Sponsor banner

6 fun festivities for those who love fall

This pumpkin tower turns into a glow-in-the-dark attraction at night.

Combined ShapeCaption
This pumpkin tower turns into a glow-in-the-dark attraction at night.

Grab a friend, your kids or go by yourself to these upcoming events

Access to this AJC content is brought to you by our sponsor, Wellstar

This is a great time of year for Georgians to enjoy a quick getaway to explore a fun seasonal activity and enjoy the outdoors.

If you want a break from work stress to soak up the fall season have a wide variety of options to explore, some of which offer special rates and discounts for health care workers.

ExplorePulse: a digital magazine for nurses in the Southeast

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Fest

You and your family will enjoy a day and night of not-so-spooky adventures at one of the Atlanta area’s top fall destinations. Play by day as you experience all of your favorite park attractions and special fall entertainment, then glow by night in a whole new light.

Take a journey through classic storybook tales that come to life in 10 new themed areas featuring 40 newly imagined immersive scenes with glowing lights, massive carved pumpkins, bubbles, fog and plenty of not-so-spooky, glow-in-the-dark adventures after sunset.

Special offer: Health care workers can save $10 off a Pumpkin Festival Attractions Pass.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Georgia-born travel enthusiast and adventure blogger Rebecca “Livia” Deitsch highly recommends Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn as a “great choice for nurses looking to unwind after a stressful week (or year).”

With more than 3,500 acres of stunning canyon views, rushing waterfalls and fresh mountain air only 2 hours from Atlanta, “what more can you ask for?” Explore various hiking trails that are suitable for visitors of all fitness levels, and “your everyday cares will slip away as you take in the natural beauty of north Georgia,” Deitsch said.

“While the park is always quite scenic, the best time to visit is in October and early November, when the trees are full of vibrant colors,” she added. Cloudland Canyon offers a family friendly outdoor retreat where you can create enduring memories of long hikes, cozy campfires and midnight stargazing. “If your goal is leaf peeping, then I highly recommend the West Rim Loop Trail, which offers gorgeous views of fall foliage all over the canyon!

“There isn’t a better place for leaf peeping or hiking in north Georgia, so book a few nights in one of Cloudland Canyon’s charming cabins, campsites (or yurts) and prepare for relaxation.”

ExploreUnusual things to do in Georgia with older kids

Great Wolf Lodge Howl-o-Ween

If just one night of Halloween isn’t enough for you and your little goblins, grab your costumes for Howl-o-Ween at Great Wolf Lodge. During October, they feature a variety of “fa-BOO-lous” events, games and treats to celebrate the spooky season, according to their website.

Michelle Halpern, travel blogger and founder of LiveLikeItsTheWeekend.com, highly recommends this resort. “Great Wolf Lodge is a family friendly getaway featuring everything from yoga to Build-A-Bear. Just a short drive away from the spectacular Horseshoe Bend National Park and plenty of other viewpoints, memorials and picnic patches, you can immerse yourself in nature before immersing yourself in the Lazy River at Great Wolf Lodge,” Halpern wrote. The huge indoor water park at the resort is a popular draw for families.

Special offer: Health care workers can get 30% off with the promo code HEROES (ID required), according to Halpern.

Georgia Mountain Fall Fest

The Georgia Mountain Fall Fest (October 8-16) is an excellent opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and go leaf peeping. Enjoy the mild north Georgia temperatures surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenes at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee.

The nine-day festival features an exciting variety of “arts and Crafts, educational demonstrations, acrobats, and my favorite part, the live music,” said Jeremy Scott Foster, founder and CEO of Travel Freak. “Set in a gigantic fairground with a cowboy circus, the mountains are gorgeously decorated with hay bales, pumpkins and scarecrows to create the perfect Halloween atmosphere. With plenty of chances to take spectacular selfies surrounded by mountain ranges blanketed in autumnal tones, there’s no better place to unwind and have some serious fun,” he concluded.

ExploreHow to treat your kids to Atlanta’s top attractions for free

Spirit of Oakland Cemetery Tours

This popular event is in its 15th year at the Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. “Designed to enlighten rather than frighten, ‘Capturing the Spirit of Oakland’ tours bring to life the stories of some of the cemetery’s notable and notorious residents, and allow visitors to experience Oakland Cemetery after dark,” according to the event website.

Costumes are encouraged for this event, which runs October 14-21. Musical performances are included with the tours. A special VIP night (October 25) entails a three-course dinner at nearby FirePit Pizza Tavern, plus exclusive VIP access to the cemetery after dark.

Jet Ski Safari

If you’re seeking something a bit different from the Halloween themes and mountain getaways, the Jet Ski Safari may be a great option for you.

“On the Jet Ski Safari, visitors will explore the barrier islands (of South Carolina), including an eco-tour of Caper’s Island, and if they’re lucky can view dolphins and other wildlife in their natural habitats,” said Brent Jacoby of Uncharted Society. “Fall is the perfect time for coastal getaways, as the crowds and prices have died down, but it’s still warm enough to get out and rip around on the water.”

According to their website, riders will “feel like you’re motorcycling on the water as you explore…and take in the magnificent wildlife of the area.” This is a guided tour that is suitable for all skill levels, where you can “search for the perfect shells and take Instagram-ready pics.”

The local weather is ideal for being out on the water. “Typically, guests to Isle of Palms in October can expect abundant sunshine and daily temps up to around 80 degrees, with cooler nights around 60 degrees,” Jacoby said. “For most people, that’s a comfortable range to jet ski in a T-shirt, or maybe a sweatshirt if it’s cloudy. More adventurous guests will have no problem swimming in this weather. It’s easy to have plenty of fun on the Sea-Doos while staying almost entirely dry, which is the more common option later in the fall.”

Special offer: Use promo code “Uncharted” at check out to get a 10% discount

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.

ExploreThings to do today and this weekend in metro Atlanta

About the Author