After moving from Florida and longing for the fall season, I have officially fallen for fall in Greenville, SC! There are an overwhelming list of resources of things families can enjoy in the fall season here, so I wanted to create a running list for the activities that we experience in person. My favorite scripture verse tied to the season of fall is Eccelesiates 3:1: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
1 – Fall Activities: Apple Picking
Skytop Apple Orchard
Skytop Apple Orchard for Apple Picking in Flat Rock, NC
In early September, the boys and I alongside their grandparents chose a rainy Saturday to drive up the mountain to Skytop Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. It turned out to be a blessing because as the weather cleared and the temps dropped, apparently thousands of families flocked out to Skytop Orchard. While Skytop Orchard can get quite packed on a beautiful fall weekend, it’s a must for our family for some the yummiest apples, local cider doughnuts and hot apple cider.
Our boys especially loved the cool Apple Cider Slushies. Picking our own apples in the orchard was incredibly fun and reasonable – $20 for a BIG bag to pick our own apples and in the process we learned all about different kinds of apples. Our new favorite which we’ve never heard is Arkansas Black, a red and yellow apple with a slight tang of bitterness but an overall sweet taste.
This family-owned orchard in Hendersonville, NC is a great spot for grabbing some of the best apple products: a bushel of Jonagold apples, cider donuts, cider slushies and more! While the crowds can make Justus Orchards a bit hard to navigate, the drive through the beautiful hillside of Hendersonville and the delicious apples make the journey all the worth while.
2 – Fall Activities:
Strawberry Hill U.S.A.
Strawberry Hill U.S.A. for their Corn Maze and Mums in Chesnee, SC
I wanted to slow my roll on buying mums because I’m known to assist them in dying early in the fall season, but I couldn’t help but snag a few at Strawberry Hill U.S.A. during our recent visit. The boys absolutely loved the corn mazes, a separate admission price from just visiting the farm itself, and there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure if we’d ever make our way out of the maze.
In addition to purchasing mums and enjoying the corn mazes, Strawberry Hill U.S.A. is known for their homemade ice cream. The boys enjoyed their ice cream shoppe and rocking on the porch chairs out front to take a break from all of the fall action. Located in Chesnee, SC, this farm is one of the closer ones and makes for a really easy errand to grab more fall decor for the home.
Denver Downs for Kid Entertainment in Anderson, SC
Logan was finally able to join us for a fall weekend event and we were excited to drive to nearby Anderson, SC and check out Denver Downs. This family-owned farm for over 150 years was a great place for a cool, fall day and a great way to have the kids burn some energy.
Denver Downs reminded me a bit of a carnival, with bouncy games, ball games and rides that emulated a fair. In addition, you can purchase pumpkins and walk through a corn maize for great fall fun. Landon’s favorite part was the farmstead of fresh squeezed lemonade and Griffin loved all of the chances to jump, run and yell!
While Denver Downs felt a bit over-commercialized to me, it was definitely worth the visit. Our kids absolutely loved it so that’s what matters most of all. I did love that it was only 15 minutes away from Clemson University, so we were able to tour the campus quickly and eat at the local dive bar there.
Stewart Farms for a Wagon Ride in Enoree, SC
The one fall tradition we hadn’t done is enjoy a wagon ride through falling leaves and hills and we were so excited to discover one nearby in Enoree, SC at Stewart Farms.
This family-owned farm boasts smaller crowds and a more enjoyable experience if you are wanting a simple, closer fall outing. Offering a wagon ride which is great for all ages, a corn maze, pumpkins for picking and an adorable shoppe, Stewart Farms is a great family-friendly choice.
Be sure to take advantage of the wagon ride, which loops through the wooded area and shows various entertainment-themed scenes such as Spiderman and Charlie Brown attractions and get your camera ready! We also adored their little gift shop which offered a great deal on mums, sweet locally made jams and goodies as well as a small selection of farmhouse decor.
Nix Pumpkin Patch
We absolutely loved picking our own pumpkins at Nix Pumpkin Patch, located just minutes from Justus Orchard, providing a great way to do all things fall with our boys in one afternoon. Nix offers a you-pick pumpkin patch, something we’ve never experienced before, which was such a cool way to learn more about pumpkins and to get into the fall spirit.
The boys proudly took the clippers and wagon to pumpkins on the vine and cut their favorites for our front door. This was a memorable fall event that we all enjoyed together!
3 – Fall Hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway:
Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville’s Visitor Center, MP384
Blue Ridge Parkway for Viewing Leaves Change in Asheville, NC
My very favorite way to experience fall near Greenville, SC this fall has been hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway. After researching the best way to access the National Parkway with young kids in tow, I stumbled upon the Blue Ridge ParkwayVisitor’s Center in Asheville, NC.
This gem provided both an indoor educational experience and a spot to learn more about the parkway, in addition to an access point to a 2.3 mile hike to view all of the changing leaves. It was a memorable hike in mid-October and one that provided the very best way to see the beautiful colors of fall.
Waterrock Knob Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway, MP451.2
For our second stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we discovered Waterrock Knob Trail, a moderate to strenuous hike that definitely has elements of difficulty for young kids. The uneven and rocky steps make for a harder experience but the reward is huge – this trail boasts some amazing fall foliage views during peak season! We saw the deep oranges and yellows and fiery reds and fell so in love with hiking in the fall.
As a bonus, this trail has an optional secondary trail about .5 mile further that takes you to a 1983 small plane crash site, an interesting stop to see the debris of a crashed plane in the midst of nature. While we were saddened for the victims of the crash, we also loved the ability to pay our respects to visit the crash site and explain to our boys the importance of the gift of life.
Frying Pan Tower, MP408.6
If you’re looking for a simple 1.5 mile “hike” on low elevation to see the colors with kids, we highly recommend Frying Pan Tower. This light walk through trails isn’t very scenic until you reach the end of the trail which contains an old tower perfect for mountain viewing. If you’re scared of heights, I would pass on this trail. Take the winding stairs up to see everlasting views of the Blue Ridge Mountain!
Next up for us: Black Balsam, Art Loeb Trail, MP420.2