It was a hot one.
But not to worry — you can stay cool. Because summer has come to an end. And though we might not be free of the 90s yet — this is southeastern North Carolina, after all — we can look forward to lower temperatures as autumn leaves start to fall.
So grab your pumpkin latte and pumpkin cupcake and head out for some cool fun before you have to start making that Christmas gift list.
Wait — did somebody say November? Did you buy the turkey yet?
When you’re having fun, that is.
A-maze-ing fun and fried Honeybuns
Family adventure is down on the farm at the Fall Harvest Festival at Gallberry Corn Maze in Hope Mills.
Besides the 6 acres of corn mazes, the fun will include hayrides, a jumping pillow, double-barrel tube slides, cornhole games, barrel train rides, the Bouncy Ball Corral, the Spookley the Square Pumpkin Barn, a campfire pit (with s’mores!) and a super-sized sandbox.
The midway-style treats will include fried Oreos, Honeybuns and corn on the cob. Funnel cakes and corndogs will also be served.
Gallberry Speedway will again feature pig racing. Visitors will see bunnies, chickens, goats, turkeys and peacocks, as well as Mr. Hee-Haw the donkey, the farm’s mascot.
Gallberry will be open 5-9 p.m. Fridays, noon-9 p.m. Saturdays and 1-6 p.m.
A trip to the Backwoods
The story goes that Delray Delamorte, the slaughterhouse manager, and his family were traveling along Interstate 95 South in a hearse. They had written a note to Dr. Surgeon that they left body parts he could feed to the dinosaurs at Sweet Valley Ranch.
Not everything is sweet about this ranch in Halloween season.
Uncover Halloween chills and thrills at Backwoods Terror Ranch on weekends through October at the animal park.
Tour Surgeon Manor, a Victorian farmhouse that they say is home to some of the poor souls who lived in the manor and ended up as experiments in Surgeon Labs. In the cemetery out back, you’ll never know what lurks in the shadows. The Delamonte bunch haunts the Slaughterhouse.
Backwoods Terror Ranch is scheduled for Oct. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 and 28-30. Tickets are $25, or $35 for the VIP package that includes front-of-the-line access, premium parking and a souvenir photo.
Hell Is Here will take the stage at 8 p.m. and will be followed by Mostley Crue at 9:15 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $15. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Concessions will be available for purchase.
Sweet Valley Ranch is at 2990 Sunnyside School Road in Hope Mills.
For tickets, go to the Sweet Valley Ranch website, sweetvalleyranchnc.com/
Sundays through Oct. 30. Admission for ages 3-65 is $15; for military members and seniors 66 and older, $14; and for ages 2 and younger, free.
For tickets and information, go to gallberrycornmaze.com. Or call 910-309-7582.
Brewing up some fun
Baseball will be outta here, but the beer will be flowing at Segra Stadium for the fourth annual Pecktoberfest from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22. More than 20 breweries from across the state will offer samples of more than 40 cold brews.
Tickets are $35 in advance and include 15 sampling tickets. Tickets are $45 on the day of the festival. Additional sampling tickets are $1 each. Current or former military members and Woodpeckers season-ticket holders will receive a $5 discount.
VIP tickets are $75 and include a one-hour early entry at 4 p.m.; unlimited samples from brewery tents; a choice of select brews; and a two-hour buffet beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Food trucks and live music also will be featured. Go to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers website, milb.com/fayetteville.
Meet you at the fair
The midway will light up with thrill rides, game booths and food vendors serving everything battered-and-fried when the North Carolina State Fair comes to Raleigh on Oct. 13-23.
Competitions will offer cash prizes to “Best in Show” winners in arts and crafts, including woodworking, pottery, dolls and painting; culinary skills such as baking and canning; gardening, including flowers and vegetables; and agriculture and livestock, including poultry, honey and wine.
Admission to the fair is $13 for adults 13-64; $7 for ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and younger; and $5 for seniors. Discounts are available for advance purchases. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, seniors ages 65 and older will be admitted free.
For active-duty service members, reservists, retirees, National Guardsmen and their dependents (ages 13-64), admission is $8 at the gate. Identification is required.
Wednesday, Oct. 19, is Military Appreciation Day, featuring a tractor parade at 10 a.m. and performances by the 440th Army Band throughout the day.
The fairgrounds is at 4285 Trinity Road in Raleigh. For more information or to buy tickets, go to ncstatefair.org.
Halloween at the Poe House
For tricks and treats of an earlier time, the 1897 Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex takes you back to the early 20th century. Tours are offered year-round, but Halloween takes a spooky turn.
Though the name of the house might bring to mind the writer of mysteries and the macabre, it was actually the home of local businessman E.A. Poe and his family.
For the 10th season, the Poe House will partner with Gilbert Theater for “Halloween Revels: Night Tours of the 1897 Poe House.” Ghostly characters will transport visitors back in time using music and poetry of the day. The tours will run every 30 minutes from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 20-22 and
27-28. Advance tickets are required. Call 910-500-4240 or go to museumofthecapefear.ncdcr.gov and click on the Poe House link.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29, children 12 and younger are invited for trick-or-treating at the Poe House. Activities will include a “raven” scavenger hunt, vintage carnival games, a dance party with a DJ, and magic tricks by Joy the Clown. The fun will be capped by hayrides in Arsenal Park. Costumes are encouraged.
Jolly days at the Holly Day
Celebrating its 55th year, the Holly Day Fair is the largest holiday gift and craft show in eastern North Carolina. The Nov. 3-6 fair will be at the Crown Expo Center and is hosted by the Junior League of Fayetteville.
More than 150 vendors are expected to take part, selling holiday decorations, handmade crafts, jewelry, clothes, children’s toys and specialty foods. A portion of the proceeds supports community grants, scholarships and other initiatives.
Super shopper tickets are $15 and are good for early access from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 3. Sip and Shop tickets are $30 for the same hours; they include a continental breakfast and mimosas and are available only in person at the Crown Complex box office.
General admission is $10 per day from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 3; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 4-5; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 6.
For information, go to jlfay.org/hollydayfair/ or call 910-323-5509.
More autumn treats
• Dogwood Fall Festival: Scheduled for Oct. 14-16 in Festival Park and downtown Fayetteville, the festival will include downtown hayrides, music, food and vendors as well as a classic car, motorcycle and truck show.
• Pumpkin carving: The pumpkin will be provided for carvers of all ages from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Eastover-Central Recreation Center, 3637 Pembroke Lane. Pre-registration is required by Oct. 21. The cost is $3. Call 910-433-1226 for information.
• Music, movies and beer: The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will perform music from “Nosferatu” to accompany a screening of the 1922 Dracula-themed silent film at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom, 5435 Corporation Drive in Hope Mills. And the orchestra’s Symphony on Tap series will celebrate Halloween from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at Heckler Brewing Co. For tickets, fayettevillesymphony.org/.
• Halloween in the BOO-tanical Garden: The sixth annual celebration will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at Cape Fear Botanical Garden, 536 N. Eastern Blvd. Activities will include trick-or-treating, hayrides and lawn games. Jack-o-lanterns and luminaries will light up the garden, but don’t forget your flashlight. Tickets are $11 for nonmembers, $9 for garden members and free for children under 2. Oct. 27 is Dog Night, when you can bring your fur friends in costume. Call 910-486-0221 or visit www.capefearbg.org.