RALEIGH, N.C. – Residents and visitors looking for farms that offer outdoor experiences and unique gift ideas this holiday season will have plenty of options with many winter agritourism activities planned at farms across the state. Light shows, holiday festivals, craft markets, and wine tasting are among the seasonal offerings.
Visitors can find farm experiences across the state by downloading the Visit NC Farms app with over 2,000 farms, fisheries and agriculture destinations nearby and across the state. The free app is available by downloading from the app store on mobile devices. To learn more about the app, go to www.visitncfarmstoday.com.
Activities can also be found online at www.gottobenc.com, by clicking on the agritourism listing under the Find Local link.
The following are agritourism opportunities offered at North Carolina farms this winter. Visitors should verify event dates, ticket requirements and hours before going.
- Sawyer Springs Vineyard in Henderson will host a holiday festival Dec. 4 from noon to 5:30 p.m. with live music, food, vendors and wine. To find out more, go to https://sawyerspringsvineyard.com/.
- Enjoy a wine pairing dinner at Burntshirt Vineyards in Hendersonville Dec. 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This ticketed event will be held at Burntshirt Vineyards’ new restaurant, the Vintner’s Table. The vineyard will also host its Shag N’ Swing event Dec. 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. Put on your dancin’ shoes and come boogie to Beach, Oldies and Motown tunes presented by DJ Dave Hadden. https://burntshirtvineyards.com/
- Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur will be open select Saturdays in December for holiday family fun. Enjoy the Christmas tree lot, Christmas wreath workshops, Christmas photography, visits by Santa & Mrs. Claus, the Apple Barn, picnic areas, the playground and our famous apple cider donuts. Go online at www.millstonecreekorchards.com for additional information.
- Koren Farms in Mocksville is open for the Christmas season. Pick your Christmas tree, visit the Christmas Shop, and get your picture with the Grinch and his alpaca reindeer. Don’t miss the chance to build a gingerbread house Dec. 10 and take home the prize for best sweater during the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Dec. 17. For more, go to www.korenfarms.com
- Mitchell’s Nursery and Greenhouse in King will host a Poinsettia Open House Dec. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. Come see the largest selection of locally grown poinsettias in the Triad. This event is free to the public with light refreshments available. https://www.mitchellsnursery.com
- The Schiele Museum in Gastonia will open Holiday Lights at The Farm Dec. 9-18. Visitors can enjoy a stroll outdoors around The Farm, decorated with 20,000 lights, trees, and wreaths on the paths and pens. Holiday Lights is open 5:30 – 7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 5:30 – 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Cost is $8 for members or $10 for non-members. Laser Nights are happening inside The Schiele on the same evenings that Holiday Lights are available for viewing. Visitors can experience their favorite music – The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and more – in the planetarium with state-of-the-art laser graphics and live 360-degree lighting. https://www.schielemuseum.org/
- Head to Willow Oak Farms in Fuquay-Varina for A Night with Santa Dec. 9. Bring an unwrapped toy for an underprivileged child and take pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Enjoy carols sung by Bright Lights Event Choir, have a snowball fight with your family, and keep an eye out for the Grinch. The farm will also host a holiday craft and vendor market on Dec. 10 from noon – 4 p.m. Shop and support more than 20 local craft and artisan vendors. Mama Ruth’s Food Truck will be available for lunch. https://willowoakfarms.net/
- Join Westward Farm in Stony Point for Christmas on the Farm Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This family-friendly event will include vendors, kids’ activities, a coffee truck and Santa. https://www.westwardfarms.com/
- Celebrate the holidays at Sunshine Lavender Farm in Hurdle Mills Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the lavender is tucked in for the winter and the farm is decked out for the season. Nibble on lavender-laced treats, try a glassblowing class, and shop for one-of-a-kind gifts from The Lavender Love Shop & Farm Market. Get tickets on the website https://sunshinelavenderfarm.co/
- South Durham Farmers’ Market in Durham will host its Holiday Gifty Markets Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. until noon. The market features vendors from a 50-mile radius. https://southdurhamfarmersmarket.com/
- Santa is visiting Brookhaven Mill Farm in Greensboro this year! Families with young children are invited to visit with Santa Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fur babies feeling left out? Bring your pet for a photo op with Santa Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/brookhavenmillfarm
- Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery during its ‘Amore, the language of love’ event Feb. 12. Learn more about the Italian language and why it is called the ‘language of love’ while you enjoy pairings of wine and chocolate. https://www.raffaldini.com/
- Simply Us Farm in Bennett seeks to help families learn how to farm on a small scale and be more self-reliant through growing a portion of their own food. Try your hand at small scale farming during the Homestead Experience Feb. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.simplyusfarm.com
- The annual Festival of Lights at Lu Mil Vineyard in Elizabethtown is underway. Check out the 3-plus mile drive-thru light display and make it a full evening with free tastings, a country dinner buffet and visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Pre-scheduled private bus tours of the light display are available. Bring non-perishable food items with you for the “Cans for Christmas” food drive going to Southeastern Carolina Crossroads. The vineyard will also host its annual Lu Mil Vineyard Bridal Show Jan. 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. Free admission to the event featuring wedding-related vendors, caterers and more. www.lumilvineyard.com
- Bring the whole family to celebrate the real reason for Christmas with Come & Behold: Live Nativity at Sonlight Farms in Kenly. Local churches have partnered with the farm to host a free walkthrough nativity that tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The nativity will be open to the public Dec. 2-5 from 5 to 8 p.m. each night. Dress warmly, this is an outdoor event that takes about 25 minutes to go through the nativity. http://www.sonlightfarmsnc.com.
- Nooherooka Natural in Snow Hill will host WinterFest 2022 Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local artisans, crafters, woodworkers and more will come together to showcase their holiday wares at The Barn at Nooherooka. Food will be available for purchase including Nooherooka burgers. Be sure to stop by the annual Holiday Meat Sale at the General Store on the farm. www.nooherooka.com.
- Pace Family Farms in Clayton will host its Fourth Annual Christmas Craft Fair Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for local crafts, arts, food, jewelry and more. This is an outdoor event. Parts of the event are under a covered shelter in the event of rain. https://pacefamilyfarms.com
–John Hammond, NCDA&CS