RAL Guides    Lifestyle

Raleigh’s fall bucket list

Photo of Huckleberry Trail Farm

It’s finally fall — and to help you take full advantage of the festive season, we’ve compiled our Raleigh fall bucket list, complete with 25+ events and activities we are just falling for. 🍂 

🚜 Farms 

The fall season would not be complete without a visit to one of the many farms around the area.  

Huckleberry Trail Farm Fall Festival | Sat. & Sun., Sept. 26 – Oct. 31 | 143 Pleasant Hill Church Road, Siler City | Adults $10, Children & Seniors $8 | Huckleberry Trail Farm is celebrating fall all month long with classic farm activities: a 4.5-acre corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin picking, and cotton patches. 

Page Farms Pumpkin Patch | Sept. + Nov. | 6100 Mt. Herman Road | $15 | Located right here in Raleigh, this fourth-generation family farm is opening up their pumpkin patch and other rustic activities for the season.

Phillips Farm | Sept. + Oct. | 6701 Good Hope Church Road, Cary | $10 – $15 | Phillips Farm offers a wide range of entertainment for guests including a haunted farm, corn maze, a sunflower field, and a family fun park. 

Spring Haven Farm | Year-round | 5306 Homer Ruffin Road, Chapel Hill | $10 | Guests at Spring Haven Farm will get the chance to walk through the pallet maze and also meet their favorite farm animals. Go take a picture with a baby goat, we know you want to. 

🏠 At Home 

By now we’ve all probably figured out how to entertain ourselves at home, but here are some ways to shake up your normal routine and embrace the season of change.

Make Apple Cider

You can make your very own batch of this NC twist on apple cider: Muscadine Grape-Apple Cider. If you want to spice things up you can use this recipe to make a cider cocktail

Horror Movie Marathon 

Have a horror movie marathon to get into the Halloween mood. Get your friends together virtually and watch using Netflix Party

Chefin’ It Up 

The harvest season can conjure some serious cooking inspiration with produce like squash, okra, and pumpkin at its ripest. Take a look at these fall soup recipes submitted to us from your fellow Raleighites. 


Throw on your team colors, grab some brews, and head outside to set up your very own home tailgate. Inside Tailgating has tips and tricks to make homegating so fun you may never go back to the stadiums and parking lots. 

🏈  2020 ACC football game schedule 

🏈  2020 NFL schedule

🎃 Celebrating Halloween 

Halloween 2020, a website made by the Harvard Global Health Institute, breaks down safety risks for participating in Halloween festivities by U.S. counties. The website then makes suggestions for what activities are safest based on where you live and the color of risk-level. Wake County is currently risk-level yellow (which may change), meaning that relatively normal Halloween activities should be safe with precautions in place. 

Halloween Parties

A Halloween party through video chat is certainly not ideal, but according to statewide gathering restrictions, it may be safest if you want to celebrate with those outside your immediate circle. Try taking your Quarantine-O-Ween party to the next level by hosting a costume or pumpkin-carving contest over video chat + now using Spotify’s group session feature, you and up to five friends can dance the night away to your favorite party playlist. 


Traditional trick-or-treating could still be happening depending on where you live, but it may take the wayside this year due to safety concerns. Some families are utilizing fun alternatives to classic trick-or-treating such as Trunk-or-Treating, Driveway Trick-or-Treating, and candy scavenger hunts. 

👻 Haunted Attractions

If you’re looking to take your love for frights and horror to the next level, you’re in luck. These hair-raising attractions will get your adrenaline pumping whether you’re exploring the paranormal side of the city or getting jump-scared in a cursed corn maze. 

Raleigh Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour | Year-round + increased availability Oct. + Nov. | Downtown Raleigh | Adults $18, kids $13 | A guided, family-friendly tour of Downtown Raleigh’s most haunted and historical places like Raleigh City Cemetery, Yarborough House, and Moore Square with accompanying stories and folklore.

Darkside Haunted Estates | Fri. & Sat, Sept. 26 – Nov. 7 | 11959 NC Hwy. 222 West, Middlesex | Adults $20, kids $12  | Darkside Haunted Estates has been bringing nightmares to life for over 20 years with attractions like the Mayhem Hayride, the Fright Trail, the Slaughterhouse, Jojo’s Clown Town, and more. Concessions will be available and parking is $2. 

Haunted Hills Terror Drive | Thurs. – Sat., Oct. 2 – 31 | 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road, Pittsboro | $35+ per vehicle. | The woods at Shakori Hills will be transformed into a frightening scene using sets, props, effects, and performers. Visitors will take a 15-minute drive through the spine-chilling landscape set to eerie music provided with ticket purchase. 

Haunted Forest at Panic Point | Thurs. – Sun., Sept. 25 – Nov. 7 | 2808 Cedar Creek Road, Youngsville | $27+ | Rated the #1 Outdoor Haunted Trail in North Carolina, Panic Point strives to live up to its name. This year they have four separate outdoor attractions with 32 uniquely scary scenes and over 70 monsters. 

📅 Events 

Monster Trunk or Treat | Fri., Oct. 9 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | 7109 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh | 4 Wheel Parts will pull out their Trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs + dress them up as monsters for kids to collect candy from them.

Movies in the Beer Garden | Sat., Oct. 10, 24, 31 | 8-10 p.m. | 5410 NC Highway 55, Durham | Free, tips for staff appreciated | Spend the evening watching a movie under the stars while drinking local craft beer at The Glass Jug Beer Lab. 

Track or Treat: Halloween Express | Sat., Oct. 10, 17, 24, & 31 | Various Times | 3900 Bonsal Road, New Hill | $14 | Take a ride on a real train at the North Carolina Railway Museum’s Track or Treat Halloween celebration. The ride will have different kid-friendly, Halloween scenes along the track for passengers to enjoy, and costumes, of course, are encouraged. 

Tarheel Antique Festival | Sat., Oct 17 – Sun., Oct 18 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. & 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | 226 North Lloyd’s Dairy Road, Efland | $5 | Escape the city for the day and head 40 minutes northwest to the Tarheel Antique Festival at Lloyd’s Dairy Farm for antique vendors, appraisals, and auctions. Embrace the downhome, rustic vibes walking through the barns while searching for your next unique find. 

Trunk or Treat | Mon., Oct. 26 | 5-7 p.m. | 8501 Honeycutt Road | $5 suggested donation | North Raleigh United Methodist is hosting their Trunk or Treat celebration open to the public. Other activities include inflatables, games, crafts, and a gift basket raffle.

Halloween Drive-Thru Spooktacular | Sun., Oct. 25 & Fri., Oct. 30 | 6-8 p.m. | Various Wake County Libraries | Free | Wake County Public Libraries are having two days of Halloween fun at their Drive-Thru Spooktaculars. Visitors are invited to wear costumes and will get to take home spooky crafts and treats. Find the nearest library that is having the event, and sign up on the library calendar. 

Family Fun: Shrinky Dink Tangled Jack–O–Lanterns | Virtual | Sat., Oct. 31 | 2-3 p.m. | $15 | Attendees will be led by an NC State Craft Center instructor through the process of making a jack-o-lantern shrinky dink for a fun Halloween craft activity.  

🍽️ Food and Drink 

Some might say the best thing about fall is the nice weather or the beautiful leaves, but we think it may just be the new and exciting food options. 

Oktoberfest Lager at Raleigh Brewing 

Raleigh Brewing made their very own Oktoberfest Lager that pairs perfectly with BBQ and other smoked meats.

Apple pie from Cutie Pies of Raleigh 

Pie is a staple dish for the season, but what kind of pie reigns supreme? Cutie Pies of Raleigh customers seem to think their apple pie is the best, but they’re all so good it’s hard to tell.

Fall-inspired pastries from Joe VanGogh Coffee

Handmade cranberry cardamom muffins and pumpkin bread are available at all Joe VanGogh Coffee locations, the pastries can be served warm for those chilly mornings. 

Seasonal drinks from 42 & Lawrence 

This local coffee shop is serving up the warm, autumn drinks of your dreams: Caramel Apple Cider, Toasted Marshmallow Latte, and Pumpkin Spice Chai. 

🌤️ Out-and-About 

Now that the oppressive summer heat is behind us, it’s time to head outside–whether that’s to your backyard or a whole different city. 

Watch the leaves change 

We made a list of the best places around Raleigh and NC to observe the fall foliage change color. 

Escape the City and Head off the Grid 

Now is the ideal time to become one with nature and camp in the mountains of Asheville, NC, or head further west to go hiking in Chattanooga, TN (heyyy AVLtoday + NOOGAtoday). 

Have a Picnic 

Picture Perfect Picnics and Picnic Raleigh can help you create the most picturesque picnic in Raleigh for any occasion.

Contributed by Xenna Smith.