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A fully home-cooked Thanksgiving spread is so 2019. Whether you’re in the market for just a bird, or perhaps the whole Thanksgiving meal, you can pick up pre-made Thanksgiving favorites from one of these purveyors around town. Keep reading for our picks for a stress-less Thanksgiving meal.

Souper Jenny

The a la carte Thanksgiving menu from Souper Jenny features an herb and maple-crusted roast turkey, along with sides like cornbread stuffing, Brussels sprouts, roasted acorn squash, sweet potato casserole, quarts of the restaurant’s popular soups, and traditional holiday desserts. All orders must be in by Friday, November 19th at 4 p.m. and there is a $60 minimum. Prices include tax. Pick-up is Wednesday, November 24th from Buckhead, Westside or Roswell locations.

Online: souperjenny.com

photo: iStock

Ziegler’s BBQ and Catering

This Acworth barbecue restaurant is offering its annual takeout holiday menu for Thanksgiving, which includes a choice of turkey or ham and all the classic sides you crave, like sweet potato casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and seasoned green beans. The options are extensive but you'd better reserve your spot fast.

3451 Cobb Pkwy. Acworth 770-529-5227 Online: zieglersbbq.com

Moe's Original BBQ

Serving Alabama-style BBQ since 1988, Moe’s Original BBQ is a great spot for your Thanksgiving staples. From whole smoked turkeys to vats of mac-n-cheese (and everything in between), you can choose from their Thanksgiving packages or pick up food a la carte. With two locations in metro Atlanta, they're a great option for outsourcing holiday stress this year. 

Multiple locations.

Online: moesoriginalbbq.com

photo: iStock

Local Three

Whether you're looking to add a few extra dishes to your holiday spread or you want the whole shebang, Local Three is offering elevated traditional holiday meals to go. In addition to brined and smoked Bell Evans turkeys, you can pick up fresh cold water oysters, charcuterie boards, whipped brown butter sweet potatoes, and more. Thanksgiving items will be available for pickup from Local Three from beginning 11/23 and 11/24. The cut-off to place Thanksgiving orders will be at 9 p.m. on Thursday, 11/17

3290 Northside Pkwy. NW, Buckhead
404-968-2700
Online: localthree.com

photo: iStock

OK Cafe

People come to the OK Cafe for the quality of the food and the sort of menu your grandmother would make for Sunday dinner, if you had a grandma who could cook, that is. With a whole turkey option, you can elect to add pans of mac n' cheese, squash casserole, mashed potatoes, and more. You can also pick up whole pies and cakes, to finish it off in style. Holiday menus, when published, can be found on their website under "Menu."

1284 West Paces Ferry Rd., Buckhead
404-233-2888
Online: okcafe.com

photo: iStock

Sprouts

Pre-order turkeys, hams, rib roasts, complete prepared meals, and party trays through 11/23, and pick up your meal—including a main course and traditional trimmings and sides—by noon on Thanksgiving Day. Sprouts is also offering a vegan option, which includes a 40 oz. Gardein Roast meal, which includes cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and a Take & Bake Sourdough Loaf.

15 locations in Metro Atlanta
Online: sprouts.com

Sweet Auburn Barbecue

Offering whole smoked turkeys or sliced, plus cornbread dressing, gravy, biscuits or cornbread, and cranberry sauce (in addition to your choice of two sides), you can place your Thanksgiving dinner order online in advance for pickup on 11/24. A whole smoked turkey (feeds 12-14) package with sides is $215, and sliced turkey packages (feeds 6) start at $125.

656 N. Highland Ave., Poncey-Highlands
678-515-3550
Online: sweetauburnbbq.com

 

photo: iStock

The Pig & The Pearl

You can pick up fresh oysters, a whole smoked turkey, whole smoked brisket, and choose from plenty of sides at this notable smokehouse and oyster bar if you place your order by 11/14 at 5 p.m. All items feed 6-8 hungry adults, and prices vary by selection; however, Smoked Turkey & Gravy is $95, and a complete sides package (though you may order a la carte) is $130 for Cranberry Sauce, Gravy, Mac n Cheese, Stuffing, Collard Greens, Corn Bread & Honey Butter.

1380 Atlantic Drive Suite 14180, Atlantic Station
404-541-0930
Online: thepigandthepearl.com

Alon's Bakery

Atlanta's go-to elegant to-go eatery is offering a whole smoked turkey (serves 10-12) for $88, along with fancier-fare side dishes (think bourbon orange cranberry relish) and decadent desserts (caramel chocolate hazelnut cake, anyone?), priced separately. You can also opt for the classic turkey feast for 8, which includes a customizable menu for $320.

4505 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. NE, Dunwoody
678-397-1781

1394 North Highland Ave. NE, Morningside
404-872-6000
Online: alons.com

Maggiano’s

If you want some turkey but you're really not that into the traditional meal, per se, you can pick up a Thanksgiving Carryout Package at Maggiano's that includes a traditional roasted turkey with giblet gravy and focaccia sausage stuffing, country-style smoked ham with whipped sweet potatoes, AND spaghetti and meatballs, four-cheese ravioli, caesar salad, garlic mashed potatoes, freshly baked bread, plus cranberry relish.

Locations in Buckhead, Cumberland, and Perimeter; online orders only.
Online: maggianos.com

Featured image via iStock.

—Shelley Massey

 

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Treat Yourself! Local Candy Stores in Atlanta

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Do your favorite local candy store a solid and stock up on delectable delights from their aisles this Halloween. And if you’ve already bought your give-away stash, we suggest sneaking over to treat yourself from one of these Atlanta sugar shacks. Keep reading for our favorite Atlanta candy stores, below.

photo: iStock

Collier Candy Co.

Inside Ponce City Market, this sweet shop with a vintage feel—right down to the squeaky floorboards—has an impressive collection of old-fashioned confections (remember Boston Baked Beans?) alongside some more interesting options.

Even Sweeter: Feeling adventurous? Try the Seattle Chocolate Company's milk chocolate truffle bar.

Ponce City Market
675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE
Online: colliercandy.com

 

Chef Brulee

Chef Brulee’s chocolate store offers 38 of the most beautiful, delicious artisan chocolates you will ever taste. You have to try them all, but if you can only pick one, don't miss out on the leopard-dusted creamsicle chocolate.

Even Sweeter: They make custom cakes, so if you're in the market, make a trip to the store to see what they can do.

1140 Alpharetta Street #500
Roswell
404-953-0369
Online: chefbrulee.com 

Lolli & Pops

This whimsical candy store makes homemade gummy bears—everything from pineapple to grapefruit and even champagne for the grown-ups. Decadent truffles, old-fashioned soda and other candies can be purchased to satisfy your sweet tooth. Kids will love peering into the glass display to pick out their favorite pieces. Lolli & Pops carries sweet treats from around the world and some made locally.

Even sweeter: Pick up a gift tin for your friends with a sweet tooth. It makes the perfect hostess gift.

4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. NE
Perimeter Mall
770-551-7120
Online: lolliandpops.com

photo: iStock

Sugar Factory Atlanta

Sugar Factory’s 800-square-foot Midtown Atlanta retail confectionary features a signature floor-to-ceiling candy wall with more than 500 types of sweet treats, including a selection of novelty and bulk candy like the brand’s world-famous Couture Pops. Completing the confectionary, the café will offer coffees, hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, homemade specialty rainbow doughnuts and pastries, in addition to homemade gelato and ice cream.

Even sweeter: Check out the gummy bear chandelier before you go.

1080 Peachtree Street NE
Midtown
470-428-4395
Online: sugarfactory.com

Featured image via iStock.

—Shelley Massey

 

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Whether you’re looking for goosebumps or screams, the Atlanta haunted house and experience scene delivers. For older kids who crave a thrill, zombies in the woods and ghouls in the cornfields will leave them breathless. But for the smaller set, glowing pumpkin displays and a not-too-spooky train ride will dish up Halloween excitement without the terror. Keep reading to find out which haunted thrill is right for your crew.

Pine Mountain Ghost Train

Take a train of terror (and one of not-so-terror). The Family Time train is designed with younger guests in mind, and is meant to be nonthreatening and fun. Scare Time begins at sunset when the ghosts and ghouls of Pine Mountain are set loose to haunt. A total of three trains will depart every hour beginning at 6:20 each night. Closing time varies nightly – make sure to check! Ticket reservations are not required, but are highly recommended. Tickets are available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in October.

1881 Stockmar Rd.
Villa Rica
678-840-1445
Online: pinemountaingoldmuseum.com

 

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival

This year at the Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival you can play all day and glow all night. After the sun goes down, the jack-o-lanterns light up, a sillier-than-spooky Nighttime Parade commences, and you'll find plenty of other not-so-spooky glowing experiences. Although not really a haunted house, it is a little spooky at night will all the glowing jack-o-lanterns, and it's a fun event for the little ones.

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd.
Stone Mountain
800-401-2407
Online: stonemountainpark.com

 

photo: iStock

The Village Haunted Attraction

The Village is an outdoor haunt experience at the Renaissance Festival Grounds that takes visitors on a tour of a village that has been cursed by evil forces. The residents have been acting strangely, and are mutating into creatures with a taste for human flesh! Better for your kids aged 13 and older, expect intense scenes and scares, character interactions, and plenty of thrills. You'll also find food, drinks, and games in the Courtyard area before or after your tour.

6905 Virlyn B. Smith Rd.
Fairburn
Online: 13storieshauntedhouse.com

Haunted Forest at the Buford Corn Maze

The Buford Corn Maze is an Atlanta Halloween tradition. Between the hayride, the bounce house, the pony rides and the corn box (not to mention the five-acre corn maze), there's plenty here to entertain without the spook factor. But if your older kids are ready for a scary Halloween, come on Friday or Saturday night, when the haunted forest is open from 8 till midnight. Kids of all ages are allowed, but use your best judgement, and you'll need to accompany the under-8 set. $16/ person.

4470 Bennet Rd.
Buford
Online: bufordcornmaze.com/haunted-forest

Fear the Woods

On this haunted farm, mysterious things happen after dark. Open every Fri.-Sun., this spot offers different spooky experiences for you to choose among (or opt for all three). While they recommend visitors be 13 or older, you can purchase “Monster Protection” with your ticket and the actors will not scare those wearing it. However, animatronics are sensor-activated, so you may still experience some surprise screams.

13 Reagan Rd.
Stockbridge
770-954-9356
Online: fearthewoods.com

Fright Fest at Six Flags

Timing your Six Flags visit is the key to serving up just the right amount of horror. During daylight hours, there's trick-or-treating, Halloween-themed shows and pumpkin painting for the little ones. Fright Fest begins after dark with terror-filled rides and wandering monsters and zombies. For families with various ages, keep the little ones in the scare-free kid zone while the big kids go exploring after dark.

275 Riverside Pkwy.
Austell
Online: sixflags.com

photo: iStock

Fearopolis at Funopolis Family Fun Center

If you're not sure how well your kiddos will handle spooky after-dark activities, Fearopolis could be the perfect introduction to the haunted house experience. Kids will enjoy the competitive games like pumpkin launching and laser tag, and if they want to test their limits of fear, the haunted house gives some startles and scares without overwhelming first-timers.

40155 Hwy 441 S.
Commerce
706-335-3866
Online: funopolisfamilyfuncenter.com

 

Boo at the Zoo

It's not exactly a haunted house, but if you want an immersive Halloween experience that's 100% kid friendly, Boo at the Zoo is the event you've been waiting for. With a trick-or-treat trail, a costume contest, a big cast of costumed characters and plenty of fall activities, Boo at the Zoo will get your whole family in the Halloween spirit without keeping little ones up at night.

800 Cherokee Ave. SE
Atlanta
404-624-9453
Online: zooatlanta.org

Featured image via iStock.

—Shelley Massey

8 A(maize)ing Corn Mazes Near Atlanta

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It’s finally fall, ya’ll, and that means there is a bushel of corn-fusing fun to be had at a local corn maze. From Peter Pan-themed to delightfully spooky, there’s a bumper crop of corn mazes near Atlanta. Lend an ear and we’ll tell you where to go.

The Buford Corn Maze

As the name suggest, there is an excellent corn maze to be found at The Buford Corn Maze. Older kiddos may want to do the corn maze, but if you're taking littles, there's a lot of walking. If they're not up to the job, you can opt for the playground or bounce house, which are free with admission. Look for pony rides, face painting and karaoke too.

The Details: Admission is $16 for the corn maze and includes the hayride. Mon.-Th. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. & Sat. from 10 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

4470 Bennett Rd.
Buford
678-835-7198
Online: bufordcornmaze.com

Sleepy Hollow Farm

The name Sleepy Hallow conjures up images of hayrides, Halloween and crisp fall nights, but this Sleepy Hallow got its start thirty years ago as a family owned Christmas tree farm (read about their cool history here). What started as a Christmas tradition has grown into a fall tradition for families throughout the Atlanta area.  Aside from the main attraction: the tractor ride, kiddos will love the corn maze, a pumpkin patch and farm animal feeding.

The Details: $12 per person, 2 and under free with purchase of adult ticket. Includes wagon rides, corn maze, farm animals & kid zone, and pumpkin patch (pumpkins sold separately). From Sep. 24–Oct. 31, Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

628 Sleepy Hollow Rd.
Powder Springs
770-942-6770
Online: sleepyhollowtrees.com

 

Scottsdale Farms

Just north of Atlanta in Milton, you’ll find Scottsdale Farms, a 55-acre family owned Garden Center and Cafe. The first 4 weeks in October from Thursday-Sunday you'll find a Family Fun Field, complete with a corn maze and hayride for all ages, lawn games, and a Sunflower Field. They also have a plethora of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes in all varieties if you need to stock up.

The Details: Thurs.-Sun. from 3-6 p.m. in Oct., $7/per person or maximum of $25/per family, Children 2 and under are free

15639 Birmingham Hwy.
Milton
770-777-5875
Online: scottsdalefarms.com

Uncle Shuck's

With a maze spread over 12 acres with 4 miles of trails, you can get as corny as you want at Uncle Shucks. Don’t worry, there are exits throughout the maze so you’re sure to make it out alive, and if the littles just aren’t big enough to understand the thrill of the corn maze, you can amaze them with the corn cannon, mini maze (made out of hay bales for optimum visibility), pumpkin patch, and pony rides. On Friday and Saturday nights in October, brave the horror that is The Dark Rows, an unique haunted trail through some of the most twisted trails of our corn field!

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch, Sep. 11 – Nov 14, 2021

October Hours: Sat. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun. to Thurs. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Weekends in November
Price: Corn maze $15, Haunted Maze $20, Combo $25 per person

125 Bannister Rd., Dawsonville
Phone: 770-772-6223
Online: uncleshucks.com

Southern Belle Farm

Southern Belle Farm's corn maze stretches over 4 acres, and offers bonus fall fun in the form of hayrides, a cow train, pig races, corn boxes, and a pumpkin patch. Can’t make it to the fair this year? You can pick up a corn dog or funnel cake to restore the energy that the corn maze zaps from you! Go for the corn maze, leave with your fall bucket list completely checked.

Hours: Through Oct.29, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 7 p.m., Weekdays Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 29th
Price: $11.95 on weekdays, $16.95 on weekends

1767 Turner Church Rd., McDonough
Phone: 770-288-2582
Online: southernbellefarm.com

Jaemor Farm

Famous for its eight-acre corn maze (as well as the Kiddie Maze), the littles will also love the pumpkin train, pony rides, hayrides, and duck races that Jaemor Farms offers in October and the first weekend of November. Need to pick up some pumpkins? No need to make an additional stop. After conquering the corn maze and the other fall activities at Jaemor Farms, you can mosey on over to the pumpkin farm, where all shapes and sizes await your selection. Bring your camera.

Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays: 1 to 7 p.m.
Price: $14 per person ages 3 & up

5340 Cornelia Hwy, Alto
770-869-3999
Online:jaemorfarms.com

photo: iStock

Warbington Farms

This classic Atlanta-area farm offers a corn maze, petting zoo, slides, swings, and more—perfect for a fall day in fresh air.

Hours: Through Oct. 31, Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m. to 1`0 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Season Pass available starting at $25.95

5555 Crow Rd., Cumming
Phone: 770-889-1515
Online: warbingtonfarms.com

photo: boophotography via iStock

Yahoo Farm

Take one corn maze, add an inflatable bouncing pillow and some friendly farm animals, and sprinkle in some gem mining. Yields one day of fantastic fall fun, and one carload of exhausted kiddos on the trek home. Cagle’s is a working farm with a wild side during the fall. Don’t forget to pick up some of their fresh milk at the dairy, and if you’ve got night owls, go for the bonfire hayride, which begin as early as 6:00 p.m.

Hours: Through Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. nights in Oct. until 10 p.m.
Price: Activities range from free to $25

4729 Waleska Hwy. 108, Jasper
Phone: 770-735-3638
Online: yahoofarm.com

Featured image by Alan Batt via Pixabay

–Shelley Massey

 

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No bucket list of fall family fun is complete without a hayride. Grab your dungarees and pull on those boots as we’ve gathered a list of five of our fave spots to catch a ride. Yee-haw! It will be your family’s favorite thing to do this fall, we just know it.

Burt's Pumpkin Farm

The hay ride at Burt's travels two miles around the pumpkin patch and through the woods. Wagons are filled with wheat straw and are pulled by a big farm tractor. You will see their famous pumpkins, Autumn and Gordy, along the way and also go through a covered bridge filled with singing pumpkins. New for this year they've planted over 8,000 zinnia flowers! At the end of the ride you will get a glimpse of Amicalola Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

The Details: Hayride is $6 for everyone (free for children younger than two). Daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in October. 

5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Rd.
Dawsonville
Online: shopburtsfarm.com

Sleepy Hollow Farm

The name Sleepy Hallow conjures up images of hayrides, Halloween and crisp fall nights, but this Sleepy Hallow got its start thirty years ago as a family owned Christmas tree farm (read about their cool history here). What started as a Christmas tradition has grown into a fall tradition for families throughout the Atlanta area.  Aside from the main attraction: the tractor ride, kiddos will love the corn maze, a pumpkin patch and farm animal feeding.

The Details: $12 per person, 2 and under free with purchase of adult ticket. Includes wagon rides, corn maze, farm animals & kid zone, and pumpkin patch (pumpkins sold separately). From Sep. 24–Oct. 31, Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

628 Sleepy Hollow Rd.
Powder Springs
770-942-6770
Online: sleepyhollowtrees.com

 

photo: iStock

Berry Patch Farms

Just a short drive to Woodstock, you’ll find a fun and friendly place for the kiddos to catch a (hay) ride. You’ll pay $5 to park, but admission and the hayride is free. You’ll take a short tractor pulled hayride out to a field where you’ll find an enormous section of pumpkins, gourds, and plenty of photo ops. Once you make your way back to the main area, you’ll find a playground, farm animals, and boiled peanuts, popcorn, and homemade fried pies.

The Details: Weekends: Oct. 2-30, Weekdays: Oct. 18-29 from 3:30-7 p.m.

786 Arnold Mill Rd.
Woodstock
770-926-0561
Online: berrypatchfarms.net

Scottsdale Farms

Just north of Atlanta in Milton, you’ll find Scottsdale Farms, a 55-acre family owned Garden Center and Cafe. The first 4 weeks in October from Thursday-Sunday you'll find a Family Fun Field, complete with a corn maze and hayride for all ages, lawn games, and a Sunflower Field. They also have a plethora of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes in all varieties if you need to stock up.

The Details: Thurs.-Sun. from 3-6 p.m. in Oct., $7/per person or maximum of $25/per family, Children 2 and under are free

15639 Birmingham Hwy.
Milton
770-777-5875
Online: scottsdalefarms.com

The Buford Corn Maze

As the name suggest, there is much more to do here than just the hayride. Like, maybe a corn maze? But the hayride really is a highlight! Known as Atlanta's longest hayride, not only is it a long leisurely ride into the woods, but the drivers are super friendly and entertaining too. After the hayride, prepare yourself, because there is a LOT to do. Older kiddos may want to do the corn maze too. Just know it’s a lot of walking so if you’re not up for carrying your little one through the corn, opt for the playground or bounce house, which are free with admission. Look for pony rides, face painting and karaoke too.

The Details: Admission is $16 for the corn maze and includes the hayride. Mon.-Th. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. & Sat. from 10 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

4470 Bennett Rd.
Buford
678-835-7198
Online: bufordcornmaze.com

Featured image Karen G. via Yelp

—Shelley Massey & Candice Rose

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The pumpkin patch on a beautiful fall day is pretty perfect, but the perks—inflatable pillows, hayrides, and more—will have your crew saying “Oh my gourd!” Just be sure to check in with each spot before you go to guarantee the pumpkins aren’t picked out, for up-to-date hours of operation, and to purchase tickets in advance, as many require it. Keep reading to find out our favorite places to pick the perfect pumpkin, below.

Buford Corn Maze

Walking through the pumpkin patch at this hot spot is only a small slice of the fun. With a corn box in place of a sand box, a haunted forest, hayrides, corn maze, and a dedicated Kids Zone for more fall fun, you'll leave with a whole lot more than a pumpkin. 

4470 Bennett Rd.
Buford, Ga
678-835-7198
Online: bufordcornmaze.com

Tickets are $16/ Corn Maze, $16/ Haunted Forest, and $28/ Combo Ticket. Kids 3 & under are free. All tickets include access to Kid's CORNer play area and activities, unlimited hayrides & more. Access to pumpkin patch is free, but pumpkins are prices according to size and variety. Pumpkin patch is open from Sep. until supplies run out, so be sure and call in advance.

Sleepy Hollow Farm

This Powder Springs patch includes a hayride, corn maze, farm animals and children’s area, in addition to pumpkins. While you're there, visit sheep, goats, donkey, pigs, chickens & rabbits, and take a trip to their country store for jams, jellies, honey, ciders and more. Through Oct. 31.

628 Sleepy Hollow Rd.
Powder Springs, Ga
770-942-6770
Online: sleepyhollowtrees.com

Closed Mondays and most Tuesdays. Admission is $12/ person and includes wagon rides, corn maze, corn maze treasure hunt for prizes, visits with farm animals, and entrance to the Kid Zone and pumpkin patch. Ages 2 & younger are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Early bird specials on weekday mornings are available, and all tickets must be purchased online in advance for timed entry, with a 2 hour limit per visit. 

Southern Belle Farm

The folks at Southern Belle Farm are celebrating the harvest in an old-fashioned way, with a pumpkin patch, 4 acres of corn maze, and more than 20 outdoor attractions. Through Oct. 29. 

1658 Turner Church Rd.,
McDonough, Ga
770-288-2582
Online: southernbellefarm.com

Farm admission is $13.95 + tax on weekends and $11.95 + tax on weekdays (closed Mon. & Tues.) and includes cornfield maze(s), hayride, cow train ride, corn cannon, jumping pillow, racing pedal carts, giant tunnel slide, kiddie korral, corn box, rubber duck races, meeting barnyard animals, seesaws and pig races. Ages 2 & under are free. Some attractions will be closed during the day to allow for sanitation, and all tickets must be purchased in advance online. 

Uncle Shuck's

Uncle Shuck's serves up a bumper crop of fall fun in addition to its pumpkin patch, including hayrides, a corn cannon, goat walk, evening bonfires, and a corn maze. This year's corn maze theme is Peter Pan! Check Facebook for up-to-date hours, special events, and pumpkin availability. Through Nov. 14. 

125 Bannister Rd
Dawsonville, GA 
770-772-6223
Online: uncleshucks.com

Admission is free; separate fees for wagon ride, bonfire, corn maze, and haunted trail. Pumpkins are priced by the variety and size.

Jaemor Farms

Jaemor Farms has over 130 acres of pumpkins in a variety of different sizes, shapes and colors. From minis to giants, white ones, beige ones, light orange to dark orange, Jaemor has them in their pumpkin patch. While you're there, take a shot at their corn maze. Open through Nov. 7. Hours will vary so check here to plan your visit.

5340 Cornelia Hwy.
Alto, Ga
770-869-0999
Online: jaemorfarms.com

Admission to the pumpkin patch is $4, and for $14 + tax (available to all ages 3 and up), you can enjoy unlimited corn maze, mini maze, hayrides, pumpkin train, petting zoo, farm slides, skeeball, duck races plus five shots per person at the apple cannon. This pass also includes entrance to the pumpkin patch (with vines!).

Big Springs Farms

At Big Springs Farm, you can pick your pumpkins from the patch or from their stand, then enjoy a wagon ride around the farm. Each year, they produce a behemoth pumpkin weighing in at close to 60 pounds, so be sure to keep an eye out for this year's giant. Big Springs also is home to plenty of farm animals to see, as well as a bounce house. Open through Oct. 31.

2100 Sugar Pike Rd.
Woodstock, Ga
678-899-3900
Online: facebook.com/Big-Springs-Farms-Pumpkin-Patch

Admission is free, but pumpkins, hay ride, bounce house, and corn maze are all available for purchase for a small fee ($3-4 each).

Red Apple Barn

Head towards the mountains and Red Apple Barn to pick your own pumpkin out of the field, or pick one out of their pile of pumpkins on the farm. There are small, mid-size and big pumpkins planted, including orange pumpkins, Cinderella, and other varieties. While you're there, be sure to play a round of cornhole, horseshoes, visit the covered bridge, or take a stroll. Open through Oct. 31.

3379 Tails Creek Rd.
Ellijay, Ga
706-635-5898
Online: redapplebarn.com

Admission is free. The pumpkin patch is open on weekends from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. in October. 

Berry Patch Farms

At Berry Patch Farm, you'll take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch, returning with your prized pumpkins to enjoy fresh apple cider, a homemade fried pie, and some boiled peanuts and popcorn. Once you've picked your perfect gourd and enjoyed some refreshments, plan to stick around a while for the kids to enjoy the playground and baby farm animals. Hayride and pumpkin patch are open weekends in Oct., and some weekday mornings (reservations are required). Check the schedule before you go to confirm their availability, but they plan to be open through Oct. 30.

786 Arnold Mill Rd.
Woodstock, Ga
770-926-0561
Online: berrypatchfarms.com

Parking is $5 on the weekends, and concessions and pumpkins are available for purchase.

Burt's Pumpkin Farm

Burt’s is the behemoth of pumpkin patches, with a sea of orange (and white, green and everything in between) pumpkins that range in size from a whopping 150 pounds to a preciously petite one pounder. Don't miss the farm tour via hayride, while you're there! Through mid-Nov.

4801 Highway 52
Dawsonville, Ga
706-265-3701
Online: burtsfarm.com

Admission is free; hayrides are $6 per person (ages 2 & under free).

Kinsey Family Farm

Jardales, Knuckleheads, Luminas, and Red-eyes—these are just a few of the unusual varieties of pumpkins you can find at the Kinsey Family Farm. In addition to pumpkins, you'll also discover a variety of fall fun, including animal interactions and lots of homemade food items for sale. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Pumpkin patch begins Oct. 1 and ends Oct. 31.

7170 Jot-em Down Rd.
Gainesville
770-887-6028
Online: kinseyfamilyfarm.com


Admission is free; hayrides are not available this season, but all animals are available for guests to feed. 

Ole McDermitt's Farm

Ole McDermitt had a farm—and on this farm he had—everything! Kids will go crazy for the pumpkin launching station, rubber duck races, corn box (think sand box), farm animal encounters, hayrides, a 4.5 acre corn maze for big kids and a mini 1/3 acre maze for tiny tots. Don’t miss the scarecrow dress up station and rope maze. Oh, and they have a pumpkin patch too, of course. Through Nov. 1. Check Facebook and website for daily hours.

102 Baxter Rd.
Carrollton, Ga
678-850-8948
Online: olemcdermittsfarm.com

Admission is $13 for ages 3 & up—cash only, and includes all farm animal viewing, as well as farm games and activities. Snacks, gem mining, animal feed and merchandise are not included in admission price.

Scottsdale Farms

Pumpkin Patch Farm offers a plethora of pumpkins, as well as an animal barnyard, pumpkin ring toss, mini tractors to ride, a hay maze and face painting. Tractor drawn hayrides bounce down “Bumpy Way” as tots hear tales of scarecrows and learn lessons about how pumpkins grow. Every Sat. & Sun. in Oct. 15639 Birmingham Hwy. Milton 770-777-5875 Online: scottsdalefarms.com Admission is $7.50 plus tax per person and includes the hayride, animal barnyard, stick horse corral, hay maze, pumpkin ring toss, and John Deere pedal tractors.

Featured image via iStock.

—Shelley Massey

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Atlanta is surrounded by some of the country’s finest whitewater, and we’ve rounded up the most family-friendly runs around. And while all of the rivers listed below are serviced by river outfitters who can take care of every detail of your trip, it’s always a good idea to review some river safety guidelines before you go. Keep reading for some of the state’s most family-friendly rafting options, below.

Chattahoochee River, Metro

Odds are, your parents had a wild time shooting the ‘Hooch sometime in the late 70s or early 80s, and some of their memories may not have involved an actual boat. And while the Hooch is still the closest, easiest, and coldest water around, the wild weekends of yesteryear have been tamed considerably. It’s good, clean(ish), family fun for rafters ages 5 and older.

Keep in Mind: The Chattahoochee is regulated by the release of water from Buford Dam, and can quickly change from relatively low water levels to fast-flowing rapids. You can call ahead to find out the water release schedule (770-945-1466), and be sure to check out average float times here.

Make It Easy: Let Chattahoochee Outfitters set you up with the appropriate watercraft for your group, drive you to the put-in location, and feed you (nothing beats concession food after a long day on the water) when you float back to the headquarters at Azalea Park in Roswell.

Chattahoochee Outfitters
203 Azalea Dr.
Roswell
770-650-1008
Online: shootthehooch.com

Chattahoochee River, Helen

Alpine Helen is home to some of the coolest and most popular tubing adventures in the state. Surround yourself with refreshing forest scenery on a lively tubing trip down the Chattahoochee River. You'll float right through the middle of Helen and have optional waterslides along the way.

Keep in Mind: Helen is Georgia's weird and wonderful Alpine village, which is quite a destination on the weekends. If you'd rather keep to the privacy of the forest animals, this rafting adventure may not be for you.

Make It Easy: Take a one or two-hour-long trip with Cool River Tubing and also enjoy their aerial park, open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Cool River Tubing
590 Edelweiss Strasse
Helen, GA 30545
800-896-4595
Online: coolrivertubing.com

 

Chestatee River, Dahlonega

If you're looking for a shorter option, check out the Chestatee river trip in beautiful Dahlonega. You can book kayak or tube trips, and while tubing trips only last around 30 minutes, you can walk 10 minutes back to the launch and ride the river as many times as you'd like for only $5.

Keep in Mind: The minimum age of tubers is 4. Keep in mind the tube has to be carried back up the trail.

Make It Easy: Dahlonega outfitters Chestatee River Adventures offers trips from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

Chestatee River Adventures
2718 South Chestatee St.
​Dahlonega, GA 30533
770-540-9950
Online: chestateeriveradventures.com

Toccoa River, McCaysville

Don’t let the fact that the Olympic rafting competition was held just upstream on the Ocoee deter you from getting your feet wet in these hallowed waters. You can elect to mosey down the river on a gentle half-day float on the Toccoa with the littles ages 5 and older.

Keep in Mind: This river runs through Tennessee and Georgia but has two names depending on the state. In Tennessee, the rapids are referred to as the Ocoee, while in Georgia, the name changes into the Toccoa River (and generally has calmer waters).

Make it Easy: Call the Rolling Thunder River Company to take care of all your needs, from selecting the right craft to hiring a guide to steer you through the more daunting waters.

Ocoee River/Toccoa River Centers
20 Hughes Street
McCaysville, GA 30555
706-492-5720
Online: rollingthunderriverco.com

 

The Chattooga River, Mountain Rest

While it's not as dramatic as the depiction in Deliverance, the Chattooga isn’t a lazy river float. In fact, children under 8 aren’t allowed in the boat, and you’ll find that the adventure on the Chattooga is less about dueling banjos and more about keeping yourself in the boat.

Keep in Mind: The Chattooga was federally protected in 1974 so if your goal is to see some breathtakingly undeveloped scenery, this is the river for you. However, undeveloped means undeveloped. Don’t plan on stopping off to grab some ice for your cooler along the way.

Make it Easy: Contact the Nantahala Outdoor Center to set up your guided trip, and ease any lingering post-Deliverance jitters you may have.

NOC Chattooga River
851A Chattooga Ridge Rd.
Mountain Rest, SC
864-647-9014
Online: noc.com

Featured image by Angga Indratama on Unsplash.

—Shelley Massey

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When people refer to our city as Hotlanta, they are not kidding. It can get downright scorching in the spring and summer months. And while private pools or country clubs can cost a pretty penny, we’ve scouted out some family-friendly places where you can cool off with the kiddos on the cheap. Grab your goggles and read on for the low down on our five favorite Atlanta community pools.

photo: iStock

Chastain Park Athletic Club

Nestled inside Chastain Park you’ll find Chastain Park Athletic Club, a perfect place to take your little minnows for a day of swimming. The club has three pools: a deep pool, a family pool and a lap pool. The family pool is 3 ft. 6in. deep and has stairs that run along one entire end, making it a perfect spot for splashing with ‘lil swimmers. At this well-maintained community pool, you’ll find bathhouses, a snack bar, picnic tables and lots of shady places to camp out with the kiddos.

Details:  Visit the pool for free from 12-1:30 p.m. on weekdays, and for $5 for all ages from 2-4:30 p.m.; check the website for more info.

Hint: If you are looking to beat the crowds, try heading over on a weekday. Monday through Wednesday are usually the least crowded.

235 Chastain Park Ave. NW
Buckhead
404-255-2762
Online: teamunify.com

photo: iStock

McKoy Pool

Ah, the city of Decatur. They do so many things right and McKoy Pool and Park is no exception. McKoy Park has a giant play area that is relatively new with slides, swings and climbing structures. You‘ll also find a nice picnic area, as well as a skate park. McKoy pool features a zero-entry (beach style) pool and splash fountains which are a big hit with the little ones. You’ll also find lounge chairs and oversized umbrellas for lots of shade.

Details: Daily swim is available Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and will close for weekday swimming on August 1. It will remain open on weekends through Labor Day. Admission is $5 for each person older than 2.

Hint: This is a fun and well-maintained pool, but be prepared for plenty of company. This pool is very popular with Decatur's small set because of the zero-entry pathway.

534 Mckoy St.
Decatur
404-378-8084
Online: decaturga.com

photo: iStock

Roswell Area Park Pool

The Roswell Area Park Pool is situated in the huge forest-like setting of Roswell Area Park. With plenty of great walking paths, ball fields, tennis courts and several nice playgrounds this park really has it all. The pool itself is Olympic-sized with eight lanes, two diving boards and a children’s wading pool. And of course, no kid-friendly pool is complete without the beloved mushroom waterfall!

Details: Roswell residents pay $3.00 and non-residents pay $4.50. It's closed Thursdays, and generally opens at 11 a.m. on all days but Sundays, when it opens at 1 p.m. Hours will change as the season continues so check the website before you go.

Hint: If you’re looking for more than casual splashing, check out some of the many programs offered at the pool, like aquatic exercise, or swim lessons for the kiddos.

10495 Woodstock Rd.
Roswell
770-641-3822
Online: roswellgov.com

photo: iStock

Garden Hills Pool

Snug in the beautiful Garden Hills neighborhood, this pool has been popular with residents and guests for years. Enjoy its concession stand, updated bathrooms and an indoor party room—not to mention the shady playground just outside its front door, and the playing field adjacent to the pool. 

Details: Admission is $5 per person and free swim hours are from opening to closing, with the exception of from 12-2 p.m. and 2:15-4:15. Member-only hours begin daily at 4:30 p.m.

Hint: Stay in the loop on Garden Hills Facebook page for updates on fun events like The Garden Hills Pool dog swim and movie nights!

335 Pinetree Dr. NE
Buckhead
404-848-7220
Online: gardenhillspool.com

Piedmont Park Aquatic Center

Last but not least, the most well-known park in the city of Atlanta is also home to what we think has got to be one of the prettiest pools city! With beautiful views of the park and Lake Clare Meer, fountains, a large deck and even a lazy river this pool makes for a great day of pool fun with the little ones.

Details: Free swim hours are Monday through Friday from 3-5 p.m., and $5 per person during all other hours (Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from 12-5 p.m.) They also have lockers available to store your belongings and a fun concession stand for midday snacks.

Hint: This year, there will be no available seating or furniture on the pool deck due to Covid precautions, but guests may bring their own chairs.

1320 Monroe Dr. NE
Midtown
404-875-7275
Online: piedmontpark.org

Featured photo courtesy of iStock.

—Shelley Massey

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Don’t let the heat get you all hot and bothered—scoop up some of the original Mother’s Little Helper and chill out, instead. From classic favorites at ice cream institutions to modern takes on the sweet stuff, Atlanta’s dripping with options. Read on for the scoop on where to score the best in town.

photo: iStock

Butter & Cream

All ice cream at this Decatur institution is hand-made right there in the store, and with flavors that range from classic to exotic—honey lavender fig and dark chocolate malbec, for starters—you might never leave. Check out their seasonally rotating menu for the most "now" flavors.

The Cherry On Top: Take your ice cream to go and saunter over to the nearby Little Shop of Stories—they have story times on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday!

416 Church St.
404-378-7272

661 Auburn Ave. Suite 130
404-709-2173
Online: butterandcream.com

Cathy's

You'll find gourmet ice cream sandwiches at this treasure, where you begin by choosing your cookies (there are 7 types to choose among), your ice cream (16 flavors that range from standard to exotic), and a topping, which your sandwich is rolled in. While it's not cheap—a cookie sandwich will run you a solid $10—each custom concoction is deliciously indulgent.

The Cherry On Top: Want to try your hand at making a gourmet ice cream sandwich at home? Cathy's sells cookie kits, with cookie dough ready to go and ice cream by the pint.

855 Peachtree Street
404-902-3812
Online: cathyscle.com

Vintage Frozen Custard

What started as a food truck quickly took flight and now the brick-and-mortar custard store on the West Side soars above the standard coop. Whether you like your custard straight-up or mixed with a topping (a concrete, if you want to know the lingo), you've come to the right spot.

The Cherry On Top: Feeling frisky? Give a Leige Waffle a whirl. Also, check the website for info on the Vintage food truck's Iocation, in case you can't make it to Roswell.

1075 Canton St.
Roswell, GA
678-694-8903
Online: tastevintage.com

Sub-Zero NItrogen Ice Cream

This flash-frozen ice cream is created using liquid nitrogen, which is found in the air we breathe. And the founders take the idea of science in the kitchen seriously—they even offer classroom demos and have a song about the Periodic Table on their homepage. Whatever the science behind this ice cream, it's good.

The Cherry On Top: The downtown location is a perfect place to stop after a morning at the Children's Museum or an afternoon at Centennial Olympic fountains.

250 Park Ave. W NW
Centennial Park District, Downtown

11720 Medlock Bridge Rd.
Duluth, GA
404-343-4837
Online: subzeroicecream.com

Paolo’s Gelato

From the kid-level glass case displaying fluffy mountains of the good stuff to the wafer cookie on top of every scoop, this Va-Hi sweet shop will delight kids and adults alike. If you’re a stickler for the trifecta (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry), you might be disappointed because the flavors change and trend towards nutella, zabione, rose, and amaretto. Don’t forget your cash as this joint doesn't take cards.

The Cherry On Top: It's a wafer cookie, not a cherry. But it's yummy.

1025 Virginia Ave. NE
404-607-0055
Online: paolosgelato.com

Queen of Cream

This homemade ice cream window in Inman Park starts its batches with local grass-fed dairy, and makes small batches in-house using fresh and local ingredients. Pick up your scoop at the ice cream window, located on Bernina.

The Cherry on Top: Vegan flavors, including Mango Coconut, hold their own on the menu.

337 Elizabeth St NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Online: queenofcream.com

Jake's Ice Cream

Jake’s Ice Cream can be found in many locations around town, but get it at the Irwin Street Market for the traditional ice cream parlor effect. Ice cream coolers straddle an old-fashioned ice cream bar, complete with red vinyl stools and glistening countertops. For the wobblers out there, there are also family-style kitchen tables in a lounge adjacent to the ice cream counter. Jake's impressive list of creative (and offbeat) flavors are sure to satisfy every craving in your crowd. They're also opening a new location in East Point this summer, so keep an eye out.

The Cherry On Top: The ISM houses breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dessert vendors all under one roof, so hit this spot if you just can’t bring yourself to make dinner... or lunch... or brunch... one day. It's right off the Beltline, and a worthy destination. Keep in mind that they're only open on Sat. & Sun. from 2-5 p.m., so plan your day around it.

660 Irwin St.
678-705-7945
Online: jakesicecream.com

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Think of this sweet spot as education for tiny tounges. Nestled in the hip haute spot of the Westside Provisions District, this ice cream counter serves up samples of fanciful flavors like Wildberry Lavender, Goat Cheese & Red Cherries, and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.

The Cherry On Top: A waffle wedge comes complimentary with each scoop. Don't forget to load up on pints to take home to use to bribe the babes later.

1198 Howell Mill Rd.
404-355-6050

77 West Paces Ferry Rd., Suite 35B
470-270-8117
Online: jenis.com

photo: S. Massey

Frosty Caboose

Trains and treats? Yes, please. This sweet shop is a converted train caboose with a walk-up window serving Greenwood’s ice cream—Atlanta’s answer to Mayfield’s on a smaller scale and with wilder flavors. With a private and plentiful parking lot between the caboose and the real train track (another plus for your little train aficionados), you can either enjoy your ice cream tailgate style, or stroll the streets of downtown Chamblee as you eat.

The Cherry On Top: Can't get enough of Greenwood Ice Cream? Check out their manufacturing location not far from The Frosty Caboose. You can score an ice cream cake from one of the coolers up front if you're lucky!

5435 Peachtree Rd.
770-451-4556
Online: frostycaboose.com

Morelli's

This is ice cream the way it’s supposed to be. Morelli’s churns up conventional flavors (salted caramel will make you moan) as well as more creative combinations (think strawberry balsamic, maple bacon, or coconut jalapeño). But no matter your kids’ tastes, the creamy, smooth, rich quality of Morelli’s will have them begging for more.

The Cherry On Top: The Moreland Avenue store is a perfect stop after a day at the zoo.

749 Moreland Ave. SE,
404-622-0210

4515 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.
770-454-2207
Online: morellisicecream.com

Kilwin's

Okay, okay—Kilwin’s is a chain—but there is only one in Georgia (in Atlantic Station) and you should go. The smell of chocolate greets guests at the door, and kids will marvel at the toys, candy cases, and decorations as they make their way back towards the ice cream. Very few things can actually distract a child from an ice cream cone, but the candy maker molding bite-sized chocolates at the front of the store just might do it.

The Cherry On Top: They make their waffle cones in-house. Yum.

1380 Atlantic Dr. Suite 14160
404-817-7500

251 Market St.
Alpharetta, GA
470-268-4328
Online: kilwins.com

 

Featured image Patrick Fore via Unsplash

—Shelley Massey

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