Autumn in Georgia is all about the big three: exciting corn mazes, picture-perfect pumpkin patches and hitting (at least) one of the many fall fairs and festivals going on around the state. We’re talking funnel cakes, Ferris wheels, family entertainment and cuddly farm animals. When it comes to our top picks for fall fairs and festivals, we know what Atlanta families are looking for—drool-worthy carnival food, funky attractions (bring on the Banana Derby) and info on where to ride the most epic tilt-a-whirl in the state of Georgia.
Visit These Fall Festivals & Fairs in Late August
Georgia Mountain Fair
The 71st annual Georgia Mountain Fair, held at the historic Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, should be at the top of everyone's list. You know this staple of the state's fall fairs and festivals will attract thousands of visitors from across the region, a testament to the excitement and nostalgia only the Fair can deliver to families. Beyond carnival rides (psst...those are an additional cost), families can stroll through the Pioneer Village and catch the "Old Ways" demonstrations, watch monkeys race at the Banana Derby and even meet Rollo—the "biggest little kid in the world." With first-class musical performances headlining each night and a glimpse into North Georgia's rich history and culture, the Fair provides something for every family member.
Cost: $12 for a 1-day pass; $33 for a 3-day pass; Free, kids 12 & under
Dates: Aug. 19-27, 2022
Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival
The City of Kennesaw's Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival is back for its 21st year of good music, great food and tons of fun. The festival's roots can be traced back to the historic train depot in downtown Kennesaw where in 2000, it all started with a blues concert and local BBQ cook-off. Twenty-one years later, the festival features two days of non-stop music, excellent barbeque and tons of fun for everyone. Better wear your elastic pants to this one.
Dates: Aug. 19-20, 2022
September Festivals in Georgia
Pioneer Days Festival
The Pioneer Days Festival is a small but fun carnival for kids and adults. Locals claim this festival offers the best funnel cakes around. It's an annual event people visit over and over again. For a celebration, the grounds are spotless and well kept. The ride prices are high, but it is a charitable event, so all the proceeds go to a good cause.
Cost: $5/person; Free, kids 10 & under
Dates: Sep. 2-5, 2022
Chattahoochee Mountain Fair
Do you have a budding artist? A crafter? A future engineer? Maybe your kids love to bake or take photos. Whatever the passion, get ready to show it off at the Chattahoochee Mountain Fair and win fantastic prizes. This Fair has been a tradition in Northeast Georgia since 1975. Your family can spend a memorable week back in the good old days of homemade treats, handmade crafts, a farm animal petting zoo and carnival rides galore.
Cost: Sun.-Thu., $5/adult; $3/kid (5-12); Fri. & Sat., $10/adult; $5/kid (5-12); Free, kids 4 & under
Dates: Sep. 9-17, 2022
Gwinnett County Fair
Get there when the Gwinnett County Fair gates open, and you'll get to ride without a wait. Stroll around the fairgrounds to find your favorite carnival food, and stop by all the best rides throughout the day and night. The staff is friendly, and the unique entertainment will keep everyone in your crew smiling.
Good to know: It's free to park at this fair and only clear bags will be allowed onto the grounds.
Cost: $10/person; $5 for seniors (65 & up) and kids (6-11); Free, kids 5 & under (with paid adult) and for active and retired military, law enforcement officers and fire department personnel (with ID).
Dates: Sep. 15-25, 2022
Kiwanis Coweta County Fair
Go for the rides at the Kiwanis Coweta County Fair, and stay for the magic show, mini circus, touch a fire truck, face painting and small farm exhibit. If you love taking home a giant stuffed animal, this is the fall fairs and festivals top pick for you. There may be more games than rides. In addition, this fair supports local organizations.
Cost: $5/person; Free, kids 5 & under
Dates: Sep. 15-25, 2022
Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day, Glow by Night
Head to Stone Mountain Park and take a journey through classic storybook tales that come to life with glowing lights, massive carved pumpkins, bubbles, fog, and plenty of not-so-spooky adventures happening day and night. Families can Play by Day with mini golf, pumpkin carving stations and displays and a ride on a cool locomotive. Then the lights go down for Glow by Night shenanigans that will have everyone talking. Walk through a tale of buccaneers and buried gold at Treasure Island, follow Dorothy as she is swept from Kansas to Oz and help Alice make it through the Queen of Heart's maze to catch the White Rabbit. From the new laser light show to the nighttime party parade, there's so much to do after the sun goes down that's guaranteed to tire out your little pumpkins.
Cost: starting at $35
Dates: Sep. 17-Oct. 30, 2022
North Georgia State Fair
Get ready for the 90th annual North Georgia State Fair, where the lights are bright and "The Human Cannonball" is ready to fly. This year, the entertainment lineup includes big names such as Josh Turner, The Afters, Michael Ray and many more. Also, don't forget to check out the American Bull Riders on the last night of the Fair. It's one of the most exciting shows in town this fall. Hint: We know your tots will love the new-this-year Puppy Pals comedy stunt show.
Good to know: A new fair policy only allows for clear bags this year, so keep that in mind when you're packing up your kid extras.
Cost: $10/person; Free, kids 10 & under
Dates: Sep. 22-Oct. 2, 2022
Mark Your Calendars for These October Fall Festivals & Fairs in Georgia
Georgia State Fair
The grounds of Atlanta Motor Speedway fill with the sights and sounds of one of the state's largest fairs each year. If you have a dinosaur lover in your house, don't miss the Jurassic Kingdom at the Georgia State Fair, where little ones can touch a "real" dinosaur. Many rides at this fair are great for little kids, and the family magic show will surely delight young and old alike.
Cost: $10/adults; $5/kids (5-12) and seniors (65 & up); Free, kids 4 & under
Dates: Sep. 30-Oct. 9, 2022
The Georgia National Fair
Celebrate fall with free concerts on all 11 days of The Georgia National Fair. And this year, you get to be the judge at the First Annual Georgia National Fair Food Fight. Vendors submit a new food creation they have never offered at the Georgia National Fair, and you'll get to help pick the winner. Oh, and the best part? Fireworks each night. Boom!
Good to know: Check out the Special Admission and Discount Days to save some green.
Cost: $15/adult; Free, kids 10 & under (with paying adult)
Dates: Oct. 6-16, 2022
Cumming Country Fair & Festival
Just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, the Cumming Country Fair & Festival combines rides with the American Bullriders Tour, the Miss Cumming Pageant, concerts, and festival fare for ten fun days.
Cost: $10/person; Free, kids 10 & under
Dates: Oct. 6-16, 2022
Georgia Apple Festival
The Georgia Apple Festival brings two exciting weekends to Ellijay, Georgia every year, with hundreds of vendors offering food, art, crafts, and more and visitors from all over. 2022 marks the 51st year of the event, and there will be loads of handmade, hand-crafted items, many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made, and a parade and antique car show.
Cost: $10/person; Free, kids 12 & under
Dates: Oct. 8, 9, 15 & 16, 2022
Elberton 12-County Fair
Voted "One of the 10 Great Places for Blue Ribbon County Fairs" by USA Today, the Elberton 12-County Fair features a carnival midway, nightly prize drawings, handmade goods competitions, and enough rides to fill your day and night with fun. Don't forget to cheer on your favorite primate jockey in the highly anticipated Banana Derby.
Cost: $5/person; Free, babies under 1
Dates: Oct. 13-23, 2022
Georgia-Carolina State Fair
For the 2022 Georgia-Carolina State Fair, expect more rides than before in addition to livestock competitions, arts and crafts, the Miss Georgia-Carolina State Fair competition, and fun fair food. And you can join the cheering and jeering for the Bad Boyz of Wrestling as they entertain the crowds with a professional wrestling exhibition.
Cost: $5/person (advance); $8/person (at the gate)
Dates: Oct. 14-23, 2022
North Georgia Agricultural Fair
The North Georgia Fair has been a Northwest Georgia cultural tradition since 1949. Today, the Fair offers a valuable community service for Northwest Georgia through its recognition of those seeking to improve agricultural standards, its promotion of education, and its stimulation of youthful participation. But it's not just about the farm. The Fair has partnered with Drew Expositions to bring you the rides, thrills, and fanfare of what you expect.
Dates: Oct. 20-30, 2022
—Angelica Kajiwara & Shelley Massey