Are you planning a vacation in a quaint little town, where the fun never stops and the experiences are unfiltered, raw, and utterly unforgettable? If so, Smithfield, an enchanting town located in Johnston County, North Carolina, is the perfect destination for you. 

Discover the charm of Smithfield, a delightful town bursting with life and thrilling activities and attractions. With vibrant festivals, engaging museums, and delightful shopping venues, Smithfield offers something for every kind of traveller. Moreover, as one of the fastest-growing areas in Johnston, the town is constantly unveiling new fascinations.

Get ready for an extraordinary expedition in this beautiful town. Let’s uncover the best experiences that Smithfield, North Carolina has in store with this handpicked list of fun things to do.

1. Watch Live Performance At Neuse Little Theatre

Established in 1974, the Neuse Little Theatre has been an integral part of Smithfield’s cultural landscape. it’s an incredible source of enjoyment for both young and old audiences in the town. Set within a charming riverfront log cabin, this community theatre stages a diverse array of captivating performances, including dramas, comedies, and musicals. 

Moreover, with a seating capacity of 100, it provides an intimate theatrical experience. Complementing this is the warm and welcoming crew and staff at the theatre. The venue is set against a picturesque backdrop with views overlooking the tranquil Neuse River which further takes the charm of this beloved cultural hub to the next level.

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2. Carolina Premium Outlets

Shopping is always a fun delightful experience, especially for those passionate about finding great deals and exclusive shopping opportunities. If you’re one of those, you don’t want to miss a trip to the Carolina Premium Outlets, the ultimate shopping paradise in North Carolina.

Boasting over 80 upscale outlet stores, this centre is an ultimate destination for those looking for premium brands at discounted prices. From renowned names like Adidas, American Eagle, Coach Outlet, and Kate Spade New York, this retail hub offers an inclusive and fulfilling shopping experience. 

When you get hungry, there are many quick eating spots like Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip, Red Mango, Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, and Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels. And the best part? You can make big savings, ranging from 25% up to a whopping 65% every day as you enjoy an extensive shopping spree! Plus, don’t forget to check out the newest watches and trendy accessories for both men and women.


3. Smithfield’s Special Events

Smithfield’s Special Events
William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland, CC via Wikimedia Commons

Who wouldn’t want to experience the thrill of special events and join in on the fun they bring?

Throughout the year, Downtown Smithfield becomes a hub of activity. It hosts a wide array of special events and festivals that infuse the town with a vibrant and lively atmosphere. From exciting sports events to soul-stirring music festivals, there’s an event for every taste and interest in this bustling town. Experience the thrill of the Smithfield Shamrock Shuttle on St. Patrick’s Day, delve into the spine-chilling Ghost Walk on Halloween, and savour the delightful Wine Walk in November. 

Immerse yourself in the jubilant rhythm of the Smithfield Shamrock Shuttle on St. Patrick’s Day, dare to explore the ethereal mysteries of the Ghost Walk, and relish the rich flavours of the Wine Walk in November. Further, the Smithfield Christmas Tree Lighting celebration adds to the enchantment with live music, dance performances, and games. Thus, Downtown Smithfield’s calendar is filled with opportunities for enjoyment, fun and excitement.


4. Ava Gardner Museum

Another captivating experience awaits you at the Ava Gardner Museum. This is a place where you can immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Ava Gardner, one of the most iconic faces in Hollywood’s history. Whether you’re a devoted fan or just curious about this 90s sensation, the museum offers a unique opportunity to delve into her remarkable life and her enduring contributions to the entertainment industry.

Featuring a theatre, art gallery, library, and gift shop, the Ava Gardner Museum is more than just a tribute. Instead, it’s a comprehensive experience that brings you closer to the beloved actress’s legacy. The museum houses an extensive collection of artefacts from the actress’s illustrious career and personal life. Thus, this museum is a must-visit attraction for fans of classic cinema and anyone looking to connect with a bygone era in Hollywood. Don’t miss out on this journey through the life and times of Ava Gardner.

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5. Ready-Set-Escape

Are you looking for an adventure filled with excitement and amusement? Explore the thrilling world of Ready-Set-Escape, an immersive escape room centre located in Smithfield, NC. Here, you’ll encounter cleverly crafted rooms featuring captivating storylines and intricate puzzles to solve. These escape rooms present you with an opportunity for a hands-on adventure, immersing yourself in fictional scenarios that test your problem-solving skills.

Well, you’re never physically locked in. But the countdown on the clock intensifies the excitement as you hunt for clues and piece together the puzzle. Each escape room offers a distinct experience, whether you’re becoming a swashbuckling Pirate, an intrepid Submariner, or a sharp-witted Millionaire. 

Please be aware that these rooms are intended for individuals aged 10 and older, and families are warmly invited to partake in a collaborative and enjoyable experience.

6. Wild Bills Western Town- Shadowhawk

If you are interested in exploring Old West Charm, or more specifically Wild West, Shadowhawk is an absolute gem that you need to check out. Created back in 1997 by the late Hollywood actor Bill Drake, this replica town takes you on a captivating trip down memory lane, letting you experience the essence of the olden days.

Strolling through the town feels like being part of an authentic Western movie set, with every little detail adding to the nostalgic charm. And Wild Bill himself, with his friendly and entertaining nature, adds an extra touch of excitement to the whole experience.

The best part? You can explore the insides of several buildings and even find a small museum hiding within one of them, sharing the captivating history of the town. Not only has Shadowhawk been the backdrop for some Western movies, but it’s also been a favourite spot for many weddings, making it a truly special place for various celebrations. So, if you happen to be in the area, don’t miss the chance to stop by Shadowhawk and soak up the Old West vibes.

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7. Brightleaf Flea Market

The Brightleaf Flea Market is a vibrant hotspot for those yearning for a thrilling shopping spree. Covering an extensive 100,000 sq ft of space, the market offers an eclectic mix of products ranging from trendy apparel and furniture to fresh groceries and cutting-edge electronics.

What sets this market apart is its unique array of offerings, including an impressive collection of cowboy accessories, chic party dresses, and antiques, making it a one-stop shop for all your needs. Additionally, you can relish the delectable delights of Emma’s Bakery, known for its mouthwatering cakes and bread that are simply irresistible.

Not just your regular shopping destination, the Brightleaf Flea Market also houses a bustling Farmers’ Market, providing a fresh assortment of produce. Alongside it features clean restrooms, food stalls, and lively entertainment. 

Open throughout the year, promises a lively and engaging experience, offering something unique for every member of the family. Whether you’re on the lookout for unbeatable deals or an exciting shopping excursion, this market is an ideal destination for creating lasting memories and enjoying a fantastic day out.


8. Howell Theatre

When in doubt, escape to the Howell Theatre for a cinematic adventure! Established in 1935, the Howell Theatre stands as a cherished spot for moviegoers in Smithfield. With its four screens, including two equipped with stadium seating, the theatre ensures a comfortable and enjoyable viewing environment. The upgraded seats, coupled with reasonable ticket prices, make it a top choice for families and movie enthusiasts alike. Stay worry-free by checking the latest showtimes and reserving your tickets online in advance. The Howell Theatre remains committed to offering the community the entertainment they desire at an affordable cost, solidifying its reputation as the best entertainment venue in Smithfield.

9. Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q

For over forty years, this eatery has maintained its status as an iconic culinary destination in Smithfield. Renowned for its authentic North Carolina southern-style barbeque and delectable fried chicken, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q has captured the hearts and palates of patrons across its 36 locations in NC.

The restaurant offers a diverse range of dining experiences, from casual dine-in to convenient takeout and drive-thru services. Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted with an inviting atmosphere accompanied by nostalgic tunes, creating a delightful backdrop for their meal. The restaurant’s dedicated and friendly staff ensures a seamless and enjoyable dining experience.

Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q has perfected the craft of preparing irresistible chicken dishes, making it an ideal choice for anyone seeking a gratifying culinary experience. Whether you’re hanging out with your friends or simply unwinding, this restaurant offers a warm and inviting setting for all. Indulge in their signature Bar-B-Q Chicken or their delectable Chicken Tender Platter and treat your taste buds to an unforgettable and delightful journey.


10. Johnston County Heritage Center

The Johnston County’s Heritage Center is a repository of historical riches, housing an extensive collection of more than half a million records. This invaluable assortment comprises census data, newspapers, soldier records, obituaries, marriage documents, and more. 

With captivating exhibitions and a team of expert guides, the Heritage Center stands as the paramount hub for precise and trustworthy historical insights into the region. It extends an invitation to transport yourself back in time by leading you through a diverse collection of distinctive artefacts.  It also unveils the country’s pivotal role in the Civil War.

The Heritage Center strives to preserve and celebrate Johnston County’s history, offering enriching educational experiences. With interpretive exhibits, educational programs, and publications, it serves as a leading facility for historical research, catering to scholars, historians, genealogists, and students.

The centre hosts events throughout the year, welcoming all visitors every Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM It’s a haven for history enthusiasts, offering an immersive journey through the past. The centre’s most compelling feature? It graciously opens its doors to all at no cost, ensuring that everyone has access to the wealth of learning opportunities.

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Final Words: The Best Fun Things In Smithfield

Ensure you don’t miss the aforementioned attractions and activities during your visit to Smithfield. Whether you’re planning a short day trip, a leisurely weekend getaway, or a longer vacation, these experiences offer limitless enjoyment and exploration. Smithfield’s inviting ambience, varied attractions, fascinating landmarks, and unique activities consistently enchant visitors, prompting them to revisit and re-engage year after year. With its friendly atmosphere, deep-rooted history, and wide range of entertainment options, Smithfield guarantees an unforgettable journey for all travellers eager to craft enduring memories and exceptional adventures.