Staff Writer: Julia Berardelli and Luke Tucker
If you find yourself looking for something to do this fall, fortunately for you there are plenty of fun activities for you to check out around the Wingate area. From corn mazes and haunted trails to theme parks and pumpkin patches, fall fun is all around. So if you’re looking for something to do this October, be sure to pay close attention to all five autumn activities you’re about to see!
Country Days Corn Maze
Located about 20 minutes from Wingate’s campus, Country Days Corn Maze is one of Indian Trail’s most popular fall attractions. Country Days’ 2021 season spans from Sept. 24 to Nov. 6, and is open from 5-10 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2-8 p.m. on Sundays. Weekday visits are available only by reservation.
The highlight of Country Days is no doubt its seven-acre corn maze, but the venue also offers a farm animal petting zoo, outdoor barn games, and rentable bonfire stations if you just want to hang out with friends or family. Maze tickets are $8 per person while each activity ticket is $1. Bonfire stations can be rented for two hours at a time for $30 per session. For more information, visit Country Days’ website here.
If corn mazes aren’t your thing, then no need to worry, there are plenty of other fall activities for you to do in the area. One of those places is Hunter Farm on Providence Road in Weddington. Hunter Farm is approximately 30 minutes from Wingate, located just down the road from Waverly–one of South Charlotte’s hottest shopping and restaurant centers. The farm is open from 2-7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. It is closed on Mondays. The 2021 season runs from Sept. 25 to Nov. 14.
Hunter Farm’s fall claim to fame is its tractor-pulled hayride to its animal barn and pumpkin patch. The complete hayride tour takes about 45 minutes and costs $10 per person. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunter Farm does currently require reservations for the tour. So whether you’re looking for the perfect pumpkin for carving or just want a good-old-fashioned autumn hayride, be sure to visit Hunter Farm. You can learn more about the farm or book reservations here.
Badin Road Drive-In
One of just eight drive-in theaters still in operation in North Carolina, the Badin Road Drive-In is a bit of a drive from campus (45 minutes), but it is a tremendous throwback or date-night activity, and is a great way to spend a crisp, cool fall evening. The outdoor theater offers double-features on Friday and Saturday nights, including both Halloween horror movies, or more family-friendly films depending on what suits your taste.
Tickets are $7 per person at the box office, and must be purchased with cash. Aside from the two movie screens, the venue also has outdoor games, picnic areas, and concession stands, as well as public restrooms. Gates open at 6 p.m. nightly with the first showings beginning at dark. Audio is played through FM radio stations and Wi-Fi is available. To keep up with the weekly movie schedule, visit Badin Road Drive-In on Facebook, or at the link here.
Open Fridays to Sundays until November 26th, and located on Plyler Mill Road about 20 minutes from Wingate, Aw Shucks features an animal farm and locations for bonfires, along with Fall favorites like a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and wagon rides. The main attraction is the extensive corn maze that leads into a new indoor pallet maze, followed by a fence maze, and ends back in the corn field. The animal barn includes sheep and goats that visitors can feed, along with miniature horses and pigs. If visitors are hungry, options include funnel cakes, ice cream, candy apples, apple cider, burgers, hotdogs and more. General admission is $11 for adults and $9 for kids.
Found on the back of the Aw Shucks property is The 13th Acre, a haunted trail in the woods. General admission is $13, but a combo ticket with Aw Shucks is $20. The trail is a 30-45 minute haunted, walk-through experience. For more information on operation hours and attractions, visit the Aw Shucks website here.
Located in Charlotte, the Carowinds amusement park gets a Halloween-style transformation and turns into SCarowinds as it is filled with “scare zones” through the entire park that feature all types of scary creatures. SCarowinds still has all the classic roller coasters that Carowinds normally has, but adds to the excitement with five different haunted mazes, each having a different frightening theme.
While it might be the priciest and farthest option, it is the only place that has the tallest, fastest and longest giga-coaster in North America, Fury 325. General admission is $45 if tickets are purchased online, versus the non-discounted price of $72 if bought at the gate. The park is open select nights September 17th to October 31st; visit the website for more details.