Fall in the Time of Corona

It’s fall, y’all—the season of fall festivals, pumpkin spice lattes and going around knocking on our neighbors’ doors begging for candy. But, this year there’s a scamp named Corona putting a damper on all our plans. Can we even rightly call it fall? The answer, dear readers, is “YES!”—and here’s how we suggest going about it.

While pumpkin spice lattes can easily be achieved with a Starbucks drive-thru (or DIY mix) and trick-or-treating was literally MADE for mask-wearing, the beloved tradition that is the fall festival is a different story, with events being canceled left and right. But we ask you, what is a fall festival if not the middleman between ourselves and its vendors? This year, we challenge you to go directly to the source for your annual dose of fall.

Alegre Farm | Dacula

Have ever wondered what it was like to work on a real-life farm? Well, now’s your chance! Alegre Farm is a private, 15-acre working farm in Dacula where you can book a private, wake-up-early-and-get-your-hands-dirty style tour of the property. From 8:15 a.m. until the lunch hour, you’ll be included in all the ins and outs of farm life, including milking the cows, collecting the eggs, feeding the animals and monitoring the crops. You’ll even learn about composting and beekeeping! After the tour, enjoy a picnic lunch under the farm’s pavilion (bring your own basket!), where Alegre will share with you a bottle of their own kombucha, Q Booch—a fermented black and green tea that is full of live probiotics. With a petting zoo, farmers market, and optional add-on activities like pony rides and games, we guarantee you won’t be missing the festival experience anytime soon.

Private bookings only; masks required. Visit alegrefarm.com/privatetours for more details.

SPECIAL DIG OFFER: Use the code DiGFall25 online for $25 off through Sept. 30th]

Buford Corn Maze | Buford

Opening Labor Day Weekend, the Buford Corn Maze and Haunted Forest off Friendship Road in Buford is an excellent way to continue your fall traditions while still social distancing. As their website says, as long as you take proper precautions, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a good romp through the cornfields! Activities will include hayrides, popcorn jumping pillows, an animal viewing area, pumpkin patch, pony rides and more. Staff will be required to wear masks at all times, and both guests and staff will undergo temperature checks before being admitted to the maze. Distancing markers will be placed in all queuing locations, seating areas will be kept well apart from one another and there will be protective shielding in high traffic areas. There will also be hand-sanitizing stations throughout the maze, among other behind-the-scenes precautions which you can learn about on their website. 

For tickets and other information, visit bufordcornmaze.com.

Creekwater Alpaca Farm | Snellville

Who doesn’t love alpacas? We know we do! At Creekwater Alpaca Farm in Snellville, you can enjoy safe, close-up and hands-on encounters with these furry friends, along with bunnies, sheep, goats, pigs and more. Feed them, walk with them, love on them—whatever your heart desires, so long as an attendant is on hand to assist! In observance of social distancing, public tours are being limited in size and available on weekends only, leaving the weekdays open for private bookings for those who want to ‘keep it in the family,’ so to speak. Tour guides will wear a mask if asked, and we hear they are even offering some virtual tours to accommodate those still leery of being out-and-about. After your visit, be sure to check out their alpaca-woolen products at creekwateralpacafarm.com in preparation for a cozy winter. So beats the festival petting zoo, amirite?! 

For more details about touring the farm, visit cwafarm.com.

Still itching for that age-old stroll down aisles of vendors? Many local farmers markets are still open: 

Braselton Farmers Market
Every Third Friday, 4 to 7 p.m.
9924 Davis Street
Norcross Community Market
Order online Sunday through Thursday, then pick up on Saturdays via drive-thru at City Hall.  

Snellville Farmers Market
Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through September 26th
Towne Green

Suwanee Farmers Market
September 5, 12 and 26, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
October 10, 9 to 11 a.m.
Town Center Park