Give the Gift of Experience

by | Dec 4, 2023

Whether it’s a concert, a play, a vacation or a fun day with friends and family, everyone loves to receive a gift at Christmas that gives them something to look forward too. Did you know that many farms and agritourism destinations across the state offer gift cards during the holidays so that you can experience some of their most popular events? Check out our top ten list and be sure to look at farms in your area to see if they are giving the gift of an experience this year. There is nothing better than quality time with friends and family on a beautiful N.C. farm!

(1) The Gift of a Farm Tour at Apple Hill Farm – Banner Elk, N.C. 

Apple Hill Farm is offering Farm Tour Gift Cards this holiday season! When you purchase a gift card, you will receive a digital card via email to print and give your loved ones along with details on how they can book their experience. To purchase a gift card, simply visit their website and select the number of guests that you would like to pay for. Don’t forget to include yourself in that number so that you can get in on the fun as well! Once you’ve selected the number of participants, simply follow the booking form to complete your purchase. Advanced reservations are required for booking all experiences, so the recipient of this gift will still need to follow the instructions on contacting the farm to schedule the experience.

Apple Hill Farm raises a variety of farm animals on their property in Banner Elk, but they are most well-known for their alpacas. They offer tours on the farm throughout the year that typically last anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. During the tour you will not only learn about the animals, but have the opportunity to meet and interact with them! They also offer other events and classes throughout the year to invite the community out to the farm, educate them on the importance of agriculture and allow them to experience our state’s number one industry. Be sure to visit the farm store during your visit to see all of their incredible products made from alpaca fiber!

(2) Enjoy Eating Local with The Produce Box – Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, N.C. 

Support local farmers and enjoy high-quality, local products by purchasing a gift card to the Produce Box this holiday season! Gift certificates can range anywhere between $25 and $100 and each one will come with a complimentary 1-year membership for the recipient! Produce boxes contain a variety of fresh, in-season items from surrounding farms, including produce, meats, bakery items and more. You do not have to be a current member of the Produce Box to purchase a gift certificate. Simply visit their website, choose which amount you would like to spend and walk through the steps to complete your purchase.

The Produce Box is a farm to table grocery delivery service that aims to get fresh products to customers doorsteps as often as they like. Each box comes with in-season products and a menu of items that can be cooked with those products. Their website is also full of recipes and dishes to try with local produce, meat and value-added items. Featured brands include but are not limited too: Chapel Hill Creamery, Locals Seafood, Cheshire Pork and La Farm Bakery.

(3) Stock up on Snacks with an Ashe County Cheese Gift Card – West Jefferson, N.C. 

Who doesn’t love Ashe County Cheese?! From their signature flavors like Sharp Cheddar and Mountain Marble to their specialty flavors such as Jack & Dill and Smoked Ghost Pepper, they have something to light up the taste buds of even the toughest critic. Purchase a gift card today for the cheese lover in your life and let them have a blast choosing which flavors they want to try. All you have to do is visit their website, decide how much you want to spend and hit the purchase button!

Ashe County Cheese has been a staple in West Jefferson for over 75 years. They have a variety of cheese products available for purchase both on-site in their gift shop as well as the online store, including cheese, crackers, honey and salsa. Throughout the year they offer tours and other events where customers can watch how the cheese is made and learn more about the operation. Check the calendar on their website to find cheese making dates before scheduling a visit.

(4) Local Wine in the Yadkin Valley – Yadkin Valley, N.C. 

As the largest wine tour company in North Carolina, Yadkin Valley knows a thing or two about delicious, local wine. Give the gift of a wine tour this holiday season to the wine lover in your life. Yadkin Valley Wine Tours offers three different touring options: (1) Public Tours, which are planned throughout the year for the public to attend and typically have a specific focus throughout the tour, (2) Custom Tours, which are for parties between two and fifty that allow customization for specific likes and desired wineries in the area, and (3) Shuttle Service for either tour, which must be booked in advance for tour groups. To order a gift certificate today, simply visit their website here and fill out the form with your information.

Yadkin Valley wine tours began in 2002 as a way to showcase local wine in the area. The Yadkin Valley has been well-known and loved in North Carolina for many years due to their high-quality and quantity of delicious wine. Today, they provide fun and educational tours around the community for wine lovers and enthusiasts to enjoy.

(5) A Weekend Stay at Beaufort’s Inlet Inn – Beaufort, N.C. 

There is nothing quite like a peaceful getaway in a North Carolina beach town! Beaufort’s Inn on Turner is a Bed and Breakfast that’s located in the heart of a historic waterfront town. Treat your loved one to a weekend away by calling to schedule a reservation or purchasing a gift certificate. If you are looking for great ideas on things to do in the area, be sure to ask the staff on-site and they will be happy to provide an itinerary based on your interests or give recommendations.

The Inn on Turner is the first in the area to be NC Green Travel Certified, Accredited by Ocean Project and Ambassadors of the Got to Be NC Program. Their seaside escape is a walking distance away from the ocean, shops, restaurants and more! During your stay, enjoy field to fork breakfasts, delicious dinners and happy hour each day with a variety of wine.

(6) Vacation Day or Stay at Treehouse Vineyards – Monroe, N.C. 

Treehouse Vineyards, as seen in The Knot and many other publications and media outlets, is well-known across the state for it’s unique vacation options and day trip packages. Purchase a gift card for someone special in your life this holiday season and allow them to experience great local wine, a relaxing time in one of the adorable tree houses on-site and so much more! Gift cards are valid towards rentals, food and other services on the property. To purchase yours today, either visit the gift shop on-site or give them a call at (704) 283-4208.

Treehouse Vineyards began in 2004 when Phil Nordan and his wife Dianne decided to build a vineyard on their land in Monroe. Phil grew up playing in a treehouse as a child and remembers loving the freedom and joy that it brought him. That’s when the idea began for an adult treehouse and the very first one on-site, Date Night, was born. Since then, the vineyard has continued to add treehouses for the public to stay in, expanded their wine variety selections and more. Whether you join them for a tour, public event, wedding, weekend stay or other function, you’re sure to fall in love with the tranquil environment and joy that is found at Treehouse Vineyards.

(7) Afternoon with the Alpacas at Carolina Sunshine Alpaca Farm – Pittsboro, N.C.

Do you have an animal lover in your life? Then this is the perfect Christmas gift for them! Carolina Sunshine Alpaca Farm has both individual and group gift cards available to use for a farm tour as well as in their gift shop on-site! The farm is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Farm tours are offered either at your leisure without a guide or scheduled with a guide. The PacaTour is a guided interactive experience with the animals. This tours lasts about an hour and includes a meet and greet with all the animals where you can feed and pet them. All tours must be booked in advance and include time at the end to browse in the farm store. The store has a variety of products available, including blankets, sweaters, hats and pottery.

Carolina Sunshine Alpaca Farm works hard every day to bring joy into the lives of visitors through alpaca encounters and products made from their fiber. From farm tours to birthday parties, they know how to make people feel welcome on the farm and educate them on our state’s number one industry.

(8) All things fresh and local at Deans Farm Market – Wilson, N.C. 

The farm market at Deans Farm in Wilson is a great place to stock up on fresh, local products to use during your holiday meals or to give as gifts! Produce is brought into the market daily from the fields at the farm as well as other surrounding farms. Enjoy in-season items, such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, collards and more. If you have a foodie in your life, pick up some of their deliciously made sides, like collard dip, jams and jellies or pimento cheese to add into their Christmas gift or stocking. The market also has farmhouse décor, southern living apparel, handmade jewelry, pottery, candles and other items available for purchase. Make a day out of visiting the farm and show your local love during Christmas this year. In addition to products from their own farm, Dean’s Farm Market hosts produce and value-added products from other farms in their shop, like Carolina Grits, Larry’s Coffee and Simply Natural Ice Cream.

Deans Farm Market has been a staple in the Wilson community since 1965. Although they are most widely known for their strawberry picking and production each year, they grow a variety of other produce items, host many agritourism and educational events each year, and operate a popular farm market. They believe in a true farm to table system and work hard each year to not only bring products from their farm to the community, but products from surrounding farms and other small businesses as well.

(9) New year, many farm visits at Spring Haven Farm – Chapel Hill, N.C. 

What better New Year’s Resolution is there than to spend more time with friends and family on the farm? Spring Haven Farm offers a membership program where you can not only visit the farm all year long, but also gain exclusive access to all the farm amenities and earn discounts on all farm store merch. In addition to tours and field trips throughout the year, Spring Haven Farm hosts a variety of inclusive events like gem mining, baby goat zen and a winter wonderland. Annual members have unlimited access during business hours throughout the year. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday each week. Members are given a wristband to get them admission into the farm upon each visit. The annual membership can be purchased for $49.50 per person on their website!

Spring Haven Farm is home to a variety of farm animals, including goats, Highland cows, pigs, sheep, ducks and horses. Owners of the farm not only believe in caring for their animals as respectfully and humanely as possible, but also offering an opportunity to the community to come meet the animals and learn about their purpose in the agriculture industry. They provide many events throughout the year to invite the public to the farm, including field trips, farm tours, Christmas on the farm and so much more.

(10) Step into Yellowstone at Summerfield Farms – Summerfield, N.C. 

Have you ever wondered how you would fare in the world of Yellowstone? Now you can find out! The Yellowstone Experience at Summerfield Farms is a full day of immersive activities to make you feel like one of your favorite Yellowstone characters. From mastering horseback riding and rodeo sports to archery and fly fishing, this gift is perfect for the Yellowstone lover in your life! According to the farm website, the day promises to be full of “thrills, skills and moments that will stay with you forever.” At the end of your experience, you can either choose to stay the night on the farm in The Cottage or dine under the stars and head back home. The farm also has a variety of other experiences that would be perfect Christmas gifts, like riding lessons, cow cuddles, bunny snuggles and date night trail rides. All experiences can be booked through the store on the farm website.

In addition to on-the-farm experiences, Summerfield Farms also has a variety of local products available in their online store and on-site farm store. As a grass-fed and finished beef farm, Summerfield Farms offers a variety of fresh cut meats that will either make a striking appearance on the holiday dinner table or a delicious gift for a loved one, including New York Strip steaks, tenderloins, hamburger patties and more. They also have package deals and kits available such as the summer grilling box and the monthly beef box. Beyond the beef, their farm store features a variety of other local products and merchandise to show your love for agriculture. Order your favorites today from their website or stop by and visit the farm store in person to stock up!

Summerfield Farms sits on 600+ acres of land and has been welcoming members of the community since 2012. Today, they raise beef cattle on the farm to produce Gourmet Beef On Grass, the “best-premium, great-tasting and nutrient-dense grass-fed and grass-finished beef that you will find.” They also raise other farm animals on-site including goats, mini horses and bunnies. In addition to offering farm tours and other on-site experiences throughout the year, they have lodging available for overnight and weekend stays as well as a fully functioning wedding venue.

The gift of an experience is truly memorable because it creates lasting moments with people that you love. Whether you purchase a farm product, day on the farm or other experience, we hope that you support local businesses, farms and other agriculture operations this holiday season. Don’t miss the beauty, fun and joy that can be found in our state’s number one industry!