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Stories from the Smokies

Throughout the year, Darnell Farms celebrates each growing season with a festival. They celebrate strawberries, peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes and more. Sixteen in all. And in mid-November Darnell’s festival calendar ends with the grandest of all – a joyous, month-long celebration of Christmas.

Christmas Wonderland Hayrides and Santa

Beginning in early November, the farm is aglow with magical Christmas lights and music fills the air. Starting around Thanksgiving, evening hayrides (online reservations required) are available under the lights. Hayrides include heated blankets, hot drinks and a fresh fried pie. On hayride nights, Santa is at the farm for visits and photos. 

Check availability and purchase hayride tickets at

Ironically, Santa looks a lot like owner Jeff Darnell.

Christmas Tree Lot Opens mid-November

Beginning November 21, Darnell’s Christmas tree lot will be filled with locally sourced fresh-cut North Carolina Christmas trees of various heights. In addition to fresh-cut, Darnell will have live trees with their roots still intact, ranging from tabletop size up to 7’ trees. You can complete your Christmas decorating with locally-made wreaths, fresh garlands, tree stands, and more.

Customized Gift Baskets

Darnell also creates custom gift baskets in different price ranges. Choose from BBQ baskets (sauce and spices), diabetic-friendly baskets, fruit baskets, and country breakfast baskets, or create your own. There are Darnell Farms branded foods, seasonal citrus & produce, holiday candy, nuts and fruit, artisan jams and jellies, charcuterie board supplies and other hand-picked favorites, including Darnell ‘merch’ (shirts and caps).

Santa’s Workshop Day

On Saturday, November 25th, Darnell Farms will feature local craft vendors offering a wide selection of gifts and stocking stuffers. There’ll be a hot chocolate station, food truck, fire pits to relax around, photos with Santa and his Elf, and lots of Christmas music.

New Farm Tour

While most of the Christmas activities are in the evening, daylight tours of the farm are also available daily from 10 am to 4 pm, weather permitting. The mile-long tractor-pulled wagon rides are just $8. Advance tickets are not necessary.

Darnell’s last day of the season is December 23. The will reopen February 9, 2024.

2300 Governors Island Road
Bryson City, NC 28713


Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713

Karen Proctor
Executive Director


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