This content was created in partnership with Bojangles.
If autumn is the season you thrive in, don’t let the curse of 2020 keep you from being your basic, fall-loving self.
There’s a lot to love about fall in Charlotte. I, for one, love that the summer humidity is subsiding. There’s something nice about walking outside and not instantly being drenched in sweat, ya know?
From pumpkins to football tailgating, I’m here to tell you how to get the most out of this season (and be safe while doing it). So bust out your decorative “Gather” signs and start mulling some apple cider. We’re going to make ourselves sick on pumpkin spice everything.
(1) Decorate your house with roughly 1 million pumpkins and gourds from the farmer’s market.
Don’t offend the fall gods by half-heartedly placing a single pumpkin on your front stoop. You want it to look like autumn threw up all over your house. I’m talking gourds on gourds on gourds. Support local and get your bounty at the farmer’s market.
Location: 1801 Yorkmont Road
Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. October through April.
(2) Plan an over-the-top at-home tailgate.
Gameday might look a little different this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a bomb at-home tailgate. You’ll want the typical essentials – a tasty spread of food, cold drinks, and a TV to catch all the action. Take it a few steps further with a Panthers-themed mask holder, Panthers cornhole set, and 7-ft tall inflatable Panthers mascot (your neighbors will love it). I’m not going to say you need a balloon archway to run out of at kickoff but you might.
The food: When it comes to homegating, Bojangles has got you covered. Pick up a Panthers-themed Big Bo Box to feed the crew. You can order an 8-, 12-, or 20-piece meal with your choice of home-style fixin’s, biscuits, and Legendary Iced Tea®. The boxes also include cups, plates, and utensils.
Pro tip: Snap a pic of your at-home tailgate anytime now through Dec. 3 and share it for a chance to win a pair of 2021 season tickets or a Bojangles-branded golf cart. Just tag #BoFangateContest and #ItsBoTime to enter. Details.
(3) Take a virtual fall-themed SkillPop class.
The folks at SkillPop understand that people love a seasonal workshop. Whether it’s painting some adorable, festive watercolor gourds or leveling up your autumnal cocktail game, they’ve got some virtual fall-themed classes to get you excited for the season.
Check out these classes:
- Cookie Decorating Essentials
- Watercolor Pumpkins & Gourds
- Fall Cocktail Basics
- Sourdough Breadmaking
- Fall Cheeseboard Creation
(4) Take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to peep the changing leaves.
October is the PRIME month to go catch the Blue Ridge Mountains’ annual leaf changing show. There’s honestly nothing more quintessentially fall than cozying up in a sweater and taking a leisurely drive down the parkway. Make sure to stop at overlooks for stunning pics.
Timeline: Leaves start changing color in late September and continue on through early November.
Where to get on the parkway: The parkway stretches all the way up to Virginia but if you’re driving from Charlotte, I’d recommend getting on anywhere from Asheville to Boone. Here’s an interactive map.
Pro tip: Any road trip requires proper fuel. Stop by Bojangles on the way to snag a few of their limited-time-only BBQ Sandwiches. They’re topped with Carolina-style pulled pork BBQ in a tangy vinegar sauce, topped with crispy coleslaw. Pair them with a few Sweet Potato Pies for a real fall treat.
(5) Fill your home with an excessive amount of Lumen’s fall-scented candles.
If you love fall in a weird way, there’s no such thing as “too many fall-scented candles.” Lumen’s candles are locally-made and come in scents like maple-glazed bacon and apples + bourbon. Who wouldn’t want their house to smell like bacon, apples, and bourbon?
Where to shop: Snag Lumen candles at The Hobbyist and at pop-up shops around town. They’ll be at Divine Barrel Brewing on Saturday, October 17 from 2-5 p.m.
(6) Dress exclusively in cozy sweaters, felt hats, and/or Girl Tribe’s Spooky SZN Collection.
Pack away your shorts and bikinis, it’s time for the season of comfortable sweaters, wide-brim hats, and jeans. Lean into the fall aesthetic. Be extra with your accessories. And if you want to wear the Girl Tribe Sanderson Sisters T-shirt every day, I’m not here to judge you.
Where to shop:
- For ween vibes: Check out Girl Tribe’s new Spooky SZN Collection
- For the perfect fall dress: Shop Worthy Figures
- For Folklore-inspired attire: Browse Vestique’s Folklore Collection (got my eye on the ‘Lover sweater’)
- For cozy fireside loungewear: Check out Boem’s selection of fuzzy slippers and matching sweatsuits
(7) Don’t get a regular car wash, get a haunted car wash in Aquawave’s Tunnel of Terror.
If you’re sad about potentially missing out on haunted houses and other festive Halloween fun this year, you can get your fix (and a car wash) at Aquawave Express Car Wash in Belmont. Yes, I’m dead serious.
Details: It’s called the Tunnel of Terror and it’s happening Thursday-Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight. Expect fog, flashing lights, and up to 10 entertainers dressed in costume.
Cost: It’s $22 and it includes a full car wash, buff + shine, hot wax, and aqua shield.
Where: 6415 West Wilkinson Blvd, Belmont, NC
(8) Reserve a bonfire at Country Days Corn Maze (and get lost in some corn).
Nothing says fall like a corn maze and a bonfire. Country Days Corn Maze has both. Just make sure you bring along supplies for smores, too.
Details: The farm has a large corn maze and little maze for kids. They also offer farm activities, including a cow train, farm skee ball, and something called a ‘corn cannon’. Bonfire spots are by reservation only.
Location: 416 Joe Lee Helms Road, Indian Trail
Hours: Fridays 5 p.m. -10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sundays 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: The big maze is $8, the little maze is $5, and bonfire reservations are $30 for 2 hours.
(9) Plan a family photo session at an apple orchard wearing matching outfits.
Apple picking might be on your fall bucket list already but if you’re not planning on picking apples AND having a family photo session while wearing matching plaid, then you don’t truly love this season. Bonus points if you get a shot gleefully throwing leaves in the air.
Where to go: Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery (Reservations are required ahead of time).
Cost: Pick-your-own apples cost $5 for a quarter peck bag (4-6 pounds); $7 for a half-peck bag (6-8 pounds); and $25 for a half bushel bag (25-30 pounds).
Location: Windy Hill is located at 1860 Black Highway in York, SC (look out for the windmill).
Hours: Their farm stand is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The cider bar is open Friday from 5-8:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
(10) Watch “Hocus Pocus” at a Halloween-themed drive-in movie night.
It’s the Halloween classic you watch religiously every October. This year, take things up a notch and see Max light the black flame candle on the big screen at a drive-in movie night. Costumes and candy are encouraged.
Where to see it:
- Saturday, October 24 at Drive-In Movie in Old Town Cornelius. Buy tickets.
- Thursday, October 29 at Crossroads Cinema at Camp North End. Buy tickets.
- Friday, October 30 at the Ballantyne Movie Series. Details.
(11) Go glamping and become one with nature.
If you’re looking for more than just a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, opt for a night glamping in the wilderness and really breathe in that crisp fall air. From luxe safari tents and geodesic domes to tiny houses and treehouses, there are tons of different glamping options out there.
Where to stay:
Don’t forget to bring Bojangles along with you on all your fall adventures.
Much like the colorful fall leaves, their Carolina-style pulled pork BBQ is only around for a limited time. Enjoy it while you can.
This content was created in partnership with Bojangles.