Although the warm temperatures lately may have fooled you, Halloween is quickly approaching! If you’re looking for some fall family fun this weekend, you’re in luck: there are four family-owned, pick-your-own pumpkin farms less than a half hour from Mint Hill.
Wise Acres Organic Farm
4701 Hartis Road
Indian Trail, NC 28079
Known for their “you-pick” organic strawberries, Wise Acres is a family owned farm in Indian Trail. Wise Acres takes pride not only in their organic produce but also in providing a quality experience for families who visit the farm.
In addition to “you-pick” pumpkins for $.69/lb, Wise Acres offers a variety of free and low cost activities for children and families. One of their most popular attractions is the Giant Corn Pit accessible with a $3.00 wrist band. “Even my teenaged nephew enjoyed it!” says self-proclaimed pumpkin patch enthusiast and Mint Hill resident Erica Larter. They also offer $3.00 wagon rides and $2.00 barrel train rides for “young farmers” under 12. Children under 3 are free on the barrel train and wagon if they ride with a paying sibling or adult. Free attractions include a small corn maze, a wooded play area featuring swings, structures to climb, recycled tires and a small zip line, and farm animals.
Another unique feature of Wise Acres is their “Wise Pie” wood-fired pizza. All the ingredients for Wise Pie’s pizzas are made on site or locally sourced, including optional gluten free dough and vegan cheese. Wise Pie is available from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Pizzas are made to order, so place your order early to avoid a long wait! Delicious treats like apple cider slushies, organic popcorn and organic cotton candy are also available for purchase in the barn.
“We love the barrel train and hay ride. The playground is so fun and Farmer Rob adds so many fun activities for kids every year,” says Larter. “The apple cider slushie is my husband’s favorite, and the pizza from Wise Pie is delicious. You can make a whole day of adventure at Wise Acres!”
Wise Acres is open Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.
Hodges Family Farm
3900 Rocky River Rd
Charlotte, NC 28215
Located on 180 acres of land, Hodges Family Farm is the longest running family farm in Charlotte. Previously used as a dairy farm, its focus is now educating children, families and the general public about farming and farm animals.
Hodges Family Farm’s annual pumpkin patch is open daily through October 31 from 9:00 am – 6:30 pm. Parking, admission, and climbing on the hay mountain are all free. The Farm also welcomes photography in the farm’s public areas. “Pick Your Own” pumpkins are available for $5.00 and up depending on size. On the weekends, they also offer a $5.00 hay ride (children 3 and under ride free with a paying adult) and light refreshments.
“I go to Hodges every year with my Charlotte Play Group,” says Larter. “We love taking a group picture in the pumpkin patch! They have a fun hayride and cute activities for younger kids.”
Hall Family Farm
10713 Providence Rd W
Charlotte, NC 28277
Hall Family Farm is a family-owned farm that has been in operation for over 70 years. Originally a cotton farm, Hall Family Farm now grows strawberries in the spring and pumpkins in the fall.
Hall Family Farm offers free parking and admission, and a variety of free activities for young children, including a mini corn maze. They also offer a 5-acre corn maze ($8.00), a musical hayride ($3.25) and pumpkins for $.64/lb. Children 2 and under are free on the hayride and corn maze with a paying adult.
Like most pumpkin farms, Hall Family Farm is a popular destination for school groups. “Some advice I would give is to call before and make sure the farm won’t be crowded with school field trips,” says Larter. “Field trip days can get incredibly crowded and overwhelming.”
Hall Family Farm offers refreshments like slushies, coffee, hot cocoa, doughnuts, funnel cakes, and ice cream. The farm is open Sunday through Thursday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm.
12150 McManus Rd
Midland, NC 28107
For sixteen years now, Riverbend Farm has opened to the public on weekends for the month of October, but they’ve been growing pumpkins for 24 years!
Although Riverbend Farm is one of the only Pick Your Own Pumpkin farms to charge admission, $5.50 admission includes access to many of Riverbend Farm’s attractions: tractors, farm animals, five giant slides, and a wagon ride to its 20-acre pumpkin patch, to name a few. Riverbend Farm’s pumpkins are also slightly less expensive than others in the area at $.40/lb. An air cannon, corn to feed the goats, and ice cream are available for an additional charge.
“Riverbend has tremendously awesome slides!” says Larter. “There is a lot of walking at Riverbend, so we always come prepared and do the hayride last.”
Riverbend Farm is open Monday through Friday from 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm.