Looking for a way to get in the Halloween spirit close to home? Then look no further than the Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival!
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 19, 2020 – November 1, 2020.
Masks are required for guests ages 3 and up this year, and more information about COVID safety at Stone Mountain Park can be found HERE.
My husband and I are both Georgia-born and bred, so we’re no strangers to Stone Mountain Park, specifically the iconic Laser Show. We had yet to take our boys to visit, and were honestly blown away by ALL the attractions that Stone Mountain has added since we last visited!
Attending the annual Pumpkin Festival was the perfect way to enjoy all the park attractions and special fall entertainment!
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.
Play By Day
The “Play By Day” part of the experience is for enjoying the park! Use your Attractions Pass or Mountain Membership to take on the treetop obstacle course, ride the scenic train, play adventure golf, or take in the magical 4-D movie experience.
You’ll experience fun, family-friendly entertainment during the day featuring classic storybook characters. New in 2020, you and your kids must see the new magic show that is guaranteed to thrill the whole family.
Once dusk arrives, get ready for lots of glowing, pumpkin-y fun!
Carnival Games & Pie Eating Fun
During the day, the Pumpkin Festival offers The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Games, with prizes to delight little ones. The Tea Party Games are open during the afternoons of the Pumpkin Festival, but be sure to check the calendar before you go to make sure it’s open.
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!
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.
There were classic storybook vignettes featuring fairy tales from Cinderella to the Mad Hatter, all incorporating pumpkins into all the characters. There was plenty of not-so-spooky entertainment for our kiddos!
Their special “glow by night” decor was amazing! You’ll see plenty of jack-o-lanterns light up the park after the sun goes down.
In addition to an afternoon parade, stick around for the Enchanted Glow-A-Long Parade overseen by Mother Goose. Lots of glow-in-the-dark fun, flashlight tours and a few surprises — which I’ll let you discover when you go.
Dino Glow Experience
New for 2020, Stone Mountain will have a new Dino Glow Experience at the festival! Only for festival-goers, you’ll get to see what the dinosaurs from Dinosaur Explore look like in all their glowing glory!
You’ll see the T-Rex, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and more in a whole new light.
Meet Spookley the Square Pumpkin
Spookley the Square Pumpkin is a favorite fall movie in our house. The kids were super excited to find Spookley is the mascot of the Stone Mountain Pumpkinfest when we went.
We were able to join Spookley the Square Pumpkin at his pumpkin patch meet and greet for a picture. The boys love that photo!
Be sure to check out Spookely’s Funtastic Kids Carnival! Pumpkinfest brings seasonal themed areas and activities, adding more fun to all the everyday Stone Mountain park attractions.
Spookley’s Dance Along Party Parade
The day we went to Stone Mountain, Spookley’s Dance Along Party Parade took place at 2 pm. Your family can participate in the parade, or you can watch as spectators. It’s so fun and festive, your kids will love it!
Arrive about 15 minutes early to secure a good viewing spot if you want to be a spectator. We found several benches across from the HYDRATE Beverage Station. This a perfect spot to grab an Arctic Blast and watch Spookley and his friends in a party parade that dances down the street right in front of you!
Storytelling at the Pumpkin Festival
Also located near the Hydrate Station is story time with Mother Goose. Check the schedule when you arrive so you don’t miss this creative storytelling time that will enchant your little ones.
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!
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
Note for 2020: Due to COVID-19, the Dinotorium is currently closed.
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.
Cool Off at the Geyser Tower
Note for 2020: Due to COVID-19, the Geyser Tower is currently closed.
Just when we thought our boys were completely out of steam, they spotted the Geyser Tower and got a second wind!
Who could resist such a fun play area?! It’s a great spot for children of all ages.
My boys like to stay close to the ground, so the spray pad was perfect for them. For older or more adventurous children, there’s great climbing apparatuses that lead to rope bridges.
It’s the perfect spot to cool off, including for mom and dad!
See the Laser Show
Note for 2020: Due to COVID-19, the Laser Show is currently canceled.
Pumpkinfest runs on weekends from September 19 – November 1. The Laser Show runs on Saturday nights during September, so you can truly make this a full day of Stone Mountain! Enjoy PumpkinFest, then stay for the show!
Tips for Arrival and Parking
We followed our GPS directions and 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.