It’s Fall Ya’ll! Looking for the best-of-the-best things to do in the Fall? The weather is just perfect, the leaves are putting on a show, Halloween fun abounds, the holiday season is coming…Here are dozens of our favorite ways to celebrate the season, with a special focus on Georgia.
Take a drive through the North Georgia mountains and visit the many apple houses, where you can pick your own, or just buy a peck.Whether you want a u-pick farm, organics, or family-friendly activities with your Granny Smiths, we’ve got the most complete list this side of the Mississippi. Apple picking season in Georgia runs late August through October and there are 22 different varieties, so consult this essential guide with the types of apples available for each month of Fall before you go. In October don’t miss the Georgia Apple Festival and Apple Arts on the Square.
Arabia Mountain – The yellow daisy is a rare flower, which only grows within a 60-mile radius of the mountain. You’d never guess they are rare, though, because of how prolifically they grow here in fall. Be sure to hike the mountain in October to enjoy their beauty.
Atlanta History Center – Enjoy Historic Halloween at this month’s Magic Monday. Wear a costume for games, a parade, trick-or-treating around the museum, and more. My son won the costume contest when he was just a toddler…who will the winner be this year?
Atlanta World Kite Festival – Head to Piedmont Park for kite flying, demos, food, face painting, Chinese dance performances by Shen Yun, and much more. This is a free event. There will be kites for sale, and a kids fun zone. A lazy day lounging on the Great Hill, watching awesome kites? yes, please.
Bike the Beltline – Enjoy the cooler weather by biking the Beltline. See the art installations from this year’s Art on the Beltline. No bike? No problem! They guys at Atlanta Beltline Bicycle are amazing! You can rent trailers, tandums…we even rented a surrey!
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway – The fall foliage tour during the month of October is the most popular excursion, with two trips running most every day. There is so much to do in Blue Ridge - make it a weekend!
Build a bonfire – Build a fire outdoors (or in the fireplace.) Tell stories, roast marshmallows, turn off the cell phones, and enjoy one another.
Camp– Fall is the ideal time of year for camping. Build a fire, watch the stars, collect colorful leaves, and spend time together as a family. The link takes you to our list of the 52 best camping spots in North Georgia. There's also GREAT camping at Georgia State Parks! Don't miss it.
CNC Halloween Hikes – Wear your costumes for a short hike around Chattahoochee Nature Center. Meet nature-costumed characters on the hike, participate in the drum circle and bonfire, create Halloween nature crafts, and more. We love it every year!
Corn Maze – My oldest loves a great corn maze. Head there in the afternoon for younger kids, or try a haunted maze a night for the older ones.
Cozy Up At A Bookstore – When the weather outside is frightful, head indoors with a good book. We love hanging out at book stores, exploring new titles and games, and people watching. Little Shop of Stories is a favorite.
Date Night: Spooky Style - Want to make sure your lovey snuggles up close? These Halloween Events make a great way to impress your love this spooky season.
Day Out with Thomas – For two weekends, families can take a 25-minute ride with Thomas on the SAM Shortline out of Cordele. Character photos, storytelling, mini-golf and more will keep them busy all day.
Fall Colors River Tour – The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers an amazing fall colors tour via canoe. The water, leaf colors, and stone cliffs along the river are breathtaking. I did the tour as a date night with hubby, but kids 6 and older are welcome.
Fall Festivals - Nothing says fall quite like an Atlanta festival. Pick from over 50 in and around Atlanta.
Fernbank Museum – Kids will enjoy Fernbank's BOO-seum Trick-or-Treat. Follow the screams (of delight) to a day of frightening-ly fun Halloween-themed activities including treats for kids in costume, games, music and more.
Fly Fishing 101 – Learn fly-fishing basics in one of Ovis's FREE Fly Fishing 101 classes. Perfect for beginners of all ages, the Fly Fishing 101 course includes free lessons on fly casting and outfit rigging. Better yet, take an Orvis class over in Alabama like I did.
Football – Fall equals football in this household. Catch a Georgia or Falcons game, cheer on your nearest high school football game, or host a backyard game of your own! What the perfect time to visit the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Friday Night Hike at Dunwoody Nature Center – Enjoy a rare chance to walk the trails of DNC at night, communing with the nocturnal creatures. Followed by cocoa, stargazing, and a warming fire. See calendar for more details.
Fright Fest at Six Flags – Not just for adults in the evening, there is fun for the little kids during the day. Dress up your kiddos and come ride the rides….try trick-or-treating in the children’s area, too.
Geocaching - Fall offers the best hiking weather in the Southeast. We love geocaching as a means of finding new and unique hiking locations. Check out our guide about how to get started.
Georgia State Park Fall Events – There are full moon hikes, haunted tours, leaf identification hikes, astronomy paddles, fall craft festivals, wagon rides, candlelight tours, hoedowns, and more happening at your closest Georgia State Park.
Ghost Hunting in Savannah - The ghosts of Savannah don't take a break any time of the year, but during Halloween they tend to kick it up a notch. Head to the coast for some delightful seafood, a bit of history, and seriously spooky ghost tours.
Haunted Corn Mazes - Why get lost in a regular corn maze when you can take on the Fall season in a SPOOKY one??
Haunted Houses – If you have older kids who are dying for a walk through a haunted house, try these kid-friendly options around Atlanta.
Hike the Scenic Route – Fall is the season for hiking. Find a waterfall or climb a mountain peak for the best view of the changing leaves. This link takes you to 52 of our best destination hikes.
Historic Banning Mills – This is a great place to see the colors change! Take on the world’s largest zip line, go horseback riding, stay at the lodge, try kayaking, and so so so much more!
Hogwarts at ASO - All aboard Hogwarts Express! Join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for a magical afternoon. Dress in your finest costume and enter the pre-concert costume contest with prizes awarded for the cutest, scariest, funniest and most creative costumes of the bunch.
Indoor Herb Garden – Prepare for the coming cold weather by building an indoor herb garden for your kitchen.
Len Foote - There is no better way to celebrate fall than to hike to Len Foote. Hurry fast - bunks go early for the best leaf peep dates.
Labyrith of Rome - The Labyrinth of Rome was created as an adaptive reuse of what originally was an amphitheater built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Upon finding the nearest Labyrinth to be 50 miles away, the late Ed Baker worked with local government to establish this corner of Rome’s historic Jackson Hill. It contains 5,490 bricks (laid end-to-end, over a kilometer) weighing a total of 24,705 pounds.
Leaf-Peeping - What is a Fall weekend without a drive to see the colors changing? These are the best state parks for catching the colors. If you want to get a cabin for the experience, you better reserve it now!
Little Five Points Halloween Parade – There is live music and great food all day on the 20th, but the kids will love the parade most of all, which starts at 4pm. This is THE best parade in Atlanta!
Make Your Halloween Costume – Building and creating our kid’s Halloween costumes together as a family has been an annual tradition. We’ve used cardboard, aluminum foil, chicken wire, paper mache, and much more. Don’t take the easy way out this year – make one together.
Oakland Cemetery – For the older crowd, if you’re looking to tie together Halloween and an educational (but fun) journey, try the Halloween Tour at Oakland. Bring a flashlight to visit the cemetery after dark! Reserve your space online.
Pine Mountain Gold Museum – Ride the Gold Mine Ghost Train. On select days in October visitors can enjoy the scavenger hunt, panning for gems, a train ride, balloon art, lunch, and other exciting activities.
Plant Bulbs – Begonia, crocus, dahlia, iris, daffodil, and tulips are just a sampling of the bulbs to be planted this fall. Time to pull out the old clothes and let the little ones get muddy!
Pumpkin Picking - Don't forget to pick out the perfect pumpkin for your fall porch display. You can pick your own, take a hay ride, or claim the perfect Fall selfie in one from huge pumpkin patch list.
Ride the new Coaster in Anateeska - OK, it's not Atlanta. I know...but it's still worth mentioning. Head to Gatlinburg to ride the newest mountain coaster at Gatlinburg's newest attraction. What I think is so special about this coaster is that it has a first-of-its-kind in the US single rail system. It is so un-intrusive! Your views of the mountain from ON the coaster and as you watch the mountain side are not obscured by lots of winding metal. It’s fun, while still being respectful of the environment!
Scarecrows in the Garden – This is THE reason I started buying a season pass to Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The scarecrows will blow your mind. Goblins in the Garden (for kiddos) is Oct 28, and there is fun for the whole family with kid-friendly programming Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 4pm.
Start a Nature Journal – Fall is a great time to begin nature journaling together as a family. Write about what you see, smell, hear, and feel on the trails. Draw pictures, collect leaves and moss…whatever makes you happy. We use the Outdoor Hour Challenge each week, but even something simple can be fun.
Sunflowers - One of our favorite things to do is head to Dawsonville for pictures in the sunflower field.
The Rock Ranch – Explore on Fall Family Fun Day. Enjoy lumberjacks, cowboys, hot air balloons, pumpkin destruction, and a number of other special days at The Rock Ranch.
Treetop Quest Dunwoody - Soar through the trees while the leaves are putting on a show!
Visit a Birdfeed Store – Don’t forget to stock up for your feathery friends this winter. We use fall to assess the current state of our feeders, clean them, and stock up on food for winter. The boys always love a field trip to the bird-feed store, with pretty cages, windchimes, bird-watching accessories, and such.
Warm up with a cup of Joe - Head to your favorite coffee shop with a dear friend or favorite book. I love to visit on rainy days - it feels like a big blanket giving me a hug (especially if I'm wearing a huge sweater!) My favorite is Hodgepodge with the kids or Brother Moto when I'm lucky enough to be alone.
Thinking about heading out of the state to celebrate the fall colors? Here are a few ideas from friends.
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.