Tips For An Amazing Visit To Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival

Looking for a way to get in the Halloween spirit close to home?  Then look no further than the Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival!

Stone Mountain offers more than just their summertime Laser Show.  In the fall, the park transforms into all things pumpkin!  The Play by Day, Glow by Night Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park is a family-friendly weekend event that is sure to thrill family members and friends of all ages.  We had a blast with our boys!

This year’s festival will be held on weekends from September 18, 2021 – October 31, 2021.

Attending the annual Pumpkin Festival was the perfect way to enjoy all the park attractions and special fall entertainment!

Information about COVID safety at Stone Mountain Park can be found HERE.

Tips For An Amazing Visit To Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival

The Basics

The Stone Mountain Play By Day, Glow By Night is a ticketed experience.  You must either have an Attractions Pass or a Mountain Membership to access the event and the attractions, in addition to the Daily Parking Pass.

The festival hours are from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tips For An Amazing Visit To Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival
Courtesy: Stone Mountain Park

Play By Day

The “Play By Day” part of the experience is for enjoying the park! 

Play by day as you enjoy family-friendly park attractions and special fall entertainment featuring plenty of your favorite classic storybook characters! Use your Attractions Pass or Mountain Membership to take on the treetop obstacle course, ride the scenic train, play adventure golf, and more.

Once dusk arrives, get ready for lots of glowing, pumpkin-y fun!

Pie Eating Fun

What says “festival” more than a good ole pie eating contest?!?

Both adults and children are invited to challenge their peers (and stomachs) in Peter Peter’s Pie Eating Contest to see who can consume the most delicious pies before the time runs out. Maybe you’ll even set a Pumpkin Festival record!

Ride the Scenic Railroad

After finishing up lunch, we walked out of the Marketplace and hopped right in line for the Scenic Railroad. This is a classic Stone Mountain attraction. I remember riding it when *I* was a kid!

My boys loved it as much as I did! The train ride takes you on a 5-mile trip around Stone Mountain, lasting about 25 minutes.

During our visit, there were dinosaur sightings along the way, which made the trip even more fun for my adventurous boys.

Run Around the Dinotorium

We also visited the Dinotorium during our time in the park.  We weren’t entirely sure of what we would find inside, but we were blown away!

It’s in the space formerly known as The Great Barn, and Stone Mountain has done an incredible job of transforming it into a unique indoor play space. With 3 levels of air guns, climbing, and sliding — there’s truly something for children of all ages.

Tips For An Amazing Visit To Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival
Courtesy: Stone Mountain Park

Glow By Night

When we went, we were so impressed with the festive fall decor around the park! It seemed like there was a picture-worthy spot every few feet. The trees, leaves, carved pumpkin displays, and colors were perfectly put together and put us in the fall frame of mind right away.

At the “Glow by Night” portion of the day, you’ll take an outdoor journey through classic storybook tales that come to life in 10 new themed areas with over 40 newly imagined scenes, thousands of glowing lights, massive carved pumpkins, bubbles, fog and plenty of not-so-spooky, glowing adventures after sunset.  The kids will LOVE this.

The special “glow by night” decor was amazing when we went! You’ll see plenty of jack-o-lanterns light up the park after the sun goes down.

Pumpkin Festival Parade

In 2021, you’ll get to enjoy the NEW Party Parade at the festival!

With all new floats, the nighttime Pumpkin Festival parade will be fun for the whole fam.  Join your favorite fairy tale characters in a party parade that dances through the festival.

NEW Glow-In-The-Dark Experiences

The best part of the “Glow by Night” is…the glowing!  In 2021, Stone Mountain Park’s Pumpkin Festival will feature five new and returning glow-in-the-dark experiences.

Walk through a tale of buccaneers and buried gold at Treasure Island.  Follow Dorothy as she’s swept from Kansas to Oz.  Help Alice through the Queen of Hearts’ maze to catch the White Rabbit.  And see what the dinosaurs do after dark at the Dino Glow Experience.  You’ll see the T-Rex, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and more in a whole new light.

You and your crew can wander through a glowing wonderland of towering trees and oversized flowers in the Enchanted Forest too.

Explore Themed Areas

In addition to all the glowing experiences, you’ll also find ten themed areas featuring scenes from some of your favorite storybook, nursery rhyme, fairy tale, and literary characters.

The kids will love these fun scenes, and seeing their favorite stories in a new way.

Dine on More than Pumpkin Treats

Stone Mountain offers several different dining options — so there’s something for everyone!

If you’re in the mood for barbecue, stop by Base Camp BBQ. They feature Williamson Brothers B.B.Q. sauce, and it’s delicious. They also offer yummy salads and sides. The smell will pull you in from the sidewalk!

We knew we wanted to ride the Scenic Railway, so we made our lunch stop at the Marketplace. It’s set-up as a grab-and-go restaurant, so it’s easy and has a lot of kid-friendly options.

After we did a few rides and attractions, the boys were begging for a treat. Even though it’s technically fall — this is Georgia — so we were all ready for something tasty to cool us off!

We stopped by the Hydrate Beverage Station for Arctic Blasts. There were several different flavors to choose from, and they were perfectly refreshing and just what we needed!

Tips for Arrival and Parking

We arrived at the gates at about 11:00 am. Daily Parking is $20, with the option to add on Preferred Parking for an additional $10. This will allow you to park at the front of the Crossroads Parking lot.

If you think you may become a frequent visitor, there are also Annual Parking passes available for $40.

We followed the clear signage to the Crossroads Parking Lot. Stone Mountain does allow you to bring in your own food and beverages (no alcohol in the park). It was a short walk to the Crossroads Ticket Counter to obtain our passes and enter the park.

One of the best things about Stone Mountain’s Pumpkin Festival is that you don’t have to pay an extra fee to attend, it’s included in your daily Adventure Pass ticket!

Plan to Stay at Stone Mountain

If you’re looking for a multi-day adventure, Stone Mountain offers several different lodging options.

You might want to consider a stay at the Stone Mountain Inn, a 92-room historic replica of a Southern antebellum home.

There’s also the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort. This is a AAA 4-Diamond resort that features 2 pools, 2 championship golf courses, a day spa and many other family activities.

For those who want to experience more of the outdoors, there’s an abundance of different camping options available. You can choose from renting a Yurt, RV, or Safari Tent — or you can reserve a spot for your own tent or camper!

A Fun Fall Event

Fall is without a doubt my favorite time of year. I can’t wait to try all the pumpkin spice lattes, carve pumpkins, and visit fall festivals!

Stone Mountain’s Pumpkin Festival will be at the top of our list to return next year. If you love all things fall, and adventuring in your city, then you need to schedule a visit too.

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Tips For An Amazing Visit To Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival
Shana Hamrick

My name’s Shana Hamrick and I’m a Georgia born and bred girl and somehow I married the best man I could imagine. I come from the non profit world, but now spend my days with a sweet, chatty, opinionated five year old boy named Wyatt and his mischievous two year old brother, Emmett. I’m pathetically addicted to all the Real Housewives and could spend days walking through antique stores or flea markets. When given the option of picking a restaurant, I will almost certainly choose Mexican. Almost any problem in life can be solved over a patio and margaritas. I love adventuring with my boy tribe and discovering this world with them!