The reward of a long, hot summer in the South often comes with the changing colors of foliage and cooler temperatures of autumn. Fall brings a renewed sense of the beauty of the outdoors and renewed energy to enjoy local festivals and attractions. Here’s ten ways to enjoy fall with your family.
By Therra C. Gwyn
A day on the farm
Families can experience all the fun of being on a farm with none of the workload. Get lost and found in a 10-acre corn maze, pick your own pumpkins, take a hayride, meet friendly farm animals in their pens or scary creatures in a Haunted Barn. Five generations of the Cagle family have farmed in Canton and until recently the property was a milk-processing center. There’s a nod to that past with daily cow milking demonstrations. Various day and night activity packages available from $7to $20 per person. Haunted Barn recommended for ages 13 and older.
Cagle’s Family Farm is at 355 Stringer Road, Canton. CaglesFamilyFarm.com
Rise above it all
Biplane rides are exciting when you can see Stone Mountain and other landmarks from the air – and maybe even fly over your own house!
Vintage biplane rides from a pilot with an exemplary safety record are available at Cobb’s McCollum Airport in Kennesaw and children five years and older are permitted to ride the two-passenger plane and seven years and older allowed in the single passenger plane.
Unforgettable fun for kids and adults who find soaring exciting and want to see the fall colors from the air. Call 770.364.8745 or contact Lee@biplaneride.com. Check out the planes and flight packages at BiplaneRide.com
There’s pony rides at East Cobb Stables every Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. for $8 all fall long, weather permitting. Private pony ride are available by appointment for any day of the week, as are horseback riding lessons for all ages and levels of experience.
Bring your camera and enjoy your kids and the ponies.
East Cobb Stables, 1649 Johnson Ferry Rd., Marietta. Email EastCobbStables@bellsouth.net or call 678.560.9154.
It’s a Mad, Mad Whirled
When good weather goes bad, fight the tendency to go couch potato and consider a daylong vacation indoors that’s still active.
Jimmy’s Mad Mad Whirled on Delk Road in Marietta offers fast fun on two, 4,000-square foot whirlyball courts and a 2,400 arena for laser tag. They have old-fashioned and new-fangled arcade games that run on quarters and there’s also a moonwalk.
Open every day. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
770.953.4040 or FunZoneAtlanta.com
How ’bout them apples?
A special taste of fall: a fresh, crisp apple right from the tree. Grocery store apples are often kept in cold storage and shoppers regularly buy fruits that can be up to a year old. Not so at the Georgia Apple Festival. Ellijay is Georgia’s “apple capital” and at this annual event there’s 21 varieties to taste and enjoy.
Other fest attractions: classic cars and arts and crafts vendors. This popular fest is a pure bargain at $5 admission with children under 10 years old getting in free. Parking fee is by donation (funds are given to local civic and school groups.) There are free shuttles from parking areas at Gilmer High and Middle Schools, Ellijay Elementary and Primary Schools and Mountainview Elementary School.
Dates are October 10,11,17,18 at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 South Main Street. More tasty info at GeorgiaApplyFestival.org.
Drawing on the sidewalk encouraged!
Marietta’s annual Chalktoberfest has added a “Kids On The Block” section this year. This annual fundraiser for the Cobb Museum of Art features live music, crafts and world-class artists competing for prizes through their outdoor chalk creations.
There are over 100 types of craft beer for the adults, chalk and goodies for the kids.
Watch the Marietta Square sidewalks come alive with art on October 10 and 11.
Chalktoberfest is free to the public but the Craft Beer Festival requires tickets, available online. Chalktoberfest.com
Remember Garfield the lasagna-loving cat? He’s the star of the animated film “A Tale of Two Kitties” featured at this year’s Feline Film Festival. On October 9 there will be a free screening of Garfield’s movie in Cabbagetown Park, 692 Kirkwood Ave. SE, in Atlanta.
There’s a suggested donation of $10 per family to help LifeLine Animal Project rescue and care for homeless cats. Enjoy a silent auction featuring author Hollis Gillespie’s Crazy Cat Lady Litter Baskets. Set up a camp chair or blanket at 6:30 p.m. and bring a picnic or nosh from local food trucks.
Dress like a crazy cat lady and you may win a prize. Adult beverages will be available and by the film start time at 7:45 p.m. everyone should be “feline groovy.” For meow info call 404.247. 9981 or jump to FelineFilmFest.com/index.html
Pandemonium at The Strand
“Strandemonium Jr.” is spooky, goofy, family-friendly musical revue fun for all ages. Performers in the show are ten to 15 years old and all audience members are encouraged to wear costumes to the shows on Halloween weekend. There will be a costume contest prior to each performance. Admission is $10 per person. The Strand is at 117 North Park Square in Marietta.
For tickets, call 770.293.0080 or buy online through EarlSmithStrand.org.
Get On Board
Kids love trains. Many adults do too. The Greenberg Train Show features huge operating model train displays along with free workshops and demonstrations for children, hobbyists and aficionados.
Add to your train collection or just have fun with the trains available to play with. Enjoy 300 tables of trains and toys.
November 21 and 22 at Cobb Galleria Center, Two Galleria Parkway. Adult tickets are $7 in advance, $9 at the door and admission is good for both days. Children 11 years and younger get in free. Parking is free, too.
Corn On The Cobb
Explore the Still Family Farm, an 11-acre agricultural attraction featuring a five-acre corn maze, a pick-able pumpkin and warty gourd patch, popcorn maze for the littlest attendees and a zip line for the older kids.
Also: hayrides, pump duck races and an heirloom tractor display that includes a 1954 John Deere. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday in October.
Admission is $15 per person. Children four years and under admitted free. Parking is free at the farm, located at 5630 Macland Road in Powder Springs.
Email email@example.com for more info or call the family at 678.283.6951.