RALEIGH, N.C. – From family photos with Big Foot to choose-and-cut Christmas trees, there is an abundance of fun holiday activities waiting for visitors at area farms this season.
“There is no greater joy than spending time with loved ones during the holidays,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Farms that offer agritourism activities allow for families to come together with plenty of room for social distancing in an outdoor setting. This year, you’ll see additional measures in response to COVID-19 to ensure that everyone has a safe experience on the farm.”
Following is a list of events and attractions planned this holiday season at local farms welcoming visitors:
- Bear Valley Farm in Glenville offers a large selection of Christmas trees, holiday gifts and clothing items through Dec. 24. The farm offers curbside pickup.
- Cherry Mountain Farm in Rutherfordton is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extra hours the week before Christmas. The farm provides tours by appointment, operates a general store and is full of photo opportunities including horse selfies and family portraits with a 14-foot statue of Big Foot.
- Mount Gilead Farm in Leicester has a farm store that is open daily and offers tours by appointment.
- Sandy Mush Herb Nursery in Leicester is open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting. The nursery is ideal for walks through winter landscapes and greenhouses.
- Brookhaven Mill Farm in Greensboro will offer pet portraits with Santa Dec. 12 from 3-5 p.m. The farm also has a store, snack shack, petting zoo, bed-and-breakfast, and educational tours.
- Catawba Farms in Newton will unveil its new ice-skating rink on Dec. 19. The farm is also home to a brewery, winery, vineyard, historic inn and farm animals.
- CATHIS Farms in Lillington will have a Christmas light display Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 19 with additional hours on Dec. 23, 24 and 26. The evenings also include holiday movies, bonfires, axe throwing and holiday activities.
- Dover Vineyards in Concord will open for live music and outdoor service Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. in December.
- Foothills Farmers’ Market in Shelby is open for the winter season. A special holiday farmers market will be held Dec. 12 from 8 a.m. to noon. Other market days are planned for Jan. 9, Feb. 13 and March. 13.
- Good Karma Ranch in Iron Station hosts private farm tours by appointment. Visitors will have the chance to interact with the ranch’s herd of alpacas and learn more about how they are raised.
- Hickory Creek Farm in Greensboro offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees while supplies last.
- Jordan Lake Christmas Trees in Apex offers choose-and-cut trees, Fraser firs, wreaths, a Christmas shop and more.
- Millstone Creek Orchard in Ramseur has a full lineup of outdoor holiday activities including Christmas with the Kringles, outdoor Christmas movies, the Apple Barn Mobile Market and Christmas Tree Village. Pre-registration is required for most events.
- Mitchell’s Nursery and Greenhouse in King is putting a new spin on its annual Poinsettia Open House. Through Dec. 10, visitors will have a chance to visit the nursery and vote on their favorite poinsettia out of 103 varieties. The votes will help the breeders determine which varieties will stay for the next poinsettia season.
- Spillman’s Christmas Tree Farm in Sophia is open through Dec. 22 with choose-and-cut Christmas trees, Fraser firs, hayrides, wreaths and more.
- Wyolina Farms in Harrisburg offers small private tours of its former dairy farm turned alpaca ranch. Call 704-455-7063 to make a reservation.
- Humphrey Farms in Burgaw is open through Dec. 23 with fresh-cut Christmas trees from N.C. farmers and a chance to visit with Santa.
- Stokes Family Farm in Greenville will host Christmas activities Dec. 13-20, including a live nativity, visits with Santa, a petting zoo and local vendors offering handmade items.
- Twiddle Dee Farm in Clinton offers a unique experience for adults only. During the holiday season, the farm becomes a winter wonderland with music, lights, decadent desserts and more. Farm membership is required.
The department encourages those wishing to visit local farms to continue to practice recommendations from public health officials. Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth. Wait six feet apart and avoid close contact. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Visitors are encouraged to contact farms directly to learn about specific requirements or restrictions for each farm.
Families can plan their next agritourism adventure through the Got To Be NC website at https://gottobenc.com/find-local/agritourism/ or the free Visit NC Farms app, available for Apple and Android devices. Users can search by activity or location. More information is available at www.visitncfarmstoday.com.
–Annie Baggett, NCDA&CS