Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted events are opening: Here's where to go

Posted September 17, 2020 11:32 a.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2020 9:25 a.m. EDT

Pumpkins are ready for carving at Ken's Produce in Garner on October 15, 2011.

As we move into the fall season, one thing is clear: The holidays are going to look a lot different during this strange year. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended a lot of things, including the region's pumpkin patches, corn mazes and haunted trails.

Some fall destinations are opening, but with fewer activities (hay rides, for example, are canceled at many places), new hours and other safety protocols.

Naylor Family Farm in Fuquay-Varina opened last weekend, and Phillips Farms in Cary is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday, Sept. 19. According to a post on its Facebook page, the farm will be limiting the number of people on the farm this year so that visitors can remain socially distanced and has removed some activities, including the bounce houses and corn box.

Others have yet to announce plans. And some aren't opening. Hill Ridge Farms in Youngsville has announced that it won't open, but is looking forward to its Festival of Lights for Christmas.

"We are heartbroken to announce that we will not be open for our annual Fall Pumpkin Festival this year," its website says. "Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines we do not feel that we can offer the memorable and enjoyable experience that our families expect from their annual visit to our Fall Pumpkin Festival. We know that this news is disappointing but we can not in good conscious invite you to our farm when we can not offer all of the fun experiences you normally would enjoy. We appreciate your understanding and we look forward to seeing you at our Festival of Lights."

In Garner, Ken's Korney Corn Maze will open with its daytime activities, but its Harvested Farm Nightmares has been canceled for 2020.

Near Oxford, Granville Haunt Farm has made a big change, opening up its first-ever haunted drive-through for a contact-free experience.

Elsewhere around the region, many of the popular city and town events are canceled or reimagined. Trick-or-Treat on Salem Street in Apex, for example, is canceled. But Fuquay-Varina's downtown is planning a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt that will run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 2.

I've updated Go Ask Mom's Halloween and fall fun database with more information about what's planned and what's open or closed. I'll update this list as I learn more. Because I know people will be looking for details about events and destinations they usually go to this year, I am keeping venues and events on the list that are canceled for 2020.