Get away with the family for a fall weekend to Johnston County, N.C., (JoCo for those in the know) for fall fun and temperate autumn weather. The county is an easy drive down I-95 and offers welcoming towns, each with its own flavor and activity offerings.

Boyette Farms in Clayton has Halloween fun for families. There are hayrides, a playground, a corn maze, pumpkin picking, games, and other activities. Open through October on Saturdays from 10:00am-5:00pm and Sundays 1:00pm-5:00pm. Daring families with older children should check out Boyette Farms at night. As the Raleigh, N.C. area’s only scream park, the Boyette Clayton Fear Farm isn’t just a haunted house or maze, but a spooky destination with seven uniquely terrifying haunted attractions. Recommended for kids ages 12 and up. Check out both options on their website here.

Entering its second year, in Kenly, is Sonlight Farms, which offers a corn maze as well as bounce houses, hayrides, fall games, and fun props for family photo ops. This year there’s also a pond, a slide, and a concession stand. There is even a smaller maze for the little ones. Open every weekend in October, Saturdays 10am-5pm. Visit the website for more information and location. Sonlight is owned and operated by locals Joshua and April Phillips, who love the fall and wanted to create a place on their farm where family, friends, and visitors could enjoy everything the season has to offer. Make a Sonlight visit a part of your family’s fall traditions.

Smith’s Nursery and Produce Farm runs a pumpkin patch every October on its sprawling family farm. Not only can you get a pumpkin for carving but you can explore the farm with its hayrides, animals, a sunflower field, a pond, and even bee hives. Be sure to take the family to the Smith’s Fall Festival on Oct 21, 10:00am-3:00pm. There will be all the usual fall activities listed above plus music, a firetruck demo, face painting, and more. Stay tuned to the Facebook for more details.  

Lazy O Farm in Smithfield also offers fall fun on the farm experiences for kids and families every weekend in October. The best time to go is Saturday Oct. 28, noon-5:00pm for the Trick or Treating in the Maze event. This is a non-scary event for the little ones with animals, hayrides, a playground, and even a Fairy Tale Trail. For more information on the event, including location and cost, visit the Facebook event page.

Wilson’s Mills Pumpkin Festival will take place on Oct. 14, 10:00am-4:00pm at the Wilson’s Mills Town Hall. This is a family friendly event with vendors, children’s activities, music, food, and much more! A day of fun for everyone and admission is free!

For more information about enjoying JoCo this fall, and year-round, visit

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