This festival is indeed held at a cemetery, but it’s historic and beautifully landscaped, so not particularly scary in the bright sunshine.
Seasonal decorations mean photo ops abound, so bring a camera and costumes if that’s your thing.
You can purchase the perfect pumpkin while you’re there and the kids can head to a special area for crafts and activities. Local artisans will have decor for sale, and treats are also available so bring funds.
Scarecrow Invasion in Woodstock
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Oct. 2-31, free to see, $1 per vote at the Visitor’s Center, 8588 Main St., Woodstock
Clever and talented designers have entered scarecrows in a contest across the Woodstock business district, and you can take a walk or a spin through downtown to decide on which is most appealing.
Chat up the grandkids to determine a few favorites, then head to the Visitor’s Center to vote.
You’ll be subsidizing the future beautification of the downtown area with vote fees, so plan to come back later in the year to see how your money was put to work.
Follow this map to see the scarecrows entered in the competition.
Fall-O-Ween Festival in Swift Cantrell Park
3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, free admission, Swift Cantrell Park, 3140 Old 41 Hwy. NW, Kennesaw
The City of Kennesaw throws a gentle, family-friendly bash that’s a great introduction to costumes and treats for preschoolers while still offering arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, and field games for older kids.
There’s a costume contest too, and a showing of the animated, PG-rated “Hotel Transylvania” after sundown.
Be sure to stop by the Cobb County library booth at the fete. If you’re interested in getting the grandkids to read more, autumn and Halloween books are almost always a hit.
To kick off the sort of spooky season in style, consider wearing costumes yourselves, Grandma and Grandpa.
Scarecrows in the Gainesville Garden
9 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday Oct. 3-31, free with admission $12.95-$14.95, under 3 free, Atlanta Botanical Garden: Gainesville, 911 Sweetbay Dr., Gainesville
Local artists, schools, youth groups and other entrants show off their best scarecrows and woodland creatures in the Gainesville Gardens.
The October display is a fun extra when you visit the Gainsville satellite of the Atlanta Botanic Gardens in October, and the youth participants may inspire your grandkids to get involved behind the scenes next year.
To gear up for the theme, Día de los Muertos!, watch the Oscar-winning 2017 animated Disney Pixar film “Coco” ahead of time. It celebrates family ties and music, and explains the Day of the Dead tradition.