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With the usual plethora of fall festivals on hold for this year, families are wondering how to still have fall fun and entertain their families. But there are still tons of ways to celebrate the coming of fall and cooler temperatures in and around the Upstate. Remember to check operating hours and safety procedures before you go.

From pick-your-own pumpkins to the old-fashioned Sunday drive, here are a few fall favorites:

Denver Downs Farm  

Denver Downs will be open this fall with all your favorites like pumpkin cannons, hayrides and the famous corn maze. Safety plans include screening visitors, extra sanitation stations and spreading attractions out over their 140-acre field.

This year’s maze will be bigger and better with 12 acres to get lost in. Once again, it has been nominated for one of USA Today’s top 10 corn mazes in the country. The theme is a celebration of the farm’s 150th year of operation, according to farm co-owner, Catherine Garrison Davis. This family-fun farm is open now through Nov. 15. Visit https://denverdownsfarm.com

Sunday drives and fall colors  

Instead of getting kicks on Route 66, how about experiencing fall color heaven on Highway 11? The Blue Ridge Mountains boasts beautiful colors, especially along the hills of Highway 11, also known as the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. Take a Sunday drive along any portion of the almost 120-mile road from Oconee County into Cherokee County. Along the way, stop at waterfalls to cool off, the Pumpkintown Opry for ice cream and experience the breath-taking fall colors. Several state parks are adjacent to Highway 11 and are open for visitors. Take your hiking boots and your camera for a family outing. The best part? You can go whenever you please. Visit https://www.scenic11.com. 

Skytop Orchard and Hendersonville  

Hendersonville is only about an hour from Greenville and full of family-friendly experiences. At the top of that list is Skytop Orchard. It is open for apple picking throughout the fall and has a variety of apple products including apple cider doughnuts. Visit the bamboo forest and the animals as well. Face masks are required this fall.

In downtown Hendersonville, you can search for the dozen bronze Apple Quest apples scattered around while you shop. Visit Mike’s on Main, an old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream shop. There’s also a pinball museum, railroad museum, children’s museum, and several other fun spots for your family to spend the day. Be sure to check your destinations ahead of time for any possible closings and hours.

Visit http://www.skytoporchard.com and https://www.visithendersonvillenc.org/businesses/apple-quest

Madworld Haunted Attractions  

Looking for something to get your adrenaline pumping? Look no further than Madworld in Piedmont, right off I-85. Running for nine weekends this fall, this haunted house promises to scare you properly. Not quite up to the full experience? Anyone can get a “no scare medallion” so the actors won’t come after you. The experience is touted as being family-friendly, but discretion is advised.

In addition to the haunted house, Madworld offers a bonfire, concessions (like fried Oreos) and ticketed carnival rides. There are even have two mini escape rooms that are not scare-oriented. Visit https://madworldattractions.com

Bonus events:

Apple Harvest Daze is 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Oct. 17 in Waynesville, NC. For event details and safety guidelines, visit haywoodchamber.com/events-calendar/signature-events/apple-harvest-festival.

The 8th Annual Haunted Trail is Oct. 8 – 30 at the Adventure Center of Asheville. The no-touch, no-contact outdoor haunted trail is ideal for ages 3 – 12. Younger children can enjoy the (actor-free) “Sweet Peek Tour” of the trail at 6:30pm before dark. The Treetops Adventure Park Aerial Glow Trail will also be available for ages 4 and older. Social distancing and face masks are required for ages 4 and older. For specific dates of operation, tickets and more, visit https://ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/asheville-haunted-trail.

No matter how you celebrate the changing of the seasons, please remember to do so responsibly and safely. Please check with each location prior to going to make sure they are still open and operating when you plan to visit, as things can change day to day.

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