Fall Favorites Around the Triangle
The latest 'Father Figuring' column
Fall is my favorite time of year. The changing color of leaves, cooler weather and pumpkin-flavored everything makes for a wonderful season. It’s especially fun as a father, with lots of great opportunities to create lifelong memories with my family.
Since relocating to the Triangle almost six years ago, we have found lots of fun pastimes that have provided enjoyment and entertainment year after year. Here are my top five favorite things to do as a family around the Triangle and across the state during fall.
Whether in a cabin or tent, fall is a perfect time to camp and enjoy the great outdoors, especially with the cooler nighttime temperatures. Our first fall here, we took an extended weekend trip to the Boone/Blowing Rock area and rented a cabin in Seven Devils. During our weekend, we hiked the Linville Falls area, explored shops in downtown Blowing Rock and had dinner in downtown Boone. Since this area is only a three-hour drive from Raleigh, it makes for a fun and accessible weekend getaway. Check out exploreboone.com for a list of things to do, attractions, hotels and cabins.
The changing leaves make for a beautiful hiking experience. North Carolina offers plenty of trail options. Whether you head out to a municipal, county or state park, there are plenty of trails for all abilities and ages. One of the first pieces of outdoor equipment we bought as new parents was a backpack child carrier, which allowed us to begin hiking as a family when our oldest was only 5 months old. For hiking options around the Triangle, check out numerous Carolina Parent hiking roundups and posts by searching for “hiking” at carolinaparent.com.
There are lots of corn mazes around the Triangle offering a variety of activities, from bounce houses to pumpkin patches, with some included in admission or a la carte. Read our fall fun roundup on page 16 for a list of corn mazes and other fall fun events in the area to check out with your family.
The Triangle is home to numerous universities — three of which (Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University) are in the ACC. Our family joined the Wolfpack after relocating here. A college football game is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon together. For the ACC football schedule, check out theacc.com.
North Carolina State Fair
Our all-time favorite pastime in the fall, by far, is the North Carolina State Fair. We go every year as a family — sometimes more than once. From 4-H exhibits and fried foods to kiddie rides and local vendors, the North Carolina State Fair offers something for everyone. As the tagline states, “Nothing could be finer.” Learn more about this year’s fair at ncstatefair.org.
Dave Herpy is a father of four, camp and youth development professional and freelance writer in the Triangle. He has a master’s degree in recreation and sport sciences from Ohio University, and more than 20 years of experience directing camps and outdoor recreation activities.