjoy a corn cannon, hayrides, spider web climbers, and more.
- Blue Ridge Corn Maze: Ready for six acres of confusion that has a different design every year? Blue Ridge Corn Maze is right outside of Asheville and will take you and your family up to an hour to complete.
3. Be a farmer for a day
How would you like to get the munchkins out of the house, having fun, and learning something new? Right outside of Asheville, you can find working farms that have staff on hand to teach you about your local food, wildlife, and more.
- Long Branch Farm: This environmental education center has a little something for everyone—and plenty of opportunities to participate. Pick berries, practice your wildlife tracking skills, see composting worms in action, sample some wildflower honey, and more for a fun-filled day.
- Hickory Nut Gap Farm: Your youngsters will love saying hi to the farm animals, learning about cider pressing, or taking a beautiful nature walk. Running around and having fun is encouraged at Hickory Nut Gap, so don’t be scared to let them loose!
4. Take a hike
Every fall, people travel from all over to take in the beauty of this region—and there are tons of family-friendly trails waiting to be explored. Off the Blue Ridge Parkway alone you’ll find hundreds of places to park your car and get into the woods. Bring a picnic and expect to have a memorable day!
- Montreat: Right outside of Asheville lies the quaint town of Montreat. Here you will find a variety of trails that are suited to all levels of hikers. Gorgeous changing leaves, burbling creeks, and ample opportunities for birdwatching makes for a peaceful and serene outing. Make it even more fun and educational by downloading the free Audubon Birds app and/or a bird call identification app.
- Craggy Gardens: One of the most popular destinations off the Parkway is Craggy Gardens. This spot has restrooms, picnic areas, and trails with plenty of parking, so your family can make a full day of it. Bonus: these views are some of the best in WNC! Just be sure to pack windbreakers and dress your kids in warm layers, as the altitude (5,500+ feet) and winds make it a chillier spot.
- Max Patch: Want a 360 degree view of the Appalachian and Great Smoky Mountains from 4,616 feet up? Max Patch, lovingly called the “crown jewel of the Appalachian Trail,” is a favorite of locals and visitors alike for its picture-perfect scenery. Getting there requires only a brief hike, making in an excellent choice for a family adventure. This is another spot where you’ll want to dress for cooler temps and wear some wind protection.
5. Don’t underestimate at-home activities
What if you can get your kids to help with chores while also having fun and releasing some pent up energy? Good news! You can—and your parents probably did it to you, too.
- Have your kids help with the yard work this fall by raking the leaves into piles. Yes, they can jump, play, and scatter them about, as long as they remember to put them back into piles when they’re done.
- Set your kids to work gathering sticks from the yard with promises of a bonfire and weenie and marshmallow roast. Don’t have a firepit? Now is the perfect weather to DIY one or temporarily repurpose your charcoal grill.
- Have any budding gardeners? Enlist a little help in planting your spring-blooming bulbs. Get your little planter to map out a chart as you go (showing what you planted and when they will bloom) and then wait patiently to see your hard work come to fruition when the seasons change.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy the fall in Western NC? Let us know in the comment section.