Looking for the best-of-the-best things to do in the Fall? Don’t let COVID get you down. Many things have closed for the season, but even more opportunities have opened up. Start planning your weekends now.
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. Daisy Days is a little different this year, but click the link to find out how to earn your certificate.
Atlanta History Center – The Magic Monday Halloween costume party may be cancelled, but AHC is still a fun (and educational) space to hike and explore this fall.
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.
Stay in a Treehouse. Visiting the mountains, roasting s’mores, hiking…does it get any better? Sure, you could pull out the tent (see above) but why not up the ante and stay in a treehouse.
‘Cheers’ at a Beer Garden – While the Helen Chamber of Commerce has deemed it best to postpone their official 50th Oktoberfest festivities at the Festhalle until 2021, the City’s restaurants, shops, hotels and amusements will still be open and offering their own Oktoberfest fun for all beginning in September and running through October.
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, heading indoors with a good book is how this family celebrates the season. We love hanging out at book stores, exploring new titles and games, and people watching. Little Shop of Stories is a favorite, but it’s not yet open. Maybe order some new fall books for pick-up, and enjoy them in the park
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.
Fernbank Museum – Fernbank Woodland Spirits is happening this year! Bring your little ghost to the festivities, or check out one of the adult-only evenings.
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.
College Football Hall of Fame – Fall equals football in this household. Without the SEC in 2020, the best place to visit is the Hall.
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. (We’re waiting to see if this is still on for 2020)
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. In 2020 you MUST pre-register for GSP events so be sure to check their site.
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!
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!
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 – It looks like the annual Halloween Tours will not be happening this year, but for the first time ever you can visit the cemetery to pick a pumpkin (Fido is welcome.) One day only, so mark your calendar.
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. Closed for 2020
Tyke Hikes – Enjoy a 75-minute Family Tyke Hike for children ages 2-5. Each hike includes a walk to explore the park, a craft or activity, a story time, and opportunities to get to know each other while playing socially-distant games.
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!)
Thinking about heading out of the state to celebrate the fall colors? Here are a few ideas from friends.
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