Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)

In the fall, Stone Mountain 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. 

This year’s festival will be held on weekends from September 16 – October 29, 2023.

We had the opportunity to attend this year’s festival on opening weekend, and we had a blast! Here’s everything you need to know about the Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

PUMPKIN FEST BASICS

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event
Courtesy of Stone Mountain Park

The Stone Mountain Play By Day, Glow By Night Pumpkin Festival 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. – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Sundays.

The General Attractions Pass for this seasonal event is $39.99 for adults and $34.99 for children 3-11. In addition, there is a General Attractions Ticket + VIP Access ($49.99/adult, $44.99/child). The VIP access gets you front of the line privileges for the Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, and 4D Theater. You’ll also receive reserved seating (chairs!) on the Memorial Lawn for the Pumpkin Drone & Light Show. You can find all General Attractions ticket information here.

Mountain Membership is the name of Stone Mountain Park’s annual pass, and it’s $64.99 for adults and $49.99 for kids.

Parking is $20 per day, or an annual parking pass is $40. We have more information on parking below.

PLAY BY DAY

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)
My daughter and niece at the Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival!

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 ride the scenic train, play adventure golf, and more. There’s plenty of family fun to be had.

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

SHOWS AND CHARACTERS

During the day, you’ll find plenty of fun shows throughout the park and meet-and-greets with characters. Enjoy a Fairy Tale Meet and Greets throughout the Crossroads area of the park, see the Emerald City Juggler, Meet the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit at the Wonderland Meet and Greet, and more.

My kids loved the All the King’s Men show — it was hilarious! Little ones will love the Fairy Tale Remix at Campfire Corner…it’s so good!

RIDE THE SCENIC RAILROAD

Taking a ride on the Scenic Railroad at Stone Mountain Park is an absolute must-do activity. The train ride will take you on a 5-mile trip around the bottom of Stone Mountain. The ride lasts about 25 minutes.

During the Pumpkin Festival, you’ll enjoy an adventurous re-telling of The Three Little Pigs!

EXPLORE THE PARK

There are so many great things to do at the park before dark!

  • Take your kids to visit the Dinotorium, a 4-level indoor play space filled with fun.
  • Speaking of dinosaurs, Dinosaur Explore is a walk-through experience that features 20 life-size dinosaurs with special effects.
  • The Summit Skyride is a high-speed Swiss cable car that provides a stunning view of the carving on the side of Stone Mountain. The cable car transports you 825 feet above the ground to the top of Stone Mountain.
  • The Mad Hatter’s Pie Party is a Pie Eating Competition that can’t be missed!
  • Why watch the parade go by when you can be IN it? You and your entire family are invited to join all of the Storybook friends for the Party Parade that dances through all of Crossroads! You just have to meet up at 4:45 to participate!
  • Check out the awesome fall decor! There are so many set ups throughout the park. We loved all the pumpkin fairytale scenes.

Read More: Stone Mountain Park: 17+ Amazing Things To Explore

GLOW BY NIGHT

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)
We loved this gigantic glowing spider at Pumpkin Fest!

When dusk falls, the park is really going to come alive with pumpkin-y goodness! Glow by Night is an immersive experience filled with lights, glow, and nighttime outdoor fun.

Explore amazing glow-in-the-dark experiences throughout the festival including thousands of glowing lights, massive jack-o-lanterns, a giant glowing pumpkin tree, meet-and-greets with costumed characters, glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, and glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs. You’ll find 10 newly themed storybook areas with over 40 newly reimagined scenes.

Don’t miss the World’s Largest Pumpkin Light Show with an all-new Pumpkin Drone Show this year (more below)!

ALL-NEW PUMPKIN DRONE SHOW

NEW IN 2023: New this year before the Pumpkin Light Show, watch 250 color-changing drones synchronized to music create specially themed shapes in the sky! See pumpkins, bats, spiders, and more in this 12 minute aerial masterpiece.

Full disclosure: This was our favorite! The drone show is insanely cool, the music is so fun, and the kids spent the whole time either in awe or dancing. It was beyond great, and I cannot recommend it enough!

After the drone show, it goes right in to the World’s Largest Pumpkin Light Show. This 20 minute show features themed songs, an immersive canopy of lights, unique video, special effects, and fireworks!

Read More: Stone Mountain Laser Show: All The Fun Details On The New Light Show In 2023

PUMPKIN FEST PARADE

The themed holiday parades here are spectacular and cannot be missed! The Enchanted Glow-A-Long Parade does not disappoint.

End the night with a glowing nighttime parade featuring themed floats and favorite storybook characters in this high-energy dance party that wraps up with a fireworks finale you won’t want to miss!

GLOW IN THE DARK EXPERIENCES

The glowing experiences are infinite!

  • Visit the Treasure Island walk-through experience and hunt for buried treasure.
  • Follow Dorothy as she is swept from Kansas to Oz! My kids loved the Yellow Brick Road.
  • Help Alice through the Queen of Heart’s blacklight maze to catch the White Rabbit! This was cool, and the kids loved it!
  • See what Dinosaurs do after dark at the Dino Glow Experience.
  • Wander through the Enchanted Forest, with a glowing wonderland of towering trees and over-sized flowers.

DINE ON MORE THAN PUMPKIN TREATS

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)

Stone Mountain offers several different dining options.

  • Stop by Basecamp Cafe, where you’re guaranteed to find something for everyone. Specialty drinks, gourmet sandwiches, salads, cinnamon bread, and handmade pretzels are popular here.
  • If you’re headed to the Scenic Railroad, the Marketplace is a great dining option. It’s set up as a grab-and-go restaurant, so it’s easy and has a lot of kid-friendly options. It’s right next to the railroad, making it super easy.
  • Hydrate is a great place to stop for an Arctic Blast or another tasty treat.

TIPS FOR ARRIVAL AND PARKING AT THE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)

Daily Parking is $20 at Stone Mountain Park, so make sure you take that into account when budgeting for the festival. If you think you may become a frequent visitor, there are also Annual Parking passes available for $40.

Follow the clear signage to the Crossroads Parking Lot. Stone Mountain does allow you to bring in your own food and beverages. You’re not allowed to bring your own alcohol, though.

You can purchase your parking pass online, along with your attractions pass, or you can pay for parking at the gate.

STAY AT STONE MOUNTAIN PARK

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)
Posing with the Queen of Hearts!

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

  • There’s also the Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort. This is a AAA 4-Diamond resort that features two pools, two 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 at the Stone Mountain Park Campground. You can choose from renting a yurt, RV, or Safari Tent — or you can reserve a spot for your own tent or camper!

Book It: Inn at Stone Mountain Park | Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO STONE MOUNTAIN PARK

WHERE TO STAY NEAR STONE MOUNTAIN

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Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival: 17+ Best Tips for this Family-Friendly Event (2023)