By Heather Meliski
The weather is finally cooling down a bit and autumn is in the air! It’s time for pumpkins, football and all kinds of fun fall activities and festivals. I’ve rounded up some of the top things to do around the Atlanta metro area (or just a short drive away) for fall.
Family Farms & Pumpkin Patches
Southern Belle Farm (McDonough – southernbellefarm.com) – this is our family’s favorite farm in the metro area and it absolutely worth the drive. We’ve been going here for over five years and always have the best time! The farm is family-owned and features a pumpkin patch, corn mazes, hay rides, a cow train, corn cannon, jumping pillow, slides, farm animals, and pig races.
Sleepy Hollow Farm (Powder Springs – sleepyhollowtrees.com) – this family-friendly farm has been around for almost 40 years and offers something for all ages. The farm features a pumpkin patch, tractor rides, corn maze, farm animals, and more. If you’re a Stranger Things fan make sure to check out their nighttime filming location tours (the show is filmed here) as well as the nighttime corn maze. On select nights they also offer the Escape Woods escape game adventures (reservation required).
North Georgia Apple Picking
B.J. Reece Apple House and Orchards (Ellijay – reeceorchards.com) – offering u-pick as well as already picked apples, they also feature a market and bakery, a petting zoo, zipline, cow train, pony rides, and an apple cannon.
Hillcrest Orchards (Ellijay – hillcrestorchards.net) – this orchard offers u-pick and ready-picked apples as well as an apple tree maze, mini golf, wagon rides, a market and bakery, petting farm, and swimming pig races.
Chalktoberfest Chalk and Beer Festival (Marietta Square – chalktoberfest.com) – October 13 & 14 – sample craft beers and wines and enjoy great food all while listening to live music and watching artists create their chalk masterpieces. The festival is free of charge and is open 10AM – 5PM Saturday and 11AM – 5PM Sunday.
Georgia Apple Festival (Ellijay – georgiaapplefestival.org) – October 13 & 14, 20 & 21 – in its 47th year this fan-favorite festival has offered arts, hand-made crafts, food, and more. On October 13th they host an antique car show and the festival parade is held in historic downtown Ellijay on October 20th at 10AM.
Taste of Atlanta (Historic Old Fourth Ward – tasteofatlanta.com) – October 19-21 – the 17th annual Taste of Atlanta will feature delicious food, wine, craft beer, and cocktails from over 90 Atlanta restaurants. Some highlights of the festival include the Friday Night Kick-Off Party (ages 21 and over), Barcraft bartending competition (in its 10th year), professional chef presentations, hands-on cooking demonstrations, a silent auction, and more. There are also events for the kids so you can bring the whole family! Advance tickets are available online, including VIP tickets that feature exclusive access to the Grand Tasting Experience. Kids 13 and under are admitted for free when accompanied by a paid adult.
Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival (Kennesaw – owl-o-ween.com) – October 19 & 20 –this hot air balloon festival and costume party features live entertainment, trick-or-treating, food trucks, a Kids Zone, craft beers, artists, and more. Tickets can be pre-purchased online ($14 ages 13 and up, $6 ages 3-12).
Helen Oktoberfest (Helen – helenchamber.com/Oktoberfest) – fall wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Helen for their 48th Annual Oktoberfest! Celebrating German music, food, dancing, and – of course – beer, this event held at the Helen Festhalle is a great family-friendly (yes, kids are welcome!) or adults-only night out. Enjoy live music from German-style bands from around the world at the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States. Held on various dates September 9th – October 28th, admission is $8 Monday through Friday, $10 on Saturday and Sundays are free!
Have a great fall and Happy Halloween!