Fun Things To Do In North Carolina Start In New Bern

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway on a budget, you just found it.

If you’re like me and want to plan some fun weekend events and getaways, New Bern is a great place to start. There are so many fun things to do with the cool fall weather quickly approaching this quaint town, especially when you’re trying to save a little cash. Year-round, the area hosts a lot of events that are fun and friendly on the wallet.

MumFest Annual Festival and Concert at Tryon Palace

Here are a few of my favorites! Drum roll please….it’s MumFest! It’s held the second weekend of every October with over 200 vendors participating. In addition to the festival, a cool new tradition is the concert on the Friday beforehand. This year is country sensation Brett Young. If you aren’t into his good looks, then you’ll definitely be into his music. He combines a country twang with some upbeat mixes that everyone will appreciate. He is definitely on his way to becoming the next Brad Paisley or Keith Urban. Be sure to see him while he’s here, because if I had to bet, it would be that he will be headlining stadiums come 2018. Alongside Brett, will be newcomers Taylor Norris, season four winner of hit show The Voice, Danielle Bradbery, and local artist (whom we absolutely adore) Bryan Mayer.

The concert will have food trucks lined up, Pepsi products, water and of course beer and wine. What’s a country concert without a beer in your hand? Tryon Palace’s South Lawn really pulls this entire thing together. With the Palace as a backdrop and acres of land to lay down your lawn chair or blanket, makes the experience unforgettable. Who knew New Bern could put on such an amazing show?
The concert is ticketed, but the actual festival on Saturday and Sunday is free. And all of this excitement falls right into what I consider perfect weather. It’s not so hot you feel like you’re sizzling in the sun, but you’re comfortable with a sweatshirt instead of a coat. And just for fun, you ladies can throw on a pair of wedged boots to hike yourself up a few inches like me from 5’2 and still be comfortable walking the entire downtown district.
Now, MumFest lasts all day for two whole days. There is so much to see, you will actually need both days. Every pass down East Front Street brought something new to my attention, whether it was a new piece of jewelry, art or snack I was suddenly craving, it was so worth the extra time, especially to walk off those extra food cravings. Our city is known for our kindness, be prepared to leave here with stories of new friendship(s.)
Whether you walk the streets, ride a carnival ride, get your face painted (I’m 29 years old and totally went for it) or grab a turkey leg and beer, you’re not going to be spending much at all. We pride ourselves on affordability during these events so you’ll enjoy yourselves that much more…

ArtWalk and ArtCrawl

Let’s keep the party rolling onto our monthly event, ArtWalk and ArtCrawl. Did I mention this is free?! Like I said, these happen every month on the second Friday of each and have live music (Have you heard of Alisa Mike or James Ford?—Don’t worry, you will soon enough.) Lining the streets downtown along with the musicians, our merchants are having special sales, some with wine and hors’ d’oeuvres and a lot of fun. If you feel like donating a few dollars, you’re more than welcome to for those artists that work so hard on the pieces displayed. It’s so cool to look around at the art, shop for those pieces of clothing you might not necessarily buy without a sale, and enjoy a beautiful Friday evening surrounded by the historic buildings and lively downtown atmosphere.


Havelock Chili Festival

Moving right along, if you’re in the mood for a little food favorite of mine, chili (my Grammy kills it in this category), you can head on over to Walter B. Jones Park in Havelock for the Havelock Chili Festival, held the third weekend in October. It’s about 15 minutes from downtown New Bern, and Havelock even houses MCAS Cherry Point – only the largest Marine Air Base in the world.  Hundreds come to this festival and help choose the annual winner of the best chili, salsa and wings. So if you’re looking for something free and tasty, this is your best bet. They have two categories of chili including red and verde. You are sure to leave satisfied and encouraged to enter the contest yourself next year.


Wings Over Bridgeton

Coincidentally, our now famous Wings Over Bridgeton traditionally falls on the third weekend of October as well, so you can definitely make both since the chili festival falls on Friday too. Now, I have never been to Wings Over Bridgeton, but I feel like I have been because of everyone talking about it both last year and this year. Like I mentioned earlier, with our air station, our town is very much into aircraft. This includes both adults and children. I can see the amazement in children’s faces while I look over pictures from WOB. They are in awe, and quite frankly, so are many of the adults. Now, you can’t physically get into the airplanes and seaplanes, but you will be able to get up pretty close. As with any festival or event, food trucks will be available, and vendors will be everywhere. This will give you time to explore Bridgeton, which is right across the Neuse River from downtown.

As you can see, New Bern really brings it when we put on our events, all while keeping that small town charm intact. So whether you’re day tripping to us, or planning to stay overnight in the later part of the year, you’re bound to find something to do without breaking the bank. I invite you to visit New Bern with our scenic views, rich history and wonderfully orchestrated fall events. Click here to view our calendar of events.
Meet Taylor Shannon.
Taylor is the Visitor and Sales Assistant for where she gets to combine her love for New Bern, Social Media and people. A self-proclaimed lover of social media, she does all she can to make Craven County look as great as it is,  whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Following a strict budget, she’s your girl when it comes to budget-friendly fun in Bear City. When she is not working, you can find her cheering on the Cleveland Indians or missing her two nieces, Lorelei and Llewellyn.