Friday, December 1, 2023

Fall Roundup: Haunted homes, harvest festivals, pumpkin farms, and mazes galore

The Finch family loads up a wagon of pumpkins at the Barr Pumpkin Patch off Shipyard and Independence in Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
The Finch family loads up a wagon of pumpkins at the Barr Pumpkin Patch off Shipyard and Independence in Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — Fall is here and there are plenty of pumpkins to carve and festivals to attend for the residents of Wilmington looking for a reprieve from a difficult September.

Below is a list of pumpkin patches, festivals and fairs, haunted houses, ghost tours, and corn mazes that Port City Daily will keep updating throughout the month as Halloween approaches.

Pumpkin Patches

Wesley Memorial Church | Wilmington, 1st delivery on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 9 a.m.

The Pumpkin Patch is open until Halloween — or as long as supplies last. Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday from noon -7 p.m. A Wilmington tradition since 1990, run by church youth, pumpkins trucked in from an Indian reservation in New Mexico. 

Port City Produce | Wilmington & Carolina Beach

Pumpkins are now available at both the Wilmington market (5470 Market Street) and Carolina Beach market (6458 Carolina Beach Rd). 

Mike’s Farm Hay Rides and Pickin’ Patch 1600 Haw Branch Road, Beaulaville

Load the kids up and head to the country for a true pumpkin pickin’ experience. All October hayrides stop by the Pumpkin Patch, running Tuesday & Wednesday from 1 – 5 p.m., Thursday & Friday from 1 p.m. – dark, and Saturday from 10 a.m. – dark. $2 for those 3 and older. Pumpkins are weighed and run $0.69 per pound with a $3 minimum.

Barr Pumpkin Patch 2715 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington

Hours: Open every day from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. from now until Oct. 31. Over 20,000 pumpkins on site in a wide variety as well as corn, hay, and gourds for sale. For more information call 336-607-4706.

The Great Pumpkin Patch 2407 N. College Road, Wilmington

With a full variety of pumpkins coming in from Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Hours: Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Second location at 21572 US-17 (old Farmer’s Market location) in Hampstead. 

Now in its 20th year, the Great Pumpkin Patch offers a variety of pumpkins, including novelty pumpkins and white pumpkins, as well as mums, straw, and gourds. For more information, call 910-231-9638.

Pender Pines Pumpkins | Hampstead (20949 U.S. 17)

Hours: Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. A variety of pumpkins available through Thanksgiving, as well as gourds, corn stalk, and wheat straw. For more information call 910-270-2706.

Festivals & Shows

Cape Fear Fair & Expo | 1739 Hewlett Dr, Wilmington ($22 tickets)

Friday, Oct. 26 – Sunday, Nov. 4: Celebrate the end of summer with an old-fashioned country fair, featuring Old McNally’s Pig Derby, Brad Matchett Comedy Hypnotist, Agricadabra Magic Show, and the Anastasini Circus.

Fort Fisher Fall Festival | Kure Beach, Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (free)

Enjoy a fun Saturday of family friendly programs, free Halloween games, arts and crafts, No Sleeves Magic, a bounce house and more at the annual Fort Fisher Fall Festival. Food and drinks from food trucks will also be available for purchase. Don’t miss out on this great Halloween event fit for the whole family.

Fall Harvest Festival | Poplar Grove Plantation, Sunday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ($5)

At the historic peanut plantation by the Topsail sound in Scotts Hill near Wilmington in Pender County. Heritage arts and crafts vendors from near and far will be showing off their hard work, skills and talents. The $5 entry fee includes games and activities for the kids, including the live “hard hittin’ bluegrass” of Folkstone Stringband

Families and neighbors can also enjoy a few ghoulish delights: Professor Poplar’s Fantabulous Games & Amusements, Mr. Twister’s Wondrous Balloon Creations from Universal Studios, lawn and carnival games, bouncy houses, and the basket gallery at Poplar Grove. So let the kids go a little wild and free while you kick back with family, friends and neighbors.

Tales from the Grand Guignol | TheatreNOW, Wilmington

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27, at 7 pm, admission from $20 to $47. A dinner theater featuring Tales from the Grand Guignol, a spooky Halloween show adapted from the original theatre of the vampires, The Grand Guignol. Zach Hanner’s three tales alternate between horrifying and humorous. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Haunted Houses, Mazes & Ghost Tours

Unleashed | New Hanover High School, Wilmington ($12)

“It isn’t safe to walk through these woods alone,” reads the Facebook page. Fridays and Saturday from 7 p.m. – midnight, Sundays from 7 – 10 p.m., Halloween from 6 – 10 p.m. Located at 921 Princess St. in Wilmington.

Paranormal Ghost Tours | Poplar Grove Plantation

Haunts, or haints, of all ages from 1850 through the 20th century continue to hover in and around the Manor House, Tenant House, graveyard and grounds. All Fridays & Saturdays of October from 6-10 pm (tours on the hour). New Moon Tour on Monday, Oct. 8 from 8 – 9 p.m. and a Full Moon Tour on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 7 – 10 p.m. 

Groups are limited to 15; all tickets are $15 (plus taxes and fees).  Cameras and other paranormal equipment are permitted. No guarantee of ghost activity. They stir at their own leisure.

Maze Craze at Galloway Farm | Hallsboro (370 Artesia Rd.)

Opening Day is this Saturday, Oct. 6; admission at $10 (ages 2 and up). Maze Craze Hours: Fridays (5 – 10 p.m.), Saturdays (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.), Sundays  (1 – 8 p.m.), Monday through Friday by reservation. 

Featured attractions include: Barrel Train Rides, Mini Hay Bale Maze, Pedal Carts, Spookley story maze, The Fairy Tale Trail, Horse Hoops, Corn You Find Scavenger Hunt, and the Critter Corral.

Halloween Ghost Trolley & Haunted Barn | Market and Water Streets

From Oct. 27 – 31 (Saturday to Wednesday), from 6 – 9 p.m., take a ghost ride through downtown Wilmington and enjoy the Haunted Barn experience. Listen to ghost stories tailored for young children, without the gore and violence of today’s Halloween and let your little ones enjoy Halloween the way it used to be. Free treats for children, no reservation required. Adults: $12, Children (Under 12): $5. Kids will receive Halloween treats.

Night Tour of the Burgwin-Wright House | Downtown Wilmington ($12)

On Friday, November 2nd from 9 to 10 p.m., the Night Tour at historic Burgwin-Wright House in downtown Wilmington, NC, is guided by candlelight as interpreters reveal the rituals and superstitions of past times — a life without modern conveniences. Advance registration required.

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